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What do you know about the various Guild eras?

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  • What do you know about the various Guild eras?

    I'm on my second Westerly-era (sixties/seventies) Guild. They're great. In fact, I play my '76 Guild D-35 more than I play my '71 Martin D-28. I've also played a couple of Hoboken era Guilds, and they're also very lively little axes.

    There have been other Guild shops and eras - Connecticut, Takoma, the new Westerlys, and more. I've picked up Guilds in guitar shops, and sometimes they're great and sometimes they're playable but forgettable.

    Which periods do you like and recommend? Which do you avoid?

    Last edited by Delmont; 10-02-2017, 12:04 PM.
    ( •)—:::
    Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

  • #2
    I think they're all good. Hoboken & Westerly are prime.
    But I don't discount Coronas, Tacomas or New Hartfords either
    on the traditional Guilds. But avoid the non-trad designs from Tacoma.
    He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France


    • #3
      I had the F412. Bought it new in 74 and thought it was a great guitar.
      - The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken


      • #4
        Guild usually fly way off my radar, at least until one comes in for some work, then I tend to get very impressed. I frankly don't know the models or the history or the different locations very well, but I do know that I have liked every one of their 12 strings that I've played. The necks are chunky as hell, but then a good 12 string should have a chucky neck, eh? If I were in the market for a 12 right now I know that I would be looking at some of the smaller bodied Guilds - is F412 a good number?

        And, for what its worth (actually, quite a bit I think) there is a very nice article about Guild moving back to New England in the Winter 2010 FBJ - the Avett Brothers are on the cover.


        • #5
          I'll tell my Guild horror story, not that it has anything to to with the fact that the guitar was a Guild, but anyway, a couple of years ago I was called down to the store that I do work for to look at a guitar. It was a big beautiful blond maple Guild 12 string, don't remember the model but it was drop dead gorgeous. The action was high, could I lower it. I did a couple of quick checks, told the owner that it needed a neck reset before it could be lowered any more and frankly, I was afraid to do it. Guilds are finished with their necks on and in order to get it off I would have to break the finish at the joint - I just didn't feel comfortable doing it. I gave the owner the names of several techs in our area who could probably do it, and I sort of forgot about the whole meeting.

          Some time later I was asked to install an under saddle pickup in a guitar, a great big beautiful blond Guild 12 string. The action looked reasonable and I've installed quite a few UST's so I just sort of started on auto pilot - drilled out the end pin jack, mounted the electronics in the sound hole, drilled for the transducer wire and sanded the right amount off the bottom of the saddle. As I was putting it back together something just didn't seem right - the saddle slot just didn't look deep enough. In fact when I put the transducer and saddle in the slot it kind of rocked forward - just wasn't snug. Pulled everything out and measured the slot, it was only about 1/8 deep. Looked closely at the bridge and realized that some frickin' idiot had shaved the frickin' bridge. They had done a nice job, you could hardly see the sanding marks, but instead of resetting the neck they had shaved an eighth of an inch or more off the top.

          I calmed down as much as I could, called the owner and explained what I had found and what I had done, told him that if I left this pickup in it wouldn't sound good and would probably break the bridge. In fact I told him that without the transducer there was still a chance the bridge would break. I told him that I would remove the Fishman transducer and make a new saddle for it to duplicate the one I had sanded. I suggested that a K&K pickup would allow him to plug in - he agreed and I installed it. I refunded the cost of the Fishman, charged him for the K&K but not for my labor.

          I learned a very good lesson here - once again to always, thats ALWAYS in big capital letters, measure everything before I start doing anything. When I popped the saddle out I should have just taken a second to measure the bridge and the saddle and confirm the action - then call the owner and discuss the options.

          What a beautiful guitar.....


          • Delmont
            Delmont commented
            Editing a comment
            Ow! That's why I just buy 'em and let people who know what they're doing mess with 'em.

        • #6
          I own a Tacoma Guild F50. I could not find any F50s in my area to play but played one 10 years prior to buying this and never forgot how great is sounded and felt. When I finally was able to afford it I searched everywhere in 120 mile radius and none of the Guild Dealers carried one. All the dealers I spoke to offered to special order it but if I didn't like it I was stuck. I ended up ordering it from a shop in NYC I called the owner explained that I want the guitar but would like the option of returning since I am making the purchase based solely on a 10 year memory of a guitar I played that was built two factory moves ago. He agreed to take it back within 3 days. The guitar sounded amazing, I've had it for close to 10 years now and still love playing it. I can't speak to every Guild they make in Tacoma but this one stands up to the Westerly ones.
          2008 Guild F-50
          2015 Martin 00-DB
          2013 Gibson J45
          2016 Martin 00-17S


          • Delmont
            Delmont commented
            Editing a comment
            The Guild F50 - one of the most gorgeous guitars ever built!

            And yeah, I'm hearing great things about the Tacoma guitars.

        • #7
          I had a Westerly made flat top thing. It was a superb instrument , but was pretty beat looked a bit like Willys guitar , no holes in it , but beat bad too bad actually The previous owner had scratched their initials in the top "bout" That looked pretty annoying, to me . The headstock "Guild" inlay had fallen out , and was gone , also But it did sound quite unreal , oh yes it did. Mature "voice" on that thing. . It had deep scratches on the top , beat, but it was very very excellent. I Traded it in for a Masterbilt Epiphone. It was an extremely excellent thing though .. oh yes it was oh well The Epiphone Masterbilt thing is also extremely excellent also , and, no scratches
          Last edited by crustoleum; 10-19-2017, 09:17 AM.


          • Delmont
            Delmont commented
            Editing a comment
            Ow, ow, ow!

            Yeah, I always carve my initials in the top of a new guitar first thing. Also my social security and bank account numbers.

            Doesn't everyone?