Tennessee 12-String Basses

The Tennessee brand 12-string bass first appeared in June of 2006. This bass was made in Korea and was available only in the sparkle green finish. Its features included a double bound semi-hollow body with F-hole, two pickups, passive electronics, a set neck, rosewood nut and an 8-saddle bridge with metal tailpiece. The bass is 3" thick and weighs almost 15 pounds.

A new version of the Tennessee 12-string bass made in China appeared in November of 2006. The Chinese bass has a single bound thinner body, synthetic nut and bolt-on neck. It incorporates a rosewood bridge and is strung through the body just like the Starfire 12-string basses. Undoubtedly it was made in the same factory as the Starfire 12's. The pick guard is also slightly different.

In June of 2007 the Korean version of this bass reappeared on eBay. While most features are identical to the 12's sold in 2006, the nut on these "second series" basses was now synthetic.


Tennessee 12-String Bass - Korean Version

2007 Tennessee Sparkle Green Finish 12-String Bass

 

The bass has a slightly arched top. The body is 3" thick.

The thickness of the body seems to have been achieved by gluing two regular bodies together.
There is a seam that runs all around the body. While difficult to see in some places, it can definitely be felt.

 

2006 Tennessee Headstock - First series has a rosewood nut.

 

2007 Tennessee Headstock - Second series has a synthetic nut.

 

Bound F-hole. The arched top appears to be a thin plywood.

 

The control cavity is quite deep.

Korean Tennessee specs:
Double bound body with bound neck and headstock
Arch top, 3" thick Semi Hollow Body with F-hole
34" long scale
Rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets and dot inlays
Rosewood nut on first series basses, Second series basses have Synthetic nuts
Single truss rod
Passive electronics, two pickups, selector switch
Two volume controls, two tone controls
Sparkle Green finish only
8-Saddle Bridge, Metal Tailpiece, Chrome hardware
Weight 14 pounds
Made in Korea

 

Read our Review of the Korean Tennessee 12-string bass

Editor's Note: The following comments are from five different buyers of this bass on eBay:

"BUYER BEWARE!"
"Amazing!!!"
"I'm disappointed with the quality of this Bass and how it was represented."
"Total crap. The bass can't be played, poor quality finish, not worth $150. Cheap."
"Was not playable."

Tennessee 12-String Bass - Chinese Version

The Chinese version of the Tennessee 12-string bass is the second production 12 to be strung through the body. It appearing only days after the Starfire 12-string basses hit the market. This bass and the Starfire 12's were made in the same factory - they are virtually identical in many respects.

Although the seller's eBay description stated this bass had a "Fully Adjustable" bridge, this adjustment is limited to a height adjustment. The bridge is rosewood with slots cut for the strings rather than having metal string saddles. This type of bridge is usually only found on the cheapest acoustic guitars and offers no possibility of properly tuning the harmonics.

 


Tennessee Headstock - Chinese Basses

Specs:
Single bound Semi-Hollow Body with F-hole
34" long scale, Maple Bolt-On Neck
Rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets and dot inlays
Synthetic nut; Single truss rod
Passive electronics, two pickups, selector switch
Two volume controls, two tone controls
Raised white pick guard
Hi-Gloss Gumby Green finish, Black Headstock
Rosewood Bridge, Chrome hardware

Made in China

 

Editor's Note: The following comment is from a buyer of this bass on eBay:

"It took me all night to get it set-up and playable."