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Bigzam12
10-10-2009, 09:38 PM
Hello,

I'v been looking into buying a twelve string guitar recently, and I found a Breedlove guitar that I really like, but I was upset when I figured out its back and sides are laminated. I would buy the all solid maple guild, but the Breedlove has a solid englemann spruce top.

I know that both of those brands are great guitars, and one isnt better then the other, they're just diffrent. My question is, would you get the solid maple tone out of a good laminate maple, even though its three sheets of wood glued together? Does it sound diffrent?

Thanks!

66strummer
10-10-2009, 10:16 PM
A lot of the overall tone rests in the top bracing and soundboard. I own a solid top/ laminate maple Washburn jumbo that sounds very nice. Would it sound better if it was all solid? It might, but I'll bet it wouldn't be a huge difference.

brian a.
10-10-2009, 10:22 PM
A lot of the overall tone rests in the top bracing and soundboard. I own a solid top/ laminate maple Washburn jumbo that sounds very nice. Would it sound better if it was all solid? It might, but I'll bet it wouldn't be a huge difference.

+1 for Ryan's comment.

Wadcutter
10-10-2009, 10:31 PM
I would venture to say that the average person if blind folded couldn't tell the difference in tone between a guitar with laminated B&S and one with solid wood B&S. The top is the major contributor to tone and would be my major point of focus in geetar acquisition.

SpruceTop
10-10-2009, 10:34 PM
Hello,

I'v been looking into buying a twelve string guitar recently, and I found a Breedlove guitar that I really like, but I was upset when I figured out its back and sides are laminated. I would buy the all solid maple guild, but the Breedlove has a solid englemann spruce top.

I know that both of those brands are great guitars, and one isnt better then the other, they're just diffrent. My question is, would you get the solid maple tone out of a good laminate maple, even though its three sheets of wood glued together? Does it sound diffrent?

Thanks!

I'd say not too different. Breedlove builds quality across their product line and for a 12-string, unless you're Pete Seeger, you'll most likely play the 12-banger sparingly, but with its laminated back-and-sides, it'll still sound very nice! I'd suggest getting a mid-level 12-string and see if you'll play it very much. For me, 12-strings are the most wonderful sound in the Universe--for about 20 minutes--but my fretting-hand tends to get tired and I begin to miss the punch and dynamics of a good six-string guitar real quick! Your mileage with a 12-cylinder tone engine may vary.

My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with.

Regards,

SpruceTop

66strummer
10-10-2009, 11:24 PM
I'd say not too different. Breedlove builds quality across their product line and for a 12-string, unless you're Pete Seeger, you'll most likely play the 12-banger sparingly, but with its laminated back-and-sides, it'll still sound very nice! I'd suggest getting a mid-level 12-string and see if you'll play it very much. For me, 12-strings are the most wonderful sound in the Universe--for about 20 minutes--but my fretting-hand tends to get tired and I begin to miss the punch and dynamics of a good six-string guitar real quick! Your mileage with a 12-cylinder tone engine may vary.

My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with.

Regards,

SpruceTop



Sounds like a good perspective and some very good advice there, SpruceTop.......

JackInTheGreen
10-10-2009, 11:31 PM
I've played Gibson 12 Strings for about 29yrs...I picked up a cut away Breedlove import at a GS store and played it for about 4 min......I went home a bought one on Ebay...The neck profile is amazing....My Luthier told me a story of a Classical Guitar builder that to prove a point, made a guitar with a proper solid wood top, and the back and sides of "Papier Mache'e".....Enjoy

Wade Hampton
10-10-2009, 11:32 PM
My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with.

I agree.

What all-solid woods for the back and sides will give you over laminated back and sides is more "warmth" and a bit more resonance. But those qualities, ironically enough, can actually get in the way in a 12 string.

12 strings basically give you too much of everything, and clarity can be a problem as a result.

You already know you like the sound of this inexpensive Breedlove, and that right there ought to be your guide above all else when selecting a guitar.

I sure wouldn't let the supposedly "lesser quality" of laminated sides and back stop me from buying a guitar.

I've put my money where my mouth is on this, by the way. I own some very fine, very high dollar musical instruments, including several custom made guitars. If I wanted to, I could put the money aside and get any 12 string guitar I wanted.

