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What's a good 12-string on a budget?


Jeffers Tarship

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Hi there, and thanks in advance for any advice.

 

I'm looking at 12-string electric guitars for under $700 or so and I'm wondering if you guys have any good recommendations. I've been playing for about a year, but I've got about five years on keys and two on bass, so I'm picking it up pretty fast. Been doing a lot of fingerpicking and I want to play slide, too.

 

Someone told me the Danelectro 12's are fine, with heavily chambered bodies and more of a Rickenbacker feel (without the quality, of course). I'd rather have a thinner bodied guitar, not a big semi-hollow, but is there an advantage to the bigger bodies, besides the obvious?

 

I'm open to suggestions for new, used, knock-offs, anything that would be reasonable to attempt to track down on eBay or elsewhere.

 

Thanks!

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The "new" ('90s and on) Danelectro 12-strings are very cool guitars, especially for the money! I really liked the ones I tried out in stores when they first came out, and would have bought one in particular, if someone hadn't beat me to it before I came back!

 

Schecter makes a 12-string model called the Stargazer-12, with a MSRP in the upper-end of your range; the 6, 7, and 10 string Schecters I've played were pretty solid, excellent quality axes...

 

Carvin has the solidbody DC127-12, currently listed as "DIRECT: $999.00 / AFTER REBATE: $849.00". Note that this price probably reflects the plainer looking (but perfectly excellent) alder-bodied base-model, and not necessarily the cost for the fancier figured-maple topped, option-laded versions that are prominently displayed on that 'page. Also note that they offer a LOT of options- these are pretty much built to order- and that some of these options are cheap, or even free.

 

Playability on these is killer, and intonation of all twelve strings is spot-on.

 

Standard/Base model specs as posted on Carvin's current 'page:

 

(Be sure to scroll down, there are a LOT, and good ones, too)

 

construction: neck through

 

scale length: 25"

 

body: alder

 

neck: hardrock maple with traditional (6X6)

12-string headstock

 

fingerboard: ebony, 12" radius

 

inlays: standard white dots

 

neck width: 1.69" wide @ nut, 2.22" wide @ 24th

fret

 

hardware: chrome

 

bridge: FT12 fixed bridge

 

tuners: Sperzel locking tuners

 

frets: 24 medium-jumbo, .103 wide X .048 tall

 

pickups: C22J & C22B humbuckers

 

electronics: push/pull active/passive controls with

passive master volume & tone and active master volume & cut/boost for bass & treble, 3-way pickup selector, 2 dual/single coil switches, phase switch

 

dimensions: 39.5" long, 12.75" wide body, 1.68" thick body

 

weight: 8.5 lbs

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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How much does the Burns Double Six come in at over there?

 

Mine's an amazing guitar for the money. I paid about £275.00 - about $500 I suppose - second hand, and it had only been used to do 2 tracks in a studio!!

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/Sale/PA050166.jpg

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/Sale/PA050168.jpg

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/Sale/PA050172.jpg

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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How much does the Burns Double Six come in at over there?

 

Mine's an amazing guitar for the money. I paid about £275.00 - about $500 I suppose - second hand, and it had only been used to do 2 tracks in a studio!!

 

What a cool, vibey guitar! I really, really want a green or green-burst Burns Steer non-cutaway sixer, and if they made a 12-string version I'd also want that...

 

On e-Bay, I found a used 2000 (year-model) Burns Double Six for (US Dollars) $1,699.99, and a "new" one for $749.00; go figure! :D

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Love the Burns guitars. I had a Burns-made Gretsch Corvette, and those lovely green sunburst (really ugly, but like a car accident, ya gotta look!...) models showed up here under thew Baldwin label.

 

In 12 strings, just be careful with the cheaper ones. I've owned a bunch, including 3 Fender XIIs, a 335-12, and I still have a Gibson Firebird XII. The only cheap one that I ever bought was an acoustic, and I had to keep it tuned down and capoed up.

 

But I bet if you are willing to take your time and wait a while, you may find a nice brand name one for your price... mostly because they have no resale value. I think the last time I priced the Fender XII, a 1960s vintage model in real good shape was only about $1200. I bought a used one that had been repainted but was otherwise cool for $600, and restored it, then could only sell it for $900 (It cost a lot more to restore than that...).Don't those 12 string Strats show up on ebay all the time?

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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It's set up like a strat, and sounds especially good in the 2 & 4 positions on the 5 way switch. I've had two of them, & ended up selling them when I needed money. But I would still have either one of them if I had my choice.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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It's set up like a strat, and sounds especially good in the 2 & 4 positions on the 5 way switch. I've had two of them, & ended up selling them when I needed money. But I would still have either one of them if I had my choice.

 

Do those have fully-intonatable 12-saddle bridges? It kinda looks like it in those e-Bay pics, but it's hard to tell for sure...

 

And it looks like some standard Strat parts like the pickups, tuners, maybe the neck, etc. would fit it, if you ever wanted to upgrade or modify anything down the road. Very cool!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I'll third the Danelectro recommendation; and approve the Yamaha Pacifica one as well (like you need my approval).

 

To me, "on a budget"is way less than $700, so you might find something better than what I'll recommend (or you can updat the electronics on them).

