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Thinking about a 12-string for church.


Dannyalcatraz

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Despite the fact that I'm a lifelong practicing Catholic, my Mom thinks I need to do more. (OK, we are all called to the ministry in some sense, but...)

 

So she's been bugging me to join the choir at our church, not as a singer- really, my strength (a good voice with a 4 1/2 octave range, but I don't want to sing for a variety of reasons, including year-round allergies that make my voice cut out unexpectedly)- but as a guitarist.

 

I haven't said yes as yet because personally, its not something I'd do, but after 3 years of bugging me, perhaps my resistance is eroding.

 

However, since our choir's musical director is a multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Christain recording artist who usually sings & plays guitars (who recorded with Andy Timmons, for goodness sakes!), along with other instrumentalists- a professional pianist, a former professional guitarist turned pro photographer, and a talented bass player- I'd need to do something a bit different to fit in the mix while still contributing something meaningful to the aural landscape.

 

My solution? A 12-string. I figure that unique, chiming sound would add a little sparkle to the sound of the band- especially in a nice, big church full of wood, metal, tile and stone- without standing out too much.

 

Since I don't currently own a 12-string, this serves as both a goal and a way to put off a final decision. Its a stall that will give me the time to decide whether I have the skill, confidence and really, the desire to do this.

 

For this, I think either an acoustic-electric or a hollowbody/semihollowbody electric would be best.

 

The 12's I've looked at on the internet include:

 

Phantom Teardrop 12

http://www.phantomguitars.com/teardrop.html

 

Ovation Legend 12 or Standard Elite 12

http://www.ovationguitars.com/?fa=detail&mid=2295

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ovation-Standard-Elite-2758-AX-12-String-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-with-Hardshell-Case-580143-i1435820.gc

 

Carvin Thinline AE185-12, Thinline AC275-12, Solidbody DC127-12, or C980T12

http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/index.php?model=ae185-12

http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/index.php?model=ac275-12

http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/index.php?model=dc127-12

http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/single.php?product=C980T12&cid=75

 

I could even get a custom Jon Kammerer- a luthier from whom I've bought other guitars.

http://jonkammererguitars.com/jkghtml_005.htm

 

I've also been able to look at a few in person:

 

A used Alvarez

http://www.musicgoround.com/search.aspx?q=12-string+guitar&cid=8&scid=0&l=0&sid=40121&z=&d=25&min=&max=&c=10&ob=6

 

A used Breedlove

http://www.dallasusedguitar.com/servlet/the-326/Breedlove-Atlas-C250-fdsh-SM-dsh-12-Acoustic/Detail

 

A new Breedlove (yes, the same as the used one)

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Breedlove-Atlas-Series-Studio-C250-SM-12-12-String-Concert-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-105154512-i1426742.gc

 

A new Seagull Coastline Cedar 12

http://www.seagullguitars.com/productcoastcedar12.htm

 

and a few others besides...

 

Obviously, I'm all over the place on this.

 

Ideally, I'd like to keep the price between $450-$2000. I'm not averse to buying via the Internet from a reputable maker. I'm not averse to buying a good used instrument.

 

And I'm not in any hurry, either- I've tried out enough of them to know I'd need some extra practice time to feel comfy with one.

 

So...anybody have some good ideas or advice?

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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all i have to say is that if you dont feel like you should join the choir you shouldnt, you cant save yourself by doing works, and by spending money on eratlhy items to "save" yourself dont make much sense, you have to trust in GOd and if He calls you to the field of music then go but spending money on a guitar so you please people ad you "work" your sins off your just wasting money

_____DISCIPLE_ROCKS_____

PAUL REED SMITH GUITARS 4 EVER

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All excellent points, but as I'm sure you know, sometimes God calls on us to do things that aren't that pleasant.

 

And sometimes, he does so via "mysterious ways", including- but not limited to- nagging moms! (Remember the Wedding at Cana?)

 

After all, aren't we all supposed to use the talents He gave us to further the greater good?

 

If so, I can't tell you how many times I've been told I was a talented musician (usually due to my vocals), but I've never used whatever talent people perceive in me for Him (other than by singing in the congregation...itself unusual among us Catholics).

