Epiphone 12 String Guitar
Epiphone has always been a great brand for getting a cheaper version of the guitars you want. My very first Les Paul and SG models were made by Epiphone instead of Gibson.
The quality is outstanding for guitars in their price range. If there's one thing I've learned about guitars it's that you can't sacrifice on quality when making a purchase. Even if the price is cheaper you're losing more money by purchasing an instrument that won't keep tune, has a poor sound quality, and is virtually unplayable. Epiphone has always been a great choice for high end quality with affordable prices. So when I needed a new 12 string, I immediately looked for an Epiphone model.
One thing I noticed from browsing online and in my local guitar shop is that there aren't a lot of 12 string models available by Epiphone. I couldn't find much in the way of electric 12 strings except for a double neck, but that's not what I was looking for.
One of the only downsides to purchasing an Epiphone 12 string is that there doesn't seem to be any acoustic-electric versions either, except for some older vintage ones and discontinued models. So if you need your instrument amplified, you'll have to do it the old fashioned way with microphones. The current line model that seems the most available is the Epiphone DR-212.
The first thing I noticed is that the price was significantly lower than most 12 string guitars. It had a nice looking natural wood finish with basic chrome hardware. The top was spruce with a mahogany back and sides. The fingerboard was a dark rosewood with dot inlays. The inlays were made with ivoroid, a synthetic ivory substitute. These were nice looking but very basic and meant for functionality instead of decoration. The guitar had a great contour to it and a light but solid weight and feel.
It was comfortable to hold while standing or sitting. The string action was a little high for my tastes, but that should be easily adjustable if you have different preferences. Where this guitar really shines is in it's rich, warm tone. Not only did it sound fantastic, but it projected a lot of volume for having no amplification. This is a testament to good craftsmanship. If you're looking for an affordable 12 string, this Epiphone model is a great choice.