But the one I chose and the one I own and play is a Seagull 12 string, with a solid cedar top and, yes, laminated cherry back and sides.

It sounds better than some all-solid wood 12 strings that I tried out that cost three and four times the price.

I'm not a big fan of laminated woods in 6 string guitars, but 12 strings operate in a slightly different way, and laminates on the backs and sides actually help the clarity and projection, in my opinion.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller

Michael T
10-11-2009, 04:17 AM
I tried a couple Laminated cherry Breedlove during my hunt too, nice guitars and I do like the Breedlove style. I ended up with a Mahogany B/S Larrivee primarily for the tone. The separation was clean and the punch was signifcantly better to my old ears. I also liked the neck better, but I already had a 6 string Larry, so that may be attributed to familliarity. I originally went looking for a Breedlove Classic Xll ebony, but the Larry couldn't be resisted at less than 1/2 the price.

wgnorman
10-11-2009, 04:52 AM
Hello,

I'v been looking into buying a twelve string guitar recently, and I found a Breedlove guitar that I really like

If you really like it, then who cares about the back/side construction material?...IMHO, you are worrying too much about what folks say about solid vs laminate construction - as some have already pointed out, there are probably very few people that could ever distinguish a sound difference between back/sides laminate vs solid - if you like the guitar - go for it.:)

Kitchen Guitars
10-11-2009, 10:11 AM
I attended a Collings gathering. Bill was asked "when will you build a 12 string"
He said never. The Collings overtones would be overbearing, buy a laminate Yamaha for a good 12 string. His words!

Huckleberry
10-11-2009, 10:28 AM
Play them both and buy the one you like the sound of. I don't much care how a guitar is built or what it's made of so long as it sounds good and feels good to play.

I used to own a few Martins, including HD-28 and D16GT. The one I held onto the longest was an HPL DX1R because it sounded great and, bang for the buck, the best guitar I've ever owned.

gary0319
10-11-2009, 10:52 AM
My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with


I agree with Spruce Tree

My two love affairs with 12 strings lasted about 6 mos. each, and selling them took longer than the love affairs.

Gary

devellis
10-11-2009, 11:49 AM
I think I'm with Gary and Spruce Tree on this one. The first guitar I bought, about a million years ago, was a 12-string and I have a nostalgic attachment to the idea of a twelver. But when I've picked them up recently and played them, I find myself wondering if I'd really get much utility from one. Back when I had the 12-string, I was primarily a strummer, a style that made good use of the 12-string's virtues. Now, I mostly flatpick and a 12-string doesn't do that very well. For one thing, upstrokes and downstrokes sound different on the octave-strung pairs, and that's typically not good for flatpicking. Triplets don't sound like triplets anymore. Pick direction can't be determined primarily by what works best mechanically and the differences in sound have to be taken into consideration. That makes everything harder.

If I ever get back into strumming or fingerpicking, I might be tempted to get another 12-string. But for what I'm playing these days, it would just be a novelty that wears pretty thin pretty fast. In the right hands, playing the right stuff, I still love the voice of a good 12-string but I just don't think it would be a good choice for me. No doubt, I'll continue to admire some of the beautiful ones out there, though. They definitely have a certain pull for me.

Tunes
10-11-2009, 12:05 PM
Mr. Big,

I'd personally give the nod to a Guild 12 string, there are many models with spruce tops. The Guild F-212 has a spruce top, the JF-30 has a spruce top, the F-412 has a spruce top - and so on.

There are several of these on ebay today at VERY cheap prices. The Westerly U.S.A. built Guilds are among, if not THE best production 12 strings every made, IMHO. They are still highly sought after and played by the best players in the industry.

And they are solid wood.

Glennwillow
10-11-2009, 12:13 PM
I attended a Collings gathering. Bill was asked "when will you build a 12 string"
He said never. The Collings overtones would be overbearing, buy a laminate Yamaha for a good 12 string. His words!
Whoa! That's an interesting comment!

My feeling about the Breedlove 12-string is that if you like the sound and playability, what else matters? From my viewpoint, if laminated B/S produce the sound you want, the structural stability is a bonus.

