A Hybrid String Arrangement
Alembic Custom 8-String Bass
This Alembic 8-string bass shows an unusual string configuration that could be adapted to the 12-string bass. It started out as a 5-string, was extensively modified to a 4-string and eventually became the 8-string that is shown here. Photos courtesy of Bunny Bass.
Apparently in order to maintain the symmetry of the tuning machines on the headstock an unusual string arrangement was employed. On this bass the E and A strings use the Standard string arrangement while the D and G strings are Inverted! A similarly strung 12-string bass using this Hybrid string configuration would look like this:
Presumably this arrangement could also be used to emphasize the lower octave D and G strings instead of the high octaves. This might give a "bassier" sound to these strings and lessen the highs. In order to use this configuration it would be necessary to have a new nut made and rearrange the bridge. The headstock would also have to be modified to allow the tuners to be moved to the new positions.
No 12-string basses have thus far been documented that use this hybrid string arrangement.