Italia Rimini Electric 12-String Reviews 5

I played this guitar for half an hour at Truetone Music in Santa Monica, CA.

I've tried a variety of electric 12-strings in my time -- the classic Rickenbacker 360, the Burns DoubleSix, the Jerry Jones Neptune single-cut 12-string, the top neck of an Epiphone G-1275, even a one-off Fender Custom Shop Telecaster 12-string (!) -- but this Italia is probably the most appealing player I've ever tried. The Burns DoubleSix is extremely heavy and the neck is very thick; the Rickenbacker's narrow neck is an acquired taste; the Jerry Jones has a huge, uncomfortable rectangular body; and the Telecaster was, well, plain weird. The Italia Rimini looks good ("mother-of-toilet-seat" finish) and sounds great, with a chambered body and Wilkinson P-90 single-coils. P-90s are my favourite pickups, offering much clarity on the top end, essential for jangly 12-string riffs. And this is the lightest electric 12-string I've ever played.

The stylings won't be to everybody's taste, with the headstock being especially kitschy. This guitar has no pickup selector switch, so changing your tone will be more of a hassle; you have to use the individual volume knobs to control the blend of the two pickups. This was definitely a design flaw.

The Rimini feels well built and, whatever you think of the aesthetics, makes a unified style statement.

Suffice to say this was the only electric 12-string I've fallen in love with. Ignore (or embrace) the flashy adornments and you'll find it a great instrument.

Derek Mok rated this unit 5 on 2004-02-14.

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