This guide to the best 12-string acoustic guitars will help you find an amazing 12-string no matter what playing level you’re currently at.

Quick Answer: Best 12-String Acoustic Guitars


I have a lot of experience with 12-string guitars, so I’ve picked out the 5 best 12-string guitars for you to make the right decision about your next musical instrument.

What Is a 12-String Guitar?

A 12-string guitar is a normal acoustic guitar except that each string has been doubled. Each string now has a “twin” string. You get two E strings, two A strings, and so on. The second string in each pair is thinner than the original string.

The additional strings produce a nice droning effect. The tuning is the same, but you have a doubled sound that’s richer and more vibrant than the single-string tone of a regular acoustic guitar.

best 12-String Acoustic Guitars(1)

These additional strings make the guitar a bit harder to play, but it’s make up for by the sounds produced by the instrument. The 12-string sound is distinct and perfect for blues, rock, and other styles.

These guitars are dreadnought-style instruments and many of them now come with electronic systems, so they’re ready for an amplifier. Some models also feature deep cutaway bodies for easy soloing and higher fret access.

My Experience with 12-String Acoustic Guitars

I’ve played acoustic guitars including 12-strings for several decades. I’ve always enjoyed the full tone of the 12-string with its distinct sound. This is an instrument that beginners through to advanced players will love to play.

The 12-string takes a bit of getting used to, as the extra strings can be tricky to tune at times. Once you master the tuning, the instrument comes alive with wonderful tones which sound vastly different from a regular 6-string.

I’ve helped students tune them, and I’ve played them in music stores and at jam sessions with friends. If you’re bored with a regular 6-string, pick up a 12-string and a world of different sounds will open up to you.

I’ve picked out the 5 best 12-string acoustic guitars for whether you’re a beginner, intermediate player, professional, on a budget, or a student. Any one of the guitars listed here would make an excellent selection.

Top 5 Best 12-String Acoustic Guitars Overall

There are a lot of options when you’re looking for the 5 best 12-string guitars. This guide will help you whether you’re a beginner, an advanced player, a student, or on a limited budget.

12-String Acoustic Guitar1. Epiphone Songmaker 12-String Acoustic Dreadnought

  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Pickup type: None
  • Body shape: Dreadnought
  • Case: No
  • Best for: Those on a limited budget

The Epiphone Songmaker packs a lot into one low-cost package. This guitar has chrome hardware, a mahogany body, scalloped bracing, and a select spruce top for excellent sound projection.

The fingerboard and bridge are made out of rosewood. This guitar is easy to tune and sounds great no matter what style of music you want to play. It’s the perfect budget 12-string guitar.

✅ Low price
✅ Good tone
✅ Solid wood construction
✅ Scalloped bracing
❌ May need setup
❌ No case included

Why I Recommend It

One of my former guitar students had an Epiphone Songmaker 12-string. I was impressed by the tone of this guitar because it’s so low cost. It’s hard to find a better value in a 12-string at this price point.

It’s the perfect beginner 12-string whether you’re into rock, blues, country, or other styles. Chords sound great on the guitar and you won’t have any trouble playing them. This guitar is the right choice for your budget.



12-String Acoustic Guitars2. Yamaha FG820 12-String Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

  • Scale length: 25″
  • Pickup type: None
  • Body shape: Dreadnought
  • Case: No
  • Best for: Beginner or student 12-string players

The Yamaha FG820 is the perfect guitar for the beginner or guitar student. It offers excellent sound projection thanks to the solid wood construction. New players will love the neck and ease of playing chords on the guitar.

You get better sound projection thanks to the scalloped bracing. The mahogany body adds to the tone of the guitar. It’s got standard machine heads and a rosewood bridge.

✅ Low price
✅ Solid wood
✅ Easy playing
✅ Nice tone
❌ No case
❌ No pickup

Why I Recommend It

At a recent gathering, a friend brought along his Yamaha FG820 12-string guitar. I was impressed by how easy the guitar was to play. I had no problems creating chord melodies on this instrument.

The guitar has a nice tone for a low price and it sounds better than you might think. It’s the right instrument for a student or a beginner that wants to get into 12-string guitar playing.



12-String guitars3. Guild F-2512E 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Pickup type: AP1/Sonicore
  • Body shape: Dreadnought
  • Case: No
  • Best for: Beginner players that want a solid 12-string

The Guild F-2512E 12-String Acoustic Guitar is the perfect beginner 12-string that you can buy without breaking the bank. You get solid wood construction and a pickup system, so your guitar is ready for an amp.

The Sitka spruce top gives this guitar a huge sound projection, which is further enhanced by the maple back and sides. It’s got a slim C neck for easy playability. The low price is perfect for beginners on a budget.

✅ Good pickup
✅ Low price
✅ Comfortable neck
✅ Solid wood
❌ No case
❌ No neck strap button

Why I Recommend It

I love this guitar because of the pickup system. The controls inside the soundhole are easy to access when you want to make adjustments. I also love the maple body, which gives this 12-string a huge sound.

