Do We Like Gulid Acoustic Guitars?

IMMusicRulz

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I have heard many, many good things about Guild acoustic guitars and thought I might need some help.

A lot of them are very very expensive, but some of the cheapest I have seen are somewhere between $400 and $600. That's a decent enough price.

Martin and Ovation also make some pretty good 12 string acoustic guitars. Guild is also pretty good on basses, electric guitars and acoustic 12 string guitars.
I just love the shimmering, shimmering sound of 12 strings. The strings harmonize very well. Very flatwound sounding strings.

Part of the reason why I want a Guild 12 string acoustic is because Roger Hodgson of Supertramp uses them on his solo tours. He must really like Guild instruments. Tom Petty, Peter Cetera, David Gilmour and Stevie Ray Vaughan also used to play Guild back when they had 12 string guitars.

I currently own a First Act Acoustic guitar (which has 2 strings broken off of it, so I guess it can now be converted to a 4 string acoustic tenor guitar.)
I also own a natural finish Epiphone J200 acoustic guitar that I received from my mother as a Christmas present. My friend Ben also owns an Epiphone J200 acoustic guitar. I've heard that Guild acoustic guitars are better played with a natural finish, but I have also seen black and sunburst colored guitars.

If you agree that I should ask my parents for a Guild acoustic guitar for Christmas, please let me know. I have an acoustic amp. A few instrument stores in my city carry Guild guitars. I really wish that Fender still owned the rights to the Guild brand, because I thought that Fender did a pretty good job distributing the sales of Guild guitars. And Guild 12 strings are less expensive than Guild 6 strings.

And if you have any pictures of a Guild guitar, I'd like to see them.
 

Jupiter

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I had one of those red mahogany dreadnoughts back thirty or so years ago. I liked it fine but I traded it in for a jazzbox (ES175 type) when I came to Japan.
 

archetype

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I've got a Guild 240E that's pretty good. It has an arched back, a very 'electric like' neck with a bit of V to it, and a lively, balanced tone IMO. When my FIL died, my MIL gave me my pick of his instruments. I chose the $400 Guild over the stiff-playing, dead-sounding 2000s Gibson Hummingbird. The Guild said play me and responded. The Gibson played and sounded like a brick.
 

runstendt

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I have had a Guild F2512E for almost ten years now, and I absolutely love it. I play it more significantly more than my other acoustics, and any time that I do an acoustic gig I take it as my main guitar. The notes practically explode off of the guitar. I was not even looking for a guitar when I bought it; I was riding a rented motorcycle in Tennessee and I came across a small music store. I stopped by to check it out, tried this Guild, and that was that. I arranged for them to ship it back to Pennsylvania for me, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it ever since. If you are looking at a Guild, particularly a twelve string, I highly recommend them. If you are still unsure of the brand, though, Washburn is another often overlooked brand that makes a great guitar. You can't really go wrong with either one.

 

63telemaster

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Went 12 string shopping with a friend a couple of weeks ago and played the F2512E that is linked above. It felt well put together and played really well for a 12 string, not as stiff feeling as some others we tried in the same price range. It sounded decent aswell with good balance and a good depth to the sound which is something to look out for with 12 strings as some can be very bright. For the price, I'd say they are very hard to beat.
 

Freeman Keller

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If you are serious about a twelve string my suggestion is to think about how you will tune and play it, then get out and actually play as many as you can.

I happen to own three twelves (none of them Guilds) and I string, tune and play them very differently. I also get to work on a lot of guitars and in my opinion Guild builds as good a 12 as anyone today - well worth considering. I also think Taylor builds some of the better twelve string guitars on todays marked. For a generic budge 12 string I would certainly look at the 150E.

Guilds have a couple of features that make them unique. First they build both jumbo and dreadnaught sized 12's. They have two truss rods which give a little more adjustment to neck relief, unfortunately it does nothing to eliminate neck angle issues. One thing I don't care about is that they finish their necks on the body so its a bit harder to do a clean reset. Their bracing is pretty stout which means that if you do intend to tune to concert or maybe one semi tone down they can handle it better than a lightly braced guitar.

