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GAD
06-23-2010, 11:37 PM
Since I've been sitting around trying to take my mind off the throbbing pain in my face where my tooth once was, I've been writing a lot. I decided to write an essay on Guild Electric Guitars, since I'm such a big fan.

If there are any mistakes or glaring omissions I'd appreciate the feedback. Percocet is a Hell of a drug. :bong

Here's a snippet:

"While most people associate the name Guild with beautiful vintage and modern acoustic guitars, Guild electric guitars are also wonderful examples of fine US-made instruments. Iíve owned more than a few, and it all started for me 30 years ago..."

You can read the entire thing here: http://www.gad.net/Blog/2010/06/24/guild-electric-guitars/


http://www.gad.net/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/B0Z6337_800-Rot.jpg

karmadave
06-24-2010, 12:06 AM
Nice writeup and guitars. Fender really dropped the ball when they discontinued Guild's electric guitars. Some of the nicest hollow and semi-hollows are Guilds...

nmiller
06-24-2010, 04:46 AM
A very nice introduction to the brand, though I'd add that the earliest Fender-era HB1s are actually wound to the same specs as the original Guild design and sound the same. My 2002 X-500, for example, has Fender baseplates but sounds just like the earlier guitars. I have definitely played some less inspiring examples from the Fender era, though, so I know what you're talking about.

Also, the Starfire I was just a II without a bridge pickup. They didn't make many before discontinuing it in '64.

GAD
06-24-2010, 07:28 AM
A very nice introduction to the brand, though I'd add that the earliest Fender-era HB1s are actually wound to the same specs as the original Guild design and sound the same. My 2002 X-500, for example, has Fender baseplates but sounds just like the earlier guitars. I have definitely played some less inspiring examples from the Fender era, though, so I know what you're talking about.

Also, the Starfire I was just a II without a bridge pickup. They didn't make many before discontinuing it in '64.

Good info on the SFI. Should I assume they just called it a Starfire?

In 2002, Guilds were being made in Corona. My 1999 Starfire from Westerly RI had Fender-HB1s and they sucked. Do you have a link or reference for the same spec statement? I certainly don't know everything and I find that Intriguing if true.

nmiller
06-24-2010, 07:44 AM
Good info on the SFI. Should I assume they just called it a Starfire?

In 2002, Guilds were being made in Corona. My 1999 Starfire from Westerly RI had Fender-HB1s and they sucked. Do you have a link or reference for the same spec statement? I certainly don't know everything and I find that Intriguing if true.

I believe Guild included the "I" in the title, since it debuted with the II (and possibly III?). I've never seen a label from one, so I can't say for certain.

Actually my X-500 is one of the last Westerly-built guitars. It sports a Westerly label and Guild confirmed where it was made when I checked out the serial number a few years ago. They were produced in both factories until about 2003, when all remaining Westerly production shifted to Corona. Most of what I know I gleaned from perusing the Guild forum; I don't recall where I heard that, but Hans would be able to tell you definitively. I certainly don't know everything either.

I have had the opportunity to play a 2003 Corona-built X-500 with Fender pickups and a couple of 1970s X-500s as well. Mine sounds a lot like the '70s guitars while I found the Corona guitar sounded weak.

smiert spionam
06-24-2010, 07:53 AM
The single-pickup Starfire was indeed typically labeled "Starfire I" -- but the labels were handwritten and sometimes a little inconsistent.

I love old Guilds. For me, the best years are the narrow-waisted long-scale archtops from the '50s with Franz single coils (though the early Starfire III with DeArmonds is a close second). All of them are fine guitars, though.

GAD
06-24-2010, 08:26 AM
I believe Guild included the "I" in the title, since it debuted with the II (and possibly III?). I've never seen a label from one, so I can't say for certain.

Actually my X-500 is one of the last Westerly-built guitars. It sports a Westerly label and Guild confirmed where it was made when I checked out the serial number a few years ago. They were produced in both factories until about 2003, when all remaining Westerly production shifted to Corona. Most of what I know I gleaned from perusing the Guild forum; I don't recall where I heard that, but Hans would be able to tell you definitively. I certainly don't know everything either.

I have had the opportunity to play a 2003 Corona-built X-500 with Fender pickups and a couple of 1970s X-500s as well. Mine sounds a lot like the '70s guitars while I found the Corona guitar sounded weak.

Yeah see that's what I think the problem is for a lot of us amateur Guild-historians. Stuff being built in both factories, stories of leftover parts being used in one factory in reissue guitars and all that fun stuff that's really hard to nail down. I think we'll all have to wait for Hans' next book to get the whole story. That's one of the reasons that I tried to keep date ranges vague.

Your X500 sounds delicious!

Kmaz
06-24-2010, 09:12 AM
Will there be Guild electric guitars made in the USA again?

stevieboy
06-24-2010, 09:18 AM
My Starfire III-90 that you've seen here already is from 2001. It has a sticker saying it was made in Westerly, so at least some of the post Fender Westerly made Guilds can be ID'd as such that way.

Cool article! I'm not attached one brand myself, but I enjoy the passion of those that are. And I have been at least something of a Guild fan since I used to see a young Bonnie Raitt play her Guild acoustic solo, and then when I got a Guild D25 myself in '78.

You asked for us to point out mistakes, this is a simple spelling one, but happens to be one of the few that tends to bother me--Duncan's first name is spelled Seymour.

Jahn
06-24-2010, 09:48 AM
GAD, someday you'll have to give a 60's starfire a runthrough. Those mini HB-1s are some of my fave pickups, if not my #1 fave.

LowWatt
06-24-2010, 10:12 AM
Will there be Guild electric guitars made in the USA again?

You have no idea how much I am hoping for this...please Fender!!!! Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nmiller
06-24-2010, 10:33 AM
Will there be Guild electric guitars made in the USA again?

Every few months there are rumours, but so far nothing concrete.

The good news, though, is that Guilds are quite inexpensive on the used/vintage market, and there are no clunker years (at least until the mid '90s - then it gets more controversial). Even most '50s and '60s models can be bought for a whole lot less than the equivalent Gibson.