Dean Boca 12-String Reviews
Musician's Friend, $399. Supposedly the only place you can find Dean's Boca 12, but I found one other on-line dealer and MF matched their price. Why? Always wanted a playable electric 12-string.
Excellent deal for the money. Classy looks, although the F-holes in the semi-hollow body do not look like the pictures advertised. They are traditional style like you'd see on a violin. Curious, but it's possible the "slash" look of the original design would make the top subject to splitting. But they look ok.
But the real issue is the sound. First, the best thing is the neck is wide enough! With a 1-7/8" nut, you can actually play the thing. Most electric twelves, Rickenbackers in particular, just squeeze the extra strings onto the same neck width.
Sound is very versatile. I play jazzy and mellow stuff mostly, and always wanted an archtop jazz electric 12-sting, but it ain't out there on the rack. The Boca 12 comes very close to the sound I want. Not as warm and fat as a big ol' Gibson, but close enough. Plus the sustain is almost like a Les Paul. And, again, for 400 bucks!
The guitar is heavy like a Paul, and not balanced well. The neck, maybe due to the extra machines and longer headstock, tends to sag toward the floor if you let it go.
Also the adjustable bridge saddle has only one adjust for each pair of strings. At least the 6th pair should have separate adjusts. As it is you can't have both strings really in tune going up the neck.
But these are relatively minor issues.
The guitar appears solid and reliable in the several weeks since I got it. Classy looking high-gloss black is the only color avaiable. The twin humbuckers are basic-issue, but they sound fine. The axe came set up pretty well. Had to adjust the poles on the humbuckers a bit to balance the output.
There doesn't seem to be a case made for it. I bought generic electic Protec case that works fine.
Amazing bang for the buck. (My specialty!) And a real find for 12-stringers. Stable, playable neck, quiet pickups that'll produce cool, warm, and hard sounds when you want. A bit neck heavy, and you'll have to buy an after market case. But for $400 it's a steal. Kevin Alan Mattson
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