12 String recommendations

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

  1. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    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.

    https://www.orlaguitarsandrepairs.nl/
     
  2. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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
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  3. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    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

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    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.
     
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  5. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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

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    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.
     
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  9. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf

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    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.
     
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  10. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Member

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    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

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    Guild, Guild and if all else fails.......Get a Guild.
     
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  12. HeavyRevy

    HeavyRevy Member

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    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!
     
  13. TopJimmy5150

    TopJimmy5150 Member

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    I have had my 2008 Alvarez PJ85SC-12DVS for over a year and I just adore it. It has a Sitka Spruce top with Dark Violin Stain and solid rosewood back and sides.
     
  14. rjbee

    rjbee Member

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    In light of the fact that you say your 12 string plays great and sounds great, have you considered what it would take to have your 12 string refurbished by a competent luthier? It may cost about the same as you would pay for a decent new guitar. Just a thought.
     
  15. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    I used to think a 12 string needed a big body, but after I played a Collings 0 size 12 maple body I reversed my opinion. That little guitar is by far the best sounding 12 I’ve ever played. Of course, it had a price tag to match.
     
  16. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    I ended up with an '80s Washburn, which I'm very pleased with. It had a slight forward leaning bridge in standard tuning, but after several months of being at 45+ RH, and tuned down to D, which I prefer, it's completely flat, and bridge is solid. It's a laminate, but sounds as good as the entry Taylor and Martin, so I think I lucked out. Lots of fun to play, stays in tune. Can capo up when needed.
     
  17. mcrofutt

    mcrofutt Member

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    I once played a Godin Seagull S12 that I was very impressed by. Small body, great sound, inexpensive. But I'm really a Guild jumbo 12 guy and the secret best value ( which I reveal because I have mine) is a late Westerly (90s) JF20-12
     
  18. Pablomago

    Pablomago Member

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    I have an older Lemon Grove made Taylor dreadnaught 12 string with a three piece back. That thing is the most beautiful acoustic 12 string I've ever played. I was recording with it one time at a local studio and three different engineers who weren't even on the session came in to see what was making the sound they were hearing in the studio monitors.

    At one point I came real close to trading it in on a Larrivee 12 String. I don't remember the model. It was real close in sound but after an hour with both guitars, I kept the Taylor. I had a Highlander pickup installed and it sounds great with that guitar.
     

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