Best acoustic 12 string??


stratmanjimbo
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stratmanjimbo
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11/20/2019 8:39 pm

I'd love to find a dynamite acoustic 12 string guitar that doesn't sound like a mandolin or need to be tuned down an entire step (or more). Martin has always been my 'go to' acoustic but prices are insane especially since 12 strings have come way down in price due to their lack of popularity. Something to do with the 60s ending..........but I do own a decent Takamine "Lawsuit" copy of the D-18 or D-28.......but try as I may.........this always sounds more like a mandolin without that true 12 string 'punch' and nice tone I seek. I's appreciate any input on a quality moderately priced 12 string acoustic. Jim C.


# 1
Sasha-B
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11/21/2019 10:39 pm

Guild F-2512E. Has been getting good reviews and is about $499.00.

Or, look for a used Guild 12 string, they are known for their 12 string acoustics.

Originally Posted by: stratmanjimbo

I'd love to find a dynamite acoustic 12 string guitar that doesn't sound like a mandolin or need to be tuned down an entire step (or more). Martin has always been my 'go to' acoustic but prices are insane especially since 12 strings have come way down in price due to their lack of popularity. Something to do with the 60s ending..........but I do own a decent Takamine "Lawsuit" copy of the D-18 or D-28.......but try as I may.........this always sounds more like a mandolin without that true 12 string 'punch' and nice tone I seek. I's appreciate any input on a quality moderately priced 12 string acoustic. Jim C.


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# 2
stratmanjimbo
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stratmanjimbo
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11/21/2019 11:37 pm

Guild, huh!!?? Good idea........I hadn't really considered this line but they were very popular especially in the 60s & 70s for their 12 string acoustics. Thanks, Sasha!! Jim


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Sasha-B
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Sasha-B
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11/22/2019 6:54 pm

you're welcome!

keep me posted on what you end up with.

Sasha

Originally Posted by: stratmanjimbo

Guild, huh!!?? Good idea........I hadn't really considered this line but they were very popular especially in the 60s & 70s for their 12 string acoustics. Thanks, Sasha!! Jim


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bonmarriott
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bonmarriott
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12/01/2019 5:47 pm

Ovation, Breedlove and Gibson make some nice ones.


# 5
stratmanjimbo
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stratmanjimbo
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12/02/2019 3:11 pm

Someone else also recommended Breedlove to me. The problem here at least in the Dallas area is music instrument stores that have the Breedlove line but then again this isn't urgent since I already have one.........I just want one with a true 12 string guitar sound and not a trebly mando-like tone like my Takamine. I fear the only 12 string that has this sound is a Martin D-12-35 dreadnaught. These regularly sell for $3K and more so this sure isn't a great option financially especially since there's such a soft market if I ever needed to sell to get cash back as needed...........fruestrating! Jim


# 6
fuzzb0x
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fuzzb0x
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12/02/2019 5:10 pm

What about the Martin D12X1AE 12-String Electro Acoustic which is their more affordable offering?


# 7
stratmanjimbo
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stratmanjimbo
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12/02/2019 8:55 pm

I did actually try this one and was reasonably impressed with the quality considering the price but this is another one that Martin highly recommends ultra light strings..........I believe I need something that will handle medium gauge 12 strings and sound great.......the B & E (2nd & 1st) strings just make it sound more like a mandolin to me and others have weighed in as well. Frustrating and expensive....I would pay well into 4 figures for an excellent condition 1968 or earlier Martin D-12-35 (desirable Brazilian wood!) but when REverb.com recommends around two thousand as a fair market price yet everyone still expects $3K -$5K and the 12 string market is flat......it just seems too unreasonable and I lean toward sticking with the 6 string Martin I already own and this pretty decent Takamine 12 string.........


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john of MT
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12/03/2019 1:16 am

A 12-string was on my wish list for a long time... I thought it would be cool to build a stable ot instruments that had distinctive sounds from each other and fit different genres. For one reason or another I set my sights on the Ovation's Adamas 1598 ME-II https://www.cathedralguitar.com/Auction/Adamas1598/Adamas1598.html. On the other hand, I wasn't much interested in the prices the guitar was fetching.

I decided to practice patience and put the web to work for me. I created a Google Alert for the guitar and let it do the watching and searching for me. It took awhile but eventually one showed up at Sweetwater... brand new and well under half of MSRP and about a thousand under what dealers were selling it for. I called Sweetwater and after being assured there was nothing wrong with the guitar I took the bait. I never regretted the decision and the instrument is a beauty.

You might try the same... let Google do the work for you. Set up an Alert, maybe multiple ones for different guitars, sit back and see what shows up.

FYI, my Ovation certainly doesn't sound like a mandolin to me,YMMV. However, this particular model is not easy to find anymore and may be appreciating in price.

Good luck.


