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  • 12 String Question

    I'm a drummer. Know little about acoustic guitars. My sister wants a 12 string and is asking my advice.
    What do you guys recommend?

    Thanks
    D
    Bringing the Harmony back to Harmony Central

  • #2
    12-strings, more than other guitars, can be a challenge; you could have two guitars of the same make and model and one could be great and the other not so great. Personally, I love my Luna 12-string, but I must admit to having an affiliation with Luna, but that is due to my love of their guitars.
    __________________________
    Gary Blanchard
    www.garyblanchard.info

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    • #3

      Originally posted by Dendy Jarrett View Post
      I'm a drummer. Know little about acoustic guitars. My sister wants a 12 string and is asking my advice.
      What do you guys recommend?

      Thanks
      D
      I would ask some questions first. What kind of music does she want to play on the 12 string? What 12 string players or music does she like? Does she like the jingle-jangle of Roger McGuinn or the throaty roar of Leo Kottke or the thumping bass of Leadbelly? Does she plan to sing with it, strum, play chords, fingerpick or even play slide? Does she know how she wants to tune it? Does she presently play guitar - if so what style (and particularly what neck configuration)? And unfortunately, what is her budget?

      Gary and I both play 12 strings - quite different style (plus, he is good and I ain't). I also build them and happen to own three right now so I can talk a little about different guitars, tunings, styles etc. Give us some more information and we can discuss.

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      • #4
        A price range would help too. Bear in mind a "cheap" 12-string is a recipe for disaster.
        Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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        • #5
          Yeah, we'd need a price range. It would also help to know her prior experience level, and how big her hands are.
          **********

          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dendy Jarrett View Post
            I'm a drummer. Know little about acoustic guitars. My sister wants a 12 string and is asking my advice.
            What do you guys recommend?

            Thanks
            D

            Guild. Theyre legendary among 12's. They have a wide price range. The MIC GAD line starting at $500+ for a new D125-12. And the prices go up from there.
            Youtube , ​Murika , France

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            • #7
              I'll get some details and report back. Thanks D
              Bringing the Harmony back to Harmony Central

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              • #8
                When I evaluate a 6 string acoustic guitar...there's a lot of features I look for in terms of sound: Balance, volume, tone, sustain, separation, projection.....Of course there are also the structural issues like innotantion, playability, action, stability etc....

                When buying a 12 string it's a lot easier because you are only looking for one thing: Bass. Bass and more base. Is there enough bass? Dig into those bottom strings? Are they loud enough? Yes? Mission accomplished.


                BTW tell her to get rid of the redundant unison pairs on the top two strings....make it a "10 string"


                Thank me later.
                "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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                • #9
                  Anybody have any experience with the Yamaha LL16R-12?
                  Bob.
                  Martin HD35 | Gibson J45tv | Taylor DN3 | Guild GAD25 | Taylor Baby | Yamaha FG413SBD | Yamaha FG200

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                  • #10
                    Best bang for the buck in a 12 string - Seagull Guitars - by a country mile...

                    Guild certainly make the best 12 strings, if you want to drop at least 2 grand on a guitar.

                    For something more affordable, the Seagull 12ers are around the same price as the Chinese made GAD-series Guilds ($500-$1K) that Etienne mentioned above, and are a better 12 string, imho
                    flip the phase

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                      . . . It would also help to know . . . how big her hands are.
                      The majority of female guitarists I've seen or met have had no trouble playing a 12-string. I remember a fairly petite young lady in Winnipeg some years ago who played a Guild 12-string jumbo.

                      Originally posted by Etienne Rambert View Post
                      Guild. Theyre legendary among 12's. They have a wide price range. The MIC GAD line starting at $500+ for a new D125-12. And the prices go up from there.
                      You certainly can't go far wrong with a Guild. Taylor also makes an excellent 12-string. However, we don't know her playing style or budget yet so a serious recommendation is up in the air.

                      Originally posted by guitarcapo View Post
                      . . . BTW tell her to get rid of the redundant unison pairs on the top two strings....make it a "10 string"

                      Thank me later.
                      I did that with my own 12-string when I was still playing it. Makes it better for bass runs.

                      Originally posted by FretFiend.
                      Interesting idea. I might try that.
                      What, playing a 12-string as a 10-string or thanking guitarcapo?
                      Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
                      Member of the IBANEZ ACOUSTIC ASSASSINS
                      Proud Member of The Alvarez Alliance
                      Member of the Schecter Society
                      Person-2-Person on the Web

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                      • #12
                        Another vote for the Seagull S12.
                        "The Philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it."

                        Karl Marx

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                        • #13
                          Well, Dendy hasn't come back with the answers to my questions but for years I put 12 strings in different categories by price. Below $500, don't even think about it. Every one I've ever looked at needed serious setup work to make it playable - not something a newbie wants. From $500 to a grand the Seagull S12+ and the Martin D12X1 were worth considering - the Seagull with its cedar top is a little more balanced and maybe a bit better for fingerstyle and light strumming, the Martin is a big bassy dread. There is a new player in this price range, the Taylor 150, which is a dread sized 12 built in Taylors mexico facility. So far reviews have been good but I haven't played one.

                          In the $1000-1500 range the classic Taylor 355 and a few Guilds are the standouts . There is one Guild or GAD (but I can't remember the model) that gets good reviews fro the singer/songwriter crowd. Guilds have slightly chunky necks (and dual truss rods), the Taylor neck is a little thinner. In my humble opinion the 355 is one of the best bang for the buck 12's made today (our departed forumite, TAH, played one so well...)

                          Above 1500 you probably know what you want, but there are some really good options. All the Taylors are great, the LKSM is designed for the C# tuning that Leo used, the Martin Grand J is and outstanding guitar. I happen to like smaller bodies and long scale length - Fraulini's are a real treat.

                          I asked how she plans to tune it - than means to concert or down one or two semi tones. People do string and tune their 12 in strange fashion, but most of us won't do something weird like leaving a bunch of string off. However, I guess its your guitar and you can do as you please.

                          I also really hesitate to recommend any used 12's unless the buyer is very capable of judging issues and what to do about them. Many 12's are set up poorly or have issues, the owner gives up trying to play them and they become someone else's problem. At least check neck angle, action all the way up the neck and structural issues (loose bridge, braces) if considering a used 12.

                          A 12 string is a completely different animal from a normal guitar - be aware of the differences and shop accordingly. they are the Grand Pianos of the guitar world.

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                          • #14
                            Agree on the Guilds for a high end model. For a more moderate price consider the Martin D12X1. Not a Seagull fan.
                            If you find your self alone riding in green fields with the sun in your face... do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium. And you are already dead! Brothers... what we do in life... echoes in eternity! (Gladiator)

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                            • #15
                              My sister (believe it or not) doesn't do computers. I am still awaiting word from her.
                              Previously she had looked at the Guild. A friend recommended a Breedlove ...
                              I didn't realize there were that many choices available anymore ...
                              D
                              Bringing the Harmony back to Harmony Central

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