I have to seriously caution against buying a used 12 string unless you are really capable of evaluating it and know what the typical repairs cost. The most common problem with 12 strings, of course, is neck angle, and again, the Taylor with its NT neck is the easiest to fix. If any other guitar has a bad neck angle I would pass completely.

Twelve strings do not have twice the string tension of a sixer, more like 150 percent. There is a lot you can do to help this - light gauge strings (10's are considered light on a 12) and tuning down a couple of semi tones (capo back if you have to sing with it). I set mine up with very similar action to a 6. They can be a little funky to intonate but most people don't play a 12 high on the neck.

They can be wonderful guitars if you choose the right one - truly the grand piano of the guitar world

IMG_2024.JPG
 

zombywoof

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I will always have a soft spot for Guilds. Back in the day Guild occupied that sweet spot in price between a flagship Harmony or Kay and a Martin D18 and Gibson J45. For many of us though, a Guild was out first "good" guitar. And as noted, back in the day they set the standard for 12 strings. Then again, the only two U.S. companies even making a 12 string were Harmony followed in 1961 by Gibson. Once you hit the 2000s though it takes a scorecard to figure out where they were being built as well as to weave your way through the various lines such as the Orpheum and Newark Street Series and Westerly Collection. Kind of a "who's on first" thing.

Talking about the Good Old Days. A Guild acoustic with a Dearmond pickup slapped across the soundhole.
 

JamesAM

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The import Guilds you're looking at are made in China and they seem OK whenever I play one at GC. They're laminate back/sides with poly finish - about the same quality as any other eastern import nowadays, which is pretty solid.

Guild since they moved their factory to Oxnard a few years back has been top notch. It wasn't so good through the 2000s as they were bought and sold and moved factories a whole bunch - like 4 or 5 factories, I think. When they moved to Oxnard, they poached Ren Ferguson from Gibson and the quality shows. I've got a soft spot for a new M20 for sure.

Older Guilds are also top notch - for me, the D40 bluegrass jubilee is probably the best value in acoustic guitars. Red spruce top and used ones from the 70s are between 1700-2000. Only hard thing is many of them require neck sets by now, but they're harder to do than Martins due to Guild's finishing practices back in the day.

WRT 12 strings: can't help ya there. Good luck!
 

WalthamMoosical

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For many of us though, a Guild was our first "good" guitar.
Or first "good" "anything": First quasi-expensive thing I bought for myself after starting working my adult job was a 1987 Guild D-25 (I bought it new). It needed saddle-lowering to improve the action but I got it done under warranty and have immensely enjoyed the thing ever since.
 

FMA

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I really like Guilds and their 12-string guitars are very nice. That said, my acoustic 12-string is an old Seagull that plays well and sounds exceptionally good. (And it stays in tune, which, if you've explored 12-strings, is a thing.) I'd check one out if you can. Or one of the lower model Taylor 12s. I think they have one model that goes for about 800 bones. I know the Taylor tone is not for everyone, but every Taylor 12-string I've played was very nice, played well and sounded very good.
 

billy logan

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If you want a 12-string you want a 12-string!

What makes you dissatisfied with your Epiphone J200? Just that it's not a 12-string?

I like Guilds in general- but you've got to play each individual one. That's true of every brand, ime. I would say avoid any acoustic that weighs a lot.
 

IMMusicRulz

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If you want a 12-string you want a 12-string!

What makes you dissatisfied with your Epiphone J200? Just that it's not a 12-string?

I like Guilds in general- but you've got to play each individual one. That's true of every brand, ime. I would say avoid any acoustic that weighs a lot.
I don't have anything against the J200. I just think Guild is a good instrument to own.
 

Gabrielle84

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I am a big fan of Guild. Admittedly, did not consider them when I returned to playing. I was looking at Martin, Taylor, and Taks.
I owned an Oxnard made M20. Had to sell and still miss it. I’ll buy one again at some point. Well made, full mahogany sound.
 




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