12 String Guitar - How to Purchase
Learn what to look for in 12 string acoustic guitars, we will investigate these sturdy acoustic guitars, made by Taylor guitar, Breedlove guitar, Guild and many more.
- 12-String Guitars
- 12-String Guitar Recommendations
The 12 String Guitar is somewhat of an anomaly amongst those in the guitar community. It never gained the popularity of the traditional 6-string guitar and has been used mostly for special effects and background music usage.
A 12 string guitar has a very unusual sound and can be very beautiful when used in the right situation.
They have a natural chorus effect as the E,B and G strings are simply doubled, just like a mandolin and the D, A and E strings have sister strings that are one octave higher than the standard tuned 6-string guitar.
As a result of the additional 6 strings, you have access to a great deal of additional volume. Unfortunately this extra volume and chorus effect comes at a price.
The tension on a 12 string instrument is not quite double of that on a 6 string guitar. This usually results is a badly bellied top within a few years. This is a very common problem with many of the lesser quality guitars and can even affect the more pricier makers. For sure do not put anything other than light gage strings on a 12 string guitar, unless you want to face staggering repair bills every few years.
Also another thing to consider is that these guitars are usually a supplemental guitar for musicians and not their primary instruments (ok Leo Kottke is an exception.) But keep in mind it is very hard to play a 12 string guitar and you will have great difficulty with bar chords, string bends or some of the other ornamentations we take for granted on a 6-string guitar.
By the way, Leo plays a Taylor Guitar Signature Model.
My recommendation? Learn to play a 6 string first and become VERY proficient on that instrument. Then add a quality 12 string guitar and keep a constant watch on the string/top condition. I believe that of any maker, Taylor and Breedlove have developed the best of the best in the 12 string guitar arena.
Check out the Ultimate Guitar Building Plans. Detailed guitar building plans for the novice or the expert.
Natural Rosewood Now, new and improved with a solid spruce top for even better tone! A 12-string guitar designed for the stage, the CD-160SE 12-string features Fishman Aero electronics, solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, rosewood fingerboard with snowflake inlay, and chrome die-cast tuners. Available in Natural and Black finishes.
The Ibanez SGT122 Sage series acoustic 12 string guitar has an amazing retro look and feel which is inspired by the 1st Golden Age of Ibanez acoustic guitars. The large, classic pickguard contributes to the SGT122's understated vintage styling while in appearance, sound and playability it sets a new benchmark.
Ibanez SGT122 12-string Acoustic Guitar Features 12-string dreadnought body Spruce top Mahogany back and sides Mahogany neck Pearloid rosette Ibanez chrome die-cast tuners Rosewood bridge and fretboard High gloss finish Ivorex II nut and saddle Advantge bridge pins.
With increased playability from its deep cutaway and with the addition of the WT-92 tuner/preamp system, Washburn created a truly professional guitar at an affordable price.
Solid Spruce Top Mahogany sides/back Cutaway style Mahogany neck with trussrod Rosewood fingerboard and bridge Natural/buffed gloss body (Black for D10SB) Black pickguard Stained mahogany/buffed gloss neck Chrome die cast Grover style tuning machine Multi lam top binding Neck binding New diamond inlaid marquetry rosette WT92 Tuner/Preamp
The Ibanez AEL2012E can turn up the volume without even plugging in. The AEL body is the largest of the Ibanez AE 12 string guitars, making it a great choice for unplugged performance situations. However, when plugging in is necessary, the AEL2012E is loaded with the best-sounding electronics. You cannot go wrong with these acoustic canons.
The 12-string AEL2012ETKS combines classic 12-string sound with a high-quality Fishman Sonicore pickup and an Ibanez AEQ-SST Shape Shifter preamp. Large and deep AEL body for bigger sound even when unplugged. Flamed maple top and maple body for clearer highs and projection. New 12-string model (AEL2012ETKS) has classic, more pronounced sound
The Takamine EG523SC12 Jumbo Cutaway Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar provides players with an unmatched excellence and affordability. Crafted from handpicked tonewoods and built by expert luthiers, their extremely popular G-Series line continues to get bigger. The EG523SC12s are brilliant 12 String Jumbo Acoustic Electric Guitars.
