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  #31  
Old 10-01-2023, 07:45 PM
jrdavies jrdavies is online now
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For more information on the guitar ordered by Major Mekia Kealakai, the guitar which was mentioned in Sinistral's post number 18 or on the Hawaiian connection to the evolution of the Dreadnought, check out the two articles on Kil-in Reece's web site. He was involved in discovering the connection and, I think, restoring the original guitar.
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  #32  
Old 10-01-2023, 10:15 PM
sinistral sinistral is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdavies View Post
For more information on the guitar ordered by Major Mekia Kealakai, the guitar which was mentioned in Sinistral's post number 18 or on the Hawaiian connection to the evolution of the Dreadnought, check out the two articles on Kil-in Reece's web site. He was involved in discovering the connection and, I think, restoring the original guitar.
Funny you should mention Kilin—I bought a guitar from him/Pacific Strings. He’s the founder of the Kealakai Center for Pacific Strings. I’d love to visit the museum there someday.
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  #33  
Old 10-02-2023, 03:42 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinistral View Post
A few corrections to your slightly jaundiced view of Martin’s history.

..... snip ...... (here is the joke): Martin began to offer them under the moniker “the Drednaught” with an “a” (the internal name for the shape, presumably a play on Dreadnought, the name of the battleship, and “aught,” the naming convention for Martin’s concert-sized guitars—single-aught, double-aught, triple-aught, etc.).
Hi Sinistral,
I initially reacted negatively to your accusation about my response being jaundiced, so left it for a day or two.
I now have checked and I have no such medical indications.

Brilama asked : "What is the benefit of a 12 fret?"

As a 12 fret user, I answered this and gave him/her a rather longer than necessary rationale for my preference.
I hope that he/she found it useful.

I am a great admirer of the C.F. Martin company, (if not their neck joints) and would probably still be using them had they been producing the 12 fret designs of guitars that I sought from 1996 to 1999 when I eventually discovered Collings versions of the Dreadnought and the 000, and latterly the 00 an d 0 designs.

I am fully aware of the history and origins of the dreadnought, and enjoyed your your jokey fiction about the spelling of the name.
Very droll, although some might take it seriously.

So, if Brilama was interested in the entire saga of dreads , then fine, but this wasn't about dreadnoughts, it was about 12 frets, which I tried to advise as briefly as possible.

Anyway, it would be nice to hear from Brilama to understand whether he/she finds this thread useful.

I would be happy to discuss the history of the American flat top (and also archtop) guitars, but probably better off forum ... we probably have the same reference books anyway.

Anyway, best wishes, Ol'Andy
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Last edited by Silly Moustache; 10-02-2023 at 03:53 AM.
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  #34  
Old 10-02-2023, 05:35 AM
sinistral sinistral is offline
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Hi Silly M,

For the record, it was not a joke—if you look at the 1935 catalog, which came out shortly after the model was redesigned as a 14-fret (bass) guitar, it was called the “Dreadnaught.”

Martin Catalog—1935 (p.12)

Spelled with an “a’’ in 1941:

Martin Catalog—1941 (p. 8)

Martin was still using the alternate spelling as late as 1962:




But by 1968, Martin had changed the spelling to the standard spelling, with an “o”:

Martin Catalog—1968 (p. 4)

So sometime between 1962 and 1968, Martin changed the spelling. There was a discussion of the origin of the alternate spelling in this thread.

It would be lovely to have a conversation about the history of flat-top guitars sometime!

I, too, hope Brilama found the discussion useful, and has discovered the joy of 12-fret guitars!
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  #35  
Old 10-02-2023, 05:41 AM
FingahPickah FingahPickah is offline
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Of my 8 acoustic guitars two are 12 fret models:

- Larrivee 000-40 (Sitka/Mahogany)
- custom slope shoulder dread (Engelmann/Black Walnut) by Luthier Alex Edney of Hiram, ME

My 12 frets have very full, balanced voices - which I believe is enhanced largely by the lower/back-shifted placement of the bridge.
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  #36  
Old 10-02-2023, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brilama View Post
What is the benefit of a 12 fret?

Thank you in advance.
Hi brilama
Physically it 'centers' the bridge in the lower bout (further from the sound hole).

I'm not convinced of all the alleged improvement over tone, but I own a 12 fret in 000 size which is a loud (with very good tone) instrument. Louder than it looks like it should be.



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  #37  
Old 10-02-2023, 10:10 AM
sinistral sinistral is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi brilama
Physically it 'centers' the bridge in the lower bout (further from the sound hole).

