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Sonic difference between Guild F512 and F412 12 strings?

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  • Sonic difference between Guild F512 and F412 12 strings?

    I'm a 1 man band so obviously I need the biggest sound that I can get. Which of these would fill the bill better? I play folk rock blues pop. Thanks

  • #2
    Bones, either one would do you proud. The big difference is that the 412 is a laminated maple back and sides, the 512 is solid rosewood. In theory that should make a slight difference in sound - the maple guitar should be a little more focused and maybe biased to the fundimental of each string while the rosewood should be a little more complex and maybe have more overtones and partials. I say "in theory" because frankly I think it would be hard to tell.

    Many people think that rosewood is wasted on a 12 string - you have so many overtones from all of the octaves anyway so why add more? - so lots of folks gravitate to either maple or mahogany (Leo Kottke specifically likes mahogany 12 strings). I own two rosewood 12's and one mahogany - they are different from the Guilds so any comparison isn't fair - but I would lean towards mahogany or maple. Maple is supposed to be a very good sounding wood in the studio - sound engineers seem to like it for recording.

    I believe at this time the F412 is out of production so you are either looking at NOS or a used one. I'm pretty sure 512's are currently being made and I think there is plans for a new maple model.

    About a year ago I had an absolutely lovely F412 in my shop - unfortunately it needed a neck reset and I was afraid of doing damage to the finish (Guilds are finished with their necks on) so I passed on the work. It had the most beautiful flamed maple back - absolutely stunning. There is a long story here that I won't go into, just if you are looking at used guitars make sure the neck angle is good.

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    • #3
      Here's a couple reasons to ponder the F412.

      Stevie Ray Vaughan - Pride and Joy - YouTube

      Moody Blues - Question - Royal Albert Hall - YouTube
      Fisher House Foundation

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      • #4
        The 412 has laminated arched back but has solid maple sides.

        Neither 512 or 412 is currently being made at Cordoba's facility in Oxnard, CA. Guild's website makes it look like they plan to call the 412 a 512 maple. At least id did the last time I looked.

        I have a 412. I played both side by side at Guild's New Hartford factory in 2014 and really liked the 412 better. I think it has a bigger tone with more sustain and the 512 might be a bit crisper.

        I have played some pretty pricey Taylor and Martin 12 string guitars at Sam Ash and Guitar Center and can honestly say I like my Guild better.

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