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Old February 5th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking for my first 12 string guitar

Recently I was looking to upgrade my acoustic and I came here and got some great advice, so I thought it would be a good place to start my search for a 12 string as well. I have never owned a 12 string, but have played them in shops and just love the sound that they make. I am looking for a good quality guitar, but for a price around 400 or so in-case I just don't stick with it. I have been looking into some fender models like the CD160 and villager as well as the cheaper cd100. Of course my ideal guitar would be solid wood and American made, but I am almost certain that will be impossible in this price range. So just give me any direction or pointers on some guitars to look at. I live a good distance from any large cities so it is harder for my to track down good used stuff besides what is usually over priced at local pawn shops, but would be open to used if I could find it.

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Old February 5th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I love my Yamaha FG720s-12. Beginner price but "keep it forever" sound, playability and looks. I personally thought it compared favorably enough to several models costing upwards of a thousand dollars that I installed an LR Baggs Anthem pickup in it.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My tanglewood is incredible. She even looks amazing, mother of pearl inlay and all. British manufacture, and god does she sing. She has a midrange clarity I have rarely found in guitars three times the price. Even has a pickup, tuner and preamp if you like playing it electric.

http://www.dv247.com/guitars/tanglew...-guitar--44524 Can even get it for under 400 euros.

Yes, I'm in love.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I love my Yamaha FG720s-12. Beginner price but "keep it forever" sound, playability and looks. I personally thought it compared favorably enough to several models costing upwards of a thousand dollars that I installed an LR Baggs Anthem pickup in it.
+1 on the FG720s-12. Nice chimey sound and a manageable size neck. Also check out the Mitchell (made by Samick) and the Seagull which is pretty nice that fits your budget.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Some of the old Japanese built Fender 12 strings from the 70's can be picked up for $200 - 300 and they play and sound great, plus they are solid wood throughout. I sold mine recently because I needed to thin the herd a bit and I have a 12 string electric (Schecter Stargazer 12 - GREAT guitar!). I think The Fender's model was F-55-12. Some of the Takamines and Yamahas from the 80s and 90s are a good value too.

Look for solid wood construction, straight neck, good tuners and playability, and an adustable truss rod.

Good Luck!
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Those 70s Fender would be perfect if I could track one down. Any ideas on where to look that I may be missing. I usually check the Bay, CL, GC Used Gear. Anyplace else I should be checking?
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Old February 6th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old February 6th, 2013, 01:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i love my Simon & Patrick 12 String. cedar top, cherry back and sides. plays great, sounds like a choir of angels. very affordable. it's Canadian made, same company as Godin.

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Old February 6th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I bought my first acoustic 12-string back in the 70's. At the time I narrowed my choice to a Yamaha or a (Japanese-built) Epiphone. I bought the latter because it was sexier and less "clunky". I made a mistake though. The Epi was fine for many years but its neck eventually became unplayable and the body sunk alarmingly at the bridge. I bet if I had gone with the Yamaha I'd still be playing it today as they are built like a tank. For $330 new, I'd say the current solid-topped FG-720S would be tough to beat.

In the sub $500 range I'd also be looking at a Canadian-made Seagull Coastline, just because of their great reputation.

My current acoustic 12 is a Chinese-made Guild (GAD), spruce topped dreadnaught. I saw it new on a close-out sale for just over $500 about 5 years ago and couldn't resist it. It is all solid wood, full gloss finish, built like a Guild (heavy with a wide neck with double truss rods), the workmanship is superb and it just sings. It's a definite step up from the usual $300 range Asian imports.

I'm a big fan of 12-strings and I also have a Ric 360/12 VP.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 01:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Washburn used to make a totally decent 12 string guitar. I havent played a newer one. Just the older ones. The D-10 12 string. I have a D-12 12 string thats pretty good. But you should be able to pick up one of those worth the money.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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+1 on the Canadian made for the price.

I recently got a used Seagull 12+, and it is decent enough IMO.

I had an old Marix ovation 12 which I gave away after I got the Seagull, the difference in 'tone' was a big difference.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Right now I am leaning towards either the used Fender F55 or a new Canadian. Can anyone confirm that the F55 is all solid wood construction? I found this site but it did not mention if it was solid or laminate.

http://www.philsfenders.com/f-55-12.html
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Old February 6th, 2013, 04:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Can't answer your question. But Seagull 12s are amazing bang for buck.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianfarm6767 View Post
Right now I am leaning towards either the used Fender F55 or a new Canadian. Can anyone confirm that the F55 is all solid wood construction? I found this site but it did not mention if it was solid or laminate.

http://www.philsfenders.com/f-55-12.html
At the price they sold new, I'd be surprised if even the top was solid wood. Certainly, the comparatively priced 70's Epi I had was all laminated woods. It was nicely finished, and sounded pretty good but I actually think all those Asian imports of that era were all lam.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 05:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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thats what I was thinking. I have found the f80 from that same era and it does say it is solid wood. Been trying to track a price down for one of the f80 and just can not find it for sell anywhere.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chud View Post
I love my Yamaha FG720s-12. Beginner price but "keep it forever" sound, playability and looks. I personally thought it compared favorably enough to several models costing upwards of a thousand dollars that I installed an LR Baggs Anthem pickup in it.
Yes! Look no further.

FG720S-12 - Yammi!





Yamaha FG720S-12 - Linky
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Old February 6th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianfarm6767 View Post
Right now I am leaning towards either the used Fender F55 or a new Canadian. Can anyone confirm that the F55 is all solid wood construction? I found this site but it did not mention if it was solid or laminate.

http://www.philsfenders.com/f-55-12.html
Yes pretty sure the 55 is solid spuce top with solid bubinga back and sides. You can always check by looking at the edge of the soundhole and the interior
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Old February 6th, 2013, 06:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a Seagull 12 as well, and really like it.

Whatever 12 you choose, MAKE SURE that the bridge is not lifting away from the top - this is especially important for used instruments.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 08:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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thats what I was thinking. I have found the f80 from that same era and it does say it is solid wood. Been trying to track a price down for one of the f80 and just can not find it for sell anywhere.
Yes, their top of the line models were solid, but I don't think the middle of the road ones were. Although in an older guitar that probably means less cracks and structural issues.

And 12-string acoustics have to withstand tremendous amounts of tension, so you really don't see too many older ones (except maybe for bullet-proof Yamahas and Guilds) so I'd be very careful about buying a 30+ year old one. I suspect most have disintegrated, like my Epi
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Old February 6th, 2013, 11:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KevinB View Post

My current acoustic 12 is a Chinese-made Guild (GAD), spruce topped dreadnaught. I saw it new on a close-out sale for just over $500 about 5 years ago and couldn't resist it. It is all solid wood, full gloss finish, built like a Guild (heavy with a wide neck with double truss rods), the workmanship is superb and it just sings. It's a definite step up from the usual $300 range Asian imports.
(edited for brevity)
What he said. . . .
I'd look for one of these MIC Guilds used. It could well be in your price range, and the build quality is quite nice.
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