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Where to start with a 12 String?

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  • Where to start with a 12 String?

    Hello!  New member here

    I am looking for a good place to start (brands and models) for a 12 string acoustic.

    Budget is around $600.

    Electronics and cutaways are nice, but not essential.

    Of course I will be playing and getting to know the instrument I ultimately choose, but I really don't know where to start.

    I am very happy with my two 6 string acoustics, and am looking for something equally as playable.

    I love the bright balanced tone of my Breedlove, and the dark brooding sound of my Seagull, but want to add some jangle with a sexy 12 string.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

    Breedlove Atlas D25<br>Epiphone Sheraton II MiK<br>Seagull S6

  • #2

    The dominant name in 12-strings is Guild. Taylor also makes a nice one. Neither of these is within your budget although you might score a used one. If you do consider a used 12-string, look it over carefully. The extra string tension tends to cause issues. The Guild GAD 125-12 is close. The GAD series is made in China but appears to be well built: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/guild-gad-series-d-125-12-12-string-dreadnought-acoustic-guitar. The Breedlove Atlas series had a couple of (now discontinued) decent 12-strings. Again, you might find a used one. Seagull or another Godin product is also a possibility: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/seagull-coastline-series-s12-dreadnought-12-string-acoustic-guitar.

    Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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  • #3
    12-string?
    600 bucks?
    Really?
    I don't think so.

    Well, you might get something playable in that price range, but you will have to look long and hard to find a good one. The pull of the 12 strings is about 50% stronger than the pull of a 6, but most companies that offer 12's in the lower price bracket just bolt different necks to the same body construction. That might do good on an already overbuilt body like the Yammie FG720/12 shows, but is a surefire way to long-term sorrow for most other designs.
    A proper 12 is not easily converted from a standard 6, but a new instrument in it's own right. Very few have mastered the art of the 12. Guild (but NOT the Chinese-made), Martin (DX-series), Yamaha, Ovation (Korean and US-made) - just to mention a few.
    None of them cheap. Unfortunately.

    You might get a playable 12 for that kind of money. You might get a playable 12 that even sounds relatively well, but you will not get a playable 12 that sounds right AND survives for more than 10 years for that kind of money, though. Those cheap 12's are disposable guitars.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Martin: D40, D35, Backpacker<br>Mr.Binh:&quot;SKT&quot; spruce/maple dread, spruce/rosewood mod. OM-45, all koa jumbo, mod. 814ce and 814ceN<br>Tanglewood:TW-145/12 SC<br>Sigma: DRC-28E<br>Ovation:Elite TX Baritone, CC24-FKOA<br>Gretsch:G3713<br>Guild:GAD-25<br>Washburn: D46SP<br>Fender:CD140/12<br>Yamaha:FG730S-NT - <font color="Red">for sale!</font> FJX730SC<br>12-String Ovation Copy, M.Rodriguez C10, Tenayo Silent Guitar</font><br><br>-HCAG Civil Posters Society, Charter Member #006.<br>-Too many guitars, too little talent Club Member #002<br>-Founder of HCAG GAS Anonymus</div>

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  • #4

    Thank you all very much for the replies!  I really appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out.

    I will definitely check into the Guilds.  I love the look of the Luna as well.

    I know that I'm not going to get the best quality and the best sound for my budget, but as a hobbyist, spending $600 seems justifiable to me, and I won't be afraid to take it camping.  

    I am fortunate to have a Guitar Center, a Sam Ash, and two mom and pop guitar shops all within 6 miles, so I will be trying several instruments, and taking my time choosing one.  

    Breedlove Atlas D25<br>Epiphone Sheraton II MiK<br>Seagull S6

    Comment


    • Gary Blanchard
      Gary Blanchard commented
      Editing a comment

      Seeing as how you own a Seagull, they make a nice 12-string as well!


  • #5

    Awesome!

    Yes, I will be checking out the Seagull 12 string.  I love my Seagull S6 and quality seems to be consistent across instruments.

    I am not considering a Breedlove 12, as another Atlas is out of my price range, and the cheaper Passport series sixers I have played vary wildly in quality and tone.  That is not to say that I won't buy one if I stumble across a gem.

    I couldn't agree more on the set-up!  That's another reason I'm trying to keep it less than $600.  My guitar tech (who is an extremely talented owner of one of the mom and pop shops close to me) charges $50 for a set-up on a sixer.  I'm assuming $100 for a 12.  So what I am actually aiming for is a properly set up 12 for $700.

    Doing some looking around online, and wondering how the Takamine 12's are?  I have played a few of their sixers, and enjoyed them.  Thoughts?

    Breedlove Atlas D25<br>Epiphone Sheraton II MiK<br>Seagull S6

    Comment


    • katopp
      katopp commented
      Editing a comment
      First, I support the tuning down approach. Most less expensive 12s are related to 6s and the little less pull not only reduces the stress on the neck/body joint and the bridge, but also allows the top to vibrate more freely. Second, if you like the S6, go for the S12 and tune it down. Can't go wrong, then.

  • #6

    I found this used Guild at my local GC.  Not sure of the model, and its a little outta my price range, but Im going to try to get down there and give it a strum today.

    VINTAGE EARLY 1970'S GUILD 12 STRING ACOUSTIC W/CASE

    I also agree with the Epiphone comment!  There are some great Epiphones out there that can rival guitars 3-4 times more expensive.  Most are good, but there are some GREAT ones if you are patient.  I always find it funny when my non-musical friends see my Sheraton electric, and ask why I didn't save for a 335.  When other guitarists hear it though, they are always impressed and want to play it immediately.  Combine that with the pro setup I maintain on it, and its so easy to play and sounds so good their response is always "let me know if you ever want to sell that one!"

    Breedlove Atlas D25<br>Epiphone Sheraton II MiK<br>Seagull S6

    Comment


    • Graeca
      Graeca commented
      Editing a comment

      Nexxus wrote:

      I found this used Guild at my local GC.  Not sure of the model, and its a little outta my price range, but Im going to try to get down there and give it a strum today.

      VINTAGE EARLY 1970'S GUILD 12 STRING ACOUSTIC W/CASE

      I also agree with the Epiphone comment!  There are some great Epiphones out there that can rival guitars 3-4 times more expensive.  Most are good, but there are some GREAT ones if you are patient.  I always find it funny when my non-musical friends see my Sheraton electric, and ask why I didn't save for a 335.  When other guitarists hear it though, they are always impressed and want to play it immediately.  Combine that with the pro setup I maintain on it, and its so easy to play and sounds so good their response is always "let me know if you ever want to sell that one!"


      That's a D-212NT...I've got a couple of it's cousins, F-212XLs, and while a bit on the heavy side, they're excellent. It this one has been taken proper care of, it is, too.

      Guild knows how to make a life-time 12-string that can be kept at Concert Pitch. Not a lot of companies can realistically make that claim.


    • DeepEnd
      DeepEnd commented
      Editing a comment

      Nexxus wrote:

      I found this used Guild at my local GC.  Not sure of the model, and its a little outta my price range, but Im going to try to get down there and give it a strum today.

      VINTAGE EARLY 1970'S GUILD 12 STRING ACOUSTIC W/CASE . . .

      Hard to go wrong with a Guild but bear in mind that you're still talking about a 40 year old guitar. Look it over very carefully. Good luck finding the guitar of your deams.

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