I played one of these at a local guitar store and loved the tone. It’s impressive for such a low-cost instrument. The C profile neck feels comfortable for either chords or single-note lines.



best 12-String guitars4. Taylor 150E 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

  • Scale length: 25.”
  • Pickup type: Expression System 2
  • Body shape: Dreadnought
  • Case: Gig bag
  • Best for: Intermediate players that want a dependable 12-string

The Taylor 150E 12-string Acoustic Guitar is built with the intermediate player in mind. The guitar is moderately priced, so it’s affordable. It has the excellent Expression System 2 pickup, so it’s ready for any amplifier and the stage.

The Sitka spruce top provides excellent tone, while the maple neck is comfortable to play for chords as well as solos. It comes with chrome tuners and a gig bag to protect your investment.

✅ Low cost
✅ Big tone
✅ Pickup
✅ Maple neck
❌ No hard case
❌ No cutaway

Why I Recommend It

I like the Taylor 150E because of the Expression System 2 pickup system. The controls are easy to access, as they’re right near the neck joint. You’ll be able to easily change your sound while playing.

This guitar uses top tonewoods that give it an excellent sound no matter what you want to play. I like the walnut back and sides, which further enhance the sound projection of this excellent instrument.



Martin HD12-28 12-String Acoustic Guitar5. Martin HD12-28 12-String Acoustic Guitar

  • Scale length: 24.9″
  • Pickup type: None
  • Body shape: Dreadnought
  • Case: Hardshell
  • Best for: Professional players that need a high-quality guitar

For those that want a huge 12-string tone, the Martin HD12-28 is a superior guitar for professional players. The Sitka spruce and Indian rosewood offer excellent sound projection for all styles of playing.

The neck shape is a wide performance taper, which makes the guitar comfortable up and down the neck, no matter what you’re playing. Your guitar is protected with a Martin hardshell case.

✅ Huge tone
✅ Modeled after the D28
✅ Solid construction
✅ Hardshell case
❌ Expensive
❌ No pickup

Why I Recommend It

The Martin HD12-28 is modeled after the famous Martin HD28 guitar, but with 12 strings. I love the sound of this guitar, and it can handle anything you throw at it. You’ll need to buy a pickup for it, as it doesn’t come with one.

The guitar is well put together, and it’ll last you forever. It’s well worth the investment if you want a huge 12-string tone. Pick this guitar up and you won’t be disappointed.


Things to Consider When Choosing a 12-String Acoustic Guitar

Here are a few things to consider before you buy a 12-string acoustic guitar.

best 12-String Acoustic Guitar


There are several different tonewoods used to make 12-string acoustic guitars. Here are the basic wood choices:

  • Maple: Good hardwood with excellent tone. Often found on necks, backs, and sides
  • Sitka Spruce: Often used for guitar top, as it has an excellent sound projection
  • Rosewood: Top-quality wood for guitar bridges. Sometimes used for more expensive guitars for the back and sides.
  • Mahogany: Often used for necks, backs, and guitar sides, as it has a warm and pleasant tone
  • Walnut: Another great wood often used on the back and sides of guitars


There are various finishes used on acoustic guitars. Here are the most common ones:

  • Nitrocellulose lacquer: A top-quality lacquer with a great shine and long life
  • Polyester: A newer finish used on many guitars with a good shine and long life
  • Gloss: Often used on acoustic guitars, as it has a good shine and long life
  • Matte: A flat finish that’s smooth to the touch without the shine of other finishes


You may or may not want a pickup with your acoustic guitar. Many models, especially those by Taylor, come with electronics already installed. This is a great option if you want to record right away.

The Overall Tone & Sound

The tone and sound of a guitar are usually based upon the quality of the wood. You’ll get a better sound and tone when you go up in price.

See also: Best Acoustic Guitars 2022 Buyer’s Guide

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about 12-string guitars.

How Much Do 12-String Acoustic Guitars Cost?

12-strings vary in price. Lower-cost guitars are fine, but may not be ideal if you’ve played for a long time and are looking to get into 12-string guitar playing. You get a better tone as you go up in price.

  • Beginner: $200-600
  • Intermediate: $600-$1,500
  • Professional: $1,500+

Are 12-Strings Hard to Play?

They’re a bit harder than a six-string, as you have to get used to more strings, which creates a bit more stress on your hands. Give a 12-string a bit more time as your hands adjust, but then you won’t have any issues.

best 12-String Acoustic Guitars

Where to Buy 12-String Acoustic Guitars

Here are a few places where you can buy 12-string acoustic guitars online. Any one of these locations should have good guitars in stock.


Amazon has a wide product selection to suit your needs. They have great customer service and good prices, and you can read reviews as well as add your own. I often shop at Amazon for all my guitar needs.

Guitar Center/Sweetwater

Guitar Center and Sweetwater are two other locations where you might want to buy a 12-string guitar. They have a wide range of products from major brands, great customer service, and decent prices.

Your Local Music Store

Another place to get a 12-string guitar is your local music store. You may be hard-pressed to find the exact model you want, as not all stores keep everything in stock. You’ll probably have to shop around.

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In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this guide to the 5 best 12-string acoustic guitars. All of the guitars listed here would make excellent choices. These instruments have a good tone and are suitable for whatever style of music you want to play.

Please like, share, or comment on this article. We look forward to hearing from you about your experiences with your new 12-string guitar.