Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

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Oldbones
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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Oldbones » Thu May 01, 2014 5:51 pm

Ahhhh - the old Eko Ranger 12. I also had one back in the 60's. Heavy as a brick but actually very nice to play. It's interesting that the guitar has been updated with a much more versatile arrangement for the neck trussrod. Definitely good guitars to check out if you find one going cheap. My impression was that those original Ranger 12's were built to last for a very long time .... and do seem to do so.

Glad you're happy with your replacement GG12. It looks like we each chose the guitar that suits our separate needs to a 'T'.

Nice one Vintage.
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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby BRC » Thu May 01, 2014 7:22 pm

Oldbones,

I received an email alert to say there had been posting to the thread and suspected it would be you.

The EKO 12 string guitar is in fact a 'Rio Grande XII' and not a 'Ranger 12', which is what I originally thought it was. I had not seen the guitar for nearly 10 years so apologies if I misled. I have tried to find some background information on this model but so far drawn a blank. There is a fair amount of information on the 'Ranger 12' so not sure why so lacking on the model that I used to own.

One comment I picked up from one of the forums I looked at on the internet is that the tuner/machine heads are better quality on the 'Rio Grande' model compared to the 'Ranger'. My setting-up of this guitar the other day was straightforward and very easy tuning so all I can say to that is 'great'. Nonetheless, like the 'Ranger 12' it was/is very robust and should last a long time - nearly 40 years so far, and plenty of knocks along the way, is not bad.

I have also drawn a blank on information about a 'B&M dreadnought' guitar I had from about 1965/66. On reflection, and it long ago went its way from me, it had a difficult action - far too high even after adjustment - though had a big booming sound. I got very good use out of the guitar despite its faults. It was bought from Frank Hessy's, just off Whitechapel in Liverpool, for around £28, I think, and sold to me by the legendary Jim Gretty - he had fingers like chipolatas but superb guitarist. When he demonstrated a guitar it made you almost feel like giving up then as you never believed you could get anywhere near his standard. His sales pitch was his playing but a friendly guy also. It seems he was not that well known outside the Liverpool area, although quite a character and performer. He managed to sell me two guitars over the years, whether I could afford them or not.

If anyone has any information on either of the guitars I mention here, I would be grateful if they could pass that on to me.

Sometime soon I will put a new thread in this part of the forum about 'Guitars what I have owned' and try to give a potted history for each - unless you want to start the thread first. I think this could prove of interest and get others to contribute similar information, even if it could end up as 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of guitars'.

I look forward to more postings from you and particularly an update on your VE8000PB experience - emotionally and practically.

:D Brad

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Oldbones » Thu May 01, 2014 8:41 pm

BRC wrote:Sometime soon I will put a new thread in this part of the forum about 'Guitars what I have owned' and try to give a potted history for each - I think this could prove of interest and get others to contribute similar information, even if it could end up as 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of guitars'.

I recently queried whether a separate thread for members' guitar reviews might be an idea. Sue said she felt that this 'anoraks' thread served that purpose. I have it on my 'To Do' list to write reviews or just comments about my PRS SE semi-hollow and (after thinking about it) my Vintage V100 'Iced Tea'. For that one I will probably edit a review I've already posted on Amazon. There is also the Lag 200PE parlour which might be interesting in direct comparison to the PB12 parlour. Just thought of that and it's an idea that really appeals to me.

BRC wrote:I look forward to more postings from you and particularly an update on your VE8000PB experience - emotionally and practically.Brad

I will almost certainly make and upload a new demo for Youtube at some point in the future and also post some separate comments about this wonderful little instrument.

HOWEVER - all of that may well have to wait for quite some time because of personal considerations. I'll do what I can when I can but there will be times when I will appear to have vanished from the forum. (Possibly a relief for those members who groan when they see that I've submitted another few hundred words to a thread).

All the best. Thanks for explaining the interesting differences between the two EKOs.
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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby BRC » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:48 am

It is now coming up for one year since I got my VE2000GG-12 - well the replacement for the one I damaged - an appropriate time to give a short review.

I am still delighted with the guitar as an easy to play instrument that not only looks good but has the tone I want. Tuning is retained very well in between usage, subject to temperature variations when transporting it during these colder months.

I am on the second change of strings (D'darrios) and can honestly say that I have given all sets a good thrashing along the way.

