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Thread: F-512 vs F-1512

  1. #1

    F-512 vs F-1512

    I am in the market for a good twelve string. I recently missed the opportunity to bid for a F-512(see previous thread).


    I wondered what people thought of the Guild F-1512 versus the F-512. Obviously the price difference is huge and I wondered if it was fully justified by the sound( I have not played either), the F-512 seems to have a lot of bling but I am not really interested in that.

    On the other hand I love the twelve string sound generally and am able to invest a considerable amount of time in mastering one, so I don't want to get a substandard one. But to swing the finance for a 3.5k(about $4K) for a f-512, it would really have to sound amazing.

    I'd go to a guitar shop and try both out side by side but the F-512 only appears available to pre-order so thats not a possibity at the moment in the UK.

    Any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    tje,

    The MIC Guilds, a.k.a. GAD, 100-series, Westerly series, are really nice value-priced instruments. Mostly, though, we don't like to compare them to the traditional series of Guilds because in a lot of ways it's comparing apples and oranges. The 1512 is an example of one that's not even all that similar to the F-512. Though I've wanted to, I've never had a chance to play the 1512 model, but a few folks here have said good things.

    The F-512 is an iconic axe, tje. I've never heard anything that sounds like an F-512 (or in my case plays like it). If I were you, I'd stay on the lookout for a used one. You situation will be somewhat limited in the UK, but I'm sure they pop up from time to time.
    Guilds:
    1967 MK-VI Artist Special (Hoboken - Jacobs restoration 2018) - "The Mark"
    12ers:
    1994 JF-30-12Bld (Westerly),
    2006 F-512 (Tacoma),
    2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford) - "Connie"
    2014 Orpheum 12 OOO SHRW (New Hartford)

    Other 12ers:
    1970 Martin D-12-20
    1980 Ibanez AW-75 (Series I)
    1984 Taylor 655

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I own (or have owned) almost all of the iconic Westerly-era (and a couple Hoboken) 12-string models.

    I also own a 1512 and 2512, and I recommend them. While the latter pair aren't quite as awesome sounding as Guild's best 12-strings, I do find their necks, in many cases, to be more comfortable than the classic models, the intonation perfect, the build lighter. They're comfortable to play, and since 12-strings can be real bears to play, that improved comfort is something to take into consideration IMO.

    And the sound of both models is quite good. Before discovering Guild 12s, I owned a couple Taylor jumbo 12-strings. The 1512 and 2512 sound as good, or better, than my old Taylors.

    As with any guitar, it's best to check 'em in person before you decide, or if that option isn't available, buy from someone who allows an inspection period / returns privileges.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    I sold my F-512 because I couldn't play it very long before my left hand would get sore; it is a particularly wide neck. The action on mine was nice and low too, it just hurt my had to play it, especially barre chords.
    "Heat lightning burnt the sky like alcohol." John Prine

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    '99 DV-52ABHG (gave to my son)
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  5. #5
    I agree with everything Wiley said. I've owned both a 512 and a 1512. The 1512 was a very big, resonant 12 string. Lots of those wonderful overtones and big chimey sounds. Maybe a bit less than the 512, but on the other hand the 1512 was new and might have opened up a bit if I had given it more time. I agree the playability was very good, right out of the box.

    FWIW my current 12'er is a 1969, F212. I really like the 212 as the slightly smaller body size is much more comfortable and I like the bit woodier and more fundamental tone of mahogany.

  6. #6
    Many thanks for all the advice. It is a tricky decision - but I am going to try out a F1512 on friday at a shop and compare it with more expensive Martin and Taylor 12 strings.

    I used to have a cheap Indonesion made 6 string and then I was lucky enough to be able to buy a second hand Martin D18 - and the difference in sound and playability was huge. This has made me prejudiced against cheaper acoustics, but I guess there is no particular reason why a Chinese assembler would be any worse than an American.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    There is no reason a Chinese assembler is any different than an American. The difference is Guild tells them to make a guitar they can buy for $100, import and sell for $500.

    You would be better off finding an F 212, F 312, or F 412 if cash is the issue. Used.

  8. #8
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    The Guild imports I have had a chance to see have all been nice guitars. Have not seen one of the 12 strings though.

    Of course, you will want to look them over carefully There is the occasional thread which shows that even Martin has made some guitars that should never have left the factory.

  9. #9
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tje1 View Post
    but I guess there is no particular reason why a Chinese assembler would be any worse than an American.
    The key word here being "assembler".
    In spite of a longer tradition of instrument construction than any "western" country, in the Chinese factory it's quite likely the instruments are merely "assembled".
    The goal as Br1ck said, is low cost production.
    No time allowed for fine-tuning fit and finish and those little flaws in MIC product are commented on occasionally in owner reviews, as well as little things like tuner quality.
    And they're all poly-finished.
    For the greatest part of Guild's history the guitars were built from the ground up, by builders , not "assemblers".
    They didn't start with a complete set of pre-machined parts and put 'em all together according the instruction book like so many plastic models (and still don't as far as I know).
    The original crew were all ex- Epiphone employees, luthiers by trade, from a period when Epiphone was a high-class maker in its own right.
    The tradition was carried on by Carlo Greco, recognized as a world-class luthier in his own right.
    I seriously doubt they've got guys like that working a the Grand Reward factory in China where many makes besides Guilds are made under the contract manufacturing model.
    Up through end of Westerly at least, and I suspect even after as evidenced by New Hartford's quality, Guild was small enough to have a greater amount of hand-finishing and fitting than any other American maker, barring the boutique 100% hand-made shops.
    It was even stated in the first Guild Gallery ('97) that as a guitar went down the line it was vetted at each station and sent back for rework if necessary, before moving on.
    In Corona Fender built a brand new building specifically to handle the peculiarities of making acoustic guitars which Fender had no prior experience with, even if they did start using pre-fabbed parts like bracing.
    Tacoma was a well-respected maker too before Fender acquired 'em and moved Guild production there.
    I've said myself that when I was first getting acquainted with my D25, I noticed how even the inside was as clean and seamless as the outside, not a stray glue-drop or squeeze-out from any of the internal joints.
    That's the sign of craftsmen taking pride in their work.
    To be fair it's got nothing to do with being Chinese, only to do with the difference between an "assembler" and a "builder".
    Guild USA didn't use "assemblers", and I hope that still holds true in Oxnard.
    I think the jury's still out on that one, overall.
    Last edited by adorshki; 11-14-2018 at 08:59 PM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    Al, I kind of wish you'd left that one alone. I heard quite a different story, at least about the MIC Guilds during New Hartford era, from Fender management than you stated here.

    Quite frankly, though, tje1's comment was inviting bandwagoning, and I probably should've stepped on it then.

    I'd like us to drop this discussion right now.
    Guilds:
    1967 MK-VI Artist Special (Hoboken - Jacobs restoration 2018) - "The Mark"
    12ers:
    1994 JF-30-12Bld (Westerly),
    2006 F-512 (Tacoma),
    2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford) - "Connie"
    2014 Orpheum 12 OOO SHRW (New Hartford)

    Other 12ers:
    1970 Martin D-12-20
    1980 Ibanez AW-75 (Series I)
    1984 Taylor 655

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