The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #46  
Old 01-15-2017, 10:04 PM
martingitdave's Avatar
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 7,827
Default 12 String Guitars - Your Thoughts, Experiences, & the Stories Behind Them

You can get a few solid wood Asian made 12 strings from Yamaha and Guild for under $1,000. They sound and play great. I spent too much on mine, but it really grabbed my by the neck and made me buy it. If I had to start over, I might go for a Guild F512 or a Martin D35-12. In the meantime, Taylor makes a heck of an easy playing and good sounding 12 string.

As far as my 12 string stories, mine started in 10th grade. We had moved to a new town and my twin brother and I started at a new school. The first friend I made was in the same boat. He had moved from another state. His dad was a Merchant Marine and was away most of the time. So, he'd give him special gifts to remember him by. Evidently, open of those was a 12-string Yamaha FG. I remember the guitar being so hard to tune and play. It was before the availability of electronic tuners.

While the other kids were listening to current pop music, my friend and I had somewhat eclectic taste. My friend didn't know how to play guitar. My dad played guitar, and had taught me a few chords. I remember playing those chords in my friend's bedroom singing Elvis songs, which was his Dad's (and my friend's by proxy) favorite music. His father died tragically a few years later, a sad event that affected all of us at the time.

As an adult I decided to purchase a 12-string to do more "enveloping" accompaniment. This was about 5 years ago. I had not developed G.A.S, and I was still playing the same repaired Larrivee D09 I bought after graduation.

At the time, I didn't want to spend much money on a 12 string, so I purchased a new Epiphone $200 12-string from Amazon. You get what you pay for, and it was returned. I then decided to get the Yamaha FG720-12 on Craig's list, which was a big improvement, but also sounded like a $300 guitar. Next, I traded up to the Yamaha LL16-12. This was a great guitar! I played several open mics and performances with this guitar. It's also the guitar I used on the only performance my daughter ever sang with me on stage. She was really good. (I'm still trying to keep her interested in music and share her beautiful voice with the world). This guitar was a keeper.

That is, until I played my first EVER Taylor guitar. It was the newly redesigned 856ce. (It's amazing it was only a few years ago that I had never laid hands on a proper Martin or Taylor guitar.) Well, as you can imagine the tone and playability were comparatively amazing. Then, I looked at the price. $3,600! I'd never paid more than $1600 for a guitar, and that was my ONLY guitar. I came back to play that guitar every week for a few months. Then, one day I came in to play it and it had gotten a noticeable dent near the tail piece. The salesman said, "you've been wanting that guitar for a while. Well, some kid put a dent in it, and I need to sell it scratch and dent. Make me an offer." I went home with it, sold the Yamaha, and became a Taylor fan. I played that guitar fairly exclusively for a year and a half. I've bought and sold about 8 Taylors since then.

I didn't know it at the time, but in late 2014 I damaged my hearing. Evidently, It was happening slowly, but I now recall some inner ear pain, distortion and severe ringing after some event. The ringing, and associated hearing loss, never went away.

So, I spent 2015 and 2016 obsessively buying and selling guitars because the tone was unsatisfying. Sad and frustrating. That included the 856ce. I replaced it with the big new Taylor 858e. The new Taylor is lovely, but now with hearing aids, I realize that the previous one was good too. Same for the 7, or so, 6 strings I went through at the time, including a beautiful matching Taylor 816ce, and Martin CS-11-35, which I should not have sold. Doh.

Now, I play my 12 string at home, and occasionally for an audience. I intend to work it into a larger cadre of songs I do. I'm getting my PA setup for multiple guitars, to facilitate switching. I'm probably fantasizing about the John Denver shows I watched on TV with him playing two (sometimes matching) guitars solo on stage. What a talent and a showman! He was also taken from us too soon.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
"Lift your head and smile at trouble. You'll find happiness someday."

