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Santa Cruz Parabolic 12-String Set
 
The latest addition to Santa Cruz’s line of strings is a set for 12-string guitar.
August 10, 2022
 

Having first released its own line of guitar strings several years ago, Santa Cruz Guitars is slowly rounding out its offerings by expanding on its original six-string sets. Following the recently introduced sets for baritone guitar and DADGAD tuning (click on the links to see our demos), Santa Cruz has now introduced a set for 12-string guitars. As with the other Santa Cruz strings, the new 12-string set uses a proprietary lead-free nickel alloy with an anti-corrosive coating and follows the company’s Parabolic Tension concept, where the emphasis is on an overall, well-balanced tension rather than on specific gauges. While all the other Santa Cruz string sets are available in low- and mid-tension versions, the 12-string set (which has a list price of $36) is only offered in one variety, designed for standard, E-to-E tuning. 

Santa Cruz didn’t have one of their own 12-strings for me to check out their strings with, so I used my own Taylor 355. I’ve owned this guitar since 2000, and over the years, I have experimented extensively with different strings and tunings. I tend to keep it tuned to standard or DADGAD tuning, typically using a light-gauge 12-string set, but, inspired by Leo Kottke’s approach, I’ve also had the guitar set up with heavier strings, tuned down to C#. So I have a pretty good idea of what this guitar sounds like with various types of strings, so I was curious about what the new Santa Cruz set would do. 

After installing the strings, which have solid ball ends, I decided to start out by tuning the guitar D-to-D, a whole step below standard tuning, as this is a popular choice with many players who either like the lower sound or prefer the easier playability (tuning down and using a capo to get to standard pitch is a common practice). Tuned this way, I was greeted with a lovely throaty tonality, and I was happy to discover that the strings had enough tension so they weren’t too loose or buzzy, despite the low pitch. Tuning the guitar to standard E-to-E, the tension was a little higher than the light-gauge phosphor-bronze strings I had on the guitar previously, but it didn’t affect playability too much. Something about the way the Santa Cruz set’s individual string tensions are fine tuned provided playability similar to the light-gauge set, while driving the guitar’s top a bit harder, producing a louder voice than I’ve ever experienced with this particular Taylor 355. Curious about how the set would work in DADGAD, I lowered my E, B, and low-E string pairs. Once again, the tension remained tight enough to maintain a good feel, intonation, and tone. 

What’s the verdict? Well, I think I have a new favorite set for my 12-string. With their great balance and powerful sound, the Santa Cruz set injects my trusty guitar with a little boost of everything, and if my experience with the other Santa Cruz strings is an indication, they should also last a long time. Regardless of the brand of your 12-string guitar, these strings are worth a try! Santacruzguitar.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com