Best acoustic 12 string??

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > Best acoustic 12 string??

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 241

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

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.

Sasha-B

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Joined: 08/09/18

Posts: 20

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.

#2

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.

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 241

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

#3

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

Sasha-B

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Joined: 08/09/18

Posts: 20

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

#4

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

bonmarriott

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Joined: 12/01/19

Posts: 3

Ovation, Breedlove and Gibson make some nice ones.

#5

Ovation, Breedlove and Gibson make some nice ones.

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 241

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

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

fuzzb0x

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Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 411

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

#7

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

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 241

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.........

#8

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.........

john of MT

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Joined: 10/08/09

Posts: 1053

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."
-- Chet Atkins

#9

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."
-- Chet Atkins

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 241

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

#10

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