I looked at Takamine's, and a Guild model, and a few others, but, I certainly wasn't going to spend near $2000 for a 12-string, and I didn't quite like the look of the Takamine model I tried (although, it played very well!) Other models I tried just didn't "cut it". Either they were the traditional boring "dreadnaught" look, or they had limited color options, or the pickguard looked doofy, and a few were simply priced WAY too high.....(Gibson, Guild, etc)
If you're ever in the market for a 12-string guitar, and you want a great looking guitar, that sounds like a guitar costing twice as much, look at the Ovation 1858.
The modern looks, playabiltiy, tone, built-in electronics & EQ, top quality binding, nice fret inlays, nice color choices, and overall fit & finish, just made this guitar THE choice for me! In the $1000 range, this guitar shines above many others.
If $1100 is a bit too high, there's the 1866 model which is also a very nice choice for a little less money. The 1866 is priced around the $800-$850 range. I only opted for the 1858 because I felt like it. hehe....And, it's WORTH IT! The sound from this baby is just amazing! My bandmates, as well as audience members all love the sound from my Ovation, and I'm sure once I get on stage with this beauty, I'm sure I'll get even more compliments from people.
Model Year: 2004
Price: $1099.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Putnam Music Center
US made, Sitka Spruce top, Flame-Top in a gorgeous Black Cherry Burst finish, multiple soundholes, laser-cut leaves surrounding soundholes, nice inlay work, complete neck & body binding (white), electric acoustic, single cutaway, top notch (built-in) preamp, EQ, AND Chromatic Tuner!
The action (right out of the box) is awesome! Although I'd like it just a TAD lower myself, I'm going to leave it right where it is for the best tone. Lowering the strings any more than this, can result in loss of tone, and not worth the sacrifice. Really doesn't effect my playing, though.... This guitar is simply awesome in both playability & tone. Couldn't have bought a better 12-string in this price range (and I DID try many, before buying this one) FLAWS? NONE! It's a fine instrument, a beautiful work of art, I must admit.
Currently use a GENZ-BENZ Shennendoah Jr acoustic amp for all my acoustic playing (great amp, BTW) The overall sound quality from the guitar (even unplugged) is stunning! Striking a chord produces the most lushest of sound. Very full & warm! Plus having a built-in EQ, pre-amp, and chromatic tuner makes dialing your tone so easy!
As with my other Ovation guitar, I'm sure this one will be no different. My 4 year-old Ovation Std Balladeer has been a wonderful guitar, and has NEVER had one problem since the day I brought it home! The overall durability of an Ovation acoustic/electric is like no other. Their necks are hard as a rock, the carbon-fiber composite roundback is tough as nails, and even with years of steady playing, an Ovation can take whatever you dish out.