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
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stratmanjimbo
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stratmanjimbo
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12/03/2019 2:33 pm

The Ovation sounds nice (I especially loved the Texas Blues segment on the playing samples section......this is one of the main reasons I thought a nice solid sounding 12 string acoustic would be a great addition) but we're back in the price range or even higher of that of a Martin D-12-35 or Martin D-12-28 which I'd greatly prefer. I just believe these used Martins are way overpriced and this is proven by the inordinate time these instruments sit unsold. Jim


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john of MT
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12/03/2019 3:42 pm

I agree with you, Jim.

I wouldn't pay the $5000 for the only Ovation Adamas 1598 currently listed on EBay (used, no less ). But maybe one of the 47 watchers will. Until then, the guitar will sit just as you say. For guitars or anything else, a transaction price is the amount the buyer is willing to pay which the seller is willing to accept.

Fortunately, my Google Alert tipped me off to Sweetwater's 'willingness.' I doubt I would have found the listing without that help.

I suspect a lot of guitar pricing we see is optimistic sellers trying to flip the instruments for profit. Without provenance or the benefit of an old date of manufacture that's a very difficult thing to do for otherwise mass produced guitars.


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
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stratmanjimbo
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12/03/2019 8:27 pm

My thoughts exactly!! Plus........if you take for instance my 'dream' Martin D-12-35 acoustic twelve string and research the various outlets listing them from Very Good to Excellent condition I can provide prices from the high teens to well over five thousand dolars??!!! It makes no sense.........even an ex Martin factory worker highly advised me to stay away from any Martin built in the early 70s as their production level skyrocketed from the growth in interest of the 60s (thanks a lot Crosby, Stills, Nash & you too Young!!!) and further advised I lool before 1968 when Martin was forced to discontinue Brazilian rosewoods.....if you look at 54 year and older Fender Strats it gets even more crazy!! There's no reason for say an excellent condition 1965 Fender Stratocaster to be listed for say $15,900 and right next door is another that looks in lesser good condition for over $30K!! Jim


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fuzzb0x
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fuzzb0x
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12/06/2019 6:30 pm

I was in my local guitar shop yesterday and they had a second hand Japanese made Kimbara 12 string for sale, Kimbara were not a big company and used to be a British importer of Japanese and then later on Korean made guitars but this 12 string was incredible build quality, looked gorgeous and sounded lovely and deep, not mandolin like at all, made me think of you stratmanjimbo when I played it as you are looking for one at the moment and this thing was selling for around £300!


# 13
stratmanjimbo
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stratmanjimbo
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12/06/2019 9:52 pm

Interesting option!! Kimbara, huh??? I really wanted a nice 12 string acoustic in time to play some great Chistmas song arrangements.........12 string just really seems to put that extra nice touch to solo acoustic Xmas songs..........but maybe early preparation for next year!!??? Jim C.


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fuzzb0x
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fuzzb0x
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12/06/2019 10:44 pm

Yea worth keeping an eye open incase one comes along cheaply, I think the model I played was from 1976-78. Not sure how often they come along on the second hand market though.


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stratmanjimbo
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12/07/2019 3:54 am

I actually conducted a very good search..........apparently Kimbara guitars are nonexistent in the US?? I found one classical model 6 string and that was it...Jim


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victoriancassidy
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12/20/2019 9:04 am

My Taylor 450 12 string like in this site is the best 12 string guitar I've ever played. When first looking at it, I played it for 15 minutes and had to have it. It played like butter. I finalized a deal on within two days. I paid $1,200 for it and have never regretted it. That was in 2001, here it is 2019 and the guitar plays and sounds just as good as the day I bought it 18 years ago. Very satisfied with the guitar !!


# 17
stratmanjimbo
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12/20/2019 4:04 pm

Taylor guitars (at least the 6 string models) always sound too 'tinny' for my liking....I appreciate more the depth of bass tones. I hadn't considered their 12 string models however and specifically not this 450 model but thanks for the tip!! I still haven't made any move yet every one of the pricey 50ish year old Martin D-12-35s are still listed for sale now months later and I'd say we have a stalemate on pricing........expectations are much higher than true market price in my humble opinion!! Thanks!! Jim C.


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john of MT
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12/21/2019 12:52 am

Speaking of which...

The $5000 (plus shipping from Russia) Ovation 12-string is no longer listed on EBay (see my post #11). I don't know what happened to it... it even dropped off my Watch List without notice. However, an identical model listed for $3000 (plus shipping from the U.S.) that showed up a few days after my post sold today at the full asking price. So there's some recent indications of this week's market price for that model.

FYI, during the manufacture run I think the MSRP was around $3600. Of course, MSRP for new guitars is not market price either. Every new guitar I've seen is listed for less.


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 19
stratmanjimbo
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12/23/2019 2:49 am

Victoriancassidy: Can you provide a sound bite of your Taylor 450 please?? Jim C.


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