Best 12 String Guitar In 2020 | Buyers Guide

From reading the title, the Best 12 String Guitar, you may be wondering why would someone need a 12 string when a 6-string guitar does the job. lot of artists these days use this 12 string guitar as a practice tool to master the 6-string guitar. Instead of a single string, you are now handling dual strings making it trickier to play and thus honing your skills drastically along the way.

A 12 string encapsulates the rich sound of an electric guitar and merges it with the resonance of an acoustic. It brings a lot more to the table by creating richer overtones, especially if you perform with a power amplifier.

Another reason for its popularity is curiosity. People constantly want to experiment with new styles, sounds, and tones. This guitar not only provides all three but also poses a challenge and helps inspire the creative skill in every player.

How to CHOOSE the best 12 string guitar?

There isn’t a lot of information available on the internet when you exactly look for. So, making it concise, apart from your basic acoustic needs, you also need to look for something with an easier tuning process. 

You need to keep in mind that unlike your 6-string, learning this has 12 string guitar can be time consuming and challenging. 

The second important thing is,  the neck should be broad enough and strong to hold the 12 string guitar. Because it could be little heavier than the 6 string guitars. Also make sure it's easy for you to adjust the truss rods easily. 

So take a look on the best 12 string guitar which we have shortlisted after 15 hours of research.

best 12 string guitar COMPARISON TABLE

Image

Brand

Details

Rating

  • Body: Solid Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Walnut
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Hardware Finish:Chrome
  • Body: Mahogany .
  • Fretboard: Engineered wood.
  • Bridge System: Hardtail
  • Orientation: Right
  • Body: Spruce wood top.
  • Mahogany rib and back.
  • Closed Style Tuning Pegs.
  • ABS Bindings.
  • Body: Mahogany Back & Sides.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Bridge System: Rosewood.
  • Diecast Tuners.
  • Body: Mahogany.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Tuners: Mini Grover.
  • Truss Rod; Dual Action.
  • Body: Solid spruce top.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Tuners: TK-40D preamp.
  • Elegant Natural gloss finish.
  • Body: Wild Cherry.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Tuners: Tapered Headstock.
  • Double Action Truss Rod.
  • Body: Solid Spruce.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Tuners: deluxe.
  • Laminated MapleBody Top.
  • Body: Mahogany.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Tuners: backlit chromatic digital.
  • Paua abalone and mother of pearl inlays.
  • Body: Mahogany.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Tuners: Preamp w/ Onboard.
  • Strap Button: Standard

Best 12 string guitar REVIEW

1) Fender CD-60SCE-12 - best 12 string acoustic guitar with kit

best 12 string guitar

Product DETails

  • Both acoustic and electric with Fishman electronic system.
  • Sturdy spruce top and mahogany side and back.
  • Comfortable neck.
  • Fishman preamp.
  • X-bracing and dreadnought body style.

Are you looking to expand your horizons and dipping your toe into the world of the 12 string? What better way is there, than to start with an original fender? The CD-60SCE-12 is a classic dreadnought model that is quite comfy to handle. It fits well in the neck without any burden. With the built-in tuner it provides great tone. It cutaway design and durable mahogany body makes it the best of best to opt for!

This piece will be your perfect companion for jamming, camping, small gigs or just your home. With Fender, you do not have to worry about the sound or the quality. It is equally responsive to any style of playing, be it soft acoustic or hard strumming patterns.

Pros

  • Rolled fingerboards.
  • Durable.
  • For all strumming patterns.
  • Value for the price.
  • Excellent Fender sound quality.
  • Built-in tuner.

Cons

  • Strings may need replacing.






2) Oscar Schmidt OD312CEB-A-U 12 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar Black

Best 12 string guitar

Product DETails

  • ​Humbucker pickup configuration.
  • Engineered wood fretboard.
  • Right-hand orientation.
  • Both acoustic and electric.
  • Hardtail bridge system.
  • Glossy black finish.
  • Mahogany body and neck.
  • Built-in preamp.

This acoustic-electric Oscar model is an affordable answer to those of you who need the perfect practice tool until you graduate to a more advanced model. This dreadnought cutaway design provides simple access to the upper frets and the handcrafted quality comes with a glossy attractive finish with a spruce top for durability and mahogany sides. 

The highlight of this model is definitely its engineered wood fretboard which ensures no damage during export or rough use. It also comes with a full-adjustable truss rod and a die-cast built-in tuner.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Attractive marquetry.
  • Durable fretboard.
  • Built-in tuner.