A few weeks back I did manage to try out the Paul Brett 12 string model and thought that to be an excellent instrument, though still prefer the VE2000GG-12 for my taste. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with whichever one of these that they chose.

I note that Gordon now has the Paul Brett model and, perhaps when he has the time, could give his appreciation of both. There will always be 'taste and fancy' that makes one choose a particular guitar though the ultimate test is overall playability. I am more than happy with that aspect of the VE2000GG-12. Quite a few others have been enthusiastic about the sound achieved from the guitar, despite my playing abilities!

Make a choice and enjoy.

Brad

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Oldbones » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:33 am

Hi again Brad ... yes, I'm still here and floating around.
I've been absent because my wife has been undergoing her latest round of chemo, so I leave the rest to your imagination.

What follows will be a ragbag of odds 'n' ends, snippets and fragmentary ramblings. In other words - much as ever for me.

It was great to hear that you're still chuffed to bits with your GG12 and so, likewise, am I with my PB12. As you so rightly said in a previous comment - it's a case of what suits each individual and their preferences and needs.

At the moment, I play by PB12 a lot and also the Crafter MD50 12/N. It makes an interesting comparison to switch between them especially as they can both be classified as good quality, well built, affordable 12s (as opposed to dubious quality, affordable 12s which soon develop the classic banana neck).

Like you with your GG12, I've found the PB12 to retain tuning very well and to play very nicely along the length of the fretboard (body-join at 12th instead of 14th). I have now settled on one and a half tones below standard for both my 12s (C# F# B E G# C#). Going down two whole tones makes the strings a tad too slack and buzzing creeps in. I like a bit of rattle at times on a 12, but not to the extent that Pooh bear comes sniffing around to find all the buzzy bees.

I don't gig, so am only now about to restring both guitars. I love Elixir but also want to try D-Addario. Can I ask - what gauge do you use on your GG12? I'm thinking of trying Light/Medium or Light but do also have a set of Ernie Ball 'slinkies' which look to be extra light. (May be too light?)

On a different tack, and because (for reasons implied at the outset) I haven't been out and about much, I've been trawling the internet to put together a composite history of the 12 string guitar. That's been fascinating. I've also been revisiting and re-watching a couple of favourite 12 string DVDs. One is the Happy Traum tutorial and the other is one made by Paul Brett. The problem with PB's is that it is just a single track so you can't choose sections. You either watch it all or you wear out your fast forward and rewind buttons on the remote ... very poor design for a DVD.

As a pure contrast, and because I love it as much as both my 12s, I also play a Pono baritone ukulele quite a lot. Later this year I hope to have the time to join a local uke group. But that interest and experience is, I'm guessing, somewhat out of the scope for this forum!

Final thought - later this year, JHS 'Vintage' are releasing a new Paul Brett instrument. It's the VIATEN - a tenor guitar. PB has uploaded one demo so far to Youtube.

All the best
Oldbones (getting older by the minute)
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby BRC » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:12 pm

Oldbones,

Good to hear from you and that you are still happy with the PB 12 string.

I always find picking up one of my instruments, even for a short session, helps ease the worries of the day. The winter months are not a great time for me with the arthritis in my left hand, nonetheless I can fit in a 10-15 minute session which easily turns in to an hour or so playing.

I vary between the GG 12 string, my Martin and, ocassionally the baritone, to keep my hand in. However during the colder spells this winter I have used the PB Vinatge Viator - whoops ... I've let the secret out the bag. I bought it a couple of months ago from our favourite Blackburn retailer and am experimenting with strings to see what suits best. At the moment I have standard lights on the first 5 strings and a Martin medium gauge for the 6th - that is a used string (which I always keep as spares after a change). Not quite sure yet and will change to some Martin custom light in the next week or two. That change should enable me to go to terz tuning.

I won't pretend the tone is as good as any of my full size 6 string guitars, though not an unpleasant sound and remarkably good volume for its size. I use it for its intended purpose - travel - to cut down on the load I need to carry for a rehearsal away from home. It is light and retains tuning very well. It is also much easier on my left hand, if a little narrow across the neck.

