ORIGINALLY INTRODUCED IN 1965, the Villager 12-String stood apart from traditional flat-top 12s by Guild, Martin, and others by virtue of its maple neck with “hockey stick” headstock (the same style neck used on Fender’s electric XII solidbody). The original Villager did not have a cutaway body or electronics, of course, which brings us to this updated reissue of Fender’s offering to the folk community.
The new Villager is a sweet looking guitar with its gloss finish and neatly applied binding. A tasteful rosette, gold pickguard, and black dotted bridge pins round out the cosmetics package.
The frets are lightly polished and trimmed to near perfection—you can barely feel their tips as your hand slides along the fretboard. The synthetic bone nut is properly set, and that, along with a compensated saddle at the other end, makes for very solid intonation. Tuning a 12 is never a fun job, but the built-in tuner certainly helps, as does the long headstock, which allows for easy-to-turn, full-sized machines.