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  #1  
Old 03-08-2018, 12:55 AM
DissonantTimbre DissonantTimbre is offline
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Default 12 string recommendations.

Well my love for The Byrds, Gordon Lightfoot, Death in June, and Tom Petty has finally gotten the best of me and I need a 12 string.

I've only been able to try the Taylor 150e and while it sounded ok I wasn't thrilled about the three pots on the side of the guitar and the sides and back looked like fake veneer and not real wood. The face also had some vicious tool marks under the finish.
I guess the Martin equivalent is the Martin D12X1AE. Does anyone have any experience with this?
I've heard good things about the Guild F-2512E. But since guitar center does not stock Guild I have no way of trying one out.
Any other recommendations. I'd like to spend less than $1000.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:06 AM
Cabarone Cabarone is offline
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Take a little time and shop around. You can pick up a good used Guild for under a grand. Most players agree they're the top dog for 12-strings.

I played the budget Taylor and Martin @ GC before. I was impressed w/the sound and playability of both, especially for the money.

Enjoy the hunt!
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:10 AM
blackie51 blackie51 is offline
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I have a Guild F-1512 for sale in the classifieds if you're interested.

Tom
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:06 AM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DissonantTimbre View Post
...I wasn't thrilled about the three pots on the side of the guitar....
I agree with that - I don't like such things including their ES2 knobs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DissonantTimbre View Post
...the side of the guitar and the sides and back looked like fake veneer and not real wood. ....
It is not veneer. It is laminated (which is not the same as plywood), but it is real wood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DissonantTimbre View Post
...The face also had some vicious tool marks under the finish....
Knowing Taylor's quality control consistency I find this very unlikely. It may have been marks in the wood or open poor areas.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:10 AM
fuman fuman is offline
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I think the Seagull S-12 is pretty underrated but if you can reach for it, I would try to find a used Guild JF-30-12, which is basically an F-412 without the Bling. At one point early in the "GAD" phase, I think they offered a Chinese-made JF-30-12. I never played one, but they six-string version was a real good guitar.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:18 AM
GTRGUY005 GTRGUY005 is offline
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I have Martin D12X1AE. I bought it used and the previous owner had it set up really nicely with low action, so I find it pretty easy to play.

I haven't played many 12's, but tone wise I think it sounds nice but leans more to the treble/high end rather than bass/low end. It sounds good plugged in...I've used it at open mic night a few times.

BUT...a few weeks ago I was able to play a Taylor 362ce, which is their 12 string/12 fret small body grand concert model. It was a joy to handle and play, no struggle at all compared to the Martin dread.

I don't know what your budget is, but the D12X with certainly get you into an nice 12 string, but now I'm gasing for the Taylor and looking for a used one. They are hard to find on the used market though.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:39 AM
troystory92 troystory92 is offline
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I own a Guild F-2512e and love it.

I go through phases with it, since I have other guitars mostly play 6 string, but I always love coming back to it.


Since you can't play one, here is what mine sounds like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYmcVqeyDSI
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:10 AM
L20A L20A is offline
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I would like to try a Yamaha L series 12 string but can't find any locally to try.
The specs look very good on them.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:18 AM
Jungleboy Jungleboy is offline
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I own a Guild (GAD) JF30-12 (made in China), and am very happy with it - huge lush sound, great bass response and sparlking high end. You should be able to find a used one well within the budget that you mentioned.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:21 AM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabarone View Post
Take a little time and shop around. You can pick up a good used Guild for under a grand. Most players agree they're the top dog for 12-strings.

I played the budget Taylor and Martin @ GC before. I was impressed w/the sound and playability of both, especially for the money.

Enjoy the hunt!
+1 on the Guild.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:32 AM
boombox boombox is offline
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I had a similar budget when I started looking at 12s a while ago. I would say revisit Taylor and look for a used 354 or 355 - very easy playing 12 strings and solid wood too. May be some about without the ES if you don't want that sort of electrics. These can be had for under your budget, as can older used Guilds or the new ones coming out of China - search the threads here for the many happy owners especially of the all mahogany dreads. Yamahas also get a lot of love and if you don't mind a bit of mojo, you can pick up a used Gibson B45-12 or B25-12 within your budget.

What I would also say is try as many as you can in different wood combinations - 12 strings all sound very different. My first 12 was a Simon & Patrick, which I should have got set up, instead of selling it. Cedar & cherry has a totally different sound to sitka/mahogany, which is what my B45-12 is. Sapele might be related to mahogany but my Taylor 354ce sounds a completely different animal to my Gibson. And now my most recent 12 string addition, a Huss & Dalton in maple/Sitka (admittedly well outside your budget) sounds completely different. I think it was the sound I had in my head all along, but it has now got me thinking of trying a rosewood 12 too. Which is another warning I'd like to give you - 12s can be addictive, especially if you are a solo or bedroom player.

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:50 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I have a 2002 Taylor 354-LTD (solid flamed maple back & sides, solid top) that I could part with within your budget. It does have the Fishman barn door electronics of that era, however. The 354 replaced my Seagull S12 years ago, but it has recently been pushed out by a carbon fiber twelve string at 3X the price.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:16 AM
Jasper64 Jasper64 is offline
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I found a '74 Guild F212XL online at a very reasonable price and it sounds incredible.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:28 AM
1Charlie 1Charlie is offline
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I just sent you a PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:29 AM
BT55 BT55 is offline
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I purchased a NOS 454ce a few years ago - it is a phenomenal guitar. Craigslist in my area always has a lot of pre-owned Taylor and Martin 12 strings available. I'd go that route and you can get a really good all wood guitar at a fair price. The Taylor 1 & 2 series and Martin X series sides and back are laminates. As usual my recommendation is the Taylor.
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