Best 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar - Top 16 Models Worth Buying

Hannah Ryan
  Nov 30, 2022 4:28 PM

When adding depth to your performance, the greatest 12-string guitars are possibly unrivaled. Yes, they're niche instruments, but whether you favor acoustic or electric guitars, the double quality of a 12-string guitar can give your chords a chorus sound that no pedal replication or overtones can replicate. The 12-string guitar has a greater frequency range, extra texture and overtones, and a glittering terminal block in a mix due to the bottom four strings doubling an octave and the top two strings doubling. It may also give your solo performance an ethereal touch. Here are Jacob Golden suggestions to help you find the best 12 string acoustic electric guitar.

Our Top Picks

1. Best Overall: Taylor Builder's Edition 652ce 12-String Grand

This is the most recognizable 12-string guitar available. It's the semi-acoustic that George Harrison used on the Beatles' first US tour, 1963 360/12, given to him by Rickenbacker's Francis C. Hall. You can see which string you're tuning, which Harrison appreciated immediately. The Rick-O-Sound parallel-mono outputs on the 360/12 are one of the most excellent features, as they allow you to divide the signal and send one pickup to one amplifier and the other to another, providing depth and spread to the sound.

2. Best Professional Sound: Martin Guitar X Series D-X2E

The Martin D-X2E 12-String Guitar focuses on the boom, chime, and value. Getting that name on the squared-off headstock for less than a thousand dollars is not terrible at all, and the price of the Low Shape neck profile is a highly pleasant palm-filler that is accessible without being too slim. The Martin D-neck X2E is advertised as "select hardwood,' and this may vary according to supply, although it is usually Spanish cedar, Sapele, and rarely mahogany. It's the same on the fingerboard, although we'd expect Mexican ebony here.

3. Best  Body Shape: Fender Villager 12-String, Black V3

The Fender Villager 12-String, Black V3 is a black 12-string electric guitar with a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, fishman pickup/preamp system, mahogany neck with slim-taper "C"-shaped profile, and walnut fingerboard and bridge. It's hand orientation: Right. This guitar is perfect for blues, rock and country music.

4. Best Rosewood Back Sides: Taylor 254ce 12-String Grand Auditorium Sitka

The Taylor 254ce's construction is simple yet faultless. A magnificent piece of solid Sitka spruce complements the back and sides of laminated Indian rosewood, resulting in a well-balanced sound with lots of heaviness in the bass end. The Expression System 2 pickup and preamp are used here, making it ideal for the stage. At the same time, the Grand Auditorium's body size is a good balance between the enormous boom of dread and smaller-bodied acoustics that lack guts down low. And with those 12-strings, that balance manifests itself in a lovely, broad chime that's difficult to put down.

5. Best Laurel Fretboard: Gretsch G5422G-12 Electromatic Classic

The contemporary Electromatic line has terrific attention to detail, with flawless finishes. The Gretsch G5422G-12 Electromatic Hollowbody, with its bound f-holes, G-Cutout tailpiece, smaller late-50s standard headstock, and multi-ply binding, is one of the best-looking instruments in our round-up of the top 12-string guitars. The slender U-profile neck is small enough for rapid jazz comping and switches rock double-stops, but just as you plug in and crank in the slapback echo, the 12-string breadth and chime smack you in the face.

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    Taylor
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    MARTIN
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    Gretsch
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    9.2
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    Fender
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    9.0
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    Fender
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    9.0
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    Takamine
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    8.8
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    Vangoa
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    8.8
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    Vangoa
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  • JG Score

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    8.8
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    Ibanez
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    8.8
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    Ibanez
13
  • JG Score

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    8.8
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    JANEROCK
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    8.8
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    Takamine
15
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    8.8
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    Oscar Schmidt
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    8.8
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Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

1. Who is famous for playing a 12-string guitar?

It wasn't until the 1960s that guitarists such as Pete Seeger, George Harrison, and James/Roger McGuinn made the 12-string guitar famous in pop and rock music. Following the 1960s renaissance, folk-rock bands such as America, Kansas, and The Eagles made great use of the 12-string guitar in the 1970s.

best 12 string acoustic electric guitar

2. Is it more challenging to play a 12-string guitar?

A 12-string guitar, whether acoustic or electric, is far more challenging than a six-string guitar. The strings have more stretch, and the neck width and thickness differ. A 12-string guitar's string spacing varies from a standard 6-string guitar.

Conclusion

The 12th string is required to perform some of your favorite tunes. Also, if you're seeking a guitar that can provide you with a sound that you feel is missing while playing but can't pinpoint what it is, a 12-string guitar may help. When you choose our items, you can be confident in their quality, allowing you to play the piano to its full potential.

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