The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ G W Barry 30-12 OM Steel String Guitar


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Today we are featuring the third guitar from the G.W. Barry 30/12 collection. This particular guitar has some interesting history to go along with its inspiring tone and compelling visual features. As a proud owner of a G.W. Barry I would like to congratulate Mr. Barry on 30 years of his guitars at the 12fret and I can’t wait to see what you build next!!
Micheil Gray


“One of my first commissions at the 12th Fret, some 30 years ago, revealed a bit of unexpected history. A couple dropped by the store inquiring about having a copy made of a well worn Brac (small Croatian tenor-like guitar). Being young, fearless and perhaps a little foolish, I took on the commission after explaining that my formative years had been spent in Jean Larrivee’s west coast shop where I had been building guitars for 5 years… so this was well within my skill-set.
I took said Brac to my work bench where I began to examine it from all angles taking notes and measurements. I slid an inspection mirror through the soundhole…and found, clearly stamped on the neck block of the instrument..the address “920 Kingston road”…the very same address I was standing in!…cue the Twilight Zone theme….
Perplexed, I went about finding out who the maker of this instrument was. Frank Benko(1925-1980), as it turns out…a Croatian luthier who had immigrated to Canada in the 50’s, and had occupied the same address that in 1977 would become the first location of the Twelfth Fret.
Click here to view our feature on the Benko mandolins and guitars!
Over the years Grant MacNiell, founder of the Fret, kept in touch with Frank’s son, John. Occasionally he would offer us wood supplies from Frank’s estate. The back and side woods used on this instrument come from Frank .. at least 60 years old..likely much more. It has Brazilian rosewoods unmistakable characteristics of a brick red colouration with ink black spider webbing, a bell like tap tone and a sweet perfumy aroma when sanded.
I chose to pair this wood with a well aged Adirondack “bearclaw” Spruce top…as a nod to this time tested coupling. Although having the more “modern” attributes found on my guitars ( side-port and cutaway) the Orchestra Model outline, rope purflng and pyramid style bridge add to the vintagey-look.
So, as we mark the 40th anniversary of the Twelfth Fret ( 1977-2017 ), it seems fitting to have this guitar as the 3rd and final release in my 30/12 collection…a bit of history carried from Frank’s hands through mine to become a guitar, for generations to come.
Thanks to all the fine folks who have supported my work over the years and to all my past and present colleagues at the Fret…..I remain humbled and grateful for the experience.”
Gord (G.W.) Barry
Thanks to Patrick Keenan and David Wren for photos and graphics.
Specifications for the G W Barry 30-12 OM

  • Bearclaw Adirondack Spruce soundboard
  • “Benko” 60+ year old Brazilian rosewood back and sides
  • Ebony binding, Rosewood headstock veneer and heel cap.
  • Abalone and rope pattern rosette
  • Tropical Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fingerboard and pyramid bridge
  • Bone nut and saddle
  • Ebony bridgepins
  • Two way truss rod
  • Nitro Cellulose Laquer finish


Here is a clip of Dave Martin from The Twelfth Fret School of Music demonstrating the G W Barry 30-12 OM guitar.


Status: SOLD

Price: $0.00 CAD
  • Model: 30-12 OM
  • Year: Current
  • Class: Vintage
  • Country of Origin: Canada
  • Condition: Brand New

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

Contact The Twelfth Fret Regarding This Item


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