 

Heck, for all I know, I'll get shot down by the choir-leader and asked NOT to play guitar, and I'll be inspired to find another outlet- His real plan.

 

So, on a certain level, I view this as a test.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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I have to presume these reissues are much better than the original Voxes they're modeled on. I recently had occasion to play a Vox Phantom XII at a studio in London & I have to say, it was a real piece of s#!t. Cool looking, but utter crap.

How about a Rickenbacker 360/12?

 

Scott Fraser

 

Scott Fraser
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZsBL4d1Eus

 

5 octaves. beat that. :)

 

 

in all seriousness, i agree with the other dude. Dont do something unless your heart is in it. God doesn't care about leftovers, He cares about your first fruits-- about your heart.

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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Dude, if your conscience is telling you to do it, do it, and don't worry about what anybody else says.

 

I'd probably lean towards an electric semi-hollow, but that's a matter of taste. Since he's such an accomplished musician, I suggest that you talk with the choir director and ask him how he'd feel about a 12 string in the band(and what kind he'd prefer to hear, acoustic or electric) before you go and buy either one.

 

Then I'd go buy the used Breedlove AND a Rickenbacker 360/12 because I'm a wild-spending idiot with more GAS than sense.

 

BY the way, the re-issue Phantom 12's, not made by Vox, are pretty decent guitars. But the old Voxes are crap, Scot's right about those.

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

 

 

 

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None of the Carvin links work for me - is that because I'm not not in the US? Annoying.

 

To go with the Phantom, look at the Burns Club Double Six. Mine:

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/Sale/PA050167.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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Takamine makes some nice 12's in the $700 range, a buddy of mine has 3 of them and they all play easy and sound great...the on- board tuner is really nice too!!! If things don't work out (ie the choir master dumps you) you will not have spent a lot of money and will have a nice campfire and/or electric ability to back up that 4 octave voice of yours...don't worry about what God has to say as he has already spoken...(speaks all the time, even when you don't know it)...
Take care, Larryz
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Personally, I think maybe ya aughtta tell yer Mom that you're converting to Judaism and that they'll letcha play loud overdriven electric at Temple. ;):thu:

 

If you're going to get one of the guitars that you listed above, I'd think that the thinline Carvin AE185-12 would very nicely suit the task at hand, as well as being versatile and enjoyable for other uses outside that. I spent some time on a six-string version of that one on two different occasions; great, easy playing action, and nice tones, particularly the amplified-acoustic sound.

 

None of the Carvin links work for me - is that because I'm not not in the US? Annoying.

 

Naaa, same problem here; incorrect URLs, changes on the 'site, or something.

 

Here ya go:

 

Thinline AE185-12

 

Thinline AC275-12

 

Solidbody DC127-12

 

C980T12

 

 

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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1) A last word on the whole "Why?" thing...

 

As it says in James 2:20 "...faith without works is dead."

 

That doesn't mean that you can save yourself with works, but rather that without works, your faith only affects you. If you act upon and consistently with your faith, you can help affect others.

 

And I'm not trying to save myself by playing guitar in the choir, I'm considering playing the guitar in the choir because it may be what I'm being asked to do...possibly as a pathway to new friendships and greater responsibility within the church. Just because the demand came from my Mom and not a burning bush doesn't mean the source isn't the same. But I won't know until I actively explore the question.

 

Faith is something I think I have. This may be a way for me to prove it and thus, give back to my community (in ways beyond what I already do).

 

2) As for the guitars themselves...

 

Yeah...I got a look at some Vox 6 strings at a recent guitar show and wasn't impressed, but I hear the Phantoms are pretty nice. Plus, truth be known, if I don't like the pickups in a new guitar, I'm more likely to change them out than those in an antique.

Personally, I think maybe ya aughtta tell yer Mom that you're converting to Judaism and that they'll letcha play loud overdriven electric at Temple.

 

Ha!

 

Actually, our Teen service rocks pretty hard, but that band is pretty large, pretty tight, and pretty young- no room for me, I think.

