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The further jazz moves away from the stark blue continuum and the collective realities of Afro-American and American life, the more it moves into academic concert-hall lifelessness, which can be replicated by any middle class showing off its music lessons - Imamu Amiri Baraka

Author Topic: Stella-Harmony 12 string  (Read 4121 times)

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Offline Deluge

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Stella-Harmony 12 string
« on: April 10, 2008, 06:48:40 AM »
I have a question about a Stella-Harmony 12 string that I purchased a week or so ago.  It seems like the owner kept good care of it, they had light strings on it all of its life and kept the tuning at a lower position. The neck is dead straight and there are no cracks on the body.  The intonation is dead on and the string height at the 12th fret is just about 5/32. Yesterday I decided to go to the local high end guitar shop to get a heavier set of strings.  I got a medium set of D'ANGELICO 500M 80/20 BRASS ROUND WOUND ACOUSTIC STRINGS 12 string medium gauge, 

013 013 017 017 026w 012 036w 017 046w 026w 058w 036w

I now have the guitar tuned down to ?B? in standard tuning. Would it be safe to go up to a ?C??

Thanks for the help!

Offline Cambio

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Re: Stella-Harmony 12 string
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 07:38:49 AM »
Hi Deluge,
I'm assuming that the guitar has a tailpiece and that the action is 5/32" at the 12th fret on the 6th course of strings?  You should be able to tune it up to C without a problem.  I would change the 26on the 5th course for something a little lighter (maybe a 20 or 22), and the 36 on the 6th course for a 26w, or a 13 if you wanted to go for the  double octave, like Leadbelly.  You may be able to use the 26 from the 5th course, then you only need to get a new string for the 5th course.
You may want to wear a pair of safety glasses when you tune it up to C :P

Offline Deluge

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Re: Stella-Harmony 12 string
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 07:51:45 AM »
Hey thanks! 

The strings are huge!  I was a little nervous when I tuned it to "B".  I figure I will get a pair of safety glasses when I tune it up to "C"...Or perhaps a bulletproof vest! 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 07:53:04 AM by Deluge »

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Stella-Harmony 12 string
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 07:52:49 AM »

Sounds like a cool guitar...I would love to get one of these in the future so I would like to hear your thoughts on the tone and guitar in general as you get more comfortable with her.


Blue in VT

Offline Deluge

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Re: Stella-Harmony 12 string
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 09:21:40 AM »
Hello everyone,

We?ll it was great while it lasted? :'(

I decided not to tune up to ?C? with the heavy strings just due to a gut feeling.  Ten days with the heavy strings tuned up to ?B? and I am sad to report the neck joint is now loose and you can see golden rays of sun light passing through a sizeable gap between the guitars body and the neck.   :(


Offline uncle bud

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Re: Stella-Harmony 12 string
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 11:16:48 AM »
My condolences, Deluge. What a drag.  :(

I'm no luthier, so hopefully one will chime in, but I'm honestly quite surprised at this. I would not expect a normal good condition guitar to buckle under those string gauges at that low tension. I use a string setup similar to what Todd describes on his Fraulini webpage, overall heavier gauges than you were using I think, and tune to B or C with no trouble (on a Larrivee). This makes me wonder whether the neck on your guitar was going this route anyway and the string changes just moved it along. Not that that's any consolation.

Offline Richard

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Re: Stella-Harmony 12 string
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 03:02:21 PM »
Ohhh what a shame. So if the neck is that loose then what's holding it together.... is it the fingerboard to the body? I would be inclined to bite the bullit and take the strings off to see what's what's....... but that's me of course and it's your guitar!

Maybe it's time to visit a good luthier?
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline onewent

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Re: Stella-Harmony 12 string
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 03:45:12 PM »
..actually, not totally bad.. a good luthier can remove the neck 'dry', double check the set, and re glue .. if there's no neck angle to change, this is a relatively easy repair, and was probably destined to happen no matter what gauge strings you used.
I don't like to tempt fate w/ my old guitars so I stick w/ light gauge.  Tom


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