Author Topic: 12-String Recommendation  (Read 1116 times)

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Offline Amelie

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12-String Recommendation
« on: May 26, 2016, 02:58:00 am »
I am thinking about getting a 12-string acoustic / electric.  Any recommendations?  I know Melissa Etheridge has an Ovation she plays, but I don't know much about Ovation guitars. 

Offline close2u

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Re: 12-String Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 08:56:10 am »
Ovation are round back and can be very awkward to play sitting down.
The sound is not to everyone's taste unplugged.
They do have a good reputation for quality.


About buying an acoustic that you want to plug in to play live.
I was once given this wise advice ...

"... get a decent soundhole pickup - it's worth having it fitted properly, with an endpin jack in the guitar unless you're planning to take it out and trade up the guitar - or an undersaddle or internal body transducer and a good outboard preamp. A soundhole pickup could be a simple passive one like the Duncan Woody - which will also need an external preamp (or at least an EQ pedal) for the best results - or an active one like the LR Baggs M1 or the Fishman Rare Earth which has its preamp built in.

I would advise against putting electrics in the guitar - I really don't understand why it's become the 'accepted' way of doing it, there are many disadvantages compared to a good external preamp, and the only real advantage is that the controls are at your fingertips - but you won't easily be able to adjust them on the fly if you're playing continuously.

One of the main reasons I am so against electro-acoustics is that they are the absolute bane of my life as a repairer - they have numerous reliability issues, and you really don't want that as your sole guitar when you're playing a gig. Keeping the electrics offboard means they can be replaced or bypassed if you have to in a matter of seconds, and the show goes on - even if with a less-good sound. Something as simple as a Boss TU-2 tuner pedal makes a usable backup preamp because it's got a decent buffer in it - you'd lose your EQ, but you could still make it work. If the onboard preamp in an electro-acoustic goes down, you can't - at all.

You will *always* get a better sound by spending as much on the best acoustic guitar you can afford after buying a good separate pickup and preamp.

Electro-acoustics always compromise one or the other, and even if they don't then they can't be any better than the equivalent set-up with the electrics outside the guitar. Inside the guitar is simply the wrong place to put the electronics."

Offline stitch101

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Re: 12-String Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 04:58:12 pm »
I'd recommend Don't Buy a Cheap 12 string.

I have a Fender 12 string I've owned since 1980 bought it 2nd hand. It's a 1975 I think.
It's wasn't inexpensive back then and it still plays like a dream.
A good friend of mine has a Takamine Cedar top 12 that he paid over $1400 for about 25 years
ago and it also plays like a dream.
I've played many inexpensive 12 strings and they are hard to play and hard to keep in tune.

I've watch your videos and your a petite person and it appears you're playing a Martin Dred Jr.
So I also recommend you go and play as many 12 strings as you can. They have a lot thicker necks
and most are Dreds. You may find them hard to handle.

I enjoyed your videos very well done. Keep it up.  8)

Offline 12-string_Doug

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Re: 12-String Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 10:24:41 pm »
  Another note about Ovations, if you haven't seen this already: they come in shallow, mid-depth, and deep bowl configurations. I think all of Ovation's current 12-string models except the 1598-MEII Melissa Etheridge signature model (part of their Elite series) are deep contour. The 1598-MEII is mi-depth.
  A lady who plays at our local open mics has a shallow-contour Ovation 6-string, and she says she much prefers it over other Ovations she's played. (Her brother owns one, but his has a mid or deep bowl.)
  An old friend of mine in new Mexico has a custom-built Elite 12-string, and I think it's his go-to guitar. He's a pretty big guy, but had to take a break from playing after shoulder surgery. For awhile, his Fender Stratocaster was the about only guitar in his collection that wasn't uncomfortable for him to play.
  I still have my old Yamaha FG230 from the Seventies (dreadnought, no cutaway, DeArmond pickup in the soundhole) and my Fender Villager, plus a Jay Turser Hawk12 solid-body electric. I might get a used Ovation one of these days.

Offline Amelie

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Re: 12-String Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 03:16:26 am »
Thanks for all of the great information.


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