1999 DeArmond M-75T Bluesbird Copy, (front), (back), (headstock), (case). Bang for the buck winner for anyone lusting after a Bluesbird, for around 1/3 the price. At the time, these were some of the best Korean imports made and they're quality control was clearly well above other brands. After Guild was purchased by Fender in the mid '90s, they set about reissuing some classic Guild electrics, opting to set up shop in Korea under the DeArmond name, which Fender also owned the rights to. Models included the Starfire, Bluesbird, Polara, and Pilot Bass Series. The headstock logo said DeArmond, with a truss rod cover reading "By Guild", but they were dead-on copies of the original Guild models. The DeArmond brand was discontinued by 2002, with web rumors, as usual, that their sales were cutting into sales of the expensive Guild brand. The same lore has been spread with many other guitars and I highly doubt that someone who shells out $2000 for a Guild, would be swayed by a $700 import. I think it's more likely that they became victim to the onslaught of Chinese guitars which were proliferating the market and manufacture in Korea just couldn't compete at the same price point and while the M-75T was much cheaper than a Bluesbird, it was pricey for an import. The M-75T features a solid mahogany body with set-in Mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, 22 jumbo frets, dual USA DeArmond 2K single coil pickups, dual volume and tone controls with a 3-way switch, block inlays, Guild style "hump" headstock, 24 3/4" scale, DeArmond Bigsby-style tremolo, tuneomatic bridge, raised black pickguard, chrome dome knobs with "D" logo caps, and Teal Sparkle finish. The DeArmond single coils sound great, very chimey, clear, and strong and the DeArmond Bigsby tremolo stays in tune wonderfully. Set up with very low action, this guitar plays with the ease of its more expensive big brother The M-75T shared the top of DeArmond's price list at $1000 in '01 and is an excellent value today at $479 including a *quality* DeArmond hardshell case that's a few pounds heavier than most of the cases sold today.
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