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On top of the Vox’s distinctive sound, The Beatles added extra chime to their tunes by using 12-string guitars.
The four lowest strings are tuned in unison pairs – an octave apart – while the two highest strings are tuned to the same register as normal. The result is a huge natural chorusing effect that is brimming with sweet harmonics.
Three affordable 12-string electrics include:
◆ Italia Rimini ITR12 (£579/$945) With a retro vibe that’s verging on Rickydom, Italia’s Rimini 12-stringer certainly looks the part. It should sound it, too, thanks to two Wilkinson vintage-voiced soapbar humbuckers, while the unusual six-plus-six tuning key layout eases the pain of tuning a dozen strings.
◆ Hagstrom Viking DLX 12 (£669/$1100) By Odin’s beard, this is a formidable axe to behold! We’re big fans of Viking semis here at TG, and this 12-string promises tones ranging from vintage cleans to menacing roars, and Hagstrom’s Resinator Fretboard to wring additional high-end frequencies from the maple body.
◆ Ibanez Artcore AS7312 (£389/$635) The cheapest of our trio, the AS7312 still looks the business. Its pair of Ibanez ’buckers are mounted to a sustain block within the maple body, which reduces feedback and makes the guitar easier to handle on stage.