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Thinking of 12 strings

#1 User is offline   bassetman 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 05:50 AM

Iíve never even held a 12 string but have been getting the itch to try. Have an opportunity at a guild not sure on the model. How hard is the transition? If the Guitar checks out Iím quite tempted.
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#2 User is online   62burst 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:04 AM

Man, that’s a lot of strings. The steel/wood ratio in the tone of the thing is considerable. . a bigger issue personally than any playability issues. The perfect application for Elixir strings, if there ever was.
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#3 User is offline   OldCowboy 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:11 AM

Guild makes a fine 12-string. They tend to play well, stay in tune, and are quite well built. Many here would happily opt for a Guild if 12-string fever was upon us. I've found that 12-string guitars don't lend themselves to as many applications 6-stringers, but have a dimension all their own. Transition is mostly a matter of learning to achieve what you consider to be the 'best' 12-string sound for you and your material - and deciding where and how it can enhance your performance. I've never permanently adopted one - though have owned a few - because I played them so seldom.
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#4 User is offline   ThemisSal 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:17 AM

I tried out a Taylor 362CE from Russo's. Brought it home and returned it 3 weeks later. Let me start by saying that that 12-string is fantastic - it is comfortable, looks great, has a short scale and slightly wide neck that makes it easy to play. I thought it might be a good guitar to gig and record with from time to time. After a few recordings, and sessions - playing TP's Yer So Bad etc... I realized that for me it was like a parlor trick and not with my style. A great guitar, a great sound, but a one trick pony.

Now keep in mind that Leo Kottke would (rightfully) disagree... As would Jinder (didnt he just pick up a Bird 12?)!

Try out the Guilds, and try out the Taylor too. For me it wasnt worth tying up the money in this limited use guitar (for me).
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#5 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:25 AM

As has been said 12 string guys spend half their time tuning and the other half playing out of tune. I have kept a 12 string around for years. There is an itch that only a 12 string can scratch. I started off with a Westerly Guild and then went to a 1963 Gibson B45-12 and then onto a pre-War Regal Jumbo 12.

To me a 12 string sounds like a 6 string with a chorus pedal. I play the same stuff on a 12 string as I do on a 6 string. But there are certain songs that only really seem to work on a 12 string. There is a nice compromise out there though - a 7 string guitar with the octave G added. The first time I had ever heard one was on a Spider John Koerner LP. I cannot really explain it but I played one of those McGuinn Martins and it really did come off as a 12 string without the usual hassles associated with them. In fact, I am seriously considering adding a banjo tuner to one of my Harmony Sovereigns.
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#6 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:27 AM

View Postbassetman, on 29 November 2017 - 05:50 AM, said:

Have an opportunity at a guild not sure on the model.


I am a HUGE Guild 12-string fan. They're the best!

View Postbassetman, on 29 November 2017 - 05:50 AM, said:

How hard is the transition?


No biggie. If you can play a 6-string, you can play a 12-string.

View Postbassetman, on 29 November 2017 - 05:50 AM, said:

If the Guitar checks out I'm quite tempted.


You know all the checks? Neck angle? Saddle height? Hoping for a NGD with pics!
2008 Epiphone Masterbilt spruce/rosewood EF-500RAVS

2011 Guild F50R burst
2002 Guild JF30-12 burst 

1939 Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith


2012 Epiphone Lennon EJ-160E VS

2013 Epiphone EL-00 Pro VS

1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string sunburst

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#7 User is offline   bassetman 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:36 AM

Going to look later today. Owner thinks thirty or so years old. Yes I can check it out enough to know if itís worthwhile. If I does not work out the F1512 is about the same price.
J-45 Koa Elite, 2014
J-35 2016
LG-2 American Eagle 2017
J-15 2017
AJ Flame Maple Deluxe 2016
Breedlove solo 12 cedar top.
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#8 User is offline   Versatile 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:03 AM

Welcome to the scary world of 12 strings.....[thumbup]

As mentioned, tuning and neck stability issues come to the fore.....:blink:

But they are special instruments.....being rare on the live circuit, they command attention and can sound amazing....

Some players use them as a novelty for a few tunes....others strum them for a whole set

Others play finger style a la Leadbelly and Gary Davis

Some excellent choices available

Personal journey has included

Yamaha....Takamine....Breedlove....Taylor....Crafter....Ovation....Eko....Fender.....

