Francesca- Auditorium sized

The Francesca is a copy of the Stella Auditorium guitar made by the Oscar Schmidt Company. This iconic 12 string was played by such blues greats as Leadbelly and Willie McTell. I spent several years figuring out how to make the tailpieces used on these old 12 strings which made it possible to use either loop or ball end strings as there was no standard string end at the time. I make the tailpieces in house. I make a replica of Leadbelly's guitar which features the reproduction tailpiece, purfling and pickguard. I also make a decal version of the Francesca, similar to the model played by Willie McTell, with a pin bridge. The Francesca is ladder braced, 16" in the lower bout, with a long 26 1/2" scale. The 12 string is generally tuned down to C or B. Leadbelly and McTell tuned in that ballpark, going down to Ab toward the end of their careers. I use either pin bridges or tailpieces on the Francesca 12 string. The pin bridge gives a slightly fuller sound, while the tailpiece is a drier.
Willie McTell

Sound Samples