 

The regular service is choir vocals with 2 acoustic/electrics, an electric bass, and a phenomenal jazz pianist on a Steinway. Plus, I'm buds with most of the musicians, and I'm probably a better fit.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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I got a look at some Vox 6 strings at a recent guitar show and wasn't impressed, but I hear the Phantoms are pretty nice. Plus, truth be known, if I don't like the pickups in a new guitar, I'm more likely to change them out than those in an antique.

 

I never even plugged the Vox Phantom XII in to hear its pickups. It was the neck & general playability that felt cheap & crummy. I'm sure the reissues are pretty decent. People seem to know how to make guitars now, as opposed to the mid 1960's in Italy.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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I've owned a LOT of 12 strings in my life.... there are the last three that I bought:

 

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

 

Don't know many of the brands that you list, but the original Voxes were junk; the Seagulls? a good friend owned the 6 and the 12, both over-rotated. I'd be prone to buying an Ovation for several practical reasons. I'd be just as unlikely to buy the Breedlove... practical reasons, nothing to do with sound or playability. I've never played the Carvin 12 strings, but Carvin makes a yeoman instrument and I'd feel that it would be a trustworthy purchase. The Burns/Baldin/Ampeg would probably be expensive in the states. Not a particularly amazing guitar, but really a load of fun. (Translation: I'd like to have one.)

 

12 strings are usually cheap once used, and expensive when new.

 

 

"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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The regular service is choir vocals with 2 acoustic/electrics, an electric bass, and a phenomenal jazz pianist on a Steinway. Plus, I'm buds with most of the musicians, and I'm probably a better fit.

 

OK- a 12 like you're already thinkin' would be a good direction here, within that context;

 

and a thinline with magnetic pickups, like that Carvin AE185-12, would contrast and yet blend nicely with the two acoustic-electrics;

 

and maybe a 12-string tuned to Open-G (D - G - D - G - B - D, lo-to-hi) would work particularly well in that setting; between the 12's high-G octave in the 3rd course and the Open-G tuning, your chord voicings would really differ from the other instruments and blend in a nice way (for but one example, Genesis often layered guitar tracks mixing standard and open/alternate tuned axes).

 

Throw a capo up high and do quasi mandolin. (Or, lurch about playing harmonic "chimes" while bellowing about "the bells, THE BELLS!", as Quasimando... )

 

:freak::rimshot::D

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I'd be just as unlikely to buy the Breedlove... practical reasons, nothing to do with sound or playability.

 

That's an intriguing statement. Care to explain?

 

I've never played the Carvin 12 strings, but Carvin makes a yeoman instrument and I'd feel that it would be a trustworthy purchase.

 

I've yet to meet someone who owned a Carvin product that didn't at least like it if not love it.

 

I sent them an inquiry about the specs of some of their 12s, but have yet to hear back from them.

 

Taylor 855CE

PRS Custom 22/12

 

Nice as they are- and no mistake, they're both nice!- those are a bit outside of my price.

 

I know, I know...I looked at a couple of others that were in that same range, but realistically, those are dreams for a later date!

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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"That's an intriguing statement. Care to explain?"

 

 

You are not buying a 12 string to be the most amazing 12 string on the planet (which is the driver for most of us when we make a guitar purchase....) You are not buying it to make fantastic studio recordings. You are buying a tool to do a particular job in a particular situation. You've also stated that the cost of this tool needs to be considered. For my money, that takes Taylor, Breedlove, Collings, Santa Cruz, etc off the table. That, to me, says: "buy an instrument which requires minimal upkeep, that is smaller, lighter, and perhaps won't crush my spirit if something should happen to it. An easily replaceable tool that will do a good job." Ergo, Ovation, or a thinline Carvin. Probably the best use of your dollar. Maybe Epiphone, but I have never played a modern Epi 12 string. And with the Ovation, if the big flood comes, you can use it as a paddle. (!)

