#1
Hello to all
I am new here so I will probably get banned for asking this.
I want to buy an A/E 12 string. The 3 make/models I am interested in are:
Takamine EF381SC
Taylor 355CE
Breedlove Atlas Stage J350EF
I have had the Takamine before (ex-wife sold) so I am familiar with it but the other 2 are alien to me. I know nothing about Taylor or Breedlove. The Taylor doesn't have an onboard tuner which is a big detract for me. The Breedlove looks really fine with the abalone inlay. I currently have an Ovation Custom Legend 6 string (1986 build before they went down hill)
I am looking for an investment guitar that will hold its value. I also am looking for a good looker on stage that has a killer sound. I know this is all presonal preference but I really need advice here please!!!
Anyone with experience with these guitars???
Thank you all for your help
#2
I would go with the Taylor just because they are awesome acoustics. You don't really need a built in tuner as there are many ways around that.
#3
Have you played all three of them?

Gear:
Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
#4
No, I have only played the Takamine a few years ago. I like the Ovation style neck ie, narrow because I have arthritis ( it's hell getting old!!) but as I said I know nothing about the other 2 makes. I like the way the Breedlove looks but I want quality also. The Taylor is $500 more than the other 2 but the rosette is plastic. I know the Takamine holds up very well if taken care of (I baby all my guitars big time).
I am not in a position to play any of them because I am in Panama so what I buy is online. That is why I was hoping someone could help.
Thanks again
#5
The Taylor is the only all-solid wood entry you have here, and for that reason, it would win for me. I would have a problem spending 1k+ on a guitar that has laminate sides and back.

Gear:
Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
#6
According to the manufacturers, all 3 are solid wood for the models I listed. The Takamine & Breedlove have maple sides & back, The Breedlove has an Engleman Spruce top, Takamine has solid spruce top, while the Taylor is African Mahogany sides & back with Sitka Spruce top.
#7
The way they advertising them is somewhat dicey. I just took a quick look at the Breedlove site, and it specifies a solid spruce top, while saying maple back and sides. Taylor on their page says "all solid woods" instead. I'm nearly positive the Breedlove and Takamine guitars have laminated back and sides, but you can take this for what it is I guess.

Gear:
Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
#8
I see what you mean. I had my Takamine 12 for 10 yrs and never had any problem at all. What attracted me to the Breedlove was the "eye candy". Has anyone played a Breedlove? The Taylor is pure quality I know but how are they on retaining value? I have no idea on their setup either. The Takamine I had before was very easy to play even being a 12 string straight from the factory. It also had a great sound.
Thanks again
#9
I know I've been sounding like a major fan boy with Taylor lately, but I gotta say go for the Taylor. I've owned a 12 string alvarez and a Takamine. the alvarez I believe was rosewood(not sure which kind since I didnt have any knowledge of tone woods back when I got it and now its gone) and the Takamine was Maple back and sides. I loved the Takamine for a few months and then got tired of it. It was a jumbo body, which I liked since it was my only jumbo and I love the maple sound in general. But after a while it just lost its appeal and the fishman UST pickup that was in it became unbalanced easily so when I plugged in I had basically no volume from the treble strings. The taylor on the other hand I have played at a store here and I loved it. The playability was amazing, far better than any 12 string I've ever played all the way down the neck. I didnt get to play it plugged in, but Im one of the few fans of the Expression System in this forum. Im sure it would sound great plugged in as well.

and if you want a tuner pedal on stage while retaining the ES's balanced signal then Taylor sells something called the Balanced Breakout Box. You can plug your guitar into it's balanced input and have a tuner come out of the side of the box (sort of like a loop) and run your guitar out of the balanced out.
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Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#10
Thank you all for your replies. It has helped a lot. I have decided to go with the Taylor.
Again, thank you for your replies.
Mike