Here are a few of the brands that have fallen by the wayside over the years.
Hamer built 12-string basses starting in the late 1970’s and for a number of years they were really the only option for players who wanted to try tackling the 12-string. While the debate stills rages about whether or not the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world in 2012 was actually predicting the end of Hamer Guitars, it’s interesting to note that they closed shop in the 12th month of 2012.
The Hamer brand name is currently being used by a guitar supplier that has no relation to the original company and deals only in imported guitars. No 12-string basses are being built.
Unsung Musical Instruments of Inchon, South Korea closed their doors just a few years ago. They built many of the brands of 12-string basses that are commonly encountered, such as Silver Star, Marcus Martini, Galveston, Hense, Carlo Robelli, Jet and Career, just to name a few.
Phil Pro Guitars from Korea made a handful of 12-string basses which they sold under the Phil brand name. You would think that they could have come up with something more clever…
Starfire 12-string basses were made in China possibly by people who had never built guitars before.
The Shine 12-string bass was made by the Saein Musical Instruments Company in South Korea.
Tennessee 12-string basses came in two flavors - Korean and Chinese.
A 12-string bass built as a sales sample for a music industry trade show.
A small number of 12-string basses were built by the custom shop of this toy company.
Oktober Guitars from the Baltimore, Maryland area disappeared a couple of years ago. They sold a variety of models of 12-string basses under the brand names Hades, October and Oktober. Mostly these instruments were built in South Korea.