Stringing a 12 String With 6 Strings

Wellington

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As Guild is so infamous for their 13 strings I'm interested in seeing if anyone here strings their 12 strings as a 6 string. I had a different brand of 12 string for over 10 years, for the most part I just strung it as a 6 string. The thing is I eventually got issues with it, buzzing, action. This was also before I ever had a clue about humidity and guitars, I never humidified my guitars, so I tend to think having half the tension by only using 6vstring sets was fine, but the humidity issues and never getting setups was the culprit.
There wouldn't be any fundamental issue with using a 12 string as a 6 string would there? I've been told you shouldn't as the neck is built for much more tension, but as long as it's a 2 way truss rod it shouldn't matter should it?
 

fronobulax

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I can't find it but @killdeer43 did a 12 to 6 conversion maybe a decade ago. I think the instrument was a basket case so the conversion was an attempt to get some life out of something otherwise destined for the trash heap. I remember that he really liked the results but also that it was his beater guitar.

I would ask why? Because you can? Because you are tired of the 12 and can only afford to own one guitar? because you love the 12 but can't find or afford the six string equivalent?
 

Guildedagain

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People have been converting 12 string guitars over to 6 string guitars for probably as long they've been offered 12 string guitars. It's just the ticket for someone who likes a 2" nut.

I would think you'd have to loosen up the truss rods to get decent relief.
 

SFIV1967

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I can't find it but killdeer43 did a 12 to 6 conversion maybe a decade ago.

Here's a follow up from a new user:


Ralf
 

Christopher Cozad

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12 string guitars are (typically) braced heavier than 6 string guitars, have larger bridgeplates and bridges, and have wider necks/fretboards to fit the 6 extra strings (GuildedAgain already alluded to the wider nut). A guitar that sounds fine as a 12 string may not produce quality output as a 6 string (it may sound a bit quiet, weak or dull as the soundboard was specifically beefed up to expect nearly 100 pounds more of string tension). If that is a problem for your "conversion", an option that might sufficiently make up for the loss of string tension would be to use heavier gauge strings.
 

F312

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When changing strings on my 12 string guitars, I always take off six strings and play it that way for a week or so. The last time I changed strings on my 12 string guitar, I wondered how it would sound with a new set of six strings, so I put on some Martin .12s Monel strings, and it excelled at the blues. This was on my 99 Guild JF30-12.
 

RBSinTo

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Because I prefer wider guitar necks, than usually found on many six string acoustics, I considered for a pico-second buying an old 12-string Martin and stringing it as a six.
A long discussion with a trusted Luthier at one if the top music stores here in Toronto quickly dissuaded me, for the same reasons noted in this thread. Other than the wider neck there was no upside to the conversion.
RBSinTo
 
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Heath

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I took a tip from another LTG’er to string as a 10 string. Keep the octaves, but lose the 1st and 2nd unison strings. Less tension on the neck, and better able to play melody lines on top of the octaves.
 

Westerly Wood

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I know I had an old red label Yamaha 12 string I played as a 6. Used medium gauge strings. It sounded great. Real big.
 

Taylor Martin Guild

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Before selling my last 12 string, I tri3ed playing it as a 10 string.
No octave strings on the Bass E and A.
I went to heavier single strings for the bigger low end sound.
I liked the way the guitar sounded but it was still hard for me to fret the wide neck.
My answer was to go with an 8 string baritone that has a 1 3/4" nut.
This guitar is easier to fret and gives me a good alternate sound to a 6 string acoustic.
I will try tuning it D to D with heavy gauge strings when it comes back from Cordoba.
 
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