Santa Cruz 12-Fretter

sonic romp

I've been a fan of SC guitars since i picked up my VS about two years ago. I'd bought it to replace my Martin D-28S which I loved the 12-fret/slotted headstock set-up. The Martin was too over-droney and drowned out alot of the warmth of strumming....i though it was the rosewood and found that the mahogany body of the VS suited me better -- and it has.

Now, i've noticed that SC makes a 12-fret D modeled after the 12-fret dreads by Martin, but have done it with a mahogany body rather than rosewood.

Has anyone tried one of these? I can imagine that single notes would come out well but how does it strum? Too brittle/crisp versus a more lush sustain from rosewood?

Thanks in advance. I just get my hands on one to strum!

PB Wilson

I played one a number of years ago and what I remember most was the super comfy wide neck and the piano-like tone. Great sounding, deep and clear. Not brittle at all, but drier than a rosewood dread.

Sometimes describing guitars is like describing a glass of wine.


Agreed on all points. To my ears, a twelve fret mahogany SC will have more lower-mids response compared to your VS, which has a lot of upper-mid and high clarity.

It depends on what you want to do with it. My playing style and vocal timbre sound better supported by a "thicker" guitar, while on the other hand I've had clients (from a former retail life) who needed a thinner guitar to let their vocals' richness come through. If you strum a lot, mahogany works great. I personally like Rosewood for more percussive styles as RW can quickly muddy up if it is a resonant guitar


Chris T


I have had this Santa Cruz D12 going on two years and it is the perfect compliment to my Collings 000H-12.


Santa Cruz are excellent guitars. You can have a 12-fret D model in Mahogany or Rosewood.


My first guitar teacher uses a SCGC D12 in rosewood. Sounds real good to me! He mostly does the flatpick bluegrass thing. It's real deep big tone, smooth and rich. I've tried a mahog version in the store, and I guess you might say its more rich & smooth rather than smooth & rich of rosewood. If you like more sparkle & overtones, maybe the mahogany.

Forgot to mention that I've got a 000-12 in brazillian/european spruce. Tonewise, it's got it all except for higher frett access. It'd be nice if it had a cutaway. But it certainly strums just fine, as well as single-note. I was told that they really had in mind finger picking when they built it. I wish I could do that!

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