#1
Hi, I'm considering buying a 12 string acoustic guitar as a few artists I like play them, Gordon lightfoot, warren Zevon,
Does anyone know what type/brand of 12 string guitars they play,
Also is the guitar the same as a six string except it has 12 strings, ie does it have a wider neck, I guess it takes twice as long to restring on the downside,
Any advice on good models/brands would be appreciated
#2
The neck usually will be a bit wider, but don't let that worry you, it's almost surprising how easily your fingers transition between the 6 & 12 string necks. And yes, restringing is a bit of a bitch!

My old 12 string was by Takamine, excellent piece of kit & I wish I'd never sold it
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#3
I have a takamine 6 string so that seems a good choice to go with as I like the one I have,
When playing a 12 string, say fingering a chord, do you just play 2 strings for each note, I mean, are the strings tuned, 2 for the e string, 2 for the b string and so on

Thanks
#4
Yes, exactly that. For the EADG strings, the extra string is an octave higher.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#5
At one time Guild was "acknowledged" to make the best 12 strings. The downside here is, and American made issue is going to set you back quite a bit of cash.

I almost never restring my twelves anyway. Played solo, these guitars can be quite shrill with new strings. However, you can use coated strings such as D'Addario EXPs, which will further increase the time between string jobs.

What is a bigger bitch than stringing twelves, is tuning them.. I just treated myself to to a Planet Waves Tru-Strobe CT-11 tuner, and it makes all the difference in the world. Headstock and onboard tuners don't cut it as compared to the strobe method. It's cord input only, so you'd need an AE version of any guitar you choose. Check that out here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/planet-waves-tru-strobe-pedal-tuner

In any event, check out this thread: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1591851 as one of our members just bought a new Seagull 12, and seems to be delighted to the point of raving about it. The AE version of this should be a worthy candidate for consideration. Take note it has a cedar top,so it should be lees brittle than spruce, but may require a lighter playing touch.

Twelve string guitars are harder to fret than 6 strings. That sounds self evident but, I need to focus on playing my twelves to keep my strength in the fretting arm up. I can't casually jump from playing a Les Paul most of the time to a 12, I find it necessary to focus on the 12.

That's just me of course, and as they say, "your results may vary".

Something else with twelves is this, the notes you would normally play on the top two strings of a six, are now also found in the octave pairs. So, instead of playing a G at the 3rd fret of the e-1, you could get it "for free" by playing the G-3 open. THis makes them great for playing bass figures in and between chords, while still having sound output in the registers that the melody would encompass.

Anyway, have fun and happy hunting.
#6
If you have a chance go try the Takamini cedar top. We use one and you can get some beautiful
harmonic's out of it. Honestly its like an orchestra on its own. Elixers 11s seem to work well on this axe. Cheers.
#7
I've tried the Seagull 12 myself, alongside other, pricier models from Taylor, Takamine, and others. I thought it offerd some of the best bang for the buck performance I heard that day. I mean, yes, there was an audible difference, but I didn't think that what I heard from the others was worth what was being asked in comparison.

Other 12s I've liked over the past couple of years were models from Ovation and Breedlove.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 10, 2013,
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Other 12s I've liked over the past couple of years were models from Ovation and Breedlove.
If TS has an affinity for the Ovation sound, he can likely get a great deal on a used "O" 12 string. What thinkest thou?

The Disclaimer: As with any used guitar, check one you're considering carefully.

With a used 12 string, go over it with your fine toothed comb, and another couple of its gang members.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 10, 2013,
#9
I thinkest that used Ovation 12s tend to be a bit more dependable than used 12s from other brands. I could be wrong in this particular case, but Ovations in my experience- including my own- wear like mountains. (That is, slowly, slowly, slowly...until there is a catastrophic failure.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#11
Just to be clear, I've had my Ovation since the mid-1980s, and even though I changed its tuning to CGDAEG, it has needed precisely zero pro work.

(It should explode like Krakatoa next year, I think.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
Twelve string acoustic guitars need to balance the mid tones against the high -- Brightness in the higher tones is very desirable - Maple bodies (Like the Fender 290-12) enhance the tone of the sympathetic strings and preserve the mid range clarity -- Nut widths of 1.75 - 1.875 are common and will be an easy adaptation for a player who is used to a 6-string nut with of 1.625 - 1.75 --
#13
I've owned a played a few. The best recent one I've tried was a Taylor 150. Nice slim profile neck, good tone and the neck is easily/cheaply resettable. I know I go on about resettability, but I've seen some truly horrid 12 strings, where higher string tension has caused major damage to their geometry and playability.
#14
Quote by jsanacore
Twelve string acoustic guitars need to balance the mid tones against the high -- Brightness in the higher tones is very desirable - Maple bodies (Like the Fender 290-12) enhance the tone of the sympathetic strings and preserve the mid range clarity -- Nut widths of 1.75 - 1.875 are common and will be an easy adaptation for a player who is used to a 6-string nut with of 1.625 - 1.75 --
And 12 strings with maple bodies are very often jumbos. Which to me implies that the makers are trying to balance the shriek of the top end with a good solid bass floor.

As far as neck widths go, a player with small hands who is having trouble with 1.6875 standard 6 string necks, will not easily transition to a 12 string.

