12 fret guitars ?

doublestop

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582
Can anyone tell me what are the pros and cons of a 12 fret guitar, compared to a standard 14 fret guitar?

Thanks, Peter
 

Ogre

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4,644
Pro: Possibly better tone as a result of the soundhole being more centered in the top.
Con: Inaccessability to notes above the 12th fret.
I have checked out hundreds of guitars by most of the premier builders, and I think there is something to it, tone-wise. It is a subtle difference. If you do the lions' share of your playing below the 12th fret, it is worth investigating.
 

PB Wilson

Member
Messages
778
I like the older 12 fret guitars I've played. Many of them have wider fingerboards and feel more comfortable probably because I don't seem to have to reach as far to play in the 1st position.
 

kilgorekid

Member
Messages
424
I own a Larrivee SD-50 (slope shoulder dread) which is a 12-fret slot head and I love it! It has a wide nut (1 & 7/8") and it is so very comfortable. It produces a lot of volume also. I never miss the access to the higher frets as I hardly ever need to go there. Not very many acoustic players need that access. I say go for it and you'll be a happy camper and 12-fret advocate.
Bill:D
 

57special

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,804
12 fretters have more body volume, due to the extended upper bouts, hence more volume. I think they sound better than 14 fretters, all things being equal. I'd love to try a 12 Fret Dread sometime.
 

Eugene

Silver Supporting Member
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1,795
I have both a Dread and a OO 12 fretters (Collings). They are both among the finest acoustic guitars I've had the pleasure to own/play. They truly do move alot of air...

Eugene
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,832
I have a very recent Martin 000-16SGT 12-fret. It has a bit more of a mid- and treble-biased tone to it over my more traditional Larrivee dread. Dig it. I'm thinking about picking up a Larrivee 12-fret early next year if I can find a good deal on one.

--chiba
 

57special

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,804
Originally posted by Eugene
I have both a Dread and a OO 12 fretters (Collings). They are both among the finest acoustic guitars I've had the pleasure to own/play. They truly do move alot of air...

Eugene
I bet that 00 is sweet! Never played a 12 fret 00. I had a beautiful old (31) 0-18 12 fret Martin that had tons of sound, and have just finished a 12 fret 0 size that i'm very happy with, though it's left me very curious as to what the next size up would deliver. Almost the perfect guitar for playing around the house, and with other acoustic players, i'd imagine.
 

Eugene

Silver Supporting Member
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1,795
Originally posted by 57special
I bet that 00 is sweet! Never played a 12 fret 00. I had a beautiful old (31) 0-18 12 fret Martin that had tons of sound, and have just finished a 12 fret 0 size that i'm very happy with, though it's left me very curious as to what the next size up would deliver. Almost the perfect guitar for playing around the house, and with other acoustic players, i'd imagine.
You bethcha! Very complex and quite loud for a little box. Man, they sure had it right in the 20's and 30's!

Eugene
 

thesedaze

Member
Messages
1,682
I'm on the lookout for a relatively inexpensive solidwood 12 fret'er...Really looking for a V shape neck and folk style body for a fingerpicking treat.

The best quality solidwood acoustic for a steal I've found so far is the Alvarez MD90. Although it's a dread size, 14 fretter.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks
 

Eugene

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,795
Originally posted by thesedaze
I'm on the lookout for a relatively inexpensive solidwood 12 fret'er...Really looking for a V shape neck and folk style body for a fingerpicking treat.

The best quality solidwood acoustic for a steal I've found so far is the Alvarez MD90. Although it's a dread size, 14 fretter.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks
I believe Martin's -15 Series (all mahogany) includes either a 00 or 000 12-fret model. Might be worth checking out....

Eugene
 

Fantom1

Member
Messages
1,995
Originally posted by Eugene
I believe Martin's -15 Series (all mahogany) includes either a 00 or 000 12-fret model. Might be worth checking out....

Eugene
Yup, the 000-15 and 000-15S (slothead).

I've got one (the S), and for the price I don't think they can be beat. On the Martin guitar forum when they come up for sale they usually sell in a few hours. It's an incredible slide/fingerpicking guitar. Its much more mid-treble articulate than any dreads I've played.
 

thesedaze

Member
Messages
1,682
Those Martin's seem very close! I'll have to try them out...What exactly is the difference in build between the slothead model and the regular blockhead? $300 price difference would have me hoping for atleast some sort of bracing differences or something? Don't tell me it's all because of a slot head?

Thanks
 

Fantom1

Member
Messages
1,995
Oops. I checked the Martin site to check out what the difference was and apparently the 000-15 is a 14 fret, while the 000-15S is a 12 fret. I guess the 12fret models take a little more work or something. I think this is a recent change as I'm pretty sure both were 12 fret before, but I could be completely wrong.
 
B

bajasuhr

For fingerstyle you can't beat the sound and playability of the 12 fretters. I'm had a 1973 Martin D-35S since new (12 fret, Slothead, slope-shouldered canon) and have played many others such as the older 00-21 and the newer 000-28VS. The new Larrivee 00-50 & 60's should be great based on the other Larrivees I've played.
 

Praline

Member
Messages
71
12 frets sound better, deeper, louder. Not a subtle difference at all, should be very obvious when you play them. If I must have a 14 fret guitar, I try to choose one that is not too much of a compromise in sound.
 

KenSea

Member
Messages
128
Both can be great guitars. Yes the voice is different but is all in the tools we use.
Happy Holidays to A/all
 

mad dog

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,975
It's usually hard to compare exactly, a 12 fret version of a certain model guitar against that same model with 14 frets. In the small-body, non-dreadnaught guitars I prefer, 12 frets seems to win out in tone, more than making up for any loss of high-end playability. My '63 Martin 00-21 New Yorker is one of those perfect fingerpicking guitars. Completely balanced for lead and rythym (which IMHO has more to do with body size, as in 0 vs 000 vs. D than in frets to the body). The body is bigger, makes for a very comfortable, substantial guitar to play.
 




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