Regards, Glenn

Bigzam12
10-11-2009, 04:31 PM
I guess it bothers me because its not really alot cheaper to use laminate then it is solid wood. I'm sure theres a reason why they use it, that im not aware of. Back and side sets cost $300, and to get that solid on a guitar, costs like $1500. Most of that cost is in time I guess, but would it be really harder to use a solid piece of wood over laminate? I'll probably just end up getting the Breedlove. Taylor makes a all solid version, thats almost the same, but its $2000 more. I really dont understand why its so much more if the wood dosent cost much to begin with. I have nothing against laminate, I guess I just like wood alot.

66strummer
10-11-2009, 04:38 PM
If you really like it, then who cares about the back/side construction material?...IMHO, you are worrying too much about what folks say about solid vs laminate construction - as some have already pointed out, there are probably very few people that could ever distinguish a sound difference between back/sides laminate vs solid - if you like the guitar - go for it.:)


Absolutely agree......

I've played laminated guitars that blew away solid wood ones more than once. My 2 laminated Blueridges get lots of playing time. I love em. Meanwhile I have a beautiful looking all-solid Recording King (sight unseen purchase)that was a tonal disappointment and never gets played. It's been up for sale once so far to no avail.

brian a.
10-11-2009, 04:52 PM
Taylor makes a all solid version, thats almost the same, but its $2000 more.

Check out the Taylor GA3-12 and 354ce. They cost less than you think.

http://www.taylorguitars.com/Guitars/Acoustic/12-String/GA3-12/

http://www.taylorguitars.com/Guitars/Acoustic-Electric/12-String/

Also look for a used model and save even more.

Bigzam12
10-11-2009, 05:49 PM
I thought about that, but I have a Taylor 314ce, so I dont really want another sapele guitar, even though mine is a six string. I also have a Seagull S6 thats laminate, and I love it, but they dont make all solid wild cherry guitars, so I cant tell if there would be a sound diffrence with all solid wood or not.

I really dont think I could hear any diffrence, and its like 1/3rd the price, but If I could afford solid wood, and if they make it, id like it. So solid wood might sound a little open up? I guess you still get the wood tone even from laminate? I hope im not asking too many questions, I just would like to better understand this lol. Thanks for everyones input!

bshpmark
10-11-2009, 06:16 PM
I have an Alvarez RD20S12 that has a solid spruce top and laminate mahogany back and sides. It sounds awesome as far as I am concerned. I have played solid wood 12 strings that did not sound as good.

franchelB
10-11-2009, 06:54 PM
I bought my Taylor 355CE simply because "it's a Taylor" and I had the money to buy one.
But I have a friend who plays a Seagull S12 that I THINK sounds as good as my Taylor.

Tunes
10-11-2009, 07:02 PM
Guild 12 string - Guild 12 string - Guild 12 string - really they deserve WAY way more attention.

Stevie Ray Vaughn's choice, Roger Waters choice, Slash's choice ...

From Acoustic Guitar magazine .... " Ever since their introduction in the early ’60s, Guild’s jumbo 12-strings have been the standard against which other guitars are compared."

I could go on ... go for a Guild.

wcap
10-11-2009, 07:02 PM
...... I own some very fine, very high dollar musical instruments, including several custom made guitars. If I wanted to, I could put the money aside and get any 12 string guitar I wanted.

But the one I chose and the one I own and play is a Seagull 12 string, with a solid cedar top and, yes, laminated cherry back and sides.

It sounds better than some all-solid wood 12 strings that I tried out that cost three and four times the price.......

This is encouraging for me. After a rather extravagant late summer and Fall episode of guitar shopping, I have sort of figured that it would be hard to justify yet another guitar anytime soon, and my idea of getting a 12-string at some point was seeming like something I could not justify financially (especially if it was in the same price range as my new Martins).

But Seagulls tend to be pretty affordable (as guitars go), and every Seagull I have tried out has impressed me. I can easily see one of these following me home someday.

My big concern is whether I would have enough time to really develop my playing of yet another sort of guitar to the point of justifying having it. Some of my fingerstyle stuff sounds magical (at least at first, in the guitar store) on a 12 string, but I fear the novelty would wear off unless I became a bit more inspired about how to actually make good use of a 12 string's capabilities.


(And in reference to the post immediately above - I've been pretty impressed by the Guild 12-strings I have played - I guess some of the used ones were not too expensive either).