I was interested in your one and half tone down tuning as I am only tuned down one full tone. I suspect going a semitome further down might introduce a buzz, though have no need to tune down further at the moment. I have to admit had the GG12 not been available I could easily have been tempted by the PB12. It has a really nice tone and would suit beginner through to accomplished well. I tried it out at Ivor Mairrants and had a much better and welcoming customer experience than at the first visit. Maybe that was just bad luck then.

Best of luck with the uke and very best wishes for a good outcome on other matters.

Kind regards
Brad

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Oldbones » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:58 pm

BRC wrote:during the colder spells this winter I have used the PB Vinatge Viator - whoops ... I've let the secret out the bag. I bought it a couple of months ago from our favourite Blackburn retailer

I assume you mean the shop that beins with an 'R' and ends 'ys'? I've only ever been inside the shop once - many, MANY years ago, but I've bought from them online and have always had fabulous service.

Sorry to hear about your arthritis. My hands are just naturally clumsy but at least when I play the 12 stringers, I can get away with odd mistakes (odd??? 'multi' is more like it) and just put it down to creative cacophony.

One thing I forgot to mention about the PB12 which I'm NOT so keen on is the arrangement for reaching the internal battery bag - a Velcro affair and a PP3 battery. I'll be starting a new thread for that in case anyone else has encountered the same little niggle.

In the near future I hope to make a new upload for Youtube which directly compares the PB12 and the Crafter 12. When I restring the latter, I'll be installing an active pickup made by Shadow. I'll cover that in the new thread as well.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby BRC » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:20 pm

I was rather pushed for time earlier in the day so only just getting back to my catching-up.

The arthritis is an irritation rather than a debilitation that so many suffer - I am not kidding myself that it will always remain thus. I have several stories as to how this all came about - mainly due my own carelessness or actions when playing sport. Amongst the injuries have been a snapped ulna, dislocated elbow, ruptured bicep, torn deltoid (top to almost the bottom), fractured bone in the hand - all this on the left side of me. I won't go in to the stories as the thought is enough to almost bring back the pain of the injuries. That is life, unfortunately, and unless the cotton-wool padding is put on from birth something that has to be accepted.

The 18 degree restriction at my left elbow joint gives me a slightly odd way of holding the guitar, being right handed, but I am used to it and still consider myself much more fortunate that Django Reinhart (not as good a player though). Enough of that.

I noted your comment about the 'one track DVD'. I might be able to help you on that, though would prefer to take any exchanges off-line using PM, if you wish to discuss the possibilities.

I have seen your post elsewhere on the 'battery sack' and agree that it seems a silly solution, however it does seem to be a trend that has crept in to manufacturing of other acoustic electric guitars. Perhaps someone can explain why this method is used.

Keep up the postings/comments.

Brad

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Oldbones » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:01 pm

BRC wrote:I have seen your post elsewhere on the 'battery sack' and agree that it seems a silly solution, however it does seem to be a trend that has crept in to manufacturing of other acoustic electric guitars. Perhaps someone can explain why this method is used.

I've done my usual thing and researched on the internet and I found 3 links which I'll add to the other thread I started about the battery issue.

I agree - it's a stupid idea and must surely be driven by makers of preamps avoiding the cost of systems which inckude batteries built into the units themselves. I'm trying to devise a solution which will avoid having to always loosen and/or remove strings.

On my Crafter I'll be installing a Shadow system which has a flat battery cell underneath it and a VERY ingenious method whereby I have the option to either attach the output cable via an easily-accessed minijack and then have that trailing out of the soundhole to the amp OR I can use a smaller cable which is attached to an endpin jack for a more conventional connection. I'll not have the tonal characteristics of a mainstream transducer, but it looks to be an excellent system. I've used Shadow units before and really like them.

A friend had one of the earlier versions of this pickup on his 12 and, although not specifically designed for a 12 string, it worked wonderfully well. This is the one I've ordered:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003 ... ge_o04_s00

I'll review it once I've had time to install and test it. I'll certainly use it when I make that PB12 / Crafter comparison demo for Youtube.

Wow!!! You have an impressive history of injuries. I can only claim a nadgered left hand and a broken right wrist which only causes problems when I fall asleep in my armchair with my head resting on it.

And on that Old Fogey image, I'll say 'Goodbye' and nip over to the other thread to post those battery-inside-acoustics links. That will be here:

posting.php?mode=reply&f=4&t=1376

All the best

A.

