Best 12-String Guitars

It has the extra harmonic richness, when you play with the string. The number of string is twice than a usual one, and the sound is so unique that it is a joy to play every time. You know it already, we are talking about a 12-string guitar. Because no other instrument can match the uniqueness of a 12-string guitar.

12-String Guitar Info Section

You are in absolute control about what sort of guitar matches your personality. However, there are a few aspects to keep in mind when you are buying any guitar.

Tone Woods

The sonic fingerprint of any guitar, such as the overall tone and resonance, depends largely on the type of woods used to make the body of the instrument. Different types of woods contribute to make different sounds. So the wood used to make the instrument is called the ‘tone wood’.

The most important tone wood is on the top. Generally, a solid piece of wood is used to make the top.  The decent guitars usually have spruce, or cedar top. While the back and sides are made of mahogany, maple or cherry woods. As the woods are becoming scarce resource, alternative materials such as ash or lyrachord are used to make a guitar.

Body Shape

You can distinguish a classical guitar from an acoustic one, by identifying the wider waist area. This special shape allows the acoustic guitars to produce substantial volume and even tone. Besides, some guitar enable a cutaway design that helps the left hand in reaching the highest frets easily.

Although, it can slightly affect the resonance. Lyrachord molded guitars, on the other hand, naturally make the sound louder.

Hardware

A guitar that has a dense nut and bridge saddle, is a good one. The vibrating string energy is transmitted to the guitar body more efficiently, if the nut and bridge saddle are thick. Although, budget guitars have plastic nuts mostly, synthetic bone ones will last longer as they are as hard as bone.

Neck Material and Shape

Acoustic guitars usually have wider and thicker neck area than electric guitars. 12-string guitars have wider neck than 6-string guitars. The flatter neck area provides melodic playing, while the rounder ones make playing the chords easier.

Scale and Frets

The average scale length of any guitar is 25 inches. Longer scale will put the frets further apart. Which means, you have to stretch a higher tension to tune to the same pitch. This can also make the tone brighter. But, playing on the highest fret is easier with the longer scale.

However, the variation of tone is not very significant. So better concentrate on whether the fret ends are flush with the side of the ne4ck or not. And also look for a smooth polishing area.

Electronics

The best options of guitar will provide you preamp and electronic tuner. Preamps have volume, treble and bass controls. Also, most of the 12-string guitars presented here will have piezo pickup built in.

Best 12-String Guitars in 2021

You want to have the best instrument to play. This is why we have made a list of the best 12-string guitars available in the market.

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Product

Features

Price

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12-String Guitars

Takamine GJ72CE-12 G Series Jumbo Cutaway 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Solid spruce top

Flame maple back and sides

Mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard

Built in tuner

$$$

12-String Guitars

Gretsch G5022CWFE-12 Rancher Falcon White 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Solid spruce top

Scalloped “X” bracing

Classic rancher triangular sound-hole

Maple sides and arched back

$$$

12-String Guitars

Seagull Coastline S12 Cedar Guitar

Select pressure tested solid cedar top

Built in Godin QI electronics

Compound curve top

Double action truss rod

$$$

12-String Guitars

Ovation Applause 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Layered solid spruce top

Scalloped bracing

Ovation lyrachord mid-depth body

Ovangkol fingerboard and bridge

$$$

12-String Guitars

Fender CD-60SCE Right Handed 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar

Solid spruce top

Scalloped “X” bracing

Dreadnought cutaway body style

Fishman low profile pickup/preamp

$$$

12-String Guitars

Yamaha FG720S-12 Solid Top 12-String Acoustic Guitar

Spruce top material

Nato wood neck material

Diecast chrome tuners

Rosewood fingerboard and bridge

$$$

12-String Guitars

Epiphone DR-212 Acoustic 12 String Guitar

Select spruce top

Scalloped bracing

Ivoroid binding on the body and neck

Mahogany back, sides, and neck

$$$

12-String Guitars

Oscar Schmidt OD312CETS-A-U 12 String Acoustic Electric Guita

Solid spruce top, made with 2 pieces

Mahogany neck, sides and back

Engineered fingerboard and bridge

Decorative wood marquetry

$$$

12-String Guitars

Dean Exotica Quilt Ash Acoustic-Electric 12 String Guitar

Quilt ash top

Triple bound body

Chrome hardware

Rosewood fingerboard

$$$

12-String Guitars

Ibanez AEG1812II AEG 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Solid spruce top

Sapele mahogany back and sides

Abalone soundhole rosette

Purpleheart bridge and fretboard

$$$

1. Takamine GJ72CE-12 G Series Jumbo Cutaway 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar –Best Overall

We cannot stop praising this gloss sunburst instrument. This is hands down the most amazing 12-string guitar for you.

The mighty jumbo body style and solid top construction acoustic-electric guitar will give you the robust sound you want. The superior construction in the mahogany neck area and 12” radius bound rosewood fingerboard feel amazing and give you the best playing experience. The versatility and sound quality by EQ bypass switch, notch filter, mid-contour switch and many other amazing features – this guitar is our favorite!

PROS

  • Synthetic bone nut and split bridge saddle
  • Gold die-cast tuners
  • Versatile and rich sound quality
  • Amazing gloss finish

CONS

  • More expensive than other available guitars

2. Gretsch G5022CWFE-12 Rancher Falcon White 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Best Quality

For American singer and songwriter Israel Nash, the Gretsch G5022CWFE-12 Rancher Falcon White 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar is the guitar of choice.

Quality is the priority here. Not only this guitar sounds rich and robust with the classical 12-string tone with Gretsch Falcon Style, but also looks sparkling with the gloss white finishing, gold sparkle binding on the top, the falcon graphic and Gretsch logo.

