1/23/2014

c.1975 Japanese-made Ensenada GT83G 12-string Guitar




Definitely Japanese, definitely a Gibsonesque knock-off of a Hummingbird 12-string... save that the bridge and tailpiece setup is more reminiscent of the older B-45 12 string models. I'm pretty sure the top is solid spruce judging by the sound though I'm not so sure about the maple back and sides. This came in via a customer who needed the tailpiece patched up (the original retainer bar had broken), a replacement saddle, and a good setup -- all of which it got.



I tend to be pretty ambivalent about 70s guitars in general, but after work I was pleasantly surprised with how big this guy sounds. It's also extremely clean -- very few scritchy-scratchy marks on it and aside from the busted tailpiece and missing saddle insert, all there.


Pearloid Gibson-style markers that aren't quite right. The board is lightly radiused, fairly wide, and rosewood.



I have to admit that this style of setup is one of my favorite things to see on a 12-string guitar. It's just so much more practical than a pin bridge with so much tension involved.


The sunny yellow and dark black "sunburst" look reminds me of late-60s Harmony guitars.





Mahogany neck, gold hardware...


...and that fancy applied Ensenada logo. The truss rod does work and now that the zero fret is slotted like a normal nut... it works, too!

A word to the wise: most 60s/70s zero frets were made overly-large (probably because someone drafting the designs had a "brilliant" idea) compared to all the rest of the frets which sort of defeats the purpose of their intent... so when you're setting up a guitar like this, feel free to dig into them to lower the action at the nut to the right height. You will enjoy the guitar 100x more.

1 comment:

Fellow luthier said...

Did you have to replace the tailpiece? I have this same guitar and the tailpiece sheared off where it curves around from the top to the side of the body.