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Looking for my first 12 string guitar

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by brianfarm6767, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. brianfarm6767

    brianfarm6767 TDPRI Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    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.

  2. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 30, 2010
    New York City
    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.

  3. SmokeyTea

    SmokeyTea TDPRI Member

    Jan 2, 2013

  4. dqami

    dqami Tele-Holic

    Feb 11, 2004
    +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.

  5. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

    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!

  6. brianfarm6767

    brianfarm6767 TDPRI Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    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?

  7. thumbpick

    thumbpick Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 22, 2012

  8. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2003
    greenville, sc
    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.


  9. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    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.

  10. Weaselcoon

    Weaselcoon Tele-Meister

    May 23, 2011
    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.

  11. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    +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.

  12. brianfarm6767

    brianfarm6767 TDPRI Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    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.

  13. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2003
    Can't answer your question. But Seagull 12s are amazing bang for buck.

  14. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    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.

  15. brianfarm6767

    brianfarm6767 TDPRI Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    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.

  16. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    Yes! Look no further.

    FG720S-12 - Yammi!


    Yamaha FG720S-12 - Linky

  17. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

    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

  18. bigbandtele

    bigbandtele Tele-Holic

    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.

  19. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    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 :eek:

  20. john kleeman

    john kleeman Tele-Holic

    Jun 16, 2010
    Portland, Or.
    (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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