I'm not convinced of all the alleged improvement over tone, but I own a 12 fret in 000 size which is a loud (with very good tone) instrument. Louder than it looks like it should be.



Except when it doesn’t (for most Martin and guitars based on Martin designs). See my comments in post #9 above:

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Originally Posted by sinistral View Post
Exactly. This is a common misunderstanding about 12-fret guitars. When Martin created their 14-fret models, they mainly squared off the upper bout to expose two more frets. The bridges moved slightly—only a few 16ths of an inch—so the reach is very similar between a 12-fret and 14-fret version of the same size, in many sizes closer than the difference between an OM and a 000. And the bridges aren’t materially closer to the center of the lower bout.

On the other hand, Gibson shifted the neck and bridge forward or back to create 12-, 13- and 14-fret versions. As a result, the reach on a 12-fret Gibson is noticeably shorter than on a 14-fret Gibson of the same size—basically the distance of the last two frets, or about an inch. The reach is appreciably shorter, and the bridge is noticeably closer to the center of the lower bout. When people cite those features to describe 12-fret guitars, they are really describing guitars that follow the Gibson approach.

Richard Hoover explains the difference in this article. In addition, several extremely knowledgeable luthiers (John Arnold, Bruce Sexauer, Howard Klepper) discuss 12-fret geometry here. They attribute the difference in tone (in the case of Martins) to the extra length of the body more than anything else.
Here is one of Bruce Sexauer’s comments in the linked thread:

Quote:
I mostly build on the Martin paradigm, in which the bridge stays in much the same position, while the body length changes with the number of frets clear of the body. I agree with John Arnold that the tonal difference between the 12 fret 000 and the OM is attributable entirely to the longer length of entire body as well as the increase in internal volume of the cavity, both of which support bass acuity. it also seems true to me that through clever manipulation in construction, either design can be made to emulate the other.

I also agree with Todd that increased break angle at the nut, once sufficient, is irrelevant.

The L00, which I have made a number of in the last few years, does shift the neck and the bridge in order to change the number of clear frets. Interestingly, Gibson often made this design as a 13 fret to the body guitar. It is my opinion that the L00 is as its best as a 13 fretter, as that is where I think the bridge really should be.
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  #38  
Old 10-02-2023, 10:17 AM
guitarman001 guitarman001 is offline
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Yep agree - Martin designs don't move the bridge.

I was actually wanting an OO type guitar with bridge moved back from Halcyon but they base their designs off Martin so it looks like it's another OM for me lol. Larrivee do heavenly 12 frets with bridge moved back and my P-03 sounds like heaven for it.

As I said, I wouldn't bother getting a 12 fret without having the bridge moved back. The difference in tone is apparent. I still say each has its strengths... I still think the 14 fret OM is the best all-round guitar.

And re 12 fret... per above, I was also wanting a cutaway. But now, having tried many. Nope. I prefer the aesthetic with no cutaway and it really doesn't improve access all that much.
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Last edited by guitarman001; 10-02-2023 at 10:43 AM.
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  #39  
Old 10-02-2023, 10:20 AM
zoopeda zoopeda is offline
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Originally Posted by JackC1 View Post
However, the big disadvantage is access to the upper frets.. they're extremely difficult. This was the reason why I sold mine.
I have never understood this criticism. We are talking about a loss of two frets, about an inch of room, way high up on the neck. With a little practice, extending the fourth or fifth finger further up the fretboard extension when needed is very doable. For people who are shredding way high up on the neck, they need to cut away anyway. But for most of us, the notion that losing an inch, two frets, way up on the neck is a dealbreaker is, in my opinion and experience owning them, way overblown. That’s like saying having small hands is a dealbreaker. These 12-fretters are super fun guitars.

Last edited by zoopeda; 10-02-2023 at 10:28 AM.
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  #40  
Old 10-02-2023, 12:39 PM
lowrider lowrider is online now
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Martin, historically, never made a 0000-12 fret. So there was not cutting two frets length off of the body to make the 0000 or M 14 fret.

The Custom Shop 12 frets have the bridge about a half inch lower in the body and the body extended about a half inch, compared to the M.

I like the description given earlier. It has a gutsy, robust sound. To me an M-36 just sounds like a bigger 000. A 0000-12 fret sounds almost like a dread.
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  #41  
Old 10-02-2023, 01:01 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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I like my twelve-fret OMI Dobro F60 a lot.

My favorite thing about it is that when I play slide in open tuning, my hand automatically stops at the high tonic chord. I don't have to look.
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