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  • Found a nice sounding 12-string,but...

    Went to Guitar Center when out and about to kill some time.  Went to the acoustic room and an Alvarez 12-string in the used section caught my eye.  Picked it up and played it.  At Guitar Center something sounding better than "meh" is slightly surprising, but this one sounded borderline angelic.  Then I looked at the price tag, and it said $350.  Then I took a closer look at the guitar and saw it was bellying out significantly.


  • #2

    DarkHorseJ27 wrote:

    Went to Guitar Center when out and about to kill some time.  Went to the acoustic room and an Alvarez 12-string in the used section caught my eye.  Picked it up and played it.  At Guitar Center something sounding better than "meh" is slightly surprising, but this one sounded borderline angelic.  Then I looked at the price tag, and it said $350.  Then I took a closer look at the guitar and saw it was bellying out significantly.



    With any used guitar you always should check all of the normal alignment issues - action, neck angle, bridge and lower bout.   With a 12 string everything goes double - under normal concert tuning they have about 150% of the tension of a six string.   Many, including some very good ones like Martins, have very similar bracing to the equivalent sixer - my D12-28 has exactly the same 5/16 unscalloped bracing as a D-28 and had developed a bit of a belly as well as needing a neck reset.

    Some 12 strings actually are built heavier - Taylors are the best example here - thicker top plates and three tone bars.   I've played a couple of new Alvarez 12's that I thought were pretty decent guitars - no idea how they would hold up with age however.   One of the little tricks that lots of us 12 string players like to do is down tune one or two semi tones - not only does that relieve some of the tension but it also dramatically changes the sound.

    My similar story was playing an older Guild 12 in a guitar store one day.   I commented to the clerk "this would be really nice guitar when the neck is reset..."   She kind of looked down - she knew what the problems were.

    Comment


    • Cowtown
      Cowtown commented
      Editing a comment

      I have a '76 Epiphone FT-160 Texan 12 string, bought it new for $150. Zero belly because it's a laminated top, but still plays easily (no neck issues either, surprisingly enough) & sounds mostly pretty good (although high humidity makes it go a little ginchy). Tuning knobs are finicky, and are in two strips, as opposed to independently mounted. It will cost more than the instrument is worth to have a good tech change them out, especially as the nut needs to be changed out and it would make sense to do it at the same time.

      I found a used Larivee L-03 12 with round shoulders that is flat out beautiful (wide grain Adirondak spruce top), sounds wonderful, but the nut is 1 7/8" whereas my Epiphone is 1 3/4" (yes!) which is very user-friendly to hands as small as mine. So, the nut width is important.

      Does anyone out there know of another decent 12 string mfr. who makes one with a 1 3/4" nut? I'm not about to lay out $3000, but around $1000 is doable.


  • #3

    Ive thought about upgrading my old 1971 Yamaha ( think it was like 130 bucks new back in 1971 with a case )

    I bit of a pain to tune -thou it has a nice sound . I dont really play it all that much -I think becasue of the fact my 6 strings are in Dadgad .

    Of the 12 strings ive recently played - Larrivee, Taylor etc -i think the one that impressed me the most was the Larrivee -im not really a fan of Larrivee guitars ( had a OM that played well but didnt mature i traded for my CFOX ) but the larrivee seemed easier to tune -held its tuning better and played easier - and as i remember

    was used at a great price -- have seen this a couple of times -their not exspensive as guitars go ( on the used market )

    Comment


    • kolapsar
      kolapsar commented
      Editing a comment

      my 12 is in dadgad



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