With a Rosewood fingerboard inlayed with Mother of pearl and Abalone, these Jumbos are built to impress. Featuring the built-in TK40 preamp the EG523 Jumbo boasts an excellent performance and value that Takamine owners have embraced for years. The G Series from Takamine has created great controversy. Play a G Series guitar and you're apt to think it's one of the finest acoustic/ electrics made.
The Takamine EG523SC12 Jumbo 12 String Cutaway Acoustic Electric Guitar provides players with an unmatched excellence and affordability. Crafted from handpicked tonewoods and built by expert luthiers, their extremely popular G-Series line continues to get bigger.
The EG523SC12s are brilliant 12 String Jumbo Acoustic Electric Guitars. With a Rosewood fingerboard inlayed with Mother of pearl and Abalone, these Jumbos are built to impress. Featuring the built-in TK40 preamp the EG523 Jumbo boasts an excellent performance and value that Takamine owners have embraced for years.
Every Guild 12-string guitar is a masterpiece of craftman-ship and will offer years of enjoyment.
Guild GAD-F212E Features 16-inch Lower Bout Dovetail Neck Joint Dual Truss Rods Strap Button with Internal Block Reinforcement Ornate Mother-of-Pearl Position Inlays Abalone Side Dot Position Inlays Mother-of-Pearl Headstock Logo Ebony Bridge Pins with MOP Dots Ebony End Pin with MOP Dot Bone Nut and Saddle Dark Mahogany Body Bindings Tortoise Shell Pickguard Back Center Wood Mosaic Inlay Guild and Fender:
The best of both worlds: this medium-sized Grand Auditorium offers the powerful sound and feel of a true 12-string guitar, in a more intimate body style. Built for performance, the acoustic/electrics feature the revolutionary Expression System pickup and Venetian cutaway for unparalleled plugged-in performance.
Features: Wood: Top - Sitca Spruce, Sides and Back - Sapele Shape: Grand Auditorium Finish: Gloss Top, Satin Back and Sides Inlays: Large Pearl Dots With the Taylors Expression System, you get pure, high-fidelity acoustic amplification for a natural live sound.
One of the best solid top 12 string guitars in the world! The Atlas Super Jumbo Stage J350EF 12 String takes advantage of the bold Breedlove aesthetic and sound.
Featuring our Breedlove bracing system with JLD bridge truss for sustain and balance, the resonant and versatile ultra-deep jumbo body sounds great acoustically and sings when plugged in.
The tuned top is ideal for alternate tunings and projects powerfully in big group jams. Breedlove Stage J350EF Jumbo 12 String Features: Engleman Spruce Top Flamed Maple Back and Sides Abalone Rosette with Black Border Ivoroid Binding New L.R. Baggs Stage Pro pickup Breedlove Hardshell Logo Case.
The Taylor 355CE celebrates tone and craftsmanship like never before. Solid African mahogany backs and sides and gloss-finished Sitka spruce tops provide a clear, balanced tone, while wood fiber binding, pearl fretboard inlays, and chrome Taylor tuners streamline the look.
A smooth Venetian cutaway provides access to the upper frets on this solid 12-string while the Expression System pickup, now standard on all acoustic electric models, makes the 300 Series a great introduction to premium-quality, American-made, solid wood acoustic guitars.
The Taylor Expression System is designed to faithfully reproduce your guitar's native tone, the Expression System utilizes patented Dynamic Sensors to capture top and string vibration like never before.
See our article on Best Guitar Buying Tips and How to Buy a Classical Guitar for a lot of addition information - and - some suggestions for guitars. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced guitars are covered.
Set them off in the right direction and watch them enjoy this musical experience for the rest of their life!