10/26/2016

2006 Hammertone OC-12 12-String Octave Guitar





For the first time in about a week the sun came out long enough for me to snap shots of this killer little 12-string gadget. These were apparently made by a Mr. Furlanetto up in Canada and I see them from time to time popping up online and remember that they were definitely a thing in the late 90s. There's a reason!

They're basically a functional, modernized version of the 1960s Vox Mandoguitars and have the benefit of a fully-adjustable bridge/saddle arrangement and a high-quality, boutique-level build. They're well-thought-out and compared to anything remotely like this that I've tried in the past, this is definitely the best outing of the design idea that I've tried. It's also pretty -- with a one-piece mahogany body capped with a flamed-maple top (cherry sunburst) and maple binding. The neck is also very flamed maple and has a pau ferro fretboard and a properly-installed zero fret (a plus)!

My only work was to clean it and set it up which included intonating the 12 individual saddles and getting the action spot-on at hair-under 1/16" at the 12th fret overall. I also restrung the highest strings with a pair of 8s rather than the 9s which had disintegrated. The first three courses (EAD) are tuned in octaves and the last three (GBE) are in unison like a mandolin. This gives it that "ethno axe" tonality and it easily does mandolin-style lead work or chimey crosspicked chord work. Take your pick!


It's in really great shape but there's a handful of minor dings (one bigger ding to the bass side of the bridge) on the top and an average amount of usewear throughout -- light scuffing, some mild wear to the finish, stuff like that. It's hard to see unless you're right on it.


The vintage Kluson-style tuners look great and work well. On the thinnest gauges it helps to string them with "Z" bends in the slotted area to keep them locked.


It's a great-looking little rig.


A previous posting of this when it was for sale in the past let me know that the pickups are Fralin Strat "Blues Specials."


The Gotoh bridge unit is heavy-duty and well-made. It has 6 strings rear-loaded and 6 through-body.










The flame on the neck looks great in person. It's also a nice, stable neck and the truss works flawlessly.


A hard, oversized, foam-fitted case comes with it.

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