Wade Hampton
10-11-2009, 07:27 PM
Guild 12 strings are indeed the standard by which other 12 strings are judged, but in all fairness Taylor and Breedlove 12 strings are also highly regarded.

Interestingly, although they lead the pack in most other types of steel string acoustics, Martin 12 strings have traditionally been considered almost as "also-rans," even though some of them can be very fine instruments. But Martin 12 strings have never been particularly sought-after by serious 12 string players.

Martin has recently come out with a 17 inch jumbo 12 string, and I'd be interested to get my hands on one of those. But the Martin 12 strings I've liked the most, interestingly enough, have been the all-mahogany J-15-12's I've run across. Another less expensive Martin 12 string with good sound is the one with the formica back and sides but the solid spruce top, which I believe is designated as the D-X1-12, or something like that.

And, yeah, Wcap, you should look around and try out some Seagull 12 strings before you automatically spend a lot more money. I got mine off Craigslist for next to nothing, and it serves the purpose beautifully.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller

RP
10-11-2009, 08:28 PM
I would venture to say that the average person if blind folded couldn't tell the difference in tone between a guitar with laminated B&S and one with solid wood B&S. The top is the major contributor to tone and would be my major point of focus in geetar acquisition.

If you really like it, then who cares about the back/side construction material?...IMHO, you are worrying too much about what folks say about solid vs laminate construction - as some have already pointed out, there are probably very few people that could ever distinguish a sound difference between back/sides laminate vs solid - if you like the guitar - go for it.:)

True dat....

SpruceTop
10-12-2009, 02:33 PM
I bought my Taylor 355CE simply because "it's a Taylor" and I had the money to buy one.
But I have a friend who plays a Seagull S12 that I THINK sounds as good as my Taylor.

Dude! I Love Your Honesty!:up:

Regards,

SpruceTop

SpruceTop
10-12-2009, 02:42 PM
Guild 12 string - Guild 12 string - Guild 12 string - really they deserve WAY way more attention.

Stevie Ray Vaughn's choice, Roger Waters choice, Slash's choice ...

From Acoustic Guitar magazine .... " Ever since their introduction in the early ’60s, Guild’s jumbo 12-strings have been the standard against which other guitars are compared."

I could go on ... go for a Guild.

I'm not disputing anything you've written and agree to some extent but haven't Taylor 12-strings gained an excellent reputation as having a wonderful tone but with a playability that surpasses Guild's? John Denver, the Mr. Guild Of The 12-String Guitar, switched from Guild 12s to Taylor 12s and supposedly Taylor doesn't pay players to play their brand. Neil Young still plays his late 1980s Taylor 12.

Regards,

SpruceTop

Glennwillow
10-12-2009, 03:46 PM
I'm not disputing anything you've written and agree to some extent but haven't Taylor 12-strings gained an excellent reputation as having a wonderful tone but with a playability that surpasses Guild's? John Denver, the Mr. Guild Of The 12-String Guitar, switched from Guild 12s to Taylor 12s and supposedly Taylor doesn't pay players to play their brand. Neil Young still plays his late 1980s Taylor 12.

Regards,

SpruceTop
Taylor has, indeed, developed an excellent reputation for 12-strings. I would say that if Leo Kottke is happy with his LKSM Taylor, that speaks volumes about Taylor. And I have heard Leo play his version of the Taylor 12-string 3 times and every time I left the hall impressed.

I don't own a Taylor 12-string, but every time I hear Leo Kottke, I start thinking about it.

- Glenn

oldandintheway
10-12-2009, 05:38 PM
I picked up a new Alvarez 12 string a couple of months ago with a lifetime warranty. It cost $300! It plays like a dream, stays in tune and is great fun
for playing a lot of 60's stuff. It has a solid top and laminated back and sides
(model AD60S12). I compared it to a new Taylor and a decent Guild. It sounds better in some ways and equal in others. Build quality is fine and the intonation is excellent. I like to play it tuned down a step just to match my lousy voice! I have owned several Martins with laminated backs and/or sides and they all have the Martin sound. Just my take.

D-28, OM-18V, 00-15, Gibson 5 string, Alvarez 12, assorted mandolins, ukes, etc..