Sunday, January 8, 2012

Simon and Patrick Woodland Spruce 12-string Guitar Review


Today we are looking at my latest 12-string, a Simon & Patrick Woodland Spruce 12 string acoustic guitar.

Simon & Patrick guitars are one of my favorite brands, and the best acoustic value out there. They are part of the Godin family of guitars and are made in LaPatrie, Quebec. Canada has more luthiers than can fit on the head of a pin. I am pleased with the sound, quality and price of this guitar and it gives comparable entry-level Martin and Taylor guitars a run for their money.

It is a traditional-looking guitar, with a pressure-tested solid spruce top. It has compound curves in it above the sound hole to give it more volume, and to make it more structurally sound. I have heard that this reduces the amount of fingerboard pressure on the top. It is flatter on the bridge end, to allow the necessary vibrations to take place.

The back and sides are laminated with a pretty red wild cherry layer on the outside. It has a simple binding around the top and back, and it has been sprayed with a very thin finish that does not muzzle its tone.

The Woodland’s neck is made of flamed Silver Leaf Maple, which is a wood I had to do a little research about. This species is native to northeastern Quebec, and has the same density as mahogany, but it is less porous so it can have a smoother finish. These necks are sanded and buffed by hand, and are indeed really smooth.

The nut is 1.9-inches wide and there are 21 well-finished medium frets. There is a dual-action trussrod in the neck, but I have not needed to touch it as this guitar had a great set-up right out of the box.

The hardware is certainly good enough. The sealed tuners hold well and the bean-counters at Godin let the designers spring for a very nice Tusq (synthetic bone) compensated nut and bridge saddle that are made by Graphtech.

From all of this you can gather that this is well-made guitar. But the proof is in the pudding, and it is a sweet player, too. It has a bright tone that is balanced nicely with a good low end, and of course it produces volume when played hard. I have found that it has a more traditional 12-string tone than the cedar-topped version of this guitar that I had before, which was a little too dark.

I wrote earlier that the Simon & Patrick Woodland Spruce 12-string is reasonably priced, and that the truth. They have a list price of $679.99, and a street price of $549.99. I have seen them a bit cheaper than MAP online, so make sure you shop around.

Check one out if you get the chance!



  1. How is the neck profile on that one? It seemed to me like the Godin-made 12 strings got pretty chunky necks over the last five or six years.
    That and the skipped finishing steps on the bridges of their Seagull models were my only complaints.

  2. Thank you for a great description and useable review.


  3. Well,here we are four years after the last poster...[I found this site by accident]...and I can tell any hesitant purchsers,GO FOR IT.
    I bought a Simon & Patrick 12-string [left-handed version,as I'm a sinistral] just last week,for pennies. The bloke couldn't play it-end of] It's every bit as good as my Aria,VERY sdmooth,very easy to tune [it's tuned to Drop-D atm] and extremely melodic,tuneful and a REAL pleasure to play.
    Go on,treat yourself...remember 'YOLO'!

  4. I have had mine for nearly 8 years now. I love it. My arthritis keeps me from playing it much any more. But even with the pain it sounds great. I'm interested in selling it.

  5. Hello! I found this thread while searching Google for my old Simon & Patrick Luthier Left Handed 12 String which I misplaced and lost around 2010 in Western Canada. I wonder if there's any chance "Unknown" is playing that same left handed 12 string! here's hoping! cheers!

  6. I purchased a used/mint condition1992 (or '93?) S&P Woodland Pro Spruce 12-string in 1994. I do not use picks, I finger pick only. I loved the sound and playability of that guitar. I lost it in pawn in 1997. My wife has been trying to locate and buy one for the past 12 years or so. Finally, she found one close to my original one. It's a 1997 Spruce top 12. It's in 'good' condition but the case smells musty and I have to remove and clean the machine heads (tuning pegs) , with fine compound, chrome polish & carnauba wax. Clean the frets with 0000 steel wool and use the 0000 steel wool on the back of the neck. In other words it's very dirty. Not been cared for in many years. However, the most important parts are structurally 'sound'. The bracing is in good condition and there is only a few light scratches at the base of the neck which I can 'remove.' We paid $644.00 for it and I can't wait to string it up!