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Old 12-27-2016, 03:33 PM
guitargeak99 guitargeak99 is offline
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Default Need the straight scoop on 12 fret vs 14 fret

Sorry if this has been covered before - which I'm sure it has.
Given 2 identical guitars - 000 Spruce/Rosewood short scale, same exact model and builder:
What would be the differences in sound?
What would be the strengths and weaknesses of each, with regards to playing style - finger style, picking, strumming, etc....?

I will be ordering a 000 Spruce/Rosewood short scale, and I can get 12 or 14 fret.
I mostly strum with a pick with some arpeggios, and finger style (flesh).
And I only play in my home.
I'm leaning towards the 12 fret.

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:39 PM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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My only comment on 12 fretters (I own 2) is that if you play many tunes at or above the 10th fret (especially with thumb wrapping) consider the 14 fretter.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:41 PM
smurph1 smurph1 is offline
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I tend to like the tone of a 12 fretter better. LOL A bit richer if that makes any sense, more balanced. But having said that, my current acoustic is a 14 fret Gibson "American Eagle". Makes sense right?
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:46 PM
guitargeak99 guitargeak99 is offline
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I should have included that I don't do much playing up far on the neck.
I am an intermediate player at best.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:49 PM
AgentKooper AgentKooper is offline
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I've owned both a 12-fret and a 14-fret 00 guitar. I won't speak to the differences in tone, because that's likely more due to differences in woods and construction. But I play just enough songs with chords at or near the 12th fret, and it was annoying to play them on the 12-fretter. That's one of the reasons I got rid of it in favor of a 14-fretter.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:50 PM
zmf zmf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargeak99 View Post
I will be ordering a 000 Spruce/Rosewood short scale, and I can get 12 or 14 fret.
I went through this search and settled on a 12 fret, short scale with extended upper bout and bridge placement lower - what I call a pot-bellied 000. Love the one I ended up with.

These are generalizations, but I did so because these guitars tend to have more character, a richer tone, and, if you're a couch player, the reach along the fretboard is easier. If you don't have one of these, strongly consider one.

Others will disagree, but I consider a 14 fret 000 to be basically an OM, and OM's, to me, are just less interesting -- though generally more versatile.

You need to decide if you need the extra 2 frets -- it does make a difference, depending on what you play.

Have fun with your search.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:52 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is online now
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14 fret is more veratile. You can always tune down a half step capo down one and turn it into a 13 fret guitar.

I like to do that and sometimes play a half step down on some songs and go back to standard by capoing. You can do that with a 12 fret but some tunes might be hard to reach frets towards the sound hole.

If you go 12 fret get a cutaway just in case.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:52 PM
AgentKooper AgentKooper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargeak99 View Post
I should have included that I don't do much playing up far on the neck.
You never know when you might start!
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:54 PM
Oldguy64 Oldguy64 is offline
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Because the neck is two frets shorter, the bridge is more centered between the hole and the end pin of the guitar.
Bigger vibration, bigger voice, less room to move around.
Perfect if you keep your fretting hand above the tenth fret most of the time.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:58 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Identical body, 12 fret vs 14 fret:

The difference will be in the location of the bridge. On the 12-fret the bridge will be moved lower on the lower bout. This usually results in a more fundamental tone (fewer harmonics) compared to what has become the standard location. Some folks will perceive this as having more bass, but its the lack of overtones that are the real difference.

Playability would be identical, except that the reach to the upper frets on the 12-fret instrument is about an inch shorter, so some folks would find it a touch more comfortable to play.

So in very general terms 12-fret is more fundamental, clearer sounding, 14-fret has more harmonics and is fuller sounding.
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:11 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Guitargeak, there's quite a bit of difference between the 14 fret and 12 fret Triple O's. Having owned and used both onstage fairly extensively, I can tell you that the 14 fret Triple O is a dream to mic, whereas the 12 fret Triple O will give you almost as many EQ problems as a dreadnought. A lot of fingerstyle players will gravitate toward the 12 fret version because it does have more bass response than a 14 fret Triple O while generally having more clarity than most dreadnoughts, but it's neither as tonally balanced or as even-sounding up the neck as the 14 fret Triple O.

Personally, I find the 14 fret Triple O to be the superior design, both in ease of use onstage and from an overall musical standpoint. It's certainly more musically versatile. But the 12 fret Triple O is a great design, too, so it really depends just on what you like.

Whatever you decide to go with, I would strongly recommend that you try to play at least a couple of examples of each, preferably side by side, before you spend any money to buy one.

Hope this helps.


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Old 12-27-2016, 04:12 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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On 00-size guitars I much prefer the 12 fret body as it helps give the guitar a little more oomph and low end that it otherwise loses due to the small size.

On 000-size guitars I much prefer the 14 fret body. For me personally, the 12 fret body on 000 size guitars is tonally just too much.

While my experience with these guitars is limited, I have owned the following:

00 12 fretters:

Martin 00-28VS
Huss & Dalton 00 SP
Santa Cruz OO
Martin 00-18VS UMGF

000 12 fretter:

Martin 000-28VS

000/OM 14 fretters:

Martin 000-28EC (twice)
Martin OM-35
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:00 PM
baimo baimo is offline
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I have owned too many guitars BUT I do not think I have any experience with an exact guitar that offers 12 and 14 fretters with same body length and scale. The ones I have seen that have same scale and 12 or 14 frets generally have a longer body on the 12 fretter.

But I assume you can order anything.

I find that 12 fretters sound fuller to me. The one big 12 fretter I own HD-28VS sounded so full when I took my first strum on it, I was reminded of playing a 12 string guitar with more versatility.
I am not a great fingerstyle player, but I sense that many people feel that 12 fretters are better for fingerstyle players.

That is all I know about 12 fretters, but I must say, after owning many different guitars made by many different builders, the builder sometimes has more to do with the sound than the amount of frets, the scale length and even the woods being used.
My advice is to discuss your wishes with the builder. No one will have a clearer idea of the differences and understand how to build your 000.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:11 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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I love the sound of slapping a capo on the 7th fret and playing open chord forms. I would have been dead in the water if I didn't have a 14 fret guitar, and the reason why I held out for the 14 fret version of the Taylor 322.

You may not appreciate the ability to do this now but you might in the future.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:54 PM
baimo baimo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
I love the sound of slapping a capo on the 7th fret and playing open chord forms. I would have been dead in the water if I didn't have a 14 fret guitar, and the reason why I held out for the 14 fret version of the Taylor 322.

You may not appreciate the ability to do this now but you might in the future.
I agree and use the capo'd 7th fret for some favorite songs. Often Simon and Garfunkel My only problem with this is trying to sing like Garfunkel did in his 20's. lol
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