Guild X-175 Manhattan, M-75 Aristocrat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MartinPiana, May 9, 2016.

  1. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    Interested in hearing of experiences with, impressions of recent examples of these two guitars.

    In the market for a hollow (preferably) or semi-hollow with P90s. (I understand the Aristocrat is chambered, but with a spruce top) well under a grand used. I should probably just focus on the Eastman T486B - apparently the only two P90 guitar Eastman makes - because I'm sold on Eastman quality and their necks and prefer 1 3/4 nuts. But these Guilds look so much cooler than another 335 copy....
     
  2. p.mo

    p.mo Supporting Member

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    I thought the Guild Aristocrat was full-on hollow. Light as a feather. I think Gibson had a model that was out a couple of years ago that was a close copy of the Aristocrat specs. That one should be in your consideration too if you're looking at the Guild.
     
  3. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    I think it used to be hollow, but site currently says chambered with braced, arched laminate spruce top. http://guildguitars.com/g/m75-aristocrat/

    I somehow don't think I'm going to get a Gibson like this for $700, which is the lowest I've seen the Guilds and the Eastman going for used so far. Maybe a used Casino, but that's not really what I'm looking for.
     
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  4. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    I would be surprised if they've changed the Aristocrat substantively -- they may call it chambered because it's built from a routed frame, rather than bent sides like a conventional archtop. It's a pretty close approximation of a vintage M-75 Aristocrat, and the pickups are even reasonably close. It's brighter and snappier than a typical P90, with a big bottom end, bright highs, and less of the midrange thump of a P90.

    The only thing in the Gibson product line that might be close is an Epiphone Casino Coupe (the small-body Casino derivative) -- but the Guild is cooler.

    ;)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  5. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    Thanks Smiert. What's your Avatar? Looks like a Manhattan....
     
  6. Tony Bones

    Tony Bones Member

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    You know, Guild has always been really bad at getting their advertising right. Ever since day one. You'd think that after changing owners twice they'd improve. I guess it's one of those eccentric quirks you just have to find cute.

    Anyway, I wasn't sure how the new Aristocrats were made either until I finally bought one. Here's the facts: They are full hollow and made with the same construction as the ones in the late '50s. If not exactly, then very nearly exactly. The back is a solid piece of mahogany about 1/8" thick. The sides are bent, laminated mahogany. The top is laminated spruce with parallel spruce braces. This is just how most full size hollow body guitars are made except they'd have a laminated arched back instead of a flat solid piece. Of course there are some guitars with carved tops and backs, etc, but that's a different category.

    Anyway, there's no reason for Guild to call the Aristocrat chambered. It's not just dumb, it's wrong!

    I love my Aristocrat. I mean, I seriously love it and am surprised at how good the tone is. It's very lively, almost like a flat top acoustic, and without the dull attack that I've come to expect from fully hollow archtops. Maybe it's the spruce top, I don't know. The pickups seem like a perfect match and I have had no desire to try to install after market P-90s (which wouldn't quite fit.) It will feed back if you let it - it's not a Les Paul - but it's controllable and fun.

    I know nothing about the X-175s except that the people who've bought them seem to be surprised by how much they like them too. :)

    EDIT: back of Aristocrat is 1/8" thick, not 1/4"
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  7. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    At the risk of sounding smug, a Manhattan looks like my avatar.

    ;)

    It's a '54 X-440, one of the early New York Guilds -- it is one of the guitars that the reissues were based on. They did a good job with the reissues overall. They did well with the body shape, and the Franz pickup copies are a reasonable interpretation. Pretty amazing for the price they were aiming for. I wish they were long scale, like the originals, but that's a matter of personal preference.

    If you have a chance, wander over to the Gretsch Pages, and take a look at Billy D. Light's review of the Aristocrat -- he's got an original or two, and did a direct comparison that makes the reissue look awfully good. I've never owned an original, but have played a couple, and wish I'd grabbed one when I had the chance.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  8. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Good info -- thanks. I don't own one of the new Aristocrats, but have played them in shops. I was really impressed.
     
  9. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I picked up one of the new Aristocrats last year, and have been looking to trade into one ever since. Really nice guitar - high quality stuff - on the relative cheaps.
    MD
     
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  10. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I was on the hunt for one of the longer scale Guilds for my jazz tones for quite awhile (with the smaller heel), ended up with a Kay Swingmaster to scratch that itch. But those pickups, they always had this clarity to them, almost hi-fi or something. Good to know the newer ones are sounding good, I remember when they came out and for some reason thought people weren't digging them, but I don't remember why exactly.
     
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  11. p.mo

    p.mo Supporting Member

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    Maybe you're the guy I lost my eBay bid too?! Lol I had my eye on these for a long while and finally zeroed in on one - a gold top - short money on eBay and with 2 secs left... Poof.
     
  12. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    p.mo: No, not me. There's a guy on gretschpages.com looking to trade his Aristocrat for something more rock n roll capable. Maybe you could give him a shout.

    Very few of these come up for resale. Either not many sold to start, or the owners are not inclined to part with them. Probably a mix of both.
    MD
     
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  13. p.mo

    p.mo Supporting Member

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    @dewey decibel nice. Perhaps I will if @MartinPiana doesn't do so first. Bye the Gibson I was thing of before in my initial response was a Gibson es139- very Aristocrat - like with humbuckers. You can find deals on those under $1k
     
  14. Keef Wichards

    Keef Wichards Member

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    Don't own one but I came close after an amazing encounter with both of those guitars in a music store a couple months ago. They blew me away.
     
  15. Fatboy666

    Fatboy666 Member

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    had an Aristocrat

    great guitar

    sorry I got rid of it

    on my list of "ones that I need back"
     
  16. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    All yours if you're interested.... Have a line on an Eastman Pisano 175 type, great price, thinking a I can swap in bucker sized P90s.... But still indecisive.... Especially since I don't need another guitar....
     
  17. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    As per usual, this gentleman gives a fine demonstration of the timbral capabilities of the reissue.




    Let us know what how the search goes!
     
  18. rwmct

    rwmct Member

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    Damn! After seeing that demo, now I want one . . .
     
  19. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

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    Can anyone who has one of these, and has experienced neck heaviness in any guitar, tell me how the Aristocrat stacks up in that department? (IOW if you have/had one but don't "believe in" neck dive no need to respond :D)

    I ask because it seems like the neck joint is pretty far up the neck and the body is small and very light. It seems similar to the geometry of a Eastman El Rey, another small hollow body, and J Hale has a special fix for those where he puts a 10-12 oz counter weight into the body via the holes in the top for the knobs. The other guitar it sort of reminds me of is a Benedetto Bambino, but on those the neck joins the body at the 14th fret so there's not as much neck "hanging out" to skew the balance.

    I'm really interested in this guitar but I spend most of my playing time standing and don't like dealing with guitars where I have to "hitch it up" or deal with a suede strap tugging my shirt off my back ;)
     
  20. arniez

    arniez Supporting Member

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    I have one, no neck dive on mine. Somewhat unique sounding guitar, sometimes I think I hear some of the nasal quality 335's have.
    Been pretty happy with the purchase. Well made good bang for the buck!
    ArnieZ
     

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