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What is the best 12 string to buy?

GUEST,guest 04 Jun 17 - 08:06 AM
Phil Cooper 04 Jun 17 - 08:15 AM
GUEST 04 Jun 17 - 08:36 AM
GUEST 04 Jun 17 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,mikeofnorthumbria (sans cookie) 04 Jun 17 - 09:13 AM
alex s 04 Jun 17 - 09:53 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 04 Jun 17 - 04:29 PM
kendall 04 Jun 17 - 08:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Jun 17 - 12:21 AM
alex s 05 Jun 17 - 05:01 AM
punkfolkrocker 05 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM
alex s 05 Jun 17 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Sol 05 Jun 17 - 05:40 PM
banjoman 06 Jun 17 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Gilly 06 Jun 17 - 09:17 AM
punkfolkrocker 06 Jun 17 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Saulgoldie 06 Jun 17 - 11:03 AM
alex s 06 Jun 17 - 01:43 PM
Mooh 06 Jun 17 - 05:31 PM
Fossil 07 Jun 17 - 12:33 AM
Fossil 07 Jun 17 - 12:37 AM
Richard Bridge 07 Jun 17 - 05:21 PM
Merritt 08 Jun 17 - 11:04 AM
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Subject: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 08:06 AM

I would appreciate information on what would be a good 12 string in the low to medium price range. I am looking for the best tone,either vintage or new.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 08:15 AM

My spouse and I are pleased with the Taylor 355 12 string she got several years ago. The model is now discontinued. What we liked about it was the fact that it gave a nice background "wash" sound on our song arrangements. It wasn't over-powering. There are youtube clips of the guitar in action if you're interested. You can see them at our february sky website. No pressure/no guilt. (www.februarysky.com)


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 08:36 AM

EKO Ranger?


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 08:57 AM

I've heard that Rickenbacker make some quite good ones...


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: GUEST,mikeofnorthumbria (sans cookie)
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 09:13 AM

In the final analysis it all comes down to personal taste - you have to trust your own ears and fingers to tell you which is the best instrument for your needs.

Having said that, I'm very satisfied with the Washburn D10 SLE12 I bought almost a decade ago. Its sound - acoustic or amplified - is more than adequate, its action is very comfortable (with no buzz anywhere on the fingerboard) and its intonation is spot on all the way up the neck.

It cost me £UK200 - reduced from 300 in an end-of season sale - which is one of the best musical bargains I've ever made.

It would be interesting to hear more from luthiers or other guitar-savvy people about the special advantages and problems associated with 12-strings. In my experience, cheap 12-strings (other things being equal)sound considerably better than 6-strings in the same price-bracket.

Might this be because the jangle produced by the slight out-of-tuneness of each string pair produces a richer sound from the box, compensating in part for the cheaper woods and less meticulous construction techniques? Any other ideas out there?

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: alex s
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 09:53 AM

Takamine are pretty good. From £300+. I've had one for 37 years and it's been great.
Also Guild, a little dearer, from £450, but very good value.
Let us know how you get on.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 04:29 PM

You can't go wrong with a Yamaha.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: kendall
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 08:04 PM

Nick Apollonio in Rockport Maine made a 12 string for me in 1975. It is still my most prized guitar. Never had a bit of problem with it.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Jun 17 - 12:21 AM

lot of strings to change - i get tired just thinking about it.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: alex s
Date: 05 Jun 17 - 05:01 AM

Get a string winder that fits on a drill Big Al. Bzzzz. Sorted.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM

I've been reading a lot of positive comments about faith guitars...

but they are more medium to starting to get expensive price range.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: alex s
Date: 05 Jun 17 - 01:39 PM

I find Faiths to be good value and I've had 3. Still have 2. But I don't think Big Al will agree, although he was the first person I saw with one, which prompted me to buy them.
It's true, though, that prices are going up.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 05 Jun 17 - 05:40 PM

I have a Simon Patrick 12 string (around £500? new).
My mate has a Yamaha 12 string (around £175? new).
In my opinion, his geet beats the pants of mine.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: banjoman
Date: 06 Jun 17 - 06:45 AM

I have played several Washburn 12 strings over the years and always found them very playable. My current one I bought for £400 about 5 years ago. As well as a great electrics system and tuner, the action is lower than many of the 6 strings I own, including the Lakewood and the Taylor, both of which are fine guitars.
As said above, it really comes down to personal preference in the end


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: GUEST,Gilly
Date: 06 Jun 17 - 09:17 AM

I set out to buy one at Mansons in Exeter a few years ago and spent a lot of time playing every 12 they had. This included Guild - which had been what I'd fancied - and some very upmarket and pricey names. The one I kept going back to and eventually bought for just over £500 [with a hard case] was a Faith. It doesn't have the electrics but I am still very pleased with it, it's a lovely guitar. As banjoman says, try as many as you can and ultimately you will know what feels and sounds right to you. I'd also say that buying from a reputable dealer is important with a 12 string as the necks take a lot of strain and a guarantee can be significant.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Jun 17 - 09:37 AM

I heard more about Faith recently as Barnes and Mullins have reintroduced Shergold electric guitars.
Patrick Eggle is the key man behind both, and the overseas manufacture is tightly overseen by British supervision.
The Shergolds get a full setup by Eggles Crew here in the UK,
and I'd guess Faith does as well...???

