c.1975 Japanese-made Ensenada GT83G 12-string Guitar

Definitely Japanese, definitely a Gibsonesque knock-off of a Hummingbird 12-string... save that the bridge and tailpiece setup is more reminiscent of the older B-45 12 string models. I'm pretty sure the top is solid spruce judging by the sound though I'm not so sure about the maple back and sides. This came in via a customer who needed the tailpiece patched up (the original retainer bar had broken), a replacement saddle, and a good setup -- all of which it got.

I tend to be pretty ambivalent about 70s guitars in general, but after work I was pleasantly surprised with how big this guy sounds. It's also extremely clean -- very few scritchy-scratchy marks on it and aside from the busted tailpiece and missing saddle insert, all there.

Pearloid Gibson-style markers that aren't quite right. The board is lightly radiused, fairly wide, and rosewood.

I have to admit that this style of setup is one of my favorite things to see on a 12-string guitar. It's just so much more practical than a pin bridge with so much tension involved.

The sunny yellow and dark black "sunburst" look reminds me of late-60s Harmony guitars.

Mahogany neck, gold hardware...

...and that fancy applied Ensenada logo. The truss rod does work and now that the zero fret is slotted like a normal nut... it works, too!

A word to the wise: most 60s/70s zero frets were made overly-large (probably because someone drafting the designs had a "brilliant" idea) compared to all the rest of the frets which sort of defeats the purpose of their intent... so when you're setting up a guitar like this, feel free to dig into them to lower the action at the nut to the right height. You will enjoy the guitar 100x more.


Fellow luthier said…
Did you have to replace the tailpiece? I have this same guitar and the tailpiece sheared off where it curves around from the top to the side of the body.
Liam Bowler said…
Hi, did you find a replacement tailpiece? Mine broke and I’m searching; thanks!