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Guild's...get 'em while they last!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Ryguy, May 13, 2006.

  1. Ryguy

    Ryguy Supporting Member

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    I just got a 1956 Guild X-175 of the bay for $1000. Basically Guild's L5 with the Franz p-90's. New tuners, binding, headstock, and an old refinish. The ground has come loose and I have to get the wiring fixed up/redone, so I haven't really worked the pickups yet. But doesn't need a neck reset or refret, plays smoothly and intonates well, and just has such a sweet sound. This is my fourth vintage guild (2 Starfire II's and a Starfire IV, and every one has sounded and felt great, and were $1000 or under. I have also owned a '63 330 (yikes, what the**** was I thinking when I sold that?), and a '68 335, and just dug the guilds more.

    Bottom line is if you look around and are patient you can get a smokin' vintage semi, or hollowbody for $700-$1500. Actually, desptite this post's title, I don't think that will change anytime soon either, since Guild's have always been more of a players guitar, and aren't that attractive to collectors. :BEER
     
  2. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Member

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    I think part of Guild's "problem" is that their instruments, or their electrics at least, have never been strongly associated with a major artist.
     
  3. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    one of my fav guitars ever was a 65 SF4. Magic! However, all of the Guilds with pups cut into the top (with very rare exceptions) were of laminate constuction, and IMO don't sound like a solid, carved, L-5. Also, while the pups look like p-90's they don't sound nearly as strong.
     
  4. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Another Guild fan here. I've got a '54 X-440 that is essentially built on the same platform as your X-175 (I was watching that auction, too). In terms of materials and features, these are more like an ES-175 (laminate, etc.) than an L-5, but they're still great guitars.

    I've also got a '55 ES-175D, and they're really quite different guitars. The Franz pickups are indeed very different from P90s, though both have their charms. The Franz pups are brighter and punchier, and together with a Bigsby and the long scale make my X-440 great for fat twang.
     
  5. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I'd like a blues bird.
     
  6. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

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    A little off topic, but...my first electric was a Guild S60-D, with two DiMarzio single coils. I'd like to have it back. My next one was actually an Ovation Preacher solid body. I'd like to have that one back, too. I had an early history of odd solid body electrics, I guess.
     
  7. Ryguy

    Ryguy Supporting Member

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    Yes, the X-175 is definteley a lam top, and like Smiert said more like a an ES-175, but with the Venetian? cutaway like an L-5. Again, I really love my Guilds simply for what they are, but the great deals you can get on some of these 50's-60's archtops just blows me away.

    I have gotten to try out the Franz pups a bit more, and really like them. They are brighter and punchier than a Gibson P-90, but the difference to my ear is really not that great. (can't a/b them so it's just from memory). I also love the long scale, and the neck, which is nice and chunky.
     
  8. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Yup, that's how I'd characterize them. Maybe something in between a '50s DeArmond Dynasonic and a P90 -- a classic big fat single coil sound, but not quite as thick in the mids as a P90. I remember asking Jason Lollar about reverse engineering a Franz pickup, and his recommendation was basically for an underwound P90 with heavier gauge wire.

    Here's a gorgeous '55, though it's not exactly cheap:

    http://lucchesivintageinstruments.com/product.php?id=32&PHPSESSID=b46f2926ed9de9a735b928a7c40e1b65

    And a pic:

    [​IMG]

    Guilds from this early period are all over the place, and the naming schems are pretty idiosyncratic. My '54 is very similar to the 175 at Lucchesi (blonde, spruce, etc.), but it has dual tone/volume controls and a mahogany neck.
     
  9. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Another thing I really like about the early Guild 17" archtops is the body shape. The cutaway is beautiful, and I really like their skinny waist. It's a nice alternative to the Gibson shape, and they feel more compact in your lap (or on a strap) than a later thick-waisted Guild.
     
  10. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    I am a Guild fan and am mifed by Fenders decision to stop making some of the ones I have liked..

    I have owned a late 60's starfire III, a recent Starfire IV and I have a 78 X500. The are great guitars, underated and built very well.

    My X500 is everything an ES 175 is and much better made. The IV's are much nicer than any of the recent 335's I have played.

    The only issue I have is the binding comes ungluded on some of the older ones, but that happens on gibsons too.

    What kind of glue is safe for repairing the binding?
     

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