Up for grabs is an exceptionally clean late 1965 or very early 66 Fender XII Electric 12 String in beautiful Candy Apple Red. I am the 2nd owner having bought it in 2012 from the original owner.
If you’ve been looking for an original XII in a custom color- this is probably the guitar for you as it’s as nice or nicer then any other XII currently listed for sale.
This XII is in excellent condition with just two small chips in the finish on rear bottom edge, a few really minor nicks, and a replaced nut (see all the photos). The Candy Apple Red finish is beautiful with minimal checking/crazing and the color is dark, lush and uniform throughout.
The only other minor issue with this guitar is that the original owner used a blue pen to lightly write the names of a couple notes next to the corresponding Kluson Tuners on the back of the headstock. The writing is very faint and hard to see. See back of headstock pic for the details. The writing is so faded and light, I’ve never attempted to remove it.
This XII has characteristics of a late 65 including dots, unbound neck, and Kluson Tuners. The pickup guard is also absent the dot marker positions for pickup selection which means it was most likely one of the first XII’s assembled. If you look at the 1965-66 catalog (see pic), you’ll see the two XII’s shown have no markings for the pickup selector switch. I’ve also seen pictures online of several 1965 XII’s pick-guards that are also absent the markers.
The tone pot is a Stackpole and the numbers are 70 2125 0240 AUD 304 6545 indicating a date of the 45th week of 1965. The volume pot is also a Stackpole with numbers 70 2125 0240 1Meg Aud 304. The date code on the volume pot is unfortunately impossible to read as it has some solder covering the code. While the volume pot solder job looks kind of messy, I looked at numerous Fender XII’s on line that had photos of the potentiometers and everyone of them looked like that with the black lead soldered on to the middle of the volume pot. Both pots are original to the guitar.
I have never had the neck removed to check the date code for fear of chipping the finish. It has been appraised twice and both appraisers told me it was all original and most likely a 1965.
The very rare and desirable feature about this Fender XII is that it has the original Fender XII manual with the matching serial number written in the manual. I’ve never seen a XII manual listed either on Reverb or Ebay let alone one with the matching serial number in it.
The guitar comes with its original case which is in excellent condition – it looks brand new!
All electronic work as they should with some very minor crackling on the tone control (needs a cleaning).
The neck is straight and in beautiful condition with no nicks or marks and is very smooth.
The original Kluson tuning heads work very well and do a great job at holding pitch.
The action is very good and the intonation is excellent. This guitar plays very well. Check out the video I made to hear it in action.
I’m selling as I also have a Ric 12 string and I don’t need two electric 12’s. Being a Beatles fanatic, I’m also interested in purchasing a mid 60’s Epiphone Casino and this will fund that purchase.
At $9,499 its priced very competitively considering it’s superb condition and the fact that is has the original manual and original case. If you’ve looked around on Reverb or eBay lately you know how much some of these CAR XII’s are listed for and they are not nearly as nice and complete as this one!
As with Jazzmaster and Jags, these mid 60’s Fender custom color XII’s are only appreciating more and more each year and are bound to go up considerably in the future. Especially since the original Fender XII’s are the only vintage model electric 12 strings designed with a wide enough neck to easily play more than just cowboy chords on.
If you’ve been searching and waiting for a collectors grade Custom Color Fender XII to become available, this is the one to pull the trigger on as you probably won’t see another one like this priced this low in this kind of condition.