2/26/2015

1978 Giannini Craviola 12-String Guitar


This is my buddy Rick's 1978 Giannini (these are made in Brazil) and it's the Craviola model (denoting the weird body shape) 12-string. It's mostly original but has a repro pickguard (of my own devising), some replaced bridge pins, and a vintage undersaddle pickup installed. I did a fret level/dress, string ramp additions to the bridge, and general setup on it.

And what do I think? For an all-laminate 12 -- boy this thing sounds warm and full. The body shape gives it a distinctly rounded tone, methinks, and "fudges" some of the midrange jangle. This makes a great chording guitar because of that but it still has enough definition to get a Leadbelly-style "thump" if wanted.




This has dual truss rods (!) which have kept the rather thin-feeling, fast-playing mahogany neck in decent shape.



Gotta love the D-shaped "gypsy jazz" style soundhole...


...though the bolted-on, rosewood bridge leaves a bit to be desired. To get action lower and improve sound I added string ramps to get good back-angle on the saddle with the strings.

Because the top has bellied over time and the general over-light build I've strung this with 12-string lights (10s on the top) and detuned it a full step to D-D. Fortunately, with the accurate setup this means that if you capo it on the 2nd for standard pitch you're still in good tune with yourself.



The laminate rosewood (?) back and sides look great and have a medium-brown color.


The tuners are one thing I would swap right away. Even after a lube, these bind up just a bit. They're just simply not very well-made units.



The wood binding and "classical guitar influences" in Giannini builds give them their own, individual looks.

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