..of course all that adds to the retail price...


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: GUEST,Saulgoldie
Date: 06 Jun 17 - 11:03 AM

First off, ignore Alex and don't just a string winder! Part of the "thrill" of owning a 12 is putting in a set of strings manually! And hand turning the keys is a spiritual intrinsic part of the experience!

As for "which one," did you have a price range in mind? Are you willing to go "sight unseen" like Fromm Elderly, ebay, or other online resource? I got a Yomamma, is it an FG460?--I always forget the exact model #. But I paid under $200USD, delivered. Now, it looks a little less than "perfect pretty." Just some light scratches and tarnished gold colored keys. But it sounds and plays great. Oh, and it came already mic-ed.

I have seen some nice Guild jumbos for closer to 'bout $900USD. The ones I have played sound pretty nice, too. And they are impressive looking, all big'an'blond like that. Also great sound, for a fair amount more money, but still not high high end production prices.

And I have an Alvarez lower end box that I got ina pawn shop for $125. I had to add Grover tuning keys, cause the ones came onit were shite. It is a 12 string, no doubt. But the sound to me seems kinda thin.

I hope this helps??

Saul


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: alex s
Date: 06 Jun 17 - 01:43 PM

Saul, my advice was directed at Big Al, the lazy bugger.
Enjoy your spiritual experience...


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Mooh
Date: 06 Jun 17 - 05:31 PM

I like the Seagull and related Simon & Patrick 12 strings. As others have observed, some Yamaha 12ers are nice, and a friend had a Taylor that was nice, another that knocked my socks off was a Larrivee.

Mine is a Beneteau that I've discussed here previously, awesome guitar.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Fossil
Date: 07 Jun 17 - 12:33 AM

Now that ColeClark guitars are available in the UK, find a dealer near you and make a special trip to play one or two. Not only are they brilliantly put together, made of all (sustainable) tone-woods, and beautiful looking, not needing excessive bling to look good, the 12's sound really special. And wonder of wonders, stay in tune!

Needless to say, I speak as a very happy owner of both a Fat Lady six-string AC2 and a 12-string, too. ColeClark's home designed electronics are a cut above the average as well, look up their website for details.

As to the various tone-wood options on offer, mine are both bunya/blackwood combinations, which sound lovely and mellow. If I had unlimited cash, I'd go for the redwood Angel model, but alas...

Worth a look, anyway - even if they are above your price level, you might get lucky!


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Fossil
Date: 07 Jun 17 - 12:37 AM

Sorry, I forgot the OP didn't indicate their location. ColeClarks are now sold in the USA as well as a lot of other places and they are well worth a look!


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jun 17 - 05:21 PM

The man said low to medium price range.

A Yamaha will always be workmanlike but only a few are better than that, and as you go back to the classic made in Japan red labels they get expensive and the actions iffy.

I have been very impressed with Seagulls, but it is wise to play before buying.

I had a godlike Mugen THE 78/12 - sweet and mellow, not that nasty jangly sound of so many 12s. I paid £300 and then had the frets stoned (they were like sea waves) and a setup and a Headway snake put in it. But it split both the inner and outer bridge plates and when the (also godlike) BRodgers put it back together the mellow had gone and it jangled. I gave it away.

I am aiming to get a Daion THE 82/12 sorted soon. I'm hoping it will give me some of that mellow back. Again I paid £300 and the same needs doing and some work on the finish too.

It should be possible to make each course play exactly in tune. This WILL need intonation for each string in the course. You will need a GOOD guitar fettler.

OTOH, the round-shouldered 12-string Washburn of the late Pete Hicks (also originally in the same price range) was louder than many banjos (buit about as subtle). A definite plus! I am not a Washburn fan - my D10 was the nastiest sound I ever owned, and I have heard others of the same model that sound worse.


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Subject: RE: What is the best 12 string to buy?
From: Merritt
Date: 08 Jun 17 - 11:04 AM

Assuming you haven't already purchased your 12-sgtring...

+1 "..it all comes down to personal taste"

Been playing a new Taylor 150e at my local shop. $750 with a soft case. Dreadnaught, sapele back & sides, solid Sitka top, ebony fretboard, 1 7/8" at the nut, Taylor Exprssion System electronics.

I do a mix of percussive fingerpicking, some slide and strumming + vocals over that often plugging in for gigs; for my style and budget this is about as nice a guitar as I've found. Am on the fence about purchase; I have the $$ but have purchased 12-strings in the past, not played much, and wound up selling a few months later. I gotta commit. (Also, I think I'm reaching >my< (YMMV) natural limit on guitars and need think about what I get rid of.)


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