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NitroExpress

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@jp yep those dreds are good ones, now let’s find me an equally good 12-string
Thank you for the welcome, I’m happy to be here
 

NitroExpress

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@Cougar any tips on what to look for when looking at a pre owned one are much appreciated. I’ve been a little Leary of wading into sharks.
 

Christopher Cozad

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Welcome, NitroExpress from Arkansas.

The gang at LTG will be the most helpful people on Earth assisting you in your efforts to source and purchase your future multiple Guild guitars (even if you believe you are only here to locate a Guild 12 string).

I have owned all three (3) of the older Guild Jumbo Maple 12 strings, the F-412 (which I still have), JF30-12 and JF65-12 and liked them all. The 1990s JF65-12 was my personal favorite (it also had the most "bling" of the three) and received the most compliments from audiences. Anticipating the conversations you may encounter when hunting for pre-owned 12 strings (if you are in a position to) I would suggest not stalling on string action height / neck reset issues. If you plan on investing a little extra into the effort it may open up more possibilities for you.

All older Guild 12 strings will "belly" a bit below the bridge, which is perfectly acceptable (and, tonally, preferred). Typically, bridges that may be lifting at the back due to string tension and adhesive issues over the years) can simply be re-attached and you are good to go. I ran with medium gauge strings on my Guild F-512 (a Rosewood 12 string) for many years and I am convinced it had no deleterious effect - no more so than had I used light gauge strings during that same period. The Guilds were very heavily braced and there is no fear of over-driving the tops by using heavier strings, or hastening a neck reset, for that matter. In truth, it is questionable if über-light strings even get the top moving, though most players (me included these days) are really happy with light gauge string sets on their Guilds. If a bridge has been shaved in order to stave off a neck reset, you may find that you need a little heavier string to make up for the loss of mass and to get the sound output you are expecting.
 

Nuuska

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Welcome Nitro

As you may already have noticed - this is The Warm Heart of Internet 😍
 

dreadnut

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My only problem with my '81 F512 was that the neck was so wide I could only play it a short time before I developed hand pain, especially doing barre chords. I'm thinking some of the other Guild 12-strings' necks aren't quite so wide.
 

Cougar

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@Cougar any tips on what to look for when looking at a pre owned one are much appreciated. I’ve been a little Leary of wading into sharks.
Most guitar sellers are upstanding folks, especially Guild sellers.

As an example, here is a JF30-12 up for sale on reverb. Problem is, you can't tell how much saddle there is, and a low saddle robs a guitar of its volume and tone. (Plus it's an indication that the guitar may be due for an (expensive) neck reset before long, since shaving the saddle is how one lowers the action). Anyway, I'd ask the seller to take a photo showing the height of the saddle. Also, I guess you could just ask about how easy/hard the action is, but best to ask the seller to measure the string height at the 12th fret. I forget what the "good" measurement is, but much higher than that is not good. The most expensive repair is a neck reset -- $400-700? -- and there's a test to check the neck angle. I think those are the key things to check on. Well, also, what's the distance from the strings to the soundboard just in front of the bridge? -- another measurement that has an ideal number you're looking for (I forget what that is at the moment). There's also the general geometry of the top. You don't want it caved in! but that usually shows up on the neck angle test. I usually like a guitar in excellent to very good condition. "Good" condition often means "not very good" condition. Some guys don't mind nicks and scratches and even cracks and other indications that the guitar has "mojo." To each his own.

Generally, if you're looking for a good Guild 12-string, patience is a good quality to have. Initially, when I first became a member here, I wanted a burst F512. But at 4 grand, they were WAY out of my price range. After I got my JF30-12 (a great deal at less than $1K), I was pretty ecstatic with it (well, still am), and was in no hurry for the 512. Something like FIVE YEARS LATER, there was this Oxnard F512 on reverb (or was it ebay?) that was listed as "for parts or not working." But it looked fine except for a couple of cosmetic gouges in the edge of the top. I couldn't get anything out of the seller either, who said it was boxed up and he couldn't tell me anything more about it. Well dang, for $1,400 I took a chance. As it turns out, the small gouges were the only problem, I had them fixed, and the guitar is practically like new! Patience, grasshopper. Patience. 😁

fff808.jpg
 

lungimsam

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Is it “Ar-Kansas”, or “Ark-in-saw”?
 

adorshki

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My only problem with my '81 F512 was that the neck was so wide I could only play it a short time before I developed hand pain, especially doing barre chords. I'm thinking some of the other Guild 12-strings' necks aren't quite so wide.
The later ones from about late '07-'08 Tacoma and New Hartford, they had the single truss rod reinforced with flanking graphite bars, over all narrower neck. Think Oxnard uses it too, without checking. ;)
 

GGJaguar

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Think Oxnard uses it too, without checking.
Yes, they do! I contacted the Oxnard folks about it and the necks are constructed as they were in NH (single rod with flanking graphite bars). Makes for a slimmer neck (probably a little lighter, too).
 
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