PROS

  • The fishman sonicore under-saddle pickup
  • Amplified performance
  • Synthetic bone nut and saddle
  • Looks splendid on stage

CONS

  • Not quite affordable

3.  Seagull Coastline S12 Cedar Guitar – Best Playability

Playing this guitar feels like playing with silk!

Seagull guitars are hand-crafted in North America. The amazing craftsmanship is noticeable in the Coastline S12 12-string guitar. The full dreadnought body is made from the finest wood grown locally, that gives the superior tone. The neck is made from silver leaf maple and feels quite smooth.

PROS

  • Straight pull headstock helps in maintaining stability
  • Arched cedar top provides better sound projection
  • Three ply laminated back and sides

CONS

  • Preamp midrange tone control is not available

4. Ovation Applause 12 String Acoustic Guitar – Best Comfort

If you want a pleasant playing guitar with plenty of volume, the Ovation Applause 12 String Acoustic Guitar has it all.

This instrument showcases the forward thinking features while maintain the omnipresent expectation of power-packed performance. The aesthetic headstock design and the Ovangkol made fretboard, bridge and mid-depth bowl allow you effortless playing.

PROS

  • CE304T preamp paired with the ovation slimline pickup ensures clarity and definition
  • Amazing tonal balance
  • Chrome plated die-cast tuners
  • Lyrachord mid-depth body allows effortless playing

CONS

  • Some musicians may dislike the synthetic body material in the instrument

5. Fender CD-60SCE Right Handed 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar – Best Preamp

The combination of powerful onboard electronics that offer you amazing tone, great playability and built in tuner. The Fender CD-60SCE Right Handed 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar is the right choice for musicians who want to expand the sonic palette within an affordable price.

PROS

  • Dreadnought shape with Venetian cutaway allows you easy access to the highest frets
  • Comfortable profile
  • Amazing tuning and intonation
  • Increased resonance

CONS

  • The plastic nut may not please many musicians

6. Yamaha FG720S-12 Solid Top 12-String Acoustic Guitar – Best Intonation

If you are looking for a 12-string with awesome action, then we suggest the Yamaha FG720S-12 Solid Top 12-String Acoustic Guitar for you.

The classical dreadnought design and the lower midrange response is what make this instrument in this list. The natural finished strings and the mahogany back and sides are its other features. While the instrument guarantees the perfect intonation, you are also assured that you will never worry about any rough fret edges.

PROS

  • Solid wood material
  • The tone and intonation are amazing
  • The cream-colored plastic bound prevents rough fret edges
  • Great intonation

CONS

  • The product does not include any preamp, pickup or electronic tuner

7. Epiphone DR-212 Acoustic 12 String Guitar – Best Bargain

The Epiphone DR-212 Acoustic 12 String Guitar upholds the reputation of Epiphone of quality guitars. And the best part is, it holds the resale value!

The traditional dreadnought shape body made from the finest wood, so that you can get the best resonance. The amazing hardwoods also provide ideal tone that balances the brightness and the warmth. This is the best product in a minimal price.

PROS

  • Perfect combination of hardwood offers the ideal tone
  • The dreadnought body does not have any cutaway to reduce the resonance
  • Incredible AJ sound
  • Beautiful natural color

CONS

  • No pickup, preamp or tuner is included

8. Oscar Schmidt OD312CETS-A-U 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar – Best Durability

We want the best instrument that will accompany you for a long time, so we present the Oscar Schmidt OD312CETS-A-U 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar in our list.

Made with the fine woods, this instrument will accompany you in the highest frets with a single cutaway in its dreadnought body. The chrome die-cast also helps maintaining the tuning. And the nut is also more durable than most of the other options available in the market.

PROS

  • Easy to reach the highest frets
  • The nut works better than the plastic nut
  • durable
  • beautiful gloss finishing

CONS

  • The tuning machines are average

9. Dean Exotica Quilt Ash Acoustic-Electric 12 String Guitar – Best Visual

The Dean Exotica Quilt Ash Acoustic-Electric 12 String Guitar is something that you will fall in love just by looking at it!

The striking quilted ash triple binding body of the guitar makes it distinct from the other options in the market.  You can play all the way to the 21st fret. The clear tonal quality and the sleek look, makes its place our list.

PROS

  • Looks stunning
  • Grover tuners allow accurate and steady tuning
  • Easy to play the high frets
  • Maximum playability

CONS

  • The nut material is plastic

10. Ibanez AEG1812II AEG 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Best Comfort

During heavy performance, you rely on your instrument a lot. So we have the heavy-duty instrument that gives you a comfortable performance.

This guitar is designed while keeping the electric player in the mind. The thinner body and a shorter 25” scale length will give the player the best comfortable experience on stage. A lively sonic response without amplification and a fishman sonicore pickup will ensure quality tone.

PROS

  • A sweet cascade of amplified acoustic tones for the stage
  • Onboard tuner provider
  • Easy to change strings
  • Comfortable thinner body

CONS

  • The nut material is plastic

Guitar is a happy instrument, it can turn any foul mood into a pleasant one with the joy of its tone. So, when you are the player of the instrument in a road trip or somewhere under the sky with a bunch of people, all eyes will be resting on you. You will want to show your magic, so you need the best guitar.

Out of all the guitars mentioned here, we would speak highly of the Takamine GJ72CE-12 G Series Jumbo Cutaway 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar. This amazing guitar will provide you the robust and versatile sound, you want to feel. And the smooth playability and strong construction, you want to have.

You can also read How to Tune a 12-string Guitar: An Ultimate Guide.

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