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Ok, it’s a 12 string so I’m going to play it for 3-5 songs for the rest of my life lol

I don’t want to spend a lot, but don’t want unplayable garbage. A pickup is a big bonus but not essential. Dare I consider an electric?? 😱

Used is welcomed too as I can get a better guitar. I have no brand loyalty.

Any suggestions?

TG
 

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Not sure what your budget is but I wouldn't spend any less than what these cost for a decent 12 string.

Takamine P3DC - $2,100
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Taylor 150e - $1,200

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Danelectro 59 Vintage - $730
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Yamaha LL16-12 - $2,000
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Hagstrom Viking Deluxe - $1,300
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I’ve owned several 12 strings. My current is a Reverend Airwave 12 electric. It is my favourite of them all. Next was a Godin A12. Not so great but OK acoustically, Very quiet. Plugged in it was phenomenal. Best lower priced one was a solid top laminate Yamaha, not sure of the model. It was a late 80’s, made in Taiwan. Decent sound, well made guitar. If you buy used look the guitar over very carefully. There is a lot of tension in those strings.
 

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I bought a used Norman B20 12 string a few years ago and it’s excellent, sounds great and is well made. I see them on Kijiji now and then for $300 or so .
I bought this exact guitar last year - for $300. It is serviceable.
 
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I love the Seagull, Norman, etc. guitars. Great playing and great sound for little money.

If you can nab one, Hagstrom acoustics are also excellent. I still regret not buying a Hagstrom 12-string I played once.

...aaaaand now I wanna buy a 12 string again.
 

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I believe braces, bridge plates, and necks are all thicker. Probably to varying degrees. I have an old Seagull M12 and I don’t notice the neck thickness so much since it’s already wider to accommodate the strings.
I have a sneaking suspicion that some lower end 12 strings, the only difference is holes for more strings.

I had a shitty Jasmine 12 string that basically collapsed in on itself. lol
 

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I believe braces, bridge plates, and necks are all thicker. Probably to varying degrees. I have an old Seagull M12 and I don’t notice the neck thickness so much since it’s already wider to accommodate the strings.
You will also notice the string gauges tend to be lighter.

Some of the 60’s/70’s Gibson 12’s tried to go with smaller bodies, over time they are basically coming apart due to tension, age and inadequate bracing. You see them on Kijiji fairly regularly, but beware, you really need to get them checked out by a luthier.
 

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I have a Seagull without pickup, that I play once in a while. It is very easy to play and sounds quite good. Recommend them fully. Buddy has a Martin 12 which sounds a LOT better. It is his number one, whereas I play electric guitars for the most part. Depends on what you want to do and pay.
 

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I've owned only three 12 strings and I like them all. One was a Takamine F-400, beautiful sound to strum but not great for finger style. While I owned it I bought a seagull coastline Cedar top. The volume It produced absolutely drowned out my Takamine it rang more like a bell and was not mellow. Super easy to play fingerstyle, I highly recommend it for the money. The last one I picked up was a eco, it is one year earlier from before they became the ranger line. This guitar too is amazing and I can easily recommend also fantastic as a fingerstyle player. It has a great amount of volume and a tone that is closer to the Takamine. The Takamine felt like the highest quality of the three but it was the one I Let Go as for my fingers it was only good for strumming
 

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Two that stood out for me for tone and playability were the Godin and a rare Epiphone Hummingbird 12. Regret not buying at the time. Had a lower end Ibanez and Signa years ago, Heel joints opened up-glue let go.
 

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You will also notice the string gauges tend to be lighter.

Some of the 60’s/70’s Gibson 12’s tried to go with smaller bodies, over time they are basically coming apart due to tension, age and inadequate bracing. You see them on Kijiji fairly regularly, but beware, you really need to get them checked out by a luthier.
Good note. I’ve heard this about about 12 strings and was wary when I bought my Seagull used, though it wasn’t that old (and of course was not “vintage” priced). And I definitely have 10s on it instead of 12s or 13s.
 
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