"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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http://www.carvinguitars.com/isa/images/full/ae18512-rubyredburstquilt-68406.jpg

 

http://www.carvinguitars.com/isa/images/full/ae18512-pearlblue-71418.jpg

 

http://www.carvinmuseum.com/images/playersgallery/farmerdave-ae185-12.jpg _______________ http://www.carvinmuseum.com/images/yearbyyear/1997/97_ae185-small.jpg

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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and a thinline with magnetic pickups, like that Carvin AE185-12, would contrast and yet blend nicely with the two acoustic-electrics;

 

I have the 6 string version of this, & it is a superbly made instrument. Great neck, perfect finish, it's all good. They make a fine guitar. Haven't tried the 12 string version.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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I Love Guild 12 strings, but I haven't played one in 30 years. What has Fender done to the line?

 

They might have moved all manufacturing offshore. I haven't seen a US made Guild in a number of years, & the Asian Guilds I've picked up have been thoroughly unimpressive. I believe the Westerly, R.I. factory is history. They have discontinued many if not all the Guild electrics, the wonderful archtops, the fabulous Bluesbird, all seem to be collector's items now. Sad.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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I Love Guild 12 strings, but I haven't played one in 30 years. What has Fender done to the line?

 

The higher-end Guilds, made in Hartford Connecticut now, still sound great and the build quality is on a par with the old ones. Not quite as heavily built maybe but still tanks. The F512 is a cannon! They are a bit pricey though.

 

The imported GAD line isn't bad, but not as inspiring as the top of the line boxes. I'd have no qualms about buying one as a gigging guitar. Decent tone, good playability and build quality.

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You are not buying a 12 string to be the most amazing 12 string on the planet (which is the driver for most of us when we make a guitar purchase....) You are not buying it to make fantastic studio recordings. You are buying a tool to do a particular job in a particular situation. You've also stated that the cost of this tool needs to be considered. For my money, that takes Taylor, Breedlove, Collings, Santa Cruz, etc off the table. That, to me, says: "buy an instrument which requires minimal upkeep, that is smaller, lighter, and perhaps won't crush my spirit if something should happen to it. An easily replaceable tool that will do a good job." Ergo, Ovation, or a thinline Carvin. Probably the best use of your dollar. Maybe Epiphone, but I have never played a modern Epi 12 string. And with the Ovation, if the big flood comes, you can use it as a paddle. (!)

 

AH!

 

Actually, the Breedloves I found were under $1K so price isn't the issue with them in particular. The new one was, as I recall, around $900, and the used one was either $599 or $630...depending on whether you looked at it in person or online (haven't figured out why its pricier online yet). They have Sitka spruce tops and mahogany laminate back & sides.

 

However, do they require a bit of extra TLC of which I'm not aware? That could indeed be a deciding factor.

 

As for Ovations- I've owned one for more than 15 years (Cadillac Green w/deep bowl), so they're a known quantity. With that synthetic back, I could probably use it as a flotation device as well as a paddle!;)

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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I Love Guild 12 strings, but I haven't played one in 30 years. What has Fender done to the line?

 

The higher-end Guilds, made in Hartford Connecticut now, still sound great and the build quality is on a par with the old ones. Not quite as heavily built maybe but still tanks. The F512 is a cannon! They are a bit pricey though.

 

FWIW, I was corresponding with a Fender rep the other day and was told that the Tacoma brand and all of its lines are being "re-evaluated"- possibly for production at that same Hartford location.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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" Breedloves I found were under $1K ..."

 

A bottom of the line with the Breedlove name (likely made off-shore anyway in the same plant as Epi, Samick, etc...but I don't know this...), verses a middle ground or top of the line from someone else? Your choice.

 

But my main objection to the solid wood large body hollow body instrument has mostly to do with construction verses care. The Ovation or Carvin thin line will be a lot less prone to issues from humidity than any large body hollow body instrument, whomever makes it. These other instruments are more 'throw and go', where a large body hollow body instrument needs a humidifier ; and both the Ovation and the Carvin are easier to play than a traditional large body hollow body 12 string instrument, having closer to electric profile necks.

 

 

"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 play guitar in a church band, and have been thinking about getting a 12 string to play on certain tunes there. I love the sound of the instrument.

Might be kind of overkill for the situation, though. What the hell, I'll probably do it anyway, because I want to hear the sounds, whether anyone else cares or not!

Thanks for all the tips, guys!

PS I'd also like to get a mandocello and tune it with octave strings. I wish I had an endless supply of money to get all the toys I want, and endless time to play with them!

 

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