Pros: Sound, playability, quality, hard shell case, lifetime warranty
Cons: Should be better known
Guild F512 12-String Guitar
If youre in the market for a high quality 12-string guitar, there are very few brands that can compete with Guild.
Guild has been building guitars since the 1950s and has developed the largest following for its 12-string models, which are characterized by loud, balanced, articulate sound from both the bass and treble sides of the instrument.
The F512 is a large guitar with a Jumbo or J style body. The Jumbo body is characterized by sharply curved bouts (the large parts) connected by a wasp waist. It is one of two body styles typical of high quality full sized guitars. The other body style is a Dreadnought, or "D" style. The Dreadnought has a more square shape with a thicker waist. Each type has its merits and you should examine both types to determine what is best for you. The "D" body generally has a more bassy tone while the "J" body tends to have a brighter sound. Also, the feel of the two bodies is different and one might suit you better than the other.
The Guild guitar is solidly constructed out of hand-selected natural wood, in Corona, California.
As a solid wood guitar, it uses clear wood parts as opposed to veneer, laminates, plywood or pressed wood pieces that are used in cheaper instruments. The instruments are basically fit and assembled by hand ensuring an extra level of quality over and above what youd expect from a lower priced instrument. The guitars of this caliber Ive examined have been flawless in fit and finish with excellent playability and tone.
In your guitar search, I urge you to try some lower grade instruments to see if one will fill your needs. Ive had good luck with Yamaha, Ibanez, and Seagull plywood guitars and they are only a fraction of the cost of a solid wood guitar. However, if you find that you want to go that extra mile and get the best possible quality, the Guild F512 12-String Guitar merits serious consideration.
The F512s back and sides are made of solid Rosewood while the top, or soundboard, is solid AAA Sitka Spruce with X bracing. The guitar is finished with nitrocellulose lacquer, that will age to that beautiful vintage finish that is so revered by guitar players.
The neck is three piece laminated Mahogany/Maple/Mahogany for stability, and has an adjustable double truss rod, topped with a solid ebony fretboard. Ebony is a very hard, dense wood that is the most coveted fingerboard material. The neck is set and joins the body at the 14th fret. There are 20 frets in all. The position markers are square block in style and are made from mother of pearl with abalone shell inserts. The neck and headstock are fully bound with white binding, as is the body. Besides serving a decorative purpose, the binding also protects the corners of the wood from dings that might split or chip the guitar. The headstock has the famous Guild G Shield logo, in pearl and the tuners are gold-plated Grover machine heads. A tortoise shell pickguard completes the appointments.
The neck is 1 13/16 wide at the nut and the scale length is 25 5/8, which is perfect for a 12-string. The slightly wider neck allows you to either strum, flatpick, or fingerpick at will. The intonation stays in tune and sounds good at the 12th fret. The tone of the guitar is awesome, with sound that you very seldom hear in a 12-string. While having rich and vibrant chordal tones, individual string sounds are clearly distinguishable and sound evenly balanced from both the treble and bass registers of the instrument. Hammer-ons, pull offs, and slides sound precise. There is really very little more you could ask of this guitar.
Like all premium Guild guitars, the F512 comes with a fitted hard shell case at no extra charge. The Guild F512 also comes with a limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser.
If youre in the market for a top quality hand made 12-string, you should make it a point to check out this Guild F512.
Another 12 String I recommend is the MARTIN D 12-28
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