PS: I was bored. My coffee had gone cold, so I tarted up my avatar. Oh dear ... it's time I got my restringing project underway!
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby BRC » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:49 pm

Where has the time gone? Time to update this posting.

It is coming up for 3 years since I bought this guitar, which seems impossible that so much time has passed and events happened - frightening!

The guitar is still in very good health, getting played regularly, though I haven't changed the strings (D'Addario lights) since July 2016. Those strings still have some life in them as the sustain is good.

About 4 months ago I did have to adjust the truss rod as the fret board above 5th was just a shade too high for me - well, the times my hands venture that far. That is more to do with my aging hands than anything wrong with the guitar. It only took about 3/4 turn to get this just right. There is no buzzing and action is spot on for my hands. What more can be said? (Lots, I suspect, though I am going to leave it there).

Great 12 string guitar and great value for money

Kind regards
Brad

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Oldbones » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:08 pm

Hi again Brad.
Yes, I'm still here despite being silent on the forum for ages. Several reasons for that but the main one being that my wife's cancer returned and although she fought it for several years (over 10 from the time it was first found), she died just before Christmas.

Like you, I also still have and play my PB 12 string. It's as good as the day I bought it. Weirdly - well, lots of folks will think it's weird - since I last posted anything here my fretboard interests have diversified somewhat and I now spend a lot of time playing ukulele. I started with a baritone because of the DGBE tuning but have also moved on to tenor and concert ukes. There is a just a teensy weeny bit of a difference (!!??!!) but I can make two possibly interesting comparisons ...

The PB12 is so comfortable that I can play it whilst relaxing in an armchair - ditto any of the ukes.
The action of the PB12 is such that it stands up very well again the ukes. There is, of course, a big difference in terms of finger-pressure and barres but that's when it becomes unreasonable to compare 12 metal strings against 4 nylon or 3 nylon and a nylon wrapped in wire.

Whilst writing this, it occurred to me that one thing I don't ever recall having encountered is a duet between a uke and as 12. Mmmmmm

All the best.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Sue » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:09 pm

I'm sure all our regular forum members would want to join me in sending condolences on your loss. It must have been a terrible ordeal for all concerned.

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Tom McCauley » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:12 pm

Oldbones wrote:Hi again Brad.
Yes, I'm still here despite being silent on the forum for ages. Several reasons for that but the main one being that my wife's cancer returned and although she fought it for several years (over 10 from the time it was first found), she died just before Christmas.

Like you, I also still have and play my PB 12 string. It's as good as the day I bought it. Weirdly - well, lots of folks will think it's weird - since I last posted anything here my fretboard interests have diversified somewhat and I now spend a lot of time playing ukulele. I started with a baritone because of the DGBE tuning but have also moved on to tenor and concert ukes. There is a just a teensy weeny bit of a difference (!!??!!) but I can make two possibly interesting comparisons ...

The PB12 is so comfortable that I can play it whilst relaxing in an armchair - ditto any of the ukes.
The action of the PB12 is such that it stands up very well again the ukes. There is, of course, a big difference in terms of finger-pressure and barres but that's when it becomes unreasonable to compare 12 metal strings against 4 nylon or 3 nylon and a nylon wrapped in wire.

Whilst writing this, it occurred to me that one thing I don't ever recall having encountered is a duet between a uke and as 12. Mmmmmm

All the best.


I'm really sorry to be hearing this sad news. Thoughts are with you. I know the feeling you're going through right now as this has happened with one of my family members back in October 2015. Luckily my family is much closer now.
Last edited by Tom McCauley on Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tom McCauley

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby BRC » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:51 pm

Old bones,

I saw your post earlier today, just as I was on my way out. I am only just in but would rather take this offline and will PM you tomorrow.

In the meantime my heartfelt sympathies to you as I know just how difficult a time this will have been.

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Re: Vintage VE2000GG 12 string - my experience

Postby Roger » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:53 pm

Oldbones,

I would like to add my condolences to those already posted. All too often Xmas is seen as a magical and happy time of year, but for many folks it is anything but and unfortunately they can be forgotten.

It sounds as if your beloved wife has faced a long battle against cancer. May she rest in peace.

I always value your contributions and knowledge on this forum. Needless to say that you are amongst friends here and it's good that you feel able to return.

Best wishes to you,

Roger
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