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Old 07-20-2019, 10:00 PM
DRS1 DRS1 is offline
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Default Martin D12X1AE vs DM12

Hi All,

This is my first post here. Just wondering if anyone here has been able to compare these two models against each other, and if so, which do you prefer? I see both of these on the used market from time to time, and the D12X1AE is still in the current Martin line up.

I have played both over the years as I've seen them in shops, more or less out of curiousity, and I recall finding ones that really impressed me, but I never had the chance to A/B one against the other. I've recently took an interest in getting a 12-string, and since I tend to gravitate toward Martins anyway, these are the two models that come to mind and are in my budget, and that I have had the opportunity to try at one time or another.

I see positive reviews of both on the web, but have yet to find a head-to-head comparison. I've seen comments about the strength of the Stratabond neck on the D12X1AE being a possible plus due to the inherent tension of a 12-string. How about tone - laminate mahogany on the long discontinued DM12 vs HPL on the D12X1AE? (By the way, I know that there are mixed feelings about HPL, but I have a 6-string DX1AE, and it continues to impress me, and I am just as happy playing it as I am my solid wood Martins). Just wondering if the DM12 has an edge tone-wise, or construction-wise?

Regarding the DM12, I think the oldest ones (late nineties to early 2000s) had Corian saddles, and the later ones had Tusq. I would think that the Tusq saddle may be preferred, so a later model might be a better buy. If there is a compelling reason to go with a D12X1AE, I would probably buy new just to get the Lifetime Warranty, but would not pass up a used one if I ran across a great deal on one in excellent condition. The new ones do come with electronics, but I do not necessarily have to have one with electronics, as I only seldom play through an amp anyway.

There are probably other 12-string guitars out there in the price range I'm looking at (new or used) under $700, but these are the two that have piqued my interest. Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions!

Tony
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:35 AM
rick_f rick_f is offline
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I have the d12x guitar center version.
Not familiar with the other.
I use retro extra light strings
And Changed pins to a snake wood
Pin. Liked the look, and now like the
Sound better. Have had a lot of good
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:14 AM
gfspencer gfspencer is offline
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I have a D12X1AE. It is a nice sounding guitar. I've never played a DM12 but from the specs it looks like it might have slightly better appointments. I would guess that they sound similar.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:22 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRS1 View Post
...There are probably other 12-string guitars out there in the price range I'm looking at (new or used) under $700, but these are the two that have piqued my interest. Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions...
Welcome to the forum...

One that particularly impressed this 50+ year 12-string player - as well as a fair number of fellow AGF members - is the all-mahogany Guild D-1212, AKA "the unofficial AGF 12-string guitar" (a testament to its tone, playability, quality, and value - search some of the reviews posted here); these can be routinely had for around $700 new (there's an electric-acoustic version that sells for about $100 more), although - as many of your fellow Forumites have discovered - the big-box stores have occasional blowout sales that bring the price down into the $400-450 range. I've tried a couple, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one sight unseen (YMMV); fit and finish are that good, and it has the classic Guild 12-string tone - big, full, rich, and clear without being tinny or strident in the trebles...
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:16 PM
DRS1 DRS1 is offline
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Thanks for the responses. No doubt that the D12X1AE is a good bang for the buck. Iíll also check into the Guild D1212. Still hoping to hear from someone who has been able to compare the Martin DM12 to the D12X1AE. I just see some of these come up from time to time in great condition at reasonable prices. Played some before, but wasnít really seeking a 12 string at the time. Just remember being impressed with the tone, but had the same experience with some of the X-series 12 stringers Iíve played.

Thanks again!

Tony
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:28 PM
Shredmaster007 Shredmaster007 is offline
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I just went through the 12 string search. I ended up with a Taylor 356ce but sometimes feel I like my friend's Seagull S12 better. Taylor 150e is also nice. I didn't like the Martin at all, but I only played one of them at GC. The string spacing when strumming and fingerpicking on the Martin felt unexpected to me.
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d12x1, d12x1ae, dm12, martin

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