12 String recommendations

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by guitarsenal, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    The OC
    One thing I don't like about Taylor electronics, are the 3 bulging knobs. But Orla, my guitar tech, will be able to install pickups for me. Maybe even sell me the Taylor model I want.

  2. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Toowoomba, Australia
    Couple of things, I have no prejudice against laminate b&s, in fact my favourite fingerpicking guitar, ever, is all-laminate.

    If the guitars I liked had lousy electronics, it wouldn't me bother me too much, I would replace them, and, in fact, have. I like soundhole pickups, and they might be a good choice with the jangly sound of 12-strings. This is the fairly radical solution on my Maton:


    I converted the barndoor preamp into a sound port, and also used it to house the passive, home-made, soundhole pickup controls.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
    tedm likes this.
  3. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    I had a Guild 12 string from about '75 - '88 when it got ripped off. I forget the model, but it was a jumbo mahogany body. Anyway I replaced it with a Taylor 555 and never looked back. Tone, playability, looks, build quality all were better on the Taylor imho.
  4. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    I picked up a used Taylor 150 last year for a great price and it might be the most playable 12-string I've ever played. And it sounds better than most too. I've recorded with it in the studio and was pretty pleased with the results.
    Outlaw and tedm like this.
  5. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    Exeter, England
    Yamaha LL16-12 A.R.E. All solid timbers, Englemann spruce top, EIR back/sides, ebony bridge and 'board, maple binding, onboard passive pickup. Real classy guitar for the sort of money you'll pay for an entry-level laminate b/s Taylor; and Yamaha's A.R.E torrefaction treatment really does make the guitar sound well played-in and opened up.

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  6. DeSolo

    DeSolo Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2013
    If the Guild F12 isn't a good fit, look for an old Westerly D sized 12. I got an '81 D212 for a very reasonable price at Elderly last year, and played pretty much all the 12 strings in the store to compare. The Taylors lacked punch for me, the breedloves and some others had pronounced emphasis or drop out in the midrange. There was a nice old Martin for 3K more, but the difference wasn't worth it, anf the Guild matches my '79 D35 nicely.

    The Guilds are heavy as hell, but built for the stresses. It sounds very even across the strings, is well intonated and boasts pretty good action.

    Good luck!
  7. 70 Mach 1

    70 Mach 1 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2016
    Long Island NY
    Where you at. I have a 91 takamine f400 12 that I bought new and was never played after the first few weeks. Still has the original strings. Paid $600 back then.
    I can do $450 with a generic case.
  8. evening_crow

    evening_crow Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    California City, California
    I've got a Taylor 254 dlx and really like it. Sound-wise I preferred it over the 354 and the other 12 strings I tried under maybe 2k. I didn't want to spend too much on a "niche" guitar after all. The biggest selling factor was its playability. I tried Martin, Yamaha, Breedlove, and a couple other brands and they just felt like a constant battle.

    Actually, I wasn't even considering buying a guitar since I had just bought an electric earlier that month, much less a 12 sting until I randomly tried that one out. Hopefully that speaks for how good of a guitar it is.
    Outlaw likes this.
  9. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    Out in the wild!
    I have a Taylor 458e which I dearly love to play, but it's a Grand Orchestra size (big!) so it may not be for you because of that. I also had the chance lately to play a Taylor 562 12 string that was small and easy to play as well. I think they wanted like $2400 ish for it, but that was some months ago. I see that Sweetwater has a 562 in Shaded Edgeburst for $2800

    I have also played the layered wood 12 strings by Taylor in the 100 series and they were also quite good.

    If it seems I like Taylors, it's because I do and especially their 12 strings because they play so darn well.

    Good luck and happy shopping.
    Outlaw likes this.
  10. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Member

    May 22, 2016
    Squamish, BC, Canada
    I agree with the Larrivee recommendations. I hadn't owned a 12 string since back in the 70's when I had a Vox acoustic/electric for playing Stairway to Heaven in a band. It was a hard guitar to play and turned me off 12 strings. Recently I acquired a Larrivee L42 in a trade. It is a beautiful 1981 made in Victoria one. I got it for the history as much as anything. I have been very pleasantly surprised buy it. It is my #1 acoustic now. It stays in tune better than most of my guitars and is fairly easy to play. The sound is huge. Every guitar is different but if you get a chance try a Larrivee.
  11. thewhit

    thewhit Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    Santa Cruz County, Ca.
    Guild, Guild and if all else fails.......Get a Guild.
    rwmct and RickC like this.
  12. HeavyRevy

    HeavyRevy Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2016
    I came across a great deal on a Larrivee SD-60 12 string on Reverb over Father's Day last year. Did a little set up work on it and it's amazing. Fills a room with a great shimmer of sound. Keeps tune well, very impressed!

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