12-Fret Guitars

Twelve-fret acoustic guitars have a certain mystique rooted in blues and folk history, as well as classical tradition. The 12-fret is the instrument of choice for many purists—which leads some to assume it’s a body design in a class by itself. And, as all guitars have at least 12 frets, one might wonder just what “12-fret guitar” really means. We tapped the distinguished luthier Richard Hoover of the Santa Cruz Guitar Company to clear up a few mysteries about 12-fret instruments.