Last edited by martingitdave; 01-16-2017 at 07:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 01-16-2017, 06:51 AM
gfspencer gfspencer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 762
Default

In the 80's I was an Army Chaplain and when they assigned me to Germany it was too much of a hassle to take my D-28 with me. When I finally got settled in I realized that I missed my guitar so I went out on the economy and found a 12-string Lowden. That was the start of my love affair with 12-string guitars. I have five now . . . six if I include the Lowden . . . which has seen better days.
__________________
Martin D-21 Special / Martin 0-18 / Martin CEO-7 / Martin D-18SS / Martin D-28 (1952) / Martin D-28SS Custom Amazon Rosewood / Martin D-35 (1969) / Martin D12-28 / Martin D12-35 50th Anniversary / Martin Grand J12-16GTE / Martin Pete Seeger J12SO! Baritone
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 01-16-2017, 10:40 AM
mkitman mkitman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Philly 'burbs
Posts: 879
Default

I actually play my 12 strings about 40-45% of the time. I love going back & forth between the 12s & 6s...
__________________
2017 Taylor T5z Classic
2016 Taylor K62ce 12 Fret LTD Koa S.E.
2015 Taylor 914ce First Edition
2014 Taylor 812ce 12 fret First Edition
2014 Taylor 324ce FLTD Koa
2009 Taylor 954ce 12 string
1966 Gretsch Country Gentleman
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 01-16-2017, 06:10 PM
rmoretti49 rmoretti49 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 483
Default

I bought my first 12 string in 1981, after finishing a 5 month training stint on active duty with the National Guard. It was a Guild D212, which I still own. At that time, I had been a 6 string player for close to a decade, and had been hanging around the Old Town School of Folk Music. After hearing Bob Gibson perform on his 12 string a few times, I was taken by the bug. Plus, I just wanted a bit of a reward after my experience with the Army.

Playing a 12 string was unusual enough at that time, that I felt a little special doing so. I found audiences were very positively reactive to a big song played on a 12 string. After learning to Travis pick on the 12, I was now a lifelong 12-string player. I play my 12's at least 40% of the time.
__________________

RM
-----------------------------------------------------

Taylor 856, Taylor GC7, Guild D212, Larrivee OM3, Eastman E20 OM, Farida OT22w, Takamine F360S ('78), Pono 0-15 mango, Journey OF-660, Recording King RP-06, Sigma DM3Y.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 01-16-2017, 08:55 PM
urobouros urobouros is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 175
Default

I found my Taylor 354 on Reverb after my wife gave me the green light to be Ron a chunk of change on a new ax for my 40th. I've always been a blues fiend but was also on a hardcore Tom Petty binge. I put in what I felt was a lowball offer from which to negotiate and the seller countered with less that I had planned on settling! I've had mixed results buying online but there were enough clear shots to roll the dice. When it finally warmed up enough to unbox, I tuned it up and promptly popped the third string. A brief muttered could rise and off to the shop she went for a setup. When I finally got her back from the shop I was FLOORED!! Not to say I can make her sing perfectly but **** the tone was exactly what I had "envisioned"/hoped for 👍 I'll play anything and everything on my 12 until my fingers hurt! Aside from loving the sound of a 12, I view it as training both for my callouses and my left hand muscles
__________________
1996 Taylor 814c
2002 Taylor 354ce LTD
2012 Santa Cruz D/PW
1962 Gibson LG-0
1951 Gibson ES-125
And a few other electrics...

"Yesterday is history and tomorrow, a mystery but today is a gift. That's why we call it the present." - Babatunde Olatunji
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 01-17-2017, 01:00 PM
Marco Polo Marco Polo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: SE PA
Posts: 148
Default

I bought my first 12 string in the mid-90s because I really love Pick Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and wanted to play it 'the right way'. I fell in love with the 'full' sound of a 12-string and learned a couple songs. I enjoyed playing it probably 10% of the time (I also had a Yamaha 6-string acoustic at the time). However, the guitar was hard to play and I struggled with it (the action was terrible). I thought it was my inexperienced playing so I struggled through playing it. As I'm self-taught, I had no guidance from anyone regarding guitar quality or proper set-ups...a much different world from today with the advent of the information age.

