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Fender Electric XII Master Built
Master Built by Carlos Lopez, this Fender Electric XII is the very first historically accurate reproduction of the 1960s original. Fender had no original schematics or blueprints for this model, so when they hired Lopez as their newest Master Builder, he analyzed a 1966 Fender Electric XII down to its smallest components and handmade this replica from scratch. It’s a thing of beauty, and Nathaniel is quite excited to share it.
This Fender Electric XII is the very first historically accurate recreation of the famous Fender model. In 1969, they removed them from the catalog and ceased all production. So when Fender announced Carlos Lopez to be the newest Master Builder, one of the first things he wanted to do was take part, dissect, and study the 1966 Electric XII on display in the Fender factory in Corona, California.
There are no templates, programs, drawings, or blueprints that could have helped him try to rebuild this. So Lopez did all the research himself and rebuilt it from scratch. It's incredibly impressive and very accurate, down to the body contours, the edge radii, and the control plate he hand-cut out of brass.
Curtis Novak made the pickups. Curtis and Carlos have a great relationship together, and Curtis worked very hard to holistically reengineer the pickups for this instrument while staying true to the original.
As we mentioned earlier, it is incredibly accurate, but there are two small changes–and for a good reason. The first one is the radius. The initial was 7.25". This is 9.5". With this being a 12-string, a 9.5" makes it much more comfortable to play, and thus more enjoyable to play as well.
Also, the headstock is as wacky, bizarre, and cool as the original, but he's reversed it. Carlos mentioned that it simply balances the guitar better, but it also works as an indicator. It lets you know straight away that this is a recreation, and not to be confused with the original.
Lastly, the color is a beautiful Cadillac Green, which is not your typical or classic Fender color. It might look more at home in a Gretsch catalog. You might think, well, why did you do this? Carlos just thought it looked great, and I think he's right.
I've had a lot of fun playing this 12-string. I've been lucky enough to play it for the past couple of days, and it feels comfortable and plays great. It's probably the most in-tune 12-string I've ever encountered. I love the pickups. I love the feel and the color–the whole lot. I want it.