And BTW, this is a necro-bump.
#15
You can't really buy a guitar that sounds good unless you try it first,
there are "recipes" for making a good guitar but like wine you never know what you get till you open the bottle,
12 strings are difficult to play, take a lot of dedication, I wouldn't take up 12 unless you are devoted-which in that case go for it,
its an incredible sound for those who will pay her price,
you really need a higher end guitar on 12, don't buy cheap,
what might be an acceptable irritation on a 6 will turn into guitar hell on a 12,
some are playable, some are just NOT,
they are difficult to record
but the payoff is immense if you play it well
I didn't feel like I could really play the 12 until I was able to purchase a better guitar, a Taylor,
had a Guild initially which I loved but it was difficult to play as a fingerstylist
sunaj
#16
Dear Lord people, this thread is 2 years old. If you want to talk 12 strings, how about if we start a new one?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 4, 2015,
#17
CC, I think you're the only one in this conference that looks at dates. I got sucked in again until I saw your post.
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#19
Real question is why we don't have more threads/posts on 12 string-doesn't anybody play 12 string anymore?
sunaj
#20
Quote by sunaj
Real question is why we don't have more threads/posts on 12 string-doesn't anybody play 12 string anymore?
sunaj
Believe it or not, 12 strings sort of went out of style in the late 70's The Who's song, "Substitute" is done with a 12 string, and how long ago was that? (I think that's also why nobody seems to get the intro tab quite right). George Harrison played one quite a bit. The late John Denver was another 12 stringer. The last album I recall with a load of prominent 12 string was Pink Floyd, "The Wall".

After that disco set in and killed guitar music. Then hip-hop set in, and put an end to music altogether in its entirety...

I just bought a Taylor 115e after Sweetwater got in a special run of lefties. That should count for something, ay?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 5, 2015,
#21
Quote by Captaincranky
Believe it or not, 12 strings sort of went out of style in the late 70's The Who's song, "Substitute" is done with a 12 string, and how long ago was that? (I think that's also why nobody seems to get the intro tab quite right). George Harrison played one quite a bit. The late John Denver was another 12 stringer. The last album I recall with a load of prominent 12 string was Pink Floyd, "The Wall".

After that disco set in and killed guitar music. Then hip-hop set in, and put an end to music altogether in its entirety...

I just bought a Taylor 115e after Sweetwater got in a special run of lefties. That should count for something, ay?


A lefty
Well I don't know about going out of style,
you'de hafta take that up with Leo Kottke, Michael Gulezian,
always been in the background,
Denver was a fairly good 12 stringer as an accompanist
sunaj
#22
Quote by sunaj
...[ ]....Well I don't know about going out of style,
In terms of top 40 charts, twelves are very much out of style. Keep in mind, The Beatles, The Byrds, The Who, The Stones, (w/ Brian Jones), and even America were all top of the pop charts acts using twelves to one degree or another.
Quote by sunaj
you'de hafta take that up with Leo Kottke, Michael Gulezian,
always been in the background,
You hafta consider that Kotke never was, nor likely ever will be, an arena filling headliner. More like a "guitarist's guitarist". I saw him live in the early 80's, and the room held less than 500 people. Besides, he had to stop playing his 12 strings for several years due to tendon problems.
Quote by sunaj
Denver was a fairly good 12 stringer as an accompanist.
In his genre he was also a great singer, which more than makes up for a lack of shredding theatrics. IMHO, of course.
#23
^^^^ Let's not forget the likes of Willie McTell, Leadbelly and Lonnie Johnson. LJ played a rough old Mexican 12-string in his early days with a speed and agility that would have done credit to a modern shredder. He was the sideman on Texas Alexander's "Rising Sun" and there is a something that sounds like very fast vibrato occasionally in his playing. It took me ages to figure out what it was - he was just incorporating into his playing the fret rattle that only happened on one particular note. - Whatever it takes! He also played an eight-note scale in just under half a second in that same piece; just showing off.
#24
Quote by Captaincranky
In terms of top 40 charts, twelves are very much out of style. Keep in mind, The Beatles, The Byrds, The Who, The Stones, (w/ Brian Jones), and even America were all top of the pop charts acts using twelves to one degree or another.
You hafta consider that Kotke never was, nor likely ever will be, an arena filling headliner. More like a "guitarist's guitarist". I saw him live in the early 80's, and the room held less than 500 people. Besides, he had to stop playing his 12 strings for several years due to tendon problems.
In his genre he was also a great singer, which more than makes up for a lack of shredding theatrics. IMHO, of course.



Well perhaps in pop music but in the solo guitar virtouso genre the 12 is still alive and well, never went away, has always been a smaller crowd of enthusiasts
thanks for the last several posts with some interesting info on the 12,
think I'll look around for a LJ demo
and yes I loved John Denver,
I was only pointing out he wasn't really a soloist/instrumentalist but he had a very good style for what he was doing,
Country Roads has no peer

sunaj
Last edited by sunaj at Dec 6, 2015,
#26
Quote by sunaj
Well perhaps in pop music but in the solo guitar virtouso genre the 12 is still alive and well, never went away, has always been a smaller crowd of enthusiasts ....[ ]....
Nobody ever said that there were no 12 string virtuosos around any more, least of all me. I said they were out of style with respect to pop, and even country music top 40. The 12 string isn't out of style for me. I can't play the four I own worth a crap, but I love them just the same...

So really, there's no obligation on the part of you two to bury me in esoterica from 50 years ago to prove me right.

(First, keep in mind disco and punk drove me back into the 70's with respect to music and fashion, so there may be some lapses in my recollections). But, the last in your face with a 12 string song I remember hitting #1 or thereabouts on the charts was......(wait for it).........er, "Hotel California".

If I told you that, "hula hoops are out of style", would you tell me you went to the Moscow circus last night, and saw Ivana Snegurochka twirl 50 at once, so that makes them front page news for the general public? Sheesh !
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 6, 2015,