Hey Guys, my first 12 was an Applause by Ovation. The guitar is still in the family, although I passed it along over a decade ago, when I bought a new 1999 Taylor 855. I still think Taylors are the only ones who got 12 strings right. Unfortunately, I got to a place a few years ago where I almost stopped playing 12 string and was persuing fingerstyle work. So, the guitar sat in it's case alot. I also wanted a motorcycle and sold it along with 4 other beauties to pay cash for a nice ride. Now, that history is all ok, except for the fact that the only guitar I really miss is the 855! Even though I still don't play them alot, it's a real bummer when I want to and it's not there in the closet. So, recently I started shopping and researching and found a couple cheapy 1970's Ibanez and Takamine guitars in the $250 - $300 range that are supposed to be pretty fair 12 strings. I bought one already - a '77 Flame Maple and Spruce "Starfield" made by Ibanez with Maple neck and even a maple fretboard! This thing is LOUD!!!!!!!, I'm talkin LOOUUUUUDDDD............ and is really a joy to listen to and feel the vibes comin out of it - endless sustain. One downside to this one is a very narrow neck, I think it is 1 3/4". String spacing becomes a bit of an issue, and if you have fat fingers, forget it! Still, the price is right and it is quite playable for strumming. I have another one, a Takamine Rosewood and Laminate Spruce top coming tomorrow. This one is a Martin lawsuit knockoff and has a much wider neck. But, I jumped on it for $250. Now, the other plan is to buy a used Taylor 355 for under a grand. So, if I don't like the cheapy's as much as the Taylor, (which I expect to be the case), I can always sell them, or pass them around in the family. Anyway, I'm 58 and have played most of my life. Money is an issue now, and I still haven't spent that much comparitively, and it's a fun little experiment.