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Thinking of adding a 12 string......

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I have three 6 "steel" string acoustic guitars: A Martin D-16a, a Seagull Maritime SWS Q1, and a Takamine EF340SCGN. The Martin is an acoustic, the latter two are acoustic-electrics. I like them all equally, but the Martin and the Takamine seem to have the best "quality", although honestly there is not that much difference in my novice opinion. The price for these three was between about $600-$2000, but the Seagull was bought used. So I suppose these are mid to high-mid priced guitars.

I like the feel of quality and of course the sound of them, but I'm thinking of getting a 12 string, acoustic or acoustic electric. I have been looking around, not too seriously, at 12 strings in the $500 to $800 range, and have not seen a lot that grabs me, but then my wants are pretty narrow: I want a sunburst, semi or gloss finish, dreadnaught size, and solid wood top. I have picked up one or two 12 strings at the Guitar Center and it's apparent I will have to spend at least 500 USD.

My problem is the only guitar that looks right to me is Guild 12 stringer, a D-125-12. I have not seen one in person, so I am going just by photos. I'm trying to understand why this guitar, which is solid wood (Mahogany) is "so inexpensive". I know Guild makes terrific guitars, and I've played one or two 6 stirngs in the target price range. Prices for the D-125 are around $500-$600. I know some do not prefer mahagany, but I've played a 6 string acoustic-electric once and the tone seemed pleasant enough to me. The Taks in my price range are Jumbo size, which I'd rather avoid for now....the Seagull S12 Coastline is a nice guitar, but I'd rather have a different finish, something a little "flashier" like my Maritime SWS has. Martin makes nothing in my price range with my wants.

I know 12 strings have issues with necks and such, but I really don't know for what to look. I had a less expensive Alvarez 12 sting a few years back with a bit of a bow in the neck, but I never tried to repair or adjust it, just sold it. If I have to spand $1000 for a 12 stringer with good construction I will, eventually, but do I really have to do that? I'm looking for one with the same quality as my curent 6 strings.

Any ideas? Or suggestions?

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GotDeeBlues    3

There are 3 Alvarez Yairi 12 strings on E-Bay now. I have had a Yairi 6 string DY74C since '85(it's an '82) with no construction problems. Yairi family is known for quality instuments and I found mine as good as, if not better than my Martin OOOM.

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There are 3 Alvarez Yairi 12 strings on E-Bay now. I have had a Yairi 6 string DY74C since '85(it's an '82) with no construction problems. Yairi family is known for quality instuments and I found mine as good as, if not better than my Martin OOOM.

Thanks for that suggestion. Their prices don't seem out of line with their quality and what I'd want to spend. I may put a bid in on the second one that popped up on my search. I have never gotten a guitar through eBay, but it looks attractive when the seller has a 100% approval rating. I have gotten a ton of stuff on eBay before, just no guitars.

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eddiez152    129

Good luck in your search. I have a 1970's Guild 12 all blonde maple. I suppose this is the one most folks are familiar with. I also have a Breedlove 12. I like the Breedlove a bit more because it has a thinner neck. These old fingers need a slightly smaller neck. They both sound very nice but the guild has a deeper tone because it has a larger body. Pretty much like the one John Denver played.

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Good luck in your search. I have a 1970's Guild 12 all blonde maple. I suppose this is the one most folks are familiar with. I also have a Breedlove 12. I like the Breedlove a bit more because it has a thinner neck. These old fingers need a slightly smaller neck. They both sound very nice but the guild has a deeper tone because it has a larger body. Pretty much like the one John Denver played.

Thanks. I am still search, researching, and trying to make a decision. I need to find examples of these to play.....the only 12 string I've owned was a Alvarez - and it sounded fine but was not too easy to play. I have small hands. I've heard the Taylor might be the easiet to play, but their prices are nuts! I really want to find a Takamine, Guild, Yari-Alverez and Seagul to try. I have a Seagull Maritime 6 string and it's fine, and a Tak EF340SCGN that is even better. I am thinking of maybe trading my Marin D-16a for something at the local Guitar Center, but that can be iffy - I will not take much of a cut. That guitar has nearly doubled in price since I got it a few years ago. I rarely play it, and it's never been outside my house - I'm concerned I might ding it! <g> So trading it might be okay if I can get a decent trade-in value for it. The local Guitar Center only has a couple of 12 strings on hand, and I need to play something before I purchase.

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shonie777    3

I'm a 12 string junkie. I love them and have 2 acoustics and 2 electric 12 string guitars. I'm always playing around with the 12 strings at Guitar center when I go there. I have tried quite a few 12 string Taylors, Taks, Guilds, Martins and Gibsons when I have gone there. All were quite nice and all of them had different sound qualities between them and especially the price. When I'm looking for a guitar, wether I'm paying cash or financing one I, always look for one that I really like and can finacially afford.

