There's one on sale for $150 on Craigslist in my area. Is it any good? I'm just looking for a simple, no thrills 12 string to muck about with... I was originally looking for a Yamaha FG720S-12 but what the hell...
Last edited by OliveG at Nov 9, 2013,
Anyone? :-D Should I just wait? Like I said I had the Yamaha FG720S-12 in mind. I've seen some on sale for about $150 on CL, so about the same. I trust Yamaha's craftmanship, but I've heard some bad things about Washburn's... I hear Art & Lutherie makes some really good ones too...
It's all about the action, Olive! If the previous owner of ANY 12 string has tuned it to full pitch, you can likely expect problems. (action too high, soundboard caved or puffed up behind the bridge, bridge and/or neck loose).

Art & Lutherie, (I'm guessing), makes wonderful 12 strings. That's because A & L is Godin, who also makes Seagull, and a few other brands as well. The Cedar topped "Seagull Coastline S-12" seems to be a go-to buy for many people. However, it is six hundred bucks, no case.

The 12 string guitar isn't always something you buy to, "muck about with". They require a fair amount of hand strength, which isn't always present with someone who plays electric, or even a 6 string acoustic which is well adjusted. Personally, I go to my twelves first for the exercise, and when I don't feel in the mood for tuning aggravation, I pick up a six. (Although the 6 string acoustic is much better if you want to emphasize dynamic content).

In keeping with my highly opinionated nature; I'm going to suggest you DON'T buy a 12 string that isn't A/E. They often need EQ because, (IMO), they can be too shrill when played only acoustically.Also, there's the issue of getting and keeping a 12 string in tune. Personal experience tells me the best thing to do is use a "strobe tuner". Planet Waves has a great one that very affordable, but it lacks a mic, so you have to plug in. Even with the most popular chromatic pedal and clip on tuners, you'll struggle to get twelves in tune. This is complicated by the fact that, the more you play a twelve string, the more sensitive to "out of tune" you become...

As for Washburn 12 strings, (and keep in mind this is both anecdotal and ancient), the only one I've ever looked at, (20+ years ago), had an action about 1/2" high, which caused me to run, not walk, out of the store.

Bear in mind this was 2 decades ago, and instruments built in Asia, (China specifically), had nowhere near the QC they have today.

So, years later I bought an equally crappy Epiphone Chinese 12 string, and it ruined my taste for playing until recently, when I have been able to acquire some very decent left handed 12 strings. These are "Crafters", which I bought from lefty friendly, "Adirondack Guitars".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 9, 2013,
Wow Cranky, thanks for the answer! :-)

I should mention that I have a resonator, which is strung pretty heavy, and my regular electric is strung with 10/52s, so although I'm not Thor or anything, I think I'll be OK hand strength-wise. ;-)

I also tend to disagree about the A/E thing. I actually want one without, I don't really care to record it or bother with batteries and crap (I know, I'm lazy), so I'd rather not have an A/E and keep the costs down, I just want a good quality guitar, and judging by the reviews of some budget 12 strings like the Yamaha, it looks like you can get a very good quality guitar for not a ton of money. That's kind of what I'm going for. The few I've tried at a guitar store (unamplified) sounded gorgeous, I especially remember a really sweet Seagull and a Larrivee which I really loved. Whether or not the Yamaha (or the Washburn for that matter) could hold their own against those I don't know, but I'd like to try. I guess I'll go look at that one, it's literally down the street from my house...
OK, if the action on (any) the guitar is more than about an 1/8", AND/OR, There isn't a fair amount lot of white saddle showing above the bridge, LEAVE IT ALONE!

Second, a 12 string is the ideal guitar to impress the stuffing out of someone in a store, because..................,you can't sit there and play it all day!

Many people, (myself included), find 12 strings to be, what at first is spectacular, becomes "sickeningly sweet, strident, & tiring". So, a little bit can go a long way. I never restring mine until the G-3 prime, wears through the windings! That kind of takes the edge off. (I restring my sixes at reasonable, normal, intervals, and the "new string sound" on those, really doesn't bother me).

I tune my twelves down to D-D standard, and capo up to play. BUT, the intonation goes off from the capo, so I tune through the capo.

In any case, best of luck, and fun playing, whatever choice you make.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 9, 2013,