 

Jay Turser is a name that normally is considered low-rung; but they make a nice 12 string SG-like guitar that's around the $325 mark and played nicely.

http://victorlitz.com/cart/bmz_cache/8/83dcfbf14c61eb85bd667f7d382d672f.image.33x120.jpg

 

The Dean Boca is pretty decent too; though you might not like the slightly thicker semi-hollow body.

 

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/regular/0/1/6/462016.jpg

I always thought it would be cool if Godin made a 12-string version of the Radiator.

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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Say, have you considered converting a bolt-neck Strat or Tele style six-string you may already have to a twelve-string, with a neck from Warmoth or somebody, and a new bridge and tuners?

 

Jay Turser...they make a nice 12 string SG-like guitar that's around the $325 mark and played nicely.

http://victorlitz.com/cart/bmz_cache/8/83dcfbf14c61eb85bd667f7d382d672f.image.33x120.jpg

 

A 12-string SG-stylee seems like a really cool idea, and you wouldn't run into many other people with one; but I have to ask- isn't it kinda neck-heavy, with a tendency to want to "neck-dive" when you're standing with it on a strap?

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I've got a purple, mother-of-Masonite, Danelectro electric 12-string that I bought new in the 90's. Since most of my playing these days involves home recording, it's very useful for adding in a distinctive tonal color where and as needed... Pair of lipstick pickups... Occasional crackle in the controls that goes away with use... Does best run through a clean setting on my POD into the recording interface...

 

The neck is very flat and very stable. The action is outrageously good, especially for a 12-string, and the intonation up the neck is pretty good.

 

What I DON'T like are the tuners. They're teeny, and hard to tune with. Takes a bit of patience to coax it into tune, and some fine-tuning afterwards as one plays.

 

The guitar as a whole is also neck-heavy. Tends to feel like it wants to tilt towards the left as one holds it. Not unmanageable, but not elegantly balanced, either.

 

In buying it, I was trying to get something like one of my old playing partners' Hagstrom 12, which looked like an SG with a 12-string neck. I pretty much achieved that end...

 

The best electric 12-string I've ever played was a Taylor T5 12-string. Can't afford one, but for playability and sound(s), nothing touches it.

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I've got a purple, mother-of-Masonite, Danelectro electric 12-string...

 

Occasional crackle in the controls that goes away with use...

 

Try a little Tuner Cleaner, aka Control/Contact Cleaner w/ Lube, spritzed into the opening in the control-pot body, followed by 40 or more rapid back-and-forth full rotations per pot.

 

Does best run through a clean setting on my POD into the recording interface...

 

I love digital-models of Vox and Matchless type amps for single-coils and 12-strings...

 

What I DON'T like are the tuners. They're teeny, and hard to tune with. Takes a bit of patience to coax it into tune, and some fine-tuning afterwards as one plays.

 

Know what works great for fine-tuning with argumentative tuners, especially little ones like those? Once you're almost but not quite up-to-pitch on a given string, slip a peg-winder on there, one that fits snugly on the button, like this one from Dunlop...

 

http://www.jimdunlop.com/files/1145339729_GUITAR_PEG_WINDER_HE475_250x185.jpg

 

...and hold onto it up on its "head", near where it slips over the button, instead of the crank-handle, to ease up to pitch; it affords you a better grip with a slightly greater turns-ratio, for nicer, smoother fine-tuning. Used to do that all the time with this one acoustic that had stiff, jerky tuners that were anything but smooth...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Thanks, Caevan. Good suggestions. I'll try the pegwinder trick almost immediately... I knew about contact cleaner, but I've just been lazy...

 

And yeah, the Vox settings on the POD suit the Danelectro very well....

 

Thanks again...

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A 12-string SG-stylee seems like a really cool idea, and you wouldn't run into many other people with one; but I have to ask- isn't it kinda neck-heavy, with a tendency to want to "neck-dive" when you're standing with it on a strap?

 

I have Turser JT-Hawk electric 12-string. It definitely suffers from a bit of "neck-dive." Other than that it's a very nice guitar at a very low price. I'm getting ready to put it up on EBay though. The Variax I recently purchased has taken over all of my 12-string requirements.

Mudcat's music on Soundclick

 

"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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12 strings are by nature going to be heavy at the neck end, because of the tuning machines. My Firebird 12 overbalances, as not only odes it have extra machines but the peg head is about the size of an oar. Still, the Firebird body is huge and weighty.

 

I've been so tempted by the Variax. I think that it is a great solution for the gigging musician. as I rarely play out anymore, I can't justify it. But if I was, I would surely build a Warmoth around Variax guts.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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...I've been so tempted by the Variax. I think that it is a great solution for the gigging musician. as I rarely play out anymore, I can't justify it. But if I was, I would surely build a Warmoth around Variax guts.

 

As I don't play out anymore I'm using the Variax strictly for recording. It's very handy for trying out different "guitars" without actually swapping guitars. Also since it doesn't use magnetic pick-ups there is NO NOISE! :thu:

 

If I were performing live with it I would definitely want to swap the guts into another neck/body combination. I really don't like the looks of the thing at all.

Mudcat's music on Soundclick

 

"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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Funny, I do like the looks of the original sunburst model, as it looks like a Les Paul Jr, circa 1960.

But I happen to be fond of the soloist body and the compound radius neck Warmoth makes. And as you say, the guitar could look a lot better, and the Warmoth finishes are way cool. Not cheap, though.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Here are some that -aren't- good for the budget!

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v603/BillPark/studio%20pics/05-29-0512strings.jpg

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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