Now I know that Martin makes a lower-end 12 string and I believe it's made in Mexico or China, but it's not a bad sounding 12. However, I tried out a Mitchell 12 string that was right next to it and it sounded way way better than the Martin. Well in my opinion it did. This 12 string was less than $300 and the sound was up there with the more higher-end 12 strings. I couldn't believe this cheap (low priced) guitar sounded so good. The action was fantastic, perfect neck (for me), very well built and it looked really nice. For the price, you couldn't beat it.

I have also tried out a number of Seagull S-12's. These are very nice guitars, well built and sound reall bright. Also moderately priced. I have an older model Seagull S-12 (1989) and I love the thing! It's awesome! By the way, the S-12 has a bolt-on neck.

I also have a '97 Alvarez 2551 12 String Silver Anniversary. I love the sound and look of this guitar, it's got a deeper sound than any other 12 string I have ever played, it sounds very unique in comparision to other 12 strings out there. I bought this used and had a number of issues with it when I first bought it. For the amount of money I have put into this guitar, I could have bought a really nice Martin or Taylor, but I love this guitar and no other 12 string out there sounds like this one does. It's a rock solid guitar now and I wouldn't trade for anything.

If I were to buy another acoustic 12 string, I'd prolly get the Mitchell. Not just because of the price but because it sounds great and feels good in my hands. But we all are different when it comes to our guitars. The best thing to do, that is always stated here is to: "try out as many guitars as you can and find the one that suits you."

Best of luck to you in your quest of finding your dream 12 string.

Shonie

My acoustic 12 strings:

1997 Alvarez 2551 ROSEWOOD - dreadnaught style, solid spruce top, round soundhole, 5 stripe bound body, abalone rosette, rosewood back/sides, mahogany neck, 14/20 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl diamond inlay, rosewood bridge with white black dot pins, rosewood veneer on bound peghead with Silver Anniversary inlay, 3 per side chrome tuners.

Note: I had the bridge replaced on this. It now has a custom made ebony bridge. The original one took a major dump on me. Nearly made me cry.

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1989 Seagull S-12: Laminated wild cherry body, a mahogany neck, and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

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shonie777    3

Good luck in your search. I have a 1970's Guild 12 all blonde maple. I suppose this is the one most folks are familiar with. I also have a Breedlove 12. I like the Breedlove a bit more because it has a thinner neck. These old fingers need a slightly smaller neck. They both sound very nice but the guild has a deeper tone because it has a larger body. Pretty much like the one John Denver played.

Sweet Twelvers Eddie!!!!

Shonie

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Very good info, I appreciate that, and with the gorgeous pictures! One thing I want is a sunburst finish, but it's tough. I also prefer the dread size over the jumbo. Closest I've seen (not played) is the Takamine EG523 HB model. It's in my price range, but I don't care so much for the jumbo size. I DO need to play one! I have seen the Mitchell guitars before, but never tried one, 6 or 12 string. My take on the less expensive guitars is that one might be very good, but the next of the same make/model might be totally different. Sorta like inexpensive wines. <g>

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shonie777    3

Very good info, I appreciate that, and with the gorgeous pictures! One thing I want is a sunburst finish, but it's tough. I also prefer the dread size over the jumbo. Closest I've seen (not played) is the Takamine EG523 HB model. It's in my price range, but I don't care so much for the jumbo size. I DO need to play one! I have seen the Mitchell guitars before, but never tried one, 6 or 12 string. My take on the less expensive guitars is that one might be very good, but the next of the same make/model might be totally different. Sorta like inexpensive wines. <g>

That is very true about the less expensive guitars. But GC carries a pretty good stock of them, so I'm sure they would grab another or a few more from the back to let you decide which one you would want. Their job is to sell, so it may be a bit of an inconvienence and maybe even annoying for them to grab a few more from the back for you to try out, but in the end....the customer is always right and first priority.

I don't know if this goes for all GC's but, I know the guys really well at the GC where I go (Phoenix, AZ-Metrocenter) regularly and they have always gone out of their way to accomodate my wants and needs. And another thing, never pay the sticker price they are asking for the guitar you want, even the less expensive ones. You will ALWAYS get a discounted price on the guitar you want. If not a discount, they will always throw in a freebie or two into your purchase. This goes the same for online GC purchases. Just call them up and haggle.

In all the time I have been buying from GC, I have always walked away with my purchases very very happy.

I hope this helps you a bit more in your search.

Shonie

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............

In all the time I have been buying from GC, I have always walked away with my purchases very very happy.

I hope this helps you a bit more in your search.

Shonie

Me also. I think I'ev bought 4 or 5 guitars there in the past 2-3 years! <g> I trade or sell a lot.

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