Cons

  • No pickguard.





3) Vangoa - cheap 12 string guitar

Best 12 string guitar

Product DETails

  • 4 band EQ – bass, mid, treble, and pres.
  • Built for the stage.
  • Guitar strap, tuner, pick, cable, capo included.
  • Steel strings for richer sound.
  • Spruce top and mahogany sides for tonal resonance.
  • ABS binding for durability and enhancing. 

Vangoa is a fairly new entrant in the guitar scene having established in 2017 yet it has made its mark in e-commerce due to its high-functioning, superior quality, uniqueness and value for the price making it third on this list. It has gained popularity among all guitarists including beginners and the seasoned for its craftsmanship and sound. 

It comes with a dreadnought body, mahogany sides and spruce top which gives the sound a warm ambiance. The 4-band EQ and the in-built tuner makes it the perfect tool for performances and gigs. The guitar comes with a kit which consists of an adjustable guitar strap, cable, bag, guidebook and warranty so you can play worry-free.

Pros

  • ​Built-in tuner.
  • Comes with all necessities.
  • Strong sound.
  • Adjustable truss rod.
  • Rich tone.
  • Shimmering effect.

Cons

  • Slight fret buzz.






4) yamaha FG820 12 string acoustic guitar

best 12 string guitar

Product DETails

  • Scalloped bracing structure.
  • Natural warm sound.
  • Tonewood and color options.
  • Rosewood fingerboard.
  • Concert body shape.
  • Nato back and sides.
  • Loud and strong tone.

Yamaha guitars need no introduction; the company was established over 50 years ago and this new 12 string range is proof that you don't need to burn a hole in your pocket to afford a top-quality guitar. This model has quickly become the classic choice for many professional and novice players alike for its playability and best tonal acoustics with powerful sound. 

The hardware includes a concert body with a spruce top rosewood fingerboard and a bridge with a classic natural finish. The advantage of the name Yamaha comes to its loyalty and commitment to creating long-lasting tools with cured woods that will last you a lifetime.

Pros

  • Yamaha sound.
  • Lifelong durability.
  • Classic design.
  • Good playability.
  • Affordable.
  • High-quality materials.

Cons

  • Slight string buzz.






5) Dean Boca 12 String Electric Guitar, Classic Black

Dean boca

Product DETails

  • Right-handed orientation.
  • Adjustable bridge system.
  • Dual humbucker pickup configuration.
  • Rosewood fretboard.
  • Arched top and hollow body.

Are you looking for that blaring rock sound that you could belt out without distortion? The deal Boca 12 string is the perfect model for you. This hollow body guitar with dual humbucker pickup configuration comes with built-in Grover tuner, volume, toggle, and tonal controls, and an adjustable truss rod. 

The hardware is Boca body type with the base material as mahogany, maple neck, and glossy classic black finish make the perfect choice for all guitarists irrespective of their style.

Pros

  • Built-in tuner.
  • Study mahogany body.
  • High playability.
  • Clean hollow sound.
  • Durable.
  • Value for money.
  • Perfect for rock.

Cons

  • Heavy for long gigs
  • No case included.






6) Takamine GJ72CE-12NAT Jumbo Cutaway 12 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

best 12 string guitar

Product DETails

  • ​Jumbo cutaway body for easy accessibility.
  • Maple body and neck.
  • Right-handed orientation.
  • Vintage glossy finish.
  • Takamine pre-amp and sound.
  • Rosewood fingerboard for easy chord transitions.

You can never go wrong with the bold and rich sounds of a Takamine acoustic guitar. This model is the perfect example of how much one can achieve in a mid-range budget of a 12 string acoustic. This has a jumbo body with the option of spruce or maple finish. It has a clean design with a cutaway body and 20 easily accessible frets with an abalone inlay design. 

It also comes with the synonymous Takamine preamp and a 3-band EQ with gain control, the bypass switch, notch filter control, and contour switch. The highlight of this model apart from its many features is its top-notch sound which is balanced warm and loud when unplugged.

Pros

  • Sturdy design.
  • Inbuilt tuner.
  • Multiple controls.
  • Gig-ready.
  • High unplugged volume.
  • Versatile.
  • Tonal control.

Cons

  • Needs setting up.







