The 12-string acoustic guitars are a bit of an enigma. They have their perks, but switching to them isn’t smooth and easy; it takes time, patience, understanding, and perseverance.
In a 12 string guitar, there are 12 strings in six courses. They produce more ringing and richer tones compared to the general 6-string acoustic guitars.
Their sound is fuller and more harmonically resonant. Therefore, some experts call it a grand piano of the guitar world.
Things To Consider Before Buying 12 String Acoustic Guitars
A 12-string guitar is a must-have for every serious guitar player’s collection. Although there are some similarities between 6-string and 12-string acoustic guitars, there are still a few things to consider before buying a 12-string acoustic guitar.
You need to know how the tuning works.
Most 12 string acoustic guitars follow the same open tuning like a 6 string but there can be some difference. For instance, the B and E can be tuned to the same pitch as they don’t have partners that are on the octave part.
It needs to be a wider neck guitar.
Wider neck guitars accommodate extra things rather well, though the profile and length can be the same. 12-strings on a regular guitar neck can be problematic even for some experts; they can’t reach certain chords easily. Other than that, even for fingerpicking, a regular neck profile won’t support.
Double truss rods
In the 12 string model, double truss rods run through the neck to keep it durable. If the manufacturers won’t do that, chances are it wouldn’t last too long. This feature also makes the neck thicker and heavier which can be against the feel of some people.
This guitar also needs a lot of hand strength.
You can’t expect a beginner to play it like a pro even if he knows all the highs and lows of a 6-string guitar version. The regular capo won’t work on 12-strings either; you must get a new capo that is designed for this sort of guitar. It should exert the pressure well when you press down on two strings at the same time.
The point of highlighting these things isn’t to scare you away. We are introducing some differences and revealing it might take you some time and effort to comprehend these things.
Once you deal with the initial learning curve, there is nothing like the rich, jangly tone of 12 string. Its distinctive features take your skills to the next level and give you truly great playing experience.
Top 4 12 String Acoustic Guitars
Here we are taking a look at the top 4 12-string acoustic guitars on the market. No matter what price point you are working with, we are confident you will find a winner on our list and buy it right away… Let’s dive straight in.
Fender 12 String Acoustic Guitar
This 12 string dreadnought from Fender is ideal for live performances.
It became such a hit recently that it made Fender a home to one of the most trusted guitars.
Featuring Fishman Classic Design and single-cutaway body style, the Fender 12-string acoustic guitar produces a balanced warm and mellow sound that captures every music lover’s attention.
The grain on its body is dark and looks beautiful. We also loved the built-in tuner in it; it is very accurate and you can tune in on your own without any trouble.
It stays pretty much in tune as well; you don’t need to tune it over and over. Moreover, the strings on this guitar are separated enough for easy picking.
- It comes with an informative DVD.
- The playability is great.
- It includes a built-in tuner.
- A strap is also included for comfortable practice.
- It has rolled fingerboard edges.
- You need to tune this guitar a little bit to get the best sound out of it.
Epiphone Acoustic 12 String Guitar
Epiphone’s reputation is one of the best in the business.
Their guitars always do an impressive job of capturing natural sounds.
The Epiphone Acoustic 12-string Guitar is a great example. It is a go-to-guitar for rock, folk, blues and everything in between.
The main reason why some professional rock stars opt for it is it is extraordinary loud too which is perfect for the live shows.
Also, this guitar offers all the resonance and lusciousness they are looking for to make their presentation more breathtaking.
This model from the Epiphone also stays in tune. Its mahogany-made body can adequately support and handle the tension of 12-strings.
- It doesn’t go out of tune quickly.
- Its body support and handles the tension of the strings rather well.
- Its action is more than decent.
- The resonance quality is great.
- You can use it in live performances.
- The soundboard is a tad thin.
Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
Fans of a more classic design should check out Yamaha FG820.
It is a solid top acoustic guitar made by one of the most reputable brands in the industry, Yamaha.
For that reason, the admirable quality and the expressive tone of this model have made it the best choice for millions of guitar lovers.
When it comes to the sound, you are certainly getting the most out of its price. It sounds great right out of the box.
Though it has a rich and vibrant tone, the overall sound is deep. Therefore, we believe it is better to call it a 12-string blues acoustic guitar too.
Overall, it plays like an old friend, but with the reliability of modern design. Its solid Sitka spruce top adds a touch of class on its overall appearance, plus the mahogany back and sides with beautifully hand-sprayed finishes make it a lifelong partner.
The unique thing about this model is you have a myriad of color options… Whatever the personality and taste of your music, there is a Yamaha FG to match.
- It has a new scalloped bracing pattern.
- You can choose any color you want that matches your music personality.
- It has an excellent, deep tone.
- It is made with pure traditional looks.
- It is easier to fingerpick and isolates the notes.
- The strings quality isn’t so great.
Oscar Schmidt Acoustic Guitar
Looking for a piece of instrument that is sure to last long? Trust Oscar Schmidt.
Without having a costly price tag, it comes with superior quality and excellent craftsmanship.
This 12-string guitar has a mahogany neck and body with a rosewood fretboard that produces warm, resonant tones. They also assist in delivering sound accuracy in music.
This model is factory set with low action; it makes it easy to play. There won’t be any need to tune it if you aren’t looking for some specific tone.
But even after replacing the factory setting, its chrome die-cast tuner won’t let it go out of tune easily. Taking price into consideration, we’d like to give it A++ ratings.
- It has a fully adjustable mahogany neck.
- The overall body has a high gloss finish.
- It is ready to play right out of the box.
- The sound is noticeably louder.
- It is an affordable entry to 12-string.
- It has plastic dreadnoughts.
12 String Acoustic Guitar – FAQs
In this section, you will discover a quick answer to common questions about 12-string acoustic guitar… Feel free to send us your question too through our contact us page.
What’s the point of playing 12-string?
Doubling up on string means adding an extra jangle and depth to your sound. It is like applying a chorus effect via a pedal, which you can’t acquire with a 6-string.
Which genres are ideal for this model?
This guitar is popularly used for country, blues, and rock genres. But, because of its extra strings, you can utilize the depth of its tone in any genre you want.
Is it ideal for beginners?
No, it is not. We won’t recommend it for beginners. If you already own a 6-string guitar, you can opt for 12-string as you perceive the adjustments and tuning, but for a beginner, it can be a trouble. They need a lot of patience and knowledge to understand its features.
Do we need to tune each string separately?
To perceive the answer to this question, you have to understand the design first. The strings of this guitar are placed in courses of two strings each. They are tuned in unison and you play them together. If it is your first time tuning, it is better to get an expert for it.
Can it go out of tune?
Yes, it is very common if you are buying it from a local store, as it suffers the extra pressure between nut and bridge. However, if you are buying it from a known company, you don’t need to ponder this concern; their guitars stay in tune mostly.
The Fender 12 string acoustic guitar takes the prize for the best value guitar in this list. It produces a robust, full sound and great playability. Plus, this timeless piece of the guitar won’t break the bank either. If you are a musician who likes to spice things up, you will fall in love with it and amplify your performance for the live shows.