opinions on old Guild Small Hollowbodies;M75, Bluesbird

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by WahmBoomAh, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    HI ,,,, curious but never played one ,, You know those spruce top (no f hole) small hollow bodies with a single pickup (usually a Franz) .
    I almost bid on one last year but thought wiser ,
    So ,,,, To those who know them ,,, waddup?
    Do they resonate at odd frequencies with that small closed off body or are they natural sounding?
    I see they`re very light ....like 4 pounds !...Any bass to be got out of them with such little mass?
    Dead spots up top ?
    ..What style applications do you use them for ?
    A believable Jazz sound? How`s the feedback ?

    thanks for the chance to learn a bit ....Paul
     
  2. ssdeluxe

    ssdeluxe Member

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    Hi Paul, I had the pleasure of owning a 59 aristocrat and was stupid for ever selling it, I was young and didn't know much though, so that's my excuse.

    although very light gtrs, they had a really authoritative tone, not what you would expect, you could rock, twang, jazz on it no problem, I think the franz pu's were know to be very inconsistent and sometimes anemic, but in the aristocrat I had they were magic, really really sweet alive tone, truly a spectacular guitar, they have to be set up really well though, and I think I put in an abr1 instead of the rw bridge.

    even back then they were quite rare, and I missed my opportunity to own a late 60's flamed mahogany bluesbird (as named in the 60's) with the small orig. guild hum's which were also, absolutely stunning sounding pu's.

    not alot were made, if you get a chance, and they have, as alot of vintage, skyrocketed in price, but truly a unique gtr with a gr8 voice.
     
  3. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    If it has one pickup, it's an M-65 Freshman. I think some of those are standards and some are 3/4 size but I'm not sure. Don't have the Guild Guitar book in front of me. Heck of a resource on these guitars.

    Freshman:
    [​IMG]

    As far as I'm aware, all Bluesbird/Aristocrats had 2 pickups and are the M-75 model. Aristocrats are the 50's - early 60s models and pickups vary over the years. I don't have my Guild guitar book in front of me, so I can't be sure what they used. When Guild re-released these in late 60s (66 or 67?) the first model was an M-75, then they started calling them Bluesbirds the next year. All the Bluesbirds should have Guild HB-1 humbuckers.

    Aristocrat:

    [​IMG]

    Bluesbirds:
    [​IMG]



    I'd love to get my hands on an aristocrat, but they are impossible to find and the price has skyrocketed. Brendan Benson of the Raconteurs is plays one:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    thanks Stephen ...first "hands on" account for me ...hope you get one back someday ...sounds like one to put on the list for both of us .
     
  5. ssdeluxe

    ssdeluxe Member

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    my pleasure Paul, I've owned quite a few guilds over my years, and most of those were my "stupid years " lol, of not knowing what I had.

    if you find one go for it ! I remembered one more story, I also had a 54 guild x 375, the one that looks like the gibson switchmaster with 3 franz pu's, and I sold it because the pu's didn't really produce a good tone, well, I found out from my gtr tech that the fellow who bought it (just so happens my tech is his tech) had my tech rewind the pu's and its now his favorite gtr and has been for like 15 yrs ! ...

    so the lesson I learnt that day was, you can always rewind those franz pu's, and I wouldn't worry about any value retribution, its going to be an improvement, ......... but in the aristocrat I had, just like the burst in the pic, those franz pu's were spectacular, just a unique gtr that is like no other out there.

    man, I think you just started up another GAS fire for me :rotflmao ! lol
    good luck :BEER
     
  6. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    I would love a Franz-equipped Aristocrat. I've got a '54 X-440 that would like a little brother. Or sister. Not picky.
     
  7. george4908

    george4908 Member

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    I had '69 Bluesbird. Maple/mahogany, semi-hollow, no f-holes, Guild buckers. A wonderful sounding guitar, just stunning, actually, but what kept it out of the permanent collection were some ergonomic issues. The frets were tiny like a fretless wonder (and I did not want refret a guitar of that vintage that was in otherwise terrific original shape), plus the pickguard was mounted so close to the E string that it was very difficult not to be hitting it. A shame because it sounded gorgeous.
     
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Guild made some great guitars, back in the day. When Gibson quality declined, Guild's guitars were still up there with the best of them, IMO.

    I don't know too much about contemporary Guilds, but the older ones are routinely pretty fine instruments, IMO...
     
  9. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    interesting boxes , huh?
    I had a 64 CE100 that had a nice sound ...quite a bit brighter than a 175 in a good way .Something about the string tension that I didn`t bond with. I suspect there was a neck angle issue but I loved the sound of those minihums .. Could get you more than a nice jazz tone .
    With the Aristocrat you get spruce instead of laminated maple ... something that experience tells me gives up more tonal shadings and roundness to the note.
    It`s such a rare design that I`m afraid the only way to grasp it is to grasp it.
    I guess the only parallel would be a modern jazz luthier type small build ....a Benny or something .
    I`m just curious as I won`t be spnding aristocrat $$$ in the near future .
    thanks for the replies guys .
     
  10. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub

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    I have never played a bad Guild guitar. I've played ones that were abused, but build quality and playability have always been top notch.

    GAD
     

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