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12 vs. 14 D hole, body details

Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
Is there much physical difference between a 12 and 14 fret D hole Selmacs other the the scale length? Is a 14 just a 12 with a longer neck? Just wondering, all my experience is with the small hole 14s.



  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,885
    There's definitely a difference...keep in mind there are two types of 14 fret D holes.

    14 fret D holes with a long 670mm scale length like this guitar:

    and 14 fret D holes with a shorter 650mm scale, like this one:

    If I were to generalize, I guess I'd say they usually have the following qualities:

    12 Fret D Hole: Deep sound with a lot of low end. Leads can have a sweet sound but lack "bite." Very easy to play....but not much high fret access.

    14 Fret D Hole long scale: A nice compromise...more lows and low mids then a long scale oval, but enough punch for lead work. A very "BIG" sound!

    14 Fret D hole short scale: same ease of playability as the 12 fret D hole but the 14 fret neck gives more high fret access. A little less boomy then a 12 fret, and some more lead attack too but not as much as the 14 fret D.

    Both the guitars listed above put out an amazing wash of sound...the Dupont is simpler in tone, but LOUD, LOUD, LOUD! Just fills the room. The Hahl has a gorgeous, rich and complex tone (ala Bireli), and still has enough kick to get you through a campfire jam.

    Hope that helps...

  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    Thanks Michael. I was thinking more about the actual construction of the body. I'm wondering if the 14s are just a longer neck on a 12 body size, bracing pattern, etc. Or have makers of these hybrid 14 Ds been tweeking the body properties around as well. Outwardly, they look pretty much the same.

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,885
    No...the 14 fret D holes have the braces in different places then a 12 Fret D hole. Actually, that was the problem with Sagas first attempt at a 14 fret D hole (the DG-320.) The just took a 12 fret body (the D-500) and stuck a 14 fret neck on it. What happened is the bridge ends up resting directly on top of a brace which is a bit scary. They fixed that problem later...

  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    Okay, that makes sense. Any other physical differences?

  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    with these selmer style guitars, i think it might matter where the bridge is... i think you might get a bigger sweet spot when the bridge is closer to the middle of the big bout, which i believe is the case with the 12 fret guitar.
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
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