7) Seagull twelve string guitar

Seagull

Product DETails

  • Handmade and durable.
  • Three band EQ control.
  • Transducer.
  • Frequency content.
  • Wild cherry tonewood.
  • Three layer lamination.
  • Semi-gloss clean design.
  • Tapered headstock.

Seagull is one of those premium Canadian handmade models that is usually a rare find in the market. Among the popularity ratio, this particular model is right up the alley of the guitar people pick for the craftsmanship, surprising features and affordability factor. 

The reason this brand became so popular is that most handmade guitars are usually expensive and they somehow introduced their line into the affordable market without compromising on production or the materials used. The body of the Coastline is made of silver leaf maple with rock-solid hardware, rosewood bridge and a three band EQ control panel.

Pros

  • Built-in tuner.
  • Seagull guarantee.
  • Rich sound performance.
  • Smooth neck.
  • Tonal control.

Cons

  • Occasional 12 string buzz.





8) Gretsch G5022CWFE twelve-string Guitar

best 12 string guitar

Product DETails

  • Maple and spruce body.
  • Right-handed orientation.
  • Maple neck with dreadnought shape.
  • Glossy laminated feel.
  • 21 fret vintage style model.
  • Neoclassic fretboard inlays.
  • Gold sparkle binding.

In the classic rancher falcon styles, you get this 12 string model in a jumbo cutaway body for easy accessibility, gold plated appointments and electronic system that works as a sound amplifier. 

The soundhole, top, back, fingerboard and headstock come with a gold sparkle binding for an eye-catching effect coupled with an X bracing and the synonymous triangular sound hole and a V headstock. It comes with a built-in Fishman pickup and preamp system to intensify tonal control, volume while unplugged, effects and tuner.

Pros

  • Sonic sound.
  • Rounded frets.
  • Affordable.
  • Excellent sound.
  • Durable.
  • Unplugged sound.

Cons

  • Guitar case not included.
  • Tuners may be a bit tight to adjust.





9) ​Alvarez Artist Series AD60-12 Dreadnought Twelve String Acoustic Natural/Gloss Finish

Alvarez-min

Product DETails

  • Solid wood with a single laminate
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Mahogany neck and back
  • Sitka and spruce top
  • Piezo pickup
  • Neoclassic fretboard inlays.
  • Finely grained hand-selected wood

These highly-rated award-winning artist series are extremely popular in the European countries for its classic shape and dependable sound placing it as one of the top models in the market. The solid top of this series implies the solid wood structure as opposed to simple laminate giving it a distinct sound. 

Although the sound does not purely just come from the wood, the general shape of this model plays a huge hand which is able to create the exact sound without compromising on its strength.

The hand-selected Sitka wood tops that the quality of all models is uniform to register bass, mids, and trebles more distinctly. You also have a variety of models to choose from in this artist series which come in different orientations, baritones, and shapes.

Pros

  • Tonal clarity.
  • Wide neck.
  • Rounded frets.
  • Value for price.
  • Rich sound.
  • Durable solid wood.

Cons

  • No guitar case included.






10) Takamine GB30CE Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar Natural

best 12 string guitar

Product DETails

  • Single cutaway wood.
  • Mahogany back.
  • Tonewood body.
  • Spruce neck.
  • Abalone rosette.
  • Glossy finish.
  • Dovetail neck joint.
  • Pearly dot inlays.

We are ending the list with one of the best brands known for their hardware and sound. Takamine is not known for its style but for its consistent sound quality. This particular model has a concert body shape with a tonewood body, mahogany back and a spruce top. 

The ironed-out neck has a smooth finish that aids transitions with every component of the guitar merging perfectly. They come with die-cast tuners and Teakmine’s preamp system with a transducer pickup system and MD shift and bass boost control system. 

The sound comes clear without distorted trebles and balanced mids and the three-band EQ aiding in tonal shaping with pedals that give you complete control over the sound.

Pros

  • Versatile sound quality.
  • Powerful transducer pickup.
  • Clear treble.
  • Pedals for tone shaping.

Cons

  • Tuners are not always accurate.
  • Amp needed for sound.


Conclusion

At the end, just like the 8-string guitar, the 12 string guitar are also a niche collectible segment in the world of guitars but has been gaining popularity among various professionals who are curious about wanting to add it to their connection. 


The ones I have highlighted on my list are established brands that have been in the market for long having established themselves. So, if you are a musician of any skill level wanting to make your jamming interesting, you can invest in one of the models on the list and get inspired.

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