Getting up close and personal with a 12-string guitar is an experience you'll never forget. The lush, full sound of the 12 strings is like no other- it's no wonder this type of guitar has been used on some of the most popular songs ever written.
Without being too overwhelming, a 12-string guitar can give you the best of both worlds- the full sound of a 6-string guitar, with the added brilliance of the extra strings. When shopping for a 12-string guitar, it's essential to keep in mind some of the same criteria you would for a 6-string- such as body style, neck profile, and of course, budget.
In this roundup, we've compiled some of the 6 best 12-string guitars on the market to help you find the perfect one for your needs.
Best 12 String Guitar
1. Fender CD-60SCE Right-Handed 12 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Dreadnought cutaway body style
- Fishman low-profile pickup/preamp
- Solid spruce top with scalloped "X"-bracing
The Fender CD-60SCE is a fantastic option for a high-quality 12-string guitar. It features a dreadnought body style, perfect for those who want a full, rich sound. This acoustic guitar is familiar, warm, and comforting. A new player's first guitar is the most essential aspect of their musical adventure, and it should be a classic design instrument that will never go out of style like the Fender CD-60SCE.
Thanks to the C-shaped profile, the neck is comfortable and easy to play with rolled fingerboard edges. The action is low, making pressing down the strings easier and avoiding those frustrating buzzes and rattles.
Classic design guitars blend timeless body forms with excellent craftsmanship and contemporary features to appeal to novice and intermediate guitarists. The Fender CD-60SCE offers an unbeatable combination of quality features at an excellent price, which is why it's our top pick for the best 12-string guitar.
- Mahogany back and sides produce a warm, full sound
- Rolled fingerboard edges for easy playability
- Potential quality control issues with intonation
2. Oscar Schmidt OD312CEB-A-U 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar
- Guitar Bridge System: Hardtail Bridge
- Guitar Pickup Configuration: Humbucker
- Hand Orientation: Right
The Oscar Schmidt OD312CEB-A-U is a beautiful guitar perfect for those who want the best of both worlds- the full sound of a 12-string guitar with the added convenience of an acoustic-electric.
This guitar features a dreadnought body style, with a cutaway for easy access to the upper frets. The Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides give this guitar a warm, full sound that's perfect for any style of music. The built-in electronics make it easy to plug into an amp or PA system, and the included gig bag makes it easy to take this guitar on the go.
Decorative inlays on the fingerboard and headstock add a touch of elegance to this guitar. The gold-plated tuning machines keep this guitar in tune, even with heavy use.
- The dreadnought body style for a full, rich sound
- Sitka spruce top for a warm tone
- Not as loud as some other 12-string guitars
3. Yamaha FG820 12-String Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
- Solid Sitka Spruce Top
- Mahogany Back & Sides
- Rosewood Fingerboard
With solid Sitka Spruce top construction, the Yamaha FG820 is built for durability. The Sitka spruce top and nato back and sides give this guitar a warm, full sound that's perfect for any style of music.
This 800 Series guitar features Scalloped bracing, an ideal acoustic structure that maintains the durability of the top board while bringing out more of the instrument's natural sound.
The body and fingerboard bindings are cream plastic for an improved look and a warmer and more powerful sound owing to the mahogany back and sides. The nato neck is easy to play, thanks to the rosewood fingerboard and guitar body shape.
- Made in Yamaha
- 2 body shapes
4. Takamine GJ72CE-12NAT Jumbo Cutaway 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Solid spruce top and flame maple back and sides
- Produces all the lush, robust sound that players expect from a jumbo 12-string guitar
- Slim mahogany neck and 12"-radius bound rosewood fingerboard provide great feel and playability
The GJ72CE-12 is an acoustic/electric 12-string guitar with a mighty jumbo body style, solid-top construction, premium electronics, and stunning cosmetic features. This guitar was built to perform at its best, whether played acoustically or amplified.
The GJ72CE-12 features a solid spruce top, rosewood back, and sides that give the guitar a rich, full sound. The jumbo body style provides plenty of volume and projection, making this guitar perfect for any style of music.
The 12″ driver and slim mahogany neck give excellent feel and playability, while the onboard Taka mine TK-40D preamp system gives you the flexibility to shape your sound in any way you want.
