MSA 12 String SuperSlide

I ordered this 12 string SuperSlide on 01/18/08 and received it on 06/23/08. It is tuned, high to low, D B G E C A G E C A F D. I'm working on a tab and tuning page for this beast so I'll explain a few simple ways to view and play this tuning over there.

Soon after receiving this guitar I was ready to sell my 6 string Rondo SX lap steel. However I discovered that these guitars BOTH offer something unique. It's much easier to bend strings a half tone on the 6 string because the strings are farther apart and bending a string does not cause it to contact the next string over, forcing you to bend that one a bit also, knocking it out of tune. Also on the 6 string, I often tune the low string (E C A G E C) to C# to get handy 7th and diminished chords. These bends not only produce different chords, they produce a totally different sound if you let the bends sound out. On the other hand, the 12 string tuning offers many more chords and chromatic sounds due to the high B and D strings which also lead to a whole new set of usable bar slants. So, both tunings are great and each one has unique things to offer.

The SuperSlide has very good sustain, quite a bit more than the Rondo SX! It also has excellent intonation despite having a fixed bridge system. Notice that the strings at the bridge end terminate at the back of the body.

The Body does not appear to be made out of wood, but it is! Kyle at MSA has informed me that the body is made out of epoxy impregnated birch. See the pictures below for details of the inner cavity of this guitar.

The string gages that came on the guitar are:

.015, .018, .013, .014, .017, .022W, .024, .030, .036, .042, .054, .068.

The string width at the nut is 3.123" and at the bridge it is 3.73". String spacing at the nut is 0.284" and at the bridge it is 0.340". The spacing at the nut is precisely determined by the grooves in the nut and it's very uniform. The spacing at the bridge varies slightly per string based on exactly how you position the strings over the bridge bar. I double checked these measurements with a precision caliper by measuring the gap between each actual string and then by measuring the outside gap of all the strings minus 1/2 the diameter of each outside high and low string string. A double check shows that 11 times the average string spacing yields a close approximation of the total string widths.

I've provided some sound samples below to give you some idea of the SuperSlide tone. In all cases, the guitar was plugged into a Goodrich model 120 pot pedal fed to a Boss RV-5 then into a Fender Steel King and recorded with a Shure SM-57 directly in front of the speaker cone, on axis and 6" from the girll cloth.

Well, it's time to look and listen!

Sound Bite 1 Sound Bite 2 Sound Bite 3 Sound Bite 4
Sound Bite 5 Sound Bite 6 Sound Bite 7 Sound Bite 8
Sound Bite 9 Sound Bite 10 Sound Bite 11 Sound Bite 12
Sound Bite 13 Sound Bite 14 Sound Bite 15 Sound Bite 16

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