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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
Action Good, Sounds Good On a Jingle-Jangle Morning; Outstanding Value
I give it five stars, taking price into consideration. I must admit that I cheaped out, as I had intended on buying a Yamaha FG720S-12 at twice this price. Buyer's remorse set in shortly after I placed the order, during which I considered canceling. However, I was swayed a bit by the other reviews here - or perhaps "enticed" might be a better word for the effect on me. Inasmuch as I already own two Yamaha 700 series guitars of current model, I feel reasonably sure that the Yammie 12 would have better oomph on the bottom. Chances may be good that I yet may acquire a 720-12, as I watch for a deal.
However, the OD312 is initially quite impressive. "Initially" is all I have so far because it was just delivered a couple hours or so ago. The first thing I noticed was that it is a beautiful guitar. The second was that the neck is straight. Third, action was pretty good right out of the box; in fact, lower than my newly beloved Yamaha FS730S when I got it new last week, or so. And the 730 is an awesome instrument which I subsequently set up with very good action. But as they arrived, the Schmidt had the better action. I noticed other reviewers mentioning good action as new, and frankly doubted it. But seeing is believing. Those unwilling to either set up their guitar or pay someone else to do so might just get lucky with this guitar (though there is yet room for improvement). All the woods look very nice, gloss finish well done. The guitar is fairly big, with a resonant spruce top.
Its sound is a bit light on bottom, but its jangly, bright tone is alluring and very pleasant. I began playing guitar using a 12-string from the sixties. My fingers met the 312's fretboard with the same feel I had back then, meaning the neck and string spacing all felt natural and very familiar, as the guitar became a time machine, for me, transporting me back to younger years. Fun, Fun, Fun.
Chances are, the bass end will improve with age, is my guess. The best solid spruce tops aren't available down here in the budget end of the product pool, obviously, which likely makes a significant contribution to the guitar's tonal characteristics. Very similar to that old Ventura I played decades ago and for twenty years. It got away from me, but I intend to be a better caretaker for my current small stable of instruments, hoping to pass them along to others who will play and hear them in their prime years after I am gone. That Ventura improved with age.
[Edit - Rest assured that this instrument is not anemic in the lower registers; I perhaps gave that impression. The sound is full range, with a very satisfying presentation. Also, further playing time has enhanced my already-good opinion of this guitar. Really good action makes it a joy to play, while its tonal characteristics are great, with that big 12-string sound ringing in the night while a million-dollar sonic presentation has banished all those fleeting feelings of buyer remorse, even though the price dropped twenty bucks a few days after my purchase - now is the time to order.]
I will add to this review over the coming days with more observation and play-time, but as it stands, so far so good. I am impressed with the Oscar Schmidt OD312-12 String at this point, and feel good about the purchase.
[EDIT: Okay, now that I've played it for a few hours over a couple days or so... The bottom end is better than I initially thought. Action, from the box, is so good that I have not done any set-up - nor will I. Very unusual, even for guitars at twice the price and more. It is something I'm fairly picky about, and I take it as routine that set-up is required when I make a guitar purchase. I don't even think of it as criticism for a guitar to need adjustment to my preferences. So I shouldn't think of it as a plus when it is not needed, but can't help finding this impressive nonetheless, especially for an instrument this affordable.
The guitar's tone is alluring, pleasant and as balanced as any 12-string I've played. It sounds great! Furthermore, I find it a joy to play. Its appearance also is excellent for the money - I like the binding around the fret-board. One of the rather small tuning keys (G-string) on mine is a bit stiff, but livable - as my only nit to pick, a minor one. I am amazed by my Oscar Schmidt, and the brand has risen in esteem for me due to this guitar. If you've ever wanted a 12-string, but thought a decent model too expensive to take the plunge then this is the one to purchase. Amazon has dropped the price for the Christmas season another twenty-something bucks - just a couple days after I received mine but I like it so much that I'm not disappointed.]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
You Get What You Pay For
Oscar Schmidt OD312 12-String Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural
I received this guitar as a gift from a friend. As I mentioned in the headline, you get what you pay for. Bear in mind that, although it carries the well known name of Oscar Schmidt/Washburn, it is manufactured for them in China. That said, you are still getting a decent guitar for the Amazon price.
However, if you receive a guitar with unfinished fret ends, as did I, you will have to consider a few options, since the guitar is unplayable with sharp fret ends sticking out of the fingerboard edges (they'll rip your hand and fingers to shreds). Your options are then: 1)You can return the guitar to Amazon for a replacement (and hopefully they will pay the return shipping costs; 2) Take advantage of the Warranty (and definitely pay ALL shipping costs), or; 3) Do the job yourself, as I did (not recommended unless you REALLY know what you're doing).
After spending almost a whole day correctly filing the fret ends smooth and setting the intonation, I finally had a decent 12-string guitar that I could comfortably play.
I was tempted to give it only 3 stars, because the guy from Oscar Schmidt/Washburn tried to bullsh*t me that it was due to "shrinkage". As both a professional custom knifemaker and also a guitar player of many decades experience, I can tell the difference between material shrinkage and unfinished fret ends.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. See all 37 customer reviews...
Very good for a cheap acoustic guitar, has some expected manufacturing flaws
I bought this guitar on Black Friday sale for $80, and wow what a great deal it's been.
The first thing that struck me was how it came- strung with brand new Elixer's covered by paper. It also came with an allen wrench for the truss rod. Out of the box I tuned her up after letting the guitar in room temp. for 30 minutes. The action was almost perfect out of the box, which amazed me in this cold weather in NY. The tuners hold pitch really well.The guitar sounds very good for an $80 guitar. Perfect for rhythm, although I wish there was a slightly deeper bass to the E-string.
I turned the truss an 1/8th to reduce some fret buzz in high frets, will see how that turns out. (not an issue, I've seen much worse actions)
Came with an odor of finishing chemical emanating from the sound hole, which combined to the plastic-like finish made me think this was an esteban guitar at first; higher part of fretboard had black residue on them.
The Bad: The frets stick out, if not less than .2 mm, I did not notice this until playing after a while and realized my forefinger and thumb webbing had scratches from them. The scratches are akin to getting fiberglass on your skin, which is annoying. I'll have to file them down or grow callouses!
Verdict: I have a cutaway Dean acoustic Exotica series and a Fender classical guitar. Compared to my Dean, this is much brighter and fuller tone, but has a slight chinsey hue that doesn't quite have the warmth and balance of my Dean. If my Dean wasn't a cutaway I'm sure it would be superior. The construction and look of the guitar is pay for what you get, don't expect inlays or exceptional manufacturing standards. But if I were jamming with friends, noodling around, hell even recording some background chords, I'd use this guitar.