- Natural gloss finish
- Jumbo body style
- Takamine TK-40D preamp system for ultimate flexibility
- Not much variety in colors
5. Vangoa 12 String Guitar
- [✔Outstand Sound] Sapele body offers a consistent, balanced tonal, making it compatible with a diverse range of playing styles. Dreadnought body enhance the loud, full, impressive sound makes the echo-like sound more stunning
- [✔Precise Tuning] 18:1 ratios tuners offer more precise adjustments. The nickel-plated sealed pegs prevent gear against dust and liquid erosion, durable&long-lasting. Bone nut&saddle efficiently transfer the vibration which makes sound better
- [✔Perfect Design] Strings nicely close together won't take much muscle strength to play. Slender size C-shape neck has a cozy hold. Gloss finish is smooth to touch and make the beautiful wood grain more appealing
The most appealing aspect of a Vangoa 12 String guitar is the sound of it ringing out a wide chord, with the strings and tonewood complementing one another. This 12-string guitar has quite a lot of power to double pleasure. Simply one instrument can produce a thicker, fuller tone with more lovely harmonic resonance and chime.
The Vangoa 12 String guitar is a full-size guitar with a glossy natural finish. Strings in this guitar that are close together don't need to be played with much force. The C-shaped neck is pleasant to hold. The glossy finish makes the beautiful wood grain more appealing and provides a smooth feel when touched.
- 18:1 ratio tuners.
- Zipped padded bag.
- Built-in truss rod.
- May need a strap button installed for standing playing.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 12 String Guitar?
To be sure you are getting the best 12-string guitar for your money, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best 12-string guitar.
The neck of the guitar is one of the most important parts, as it is what supports the strings and allows you to hold down chords and notes. The neck's material will affect the guitar's sound and playability, so it is important to choose a material that you are comfortable with.
Common materials used for guitar necks include mahogany, maple, and rosewood. Each of these materials has its unique sound and tonal qualities.
The type of wood used in the construction of your guitar will have a significant impact on the overall tone of the instrument. Different woods will produce different tones, so choosing the suitable wood for the tone you are looking for is important.
The 3 most popular kinds of wood used in constructing 12-string guitars are spruce, cedar, and mahogany.
- Spruce is a trendy choice for the guitar's top because it provides a bright, clear tone.
- Cedar is also popular for the top of the guitar because it has a rich and warm classical tone.
- Mahogany guitars are great for folk, blues, and indie music because of the richness of sound they create.
Scale and Frets
The scale is the distance between the nut and the saddle, measured in inches. The most common 12-string guitar scales are 24.75″, 25.5″, and 26.5″.
The number of frets on the guitar will also affect the instrument's sound. Guitars with more frets will have a brighter sound, while guitars with fewer frets will have a warmer sound.
Overall, the guitar's hardware is not as important as the body and neck, but it is still something to consider when choosing a 12-string guitar. The quality of the tuning pegs, bridge, and nut will affect the playability and sound of the guitar.
The body shape of your guitar will also affect the tone. The two most popular body shapes for 12-string guitars are dreadnought and jumbo.
Dreadnought guitars have a large body that provides a lot of volumes and a deep, rich tone.
Jumbo guitars have large bodies, but the sound is more focused and not as deep as dreadnought guitars.
Acoustic or Electric?
You, as the player, will also need to decide if you want a robust acoustic sound or electric 12-string guitar. Acoustic guitars are great for unplugged performances and are typically played with a pick.
Electric guitars are better for plugged-in performances and can be played with a pick or your fingers. Although there are acoustic-electric guitars, they are typically played plugged in.
Whatever the product, price is always an important factor to consider. When it comes to 12-string guitars, you can find guitars at a wide range of prices. Finding a guitar that is within your budget and meets your needs as a player is important.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are 12-string guitars good for?
12-string acoustic guitars are ideal for adding depth and glitter to your strumming patterns, especially on extended chords. They are also suitable for fingerpicking.
Is a 12-string guitar hard to play?
Because 12-string guitars have increased string tension, doubled strings, and the courses are arranged close together, they're more complicated to play than six-string guitars–and thus take longer to learn. The good news is that once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to play just about anything on a 12-string that you can on a six-string.
Is it worth it to buy a 12-string guitar?
This string is essential for playing your favorite classic. A 12-string guitar can also give you the sound you need to hear what it's like to be in a stadium full of people. If you're looking for a rich acoustic sound guitar that will add some zing to your music, a 12-string is definitely worth the investment.
How much should I spend on a 12-string guitar?
The price of a 12-string guitar depends on the brand, body style, and features. You can find guitars that range from $100 to $1,000. The reason for the price difference is that some guitars are made with better materials and have more features than others. It is important to find a guitar that is within your budget and also meets your needs as a player.
The 12-string guitar is popular for many guitarists because of its rich, warm, smooth, and robust tone. The scale and number of guitar frets will affect the instrument's sound. The quality of the tuning pegs, bridge, and nut will also affect the playability and sound of the guitar. The body shape of your guitar will also affect the tone.
Get the one that fits you the most so you will enjoy playing it.
Now that you know a little bit more about 12-string guitars, it's time to go out and find the perfect one for you. With so many options available, it's important to take your time and find the right guitar. Consider your budget, playing style, and needs as a musician when making your decision.
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