Heard good things about Guild and Gibson 12 strings

I gig with a Breedlove, Fender and Taylor 354.....all sound great through a decent PA.....[thumbup]

Concert pitch can be hard on the fingers and strain the neck

Down tuning to C# or C relieves the neck but introduces tuning and capo issues

I like having one or more low end 12's like the Fender and Takamine G Series....plus a med/high end Taylor

Suggest easing in to the 12 string way of life : the low entry level guitars available (including Epiphone) are excellent and can be had for around £400

V

:-({|=
Fiddling at the Pearly Gates
or somewhere
Lower and Warmer....

I like kayaking....it really floats my boat....

I dig most stuff....
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#9 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:09 AM

I love 12ers, although in 25yrs of playing, my Hummingbird 12 is the only top end one Iíve owned. Itís a revelation compared to the cheap 12s Iíve owned. Because the Hbird 12s are scarce, if mine hadnít been available I probably would have sought out a secondhand Taylor 555. I like Guild jumbo 12s but the examples Iíve tried have been exceptionally heavy. Maybe Iíve just picked up some particularly heavy examples, but the Bird feels around half the weight of any Guilds iíve played-itís a very lightweight guitar for a 12.
#######
2015 SJ200 Standard
2011 Dove
1990 Hummingbird
1967 J45
2014 SJ100 1941 Reissue
2014 Epiphone IB '64 Texan
2001 Epiphone EL-00 (early L1 shape model)
2003 Takamine EAN20C
1978 Hohner Leyanda 12 String
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster

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#10 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:20 AM

I should add that Iím a massive fan of the way Guild 12s sound, and have recorded with them many times. If I played live sitting down, I would have bought one many years ago.

A former bandmate had a Ď74 Guild F212 which was one of the most beaten up (but still playable) guitars Iíve come across. Cleated cracks galore, major bellying and bridge roll, clearly not well kept, but it had had a neck reset at some point and boy, did that thing play like butter and sound like sweet bells. We toured with it, recorded with it and it was rock solid tuning wise and the action and intonation were 100% perfect all the time.
#######
2015 SJ200 Standard
2011 Dove
1990 Hummingbird
1967 J45
2014 SJ100 1941 Reissue
2014 Epiphone IB '64 Texan
2001 Epiphone EL-00 (early L1 shape model)
2003 Takamine EAN20C
1978 Hohner Leyanda 12 String
1998 Fender Classic Series '60s RI Telecaster

#######
www.jinder.co.uk
www.facebook.com/jindermusic
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#11 User is offline   Jalex 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:13 AM

I bought a Taylor 150e a couple of weeks ago. It's my first 12 String. I wasn't really looking for a new guitar but played it at my local shop and was very impressed. For $700 out the door it's a great choice, excellent playability and holds tune very well.
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#12 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:26 AM

I bought this 12-string a while back. If Liberace played guitar, I bet this would be the one.

https://www.thomann....con_rancher.htm

I bought it simply because I wanted to try a 12-string, and I thought it looked so over the top. I love the look for what it is. If this was my one and only guitar, there is no way I would want such a look, but for a speciality guitar, my reasoning was different. Why not be a little wild and crazy sometimes, when all my other guitars are strictly traditional. I did not find it vey difficult to play at all. However, I do tune down half a step and use a capo when needed.

This particular guitar has a solid top and laminate back and sides. I have limited experience with 12-strings, but I think this one sounds great. I bet a Guild would be even better!

Lars
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#13 User is offline   bassetman 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:24 AM

I’ve heard good things about the seagull 12s but they are only online and at that price I’d have to play it first. The mid price guild is the fall back . I have to try it at this point or I will never know if it is for me. I’d rather get a good instrument and loose a bit if I sell it than get a bad one and loose it all or get a “project” to fix.

I could start a nearly identical thread on mandolins. The Breedloves look nice.
J-45 Koa Elite, 2014
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#14 User is offline   bassetman 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:28 AM

View PostJinder, on 29 November 2017 - 08:20 AM, said:

I should add that Iím a massive fan of the way Guild 12s sound, and have recorded with them many times. If I played live sitting down, I would have bought one many years ago.

A former bandmate had a Ď74 Guild F212 which was one of the most beaten up (but still playable) guitars Iíve come across. Cleated cracks galore, major bellying and bridge roll, clearly not well kept, but it had had a neck reset at some point and boy, did that thing play like butter and sound like sweet bells. We toured with it, recorded with it and it was rock solid tuning wise and the action and intonation were 100% perfect all the time.