Several years later, got married...had kids...guitar playing took a sabbatical for about 10 years. A couple years ago I revisited the guitar as I do really enjoy making (and feeling) music. Taking the 12-string out of it's case for the first time in a decade, it was still a bear to play. Now, however I have the internet and I looked for possible corrections. I sanded the bridge and learned about truss rod adjustment. When done, the guitar became much more 'player friendly' but was still NOTHING like my Taylor 110e I bought new in 2009. However, since playability was better, I began to learn new songs and would play it maybe 15%-20% of the time.

In early 2016 I decided to treat myself to a higher-end guitar. After trying several guitars, the Taylor brand still felt best in my hands and I enjoyed the rosewood tone. I bought a used 2013 816ce. I love this guitar. Then comes the Taylor Road Show a couple months later. I attended and was able to sample the guitars present. I was still very happy with my 816ce after playing all the new 800 series...until that darn BTO came into my hands (with the 'very large' price tag). This guitar...wow...it played great, smelled great, sounded fantastic, and looked stunning. Everything about it was...well, just WOW! I asked the reps what it was and they told me...that's cocobolo...it's like rosewood on steroids. They were right. This guitar was speaking volumes to me (pun intended). There was no way I could take that guitar home with me that evening, especially with the 816ce purchase made just months prior. Divorce is more expensive.

After that night, I became 'cuckoo for cocobolo'. I got GAS...really, really bad GAS. I began to devise a plan to sell my 816ce and find a 2008 fall or 2012 spring limited GA/GS. The problem was both my wife and I liked the sound of the 816ce (she said the 110e sounded too 'thin') and I had only just purchased it a couple months prior. What to do? Two (expensive) 6-strings are not an option for me. Then by the grace of God, a cocobolo PS56ce came up for sale. This was THE perfect opportunity! I was able to satisfy the cocobolo GAS pains and justify the replacement of the Fender 12-string that gave me hand cramps. I didn't need to sell the 816ce because that was my main 6-string and now the PS56ce becomes my main 12-string. In my opinion, it is the 'ultimate' 12-string and will be my guitar for life.

So for the past several months, it's been 60%-65% 12-string enjoyment for me and I've been continually challenging myself by learning new songs.

Does anyone want to buy a 1996 Fender DG-30-12?

__________________
Marco
1975 Gibson L6 midnight special electric
2013 Taylor 816ce Sitka/East Indian Rosewood
2013 Taylor PS56ce Sitka/Cocobolo 12-string
2017 Taylor 150e Sitka/Walnut laminate 12-string

Guitars Front | Guitars Back
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 01-17-2017, 01:09 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 10,228
Default

That's stunning Marco.
Beautiful guitar.
__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 01-17-2017, 01:27 PM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 4,467
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Buck View Post
They are fun for a while, but you have to ask yourself how often will you use it and what else could you buy instead. I'll admit that listening to them in capable hands can precipitate a GAS attack.
^^Truth. Wanted one, bought one, had a lovely honeymoon, and then it sat unused for months.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 01-17-2017, 03:14 PM
adams484 adams484 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Back woods Alabama
Posts: 1
Default I still have one and I am about to resurrect it this week.

When I was a kid when the dinosaurs roamed the earth my second acoustic was a Harmony 12 string. It sounded wonderful but you had to stand on the strings to fret it. I traded it for a mandolin to a girl in Kansas who played the violin. But that sound always stuck with me. So a few years later the very first guitar I ever bought new was this Alvarez 12 string. I got it from a music shop I frequented in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

For years it was the only guitar I played. I had bought a hard shell case for it and glad I did as one evening while bar hopping I looked in the rear view mirror of my van to see a 180 lb girl standing on the case in my van. Heart attack!!! Brakes and inspection. Dam you can't beat a good hard shell! Sorry I am digressing a little but I wanted you all to know how long this guitar has been with me. The stories it could tell would entertain you for hours I imagine.

