Emerald Guitars - Acoustic 12-String Bass
The first fully acoustic 12-string bass on the planet!
To our knowledge this is the first truly acoustic 12-string bass guitar ever built. After a year of work it was completed in 2011 by Emerald Guitars from County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. While Hamer’s B12A model is advertised as an “acoustic look” bass, the B12A is a solid body bass that only has the appearance of an acoustic. Other 12’s like the Waterstones have sound holes and basses such as the Whitehouse 12’s have chambered bodies, but only this Emerald has a completely hollow body.
Acoustic 12-string basses are problematic to build due to the amount of string tension that is inherent in a bass. A 12-string guitar neck can handle the tension because of its much shorter scale length, which is typically 25½” or less. Tension increases by the square of the length of the neck so even though this bass neck is only one third longer than a guitar, the cumulative string tension is many times higher. Trying to build an acoustic 12 with a wood body would result in the top being ripped off the body long before the bass ever got close to being in tune.
Emerald Guitars used carbon fiber throughout the instrument; the body, neck and tailpiece are all 100% carbon fiber, which is 60 times the strength of oak. Carbon fiber has the structural strength of steel but is very light weight, plus it has good sound qualities.