Finding a good quality
cheap 12 string acoustic guitar is a bit more difficult than with 6
string acoustic shopping.
Many experienced players will warn you that anything
below the mid-range is only worth a second look if you're new to 12
string playing. Many 12 string makers cut corners and hope you'll just
be satisified with the novelty of 6 extra strings. Beware!
While it's true that you get what you pay for, there are two 12 string
acoustic guitars under the $350 mark, each with very different tonal
qualities, that can jangle right up there
with more expensive models, and will prove a long-term playing
12 String Acoustic Guitar
Yamaha have ruled the budget acoustic market for over 20 years. And for
good reason. 6 strings such as the FG700S have garnered an unmatched
reputation from new and experienced players alike for their solid fit,
and rich, full tone. Based on the same principles, and receiving the
same high praise, is
sub-$300 12 string offering.
Acoustic Guitar - $330
Solid spruce top
Tortoise shell pick guard
Well balanced sound
Slim, fast neck profile
Finish / Solid Spruce top / Nato back and sides / Rosewood
fingerboard / Rosewood bridge / White & black body and neck
binding / Die-cast tuners / Tortoise shell pickguard
What users say
Boasting a solid Sitka spruce top, rosewood fretboard and bridge, the
FG720S-12 is virtually identical
to its 6 string brother. Also
identical is the build quality and tuning stability provided by what at
first appear to be cheap machines, but which nevertheless do a fine job.
The neck still conforms to Yamaha's slim, fast profile which is
especially great for those 12 string virgins. However, bear in mind
this may make it more difficult for finger picking, as some users have
commented. However, for the usual 12 string role of big, strummed
chords, Yammie's narrower neck may actually make things smoother.
Tone wise, the Yammie instantly delivers that rich, coursed shimmer
people buy 12 strings for. It delivers it in a way that, to experienced
ears, diminishes the perceived value for money on much higher priced
instruments. As a full dreadnought, there's plenty of low end presence
which is balanced well enough to take the edge off what is naturally
increased treble on 12 strings. No tinny highs. Responsive attack.
Nobody has expressed any doubts about gigging with the FG720S-12, and
when mic'd up it'll fill the room gracefully. In the cheap 12 string
acoustic guitar market, the 720 easily blows all others out of the
equation. Don't bother looking for something better unless you have at
least $300 more to spend.
12 String Acoustic Guitar for Tight Budgets
For those on an even tighter budget, Epiphone's
has proved a hit among acoustic players, and especially
beginners or those moving from 6 to 12 strings for the first time.
Don't settle for a thin sounding 12 string just because you're on a
Over $100 less than the Yammie, yet you still get a resonant, beautiful
and carefully crafted 12 string . Differences include the
finish with the mahogany back and sides
as opposed to nato. You also get Epiphone's "slim taper" neck (a
precise, varying thickness from 1st to 12th fret intended to reduce
The DR-212 produces a surprisingly cutting tone, but the mahogany gives
it the fullness it needs. It's brighter, with more mid-high end
presence in comparison to the Yamaha. Add to this the more standard
width, in comparison to the narrower FG720 neck, and it could be said
the Epi is better for fingerpicking. It also means that if you're
strumming on stage, you'll be sure to cut through the mix with this 12
string. What it lacks in low end warmth it makes up for in mid-high end
The solid mahogany body and neck helps maximise sustain.
Quite a number of experienced players of 25 years + have expressed how
pleased they were with their budget Epiphone purchase. It certainly
seems to meet all the criteria people look for in a 12 string, and it
has its own unique sond that means any comparison to the "big boys"
is meaningless. The DR-212 stands proudly on its own.
Compare 12 String Acoustic Guitars
Use this side-by-side comparison table to help decide which 12 string
is best for you...
who want a solid top 12 string with a rich, balanced sound.
a very tight budget who still want a quality 12 string.