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12 string Fender Stratocaster XII

Fender Stratocaster XII Japan

This is definitely a model of Stratocaster you don't see come around very often.

The Fender Stratocaster XII has temporarily made a return as a made-in-Japan model. And yes, it sounds exactly like you think it would...

...but is it worth getting?

Well, for that it all depends on whether a 12-string electric guitar is usable to you or not.

Here's some truths when it comes to 12-string guitars:

The best usable (keyword there) 12-string guitar is, without question, the 12-string acoustic. And they're not expensive either, even when Fender makes it.

For example, the Fender CD-60SCE is priced very well. It's a total bargain for what it is, and it's also an acoustic-electric as well. So if you want that classic "heavenly" acoustic 12-string sound, it does not cost much at all.

When you apply a 12-string build to an electric guitar however, it's a totally different animal.

More often than not, the best usable tone on an electric with 12 strings is the bridge pickup because it has that 1960s hippie/folk rock flavor to it. And yes, the Strat XII totally has it. But that may be the only thing it's good at doing. It might be a one-trick pony in that respect.

Still, it is a Strat, sounds like a Strat, feels like a Strat, but with 12 strings instead of 6.

There is no tremolo system on this guitar, thank God. Believe me, that's a good thing. You don't want any sort of trem system on a 12-string electric.

Is this guitar FSR (Fender Special Run)? Oh, yes. The Strat XII to the best of my knowledge has never been a regular production model.

I consider the price of the XII fair, as it is a very atypical Strat build with the Fender name on it. And they typically hold their value well.

Oh, and there's something else that definitely needs to be said. This is far and above way cheaper than getting a Rickenbacker 12-string (which is easily between $2,000 to $4,000 new depending on model.) That's the main competitor of this guitar, and the Fender is far and above the significantly cheaper and arguably better choice.

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