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Old 01-14-2017, 05:28 PM
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RP RP is offline
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Truth be told, 12 string guitars are like motorcycles to me. Sounds like a farfetched metaphor, but bear with me. Every now and then I have an inkling to play a 12 string (or ride a motorcycle as the case may be). I don't necessarily need or want to own either, but it would be nice to have occasional access just the same...
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:49 PM
pax238 pax238 is offline
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My first guitar was a 1974 Ovation Pacemaker sunburst 12-string, which I still have. I'm no longer able to play it because of the depth of the body, but it is one of the most powerful, yet sweet sounding, most playable 12-strings I've ever played. I had it set up a few months back thinking that I might be able to play it standing up, but that deep bowl still bothers my shoulder.

I seem to have a need to have a 12-string in my life, so I bought a Godin A-12, which is the easiest fretting guitar that I've ever played (almost as easy as an electric). It is very quiet unplugged, so that gets some play time both plugged in and later at night when I need to keep the volume down.

For the past 6 months, I've been GASing for a Taylor 552ce or 562ce, which is a lovely small body 12-string that is also really easy to play and has surprising volume for its size. But, with a Halcyon build just starting, I need to lay low for a while.

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Old 01-14-2017, 06:01 PM
westman westman is offline
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yeah they're good for some music - depends what YOU want / can do with them. Folks love the sound played full out solo fingerstyle.
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:21 PM
buddyhu buddyhu is offline
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I have always loved the sound of 12 strings, and remember playing a friend's Yamaha 12 in high school and thinking I wanted to own one. MANY years later,
found a used Guild 212XL and owned it for a number of years. Amazing tone. Exactly what I wanted from a 12. Still, even though it was it was "just right" it didn't get much playing time. I just didn't commit to developing a repertoire for a 12. So after years of playing it a few hours a year, I sold it. I still miss the sound/tone, but I am pretty sure that I wouldn't have played it much more than I did.
Rich H.

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Old 01-14-2017, 06:29 PM
GBS GBS is offline
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Was a basic folksong fingerpicker when I started college in '69 - "Freight Train", PP&M, easy MJH, etc. There was this local guy named Leo who had just come out with a record on the Oblivion label. I was doomed.

Walked over to the Podium, where they sold me on a great sounding, affordable Wilson 12 string. Played the heck out of it for a several years, of course never being able to even get close to anything but Leo's simplest pieces. Even with extra lights, tuned down 2 steps, it gradually pulled the top up. A young guy starting in the repair business named Charlie Hoffman keep it for about 6 months, and finally got it back into shape. About a year or two later, it started to fold itself up again.

Decided I needed a replacement, and since I worked across the street from the Podium, went in again. This time they had a Japanese (Yari) produced Bozo 12 string. Had that full Bozo sound. Had it in several times for setup/intonation, even getting a double thick saddle installed to custom intonate each sting, as well as hide a piezo pickup. Loved that guitar, and even used it for a winter of lessons with Peter Lang. But after a couple of years, my left hand began hurting so bad, I couldn't play longer than 5-10 min. Surgery was strongly advised.

Instead, after tapering way down, just gave up playing.

Roll forward 25 years, and the wife notes that if I no longer play, I should sell the guitars. Wilson is of course shot, so it goes in a dumpster. Take the Bozo for appraisal to the Podium. Marty looks at it, and the first words are "Bet your hand hurt to play it". A new nut later, and it plays like a dream. I set about trying to relearn all the really old stuff.
But, doubts linger, and I found myself resenting the lost years that guitar caused. So Craigslist it was, and then a trip to see Jim at Guitar Rodeo - a year or so before he became the Podium.

Current 12 is a LKSM, which gets about 75% of my playing time. No pain, and even though I'm only able to play from tab, at least I have many more pieces composed by that guy back in '69 under my belt....
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:18 PM
DanR DanR is offline
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My very first Martin acoustic guitar was a D-12-20. It was a great 12 string but whenever I played it and then played a 6 string afterwards, the 6 string always sounded weak. I was young and impressionable back then, so I gave up the 12 string. I haven't since felt the need to own a 12 string but they certainly work for many players.
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:29 AM
LSemmens LSemmens is offline
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My first 12 was a no name thing which needed a neck reset. I knew nothing about luthiery in my teens and proceeded to remove the dovetailed neck and replaced it with a second hand neck off an old Eko guitar. I did not take enough account of the tension of the strings and eventually the block that I used to mount the neck started to push out through the back. In 1976 I spent $600 on an Ovation Balladeer which lasted me 3 years - I seemed to attract flexible necks. In the mid 90s I purchased another 12 (can't recall the brand) which, after work on the action, played beautifully until I gave it to a visitor. I've only just moved back into 12s and am currently playing a borrowed yamaha. A chain store near me was closing down that had a J & D Luthiers 12 for a good price that I was Gassing for, but did not have the funds. The day I was able to scare up enough money I raced down there (100 mile round trip) only to find that they had closed the day before! So am still looking for my next 12.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:25 AM
KenL KenL is offline
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Alvarez-Yairi made a really nice 12-stringer, the DY-80. I had one for a while, it was a great guitar.

