Thursday, October 17, 2013

Seagull Coastline 12 String Acoustic Guitar Review


Today we are looking at another nice 12-string acoustic guitar out of Canada, a Seagull Coastline S12. Seagull brand acoustics are one of the best values out there. They are part of the Godin family of guitars and are made in Quebec. Canada using mostly locally sourced woods (there a lot of trees in Canada, you know). Anyway, I am pleased with the sound, quality and price of this guitar and it gives the entry-level Martin and Taylor guitars a real run for their money.

The Coastline S12 is a handsome dreadnought guitar with a pressure-tested solid spruce top, and pretty laminated wild cherry on for the back and sides. It has a simple blindingly white binding around the top and back, and it has been sprayed with a thin semi-gloss finish that does not muzzle its tone.

This Seagull’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 this one is really quite smooth.

The Tusq nut is 1.8-inches wide and there are 21 well-finished medium frets sunk into the rosewood fretboard. 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 intonation is good, probably helped in part by the compensated Tusq bridge saddle. The sealed tuners hold well too.

The craftsmanship is first rate, and if you go the internet you can see for yourself that these instruments are made in a small town by luthiers that care about what they are doing. They have a lot of pride in what they do, and it shows in their guitars.

The Coastline is a fairly normal-sized dreadnought, measuring about 5 inches deep and 16 inches across the lower bout. So, it fits well in the lap or on a strap and it is comfortable to play. It also has a fairly narrow nut for a 12-string, and it plays very easily. If you are coming from a 6-string dreadnought it would not take too much adjustment to your playing style if you pick up this twelve-string. You might want to keep in mind that it is a bit heavier than your usual 6-string, coming in at around 5 pounds, 6 ounces.

Besides playing well, it also sounds nice! It has a bright tone that is balanced well with a good low end, and of course it produces good volume when played hard. As I said before it holds up well when compared to the $1000 entry-level Martins and Taylors. Particularly when you consider the price of this guitar…

The Seagull Coastline S12 has a list price of $620.00, and a street price of $499.99. I have seen them a bit cheaper than MAP online, so make sure you shop around. I do not know how they can sell them this cheaply, and this is the best value in the entry-level 12-string market. Check one out if you get the chance!


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