Well the new bone nut and saddle are arriving today on UPS and I already have the new set of strings for it. So I will be letting off the truss rod and replacing the nut and saddle and doing a setup from scratch on it in the next few days. But it will never be the best guitar I have or have had because it has this fancy rosewood back and it never sounded as good as the cheap mahogany Harmony but it is an old friend and does play well when setup properly. As a matter of fact it is the reason I only buy mahogany dreadnoughts anymore.

Moral of the story... If I had known how to do a good setup when I had that old cheap Harmony I would still have it and be playing it. But a friend is still a friend 6 string or 12.

Last edited by adams484; 01-17-2017 at 03:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 01-17-2017, 04:37 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 10,228
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
Wanted one, bought one, had a lovely honeymoon, and then it sat unused for months.
Can I ask what is was Willie?
__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 01-17-2017, 05:56 PM
JeffreyAK's Avatar
JeffreyAK JeffreyAK is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 721
Default

I love 12-strings, and I play mine about half my acoustic guitar playing time, which is about half the total (most of the rest is electric, the remainder is mandolin, I rarely play bass). I'm very much looking forward to my soon-to-be-finished Tonedevil S18 12-string harp guitar, 12+6, that I'll keep in a different tuning than my Taylor 456ce. 12-strings respond very well to my hybrid playing style, flatpick plus 2.5 fingers (two normally, sometimes I'll include my right pinkie).

Before I got my Taylor, I had a Fender F330-12 for 30 years, bought new. Before that I had a Penco 12, going back to the early 80's, that I resurrected after fixing the bridge that had pulled off the top. I hauled the Penco around to campsites and a couple Rainbow Gatherings before giving it to my girlfriend when I bought the Fender, and the Fender spent a lot of time at Renaissance Faires and got played at Irish gigs in the mid 90's.
__________________
'17 Tonedevil S-18 harp guitar
'15 Taylor 456ce 12-string FOR SALE!
'16 Tonedevil S-12 harp guitar
'79 Fender Stratocaster hardtail with righteous new Warmoth neck
'82 Fender Musicmaster bass
'15 Breedlove Premier OF mandolin
Marshall JVM210c amp plus a bunch of stompboxes and misc. gear
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 01-17-2017, 07:31 PM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 4,467
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucebubs View Post
Can I ask what is was Willie?
A Martin I bought new in 1996 or 1997. Can't remember the model number -- maybe a D-12-1 -- nothing exotic or super expensive.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 01-17-2017, 08:02 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 10,228
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
A Martin I bought new in 1996 or 1997. Can't remember the model number -- maybe a D-12-1 -- nothing exotic or super expensive.
Certainly not one of the many cheaper, treble-dominated, chimey, jangly, over bright 12-string guitars that seem to occupy the lower end of the market -the guitars that many players buy to 'try out' 12-string guitar but quickly grow tired of and abandon and tarnishes the whole 12-string experience - as so often happens.
As with some things 'if it ain't meant to be then it just ain't meant to be' but I wonder if your interest might be renewed if you played a higher end model just to experience the difference?
__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 01-18-2017, 07:54 AM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 4,467
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucebubs View Post
I wonder if your interest might be renewed if you played a higher end model just to experience the difference?
I'm just not that enamored of the 12-string sound, honestly. To me it's a novelty that wears thin pretty quickly and doesn't work well with my material.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 01-18-2017, 08:54 AM
Docjonas Docjonas is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 30
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandpaD View Post
I have owned several different 12 strings over the last 35 years.
The best sounding 12 string that I ever owned was a Guild Jumbo. The best playing was a Yamaha solid top Dred.

I love the tone that a 12 string produces.
In reality, I only play a 12 string about 5% of my playing time.
That makes it hard to justify owning a high end 12 string.

I currently own a Crafter 12 string that is a solid top Dred shaped guitar from Korea. If fits my needs for a 12 string and it cost under $500.00.

I will always have a 12 string in the stable.
I agree. I have an Alvarez AD-60s 12-string. Solid top, solid mohagony back and sides. Great sound. I bought it used for $280 from a local music store. It is not electric, which is my only regret. But, I only take it out and play it occasionally. So, I agree that for my needs, having a 12-string that is "high end" is not smart.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=