My first real guitar was a Guild. It now belongs to my brothers son. I still have a great fondness for Guilds in general.
J-45 Koa Elite, 2014
J-35 2016
LG-2 American Eagle 2017
J-15 2017
AJ Flame Maple Deluxe 2016
Breedlove solo 12 cedar top.
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#15 User is offline   Johnt 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:57 AM

Speaking as the previous custodian of Jinder’s HBird and present owner of
J200-12
Songwriter12
B45-12
Ovation Glenn Campbell 12
Cort something or other 12

I confess the one guitar I’d really like is. Guild F512 or even better F612
Only problem is everyone I’ve picked up when I’ve had the dosh has disappointed

Found a 612 last year but I had just bought the J200-12 and another guitar at that time
spelled certain divorce

I has a Seagull in the late 60s which was a lovely player and subject to your budget I’d suggest you try them
The headstock looks a tad strange but great for 12s as strings are much straighter twixt nut and peg

And to answer the playability question
A little more effort is needed even with the narrower neck Ovation

Buy one soon before you’re 67 and “Uncle Arthur “ is having a go at your hands

Good luck in your quest
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#16 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:58 AM

View PostVersatile, on 29 November 2017 - 08:03 AM, said:

Suggest easing in to the 12 string way of life : the low entry level guitars available (including Epiphone) are excellent and can be had for around £400...


I eased in with a Takamine 12-string. It was pretty nice, played OK, just lacked the bass response of a higher end guitar. I liked it so much, I had to get me a Guild. My 2002 JF30-12 is essentially an F412, but lacking a bit of the bling. But, I mean, ebony fretboard and bridge, AAA sitka top, all for under a grand? GRAB!

Posted Image
2008 Epiphone Masterbilt spruce/rosewood EF-500RAVS

2011 Guild F50R burst
2002 Guild JF30-12 burst 

1939 Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith


2012 Epiphone Lennon EJ-160E VS

2013 Epiphone EL-00 Pro VS

1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string sunburst

2012 Epiphone Dot CH

2010 Epiphone Les Paul Standard trans amber 

Yamaha Motif XS7

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#17 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:04 PM

View PostJohnt, on 29 November 2017 - 11:57 AM, said:

Speaking as the previous custodian of Jinder's HBird and present owner of
J200-12
Songwriter12
B45-12
Ovation Glenn Campbell 12
Cort something or other 12


Dude, you are THE MAN! I noticed and wondered about a Songwriter12 recently. What's your take on that one?

F-612 = holiest of the holy grails!
2008 Epiphone Masterbilt spruce/rosewood EF-500RAVS

2011 Guild F50R burst
2002 Guild JF30-12 burst 

1939 Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith


2012 Epiphone Lennon EJ-160E VS

2013 Epiphone EL-00 Pro VS

1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string sunburst

2012 Epiphone Dot CH

2010 Epiphone Les Paul Standard trans amber 

Yamaha Motif XS7

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#18 User is offline   Johnt 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:21 PM

View PostCougar, on 29 November 2017 - 12:04 PM, said:

Dude, you are THE MAN! I noticed and wondered about a Songwriter12 recently. What's your take on that one?

F-612 = holiest of the holy grails!



I’ve had two
The first was an Dogs arse
Jinder and I discussed it the other day, it needed a collar and a lead��

The one I have now cost £1200 and is a players guitar little ragged here and there but on the other hand maturing nicely ( it’s a 05)
The smaller body is very comfortable and of course it’s rosewood

I like it very much iy plays better than the J200

Interested on your Guild
I had a look at rue JF512 ( if that’s the correct model)
But (heresy) I’d really like a Brazilian Rosewood from the 60/70s
94 Centennial Gibson Jumbo
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SWD 12 string
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ES335
J45
CSL Les Paul
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G&L ASAT Telecaster
Fender Strat
Fender Telecaster Nashville
Cort precision bass
Cort 12 string
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#19 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:07 PM

Funny now to think of it but if you go back to the later 1930s the only U.S. companies even offering a stock 12 string were Regal and Harmony (beginning in 1935 even the Oscar Schmidt 12 strings like the one Leadbelly played were only available as a custom order). Jump ahead to the late 1950s and you narrow it down to Harmony alone.
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#20 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:11 PM

View PostJohnt, on 29 November 2017 - 12:21 PM, said:


Interested on your Guild
I had a look at rue JF512 ( if thatís the correct model)
But (heresy) Iíd really like a Brazilian Rosewood from the 60/70s


Not going to find a Guild built with Braz rosewood in the 1970s. The last year Guild used it consistently was 1968.
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