I don't have it any longer, though. Once in a while I'll get a hankerin' to play a 12-string, so I'll stop by my favorite guitar shop and play one for half an hour.

And then I'm good for another year.

1981 Guild D-46
2002 Martin OM-18V
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:12 AM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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Thanks for the post. It reminded me I hadn't played my 12-string in a while so I spent the last 45 minutes with it. I too only play it about 10% of the time but it's a sweet 10%. I only go out to eat steak 10% of the time also but would never want to give that up either.
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...and whatever the next one is
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:57 AM
Still Kicking Still Kicking is offline
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In my case, a 1969 Martin D12-20. Beautifully setup, and the right guitar for my voice and playing style. Perfect guitar for a solo, and later duo, nightclub act at the beach clubs in Southern California during the 70's. Even later on, she made appearances in bands I was in, because of her magnificent sound.

Now to be honest, playing 100% twelve string, four hours a night, three to four days a week, is not something you just run out and do. It takes time to work up to that strength, and I couldn't do now, if my life depended on it. The rewards however were well worth the effort (financially), and it was my signature sound for many years.

She's still with me, and rock solid in every way, in spite of numerous battle scars. I've played a lot of nice twelve strings over the years, but this one was, and still is, the top of the heap to me.

The other Paul
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:14 PM
antsdmb antsdmb is offline
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Originally Posted by tadol View Post
In high school it was a Washburn, then later I had a Yamaha - a few years ago I tried a couple of Larrivees, and still miss the OM-12-12 all mahogany one. My brother-in-law tried to sell me his D-12-20, but it didn't really ring any bells for me -

Recently found this beautiful SC F 12 string, and think it'll stay with me a long, long, time -
Holy cow let me know if you ever sell that sucker. Insane!
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:33 PM
tippy5 tippy5 is offline
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After having the neck of a great sounding 70's Guild move a little too much with the tension of a 12 string I bought a used inexpensive, Canadian made, 12 string on CL for $200. The Seagull, Godin, Arts & Laurie guitars have really strong wood. Sure enough mine is still doing well after a decade. I do miss the thick Guild tone. This is the only guitar I tune down to Eb. Sounds real good.

My Friend just bought a 2016 Taylor, 12 fret. Although he had to send back the first one, we both concur that it sounds and plays incredible. Lush in a modern way, just super tone with that perfect Taylor neck.

My 660-12 Rickenbacker is a lifer and like others, I don't play it a much as I should.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:41 PM
Teherie Teherie is offline
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Try a Larrivee. I've had mine 11 years.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:48 PM
Dadzmad Dadzmad is offline
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I was not going to chime in but after seeing the photo of the Harmony Stella in the first few posts I have to say that was my first guitar I got as a high school kid in the summer of 1967. Thought it was pretty cool at the time. It was probably the worst choice to try to learn on and a lot of bad habits carry on to this day. On the other hand I learned to appreciate Wille McTell.

I still have it in a chipboard case tucked away. It started to self destruct in the 1990's but I don't have the heart to pitch it on the burn pile (I'll let someone else do that)
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:51 PM
ollaimh ollaimh is offline
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i only play 12 string about 5 per cent of the time, if that so i can't justify buying a high end one, but when last out in vancouver i stumbled on a hand made sax 12 by shelley sax, a maker stroingly influenced by jean claude larrivee in the seventies. i heard he became a university professor and stopped making guitars. the sax has one of the best sounds i have ever heard from a small round body 12. i prefer the small round body 12s. they are plenty loud and don't need the jumbo body , especially if you finger pick the 12 as i do. this one has some neck issues which i have to fix soon. a warbble in the middle so it plays well with high but ok action. i'd rather perfect action as 12s are twice as much work for the fingers. so i'll get that fixed. other wise a find at under $500 canadian dollars. soild rodewood back and sides and spruce top.

my player is a japanese haruo, all laminate but a great sounding cheapo for all occasions. great set up good tone.

the best i ever played for finger picking was a tie between a taylor round body and a guild dreadnaught with rosewood back and sides--not the classic guild. the dread body is crisper for finger picking. the famous jumbos are more flatpickers guitars. there is a local guy selling a beneteau 12 which was great but he wants a high price. thats for a full time 12 player.
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