Do We Like Gulid Acoustic Guitars?

Vocalion

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The Guild Westerly guitars from China are an amazing value. I play my all-mahogany Guild M120 more often than my two Martins. My only gripe was with the tuners, which were a bit too stiff. I replaced those with a set of very similar-looking Grovers I found on StewMac. Unfortunately the replacement tuners were not an exact fit (one size was too small and the other too large), so I had my local guitar tech ream out the holes in the headstock to make the larger set fit.
 

schoolie

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Portland, OR
Can't say that I've played a lot of different acoustic guitars, but I've always been attracted to Guilds. I haven't tried the import line, but the reviews seem positive.

Thanks for providing an excuse to post my Guilds, D15m, F40, M-40:
20220422_140805_resized.jpg
 

JL_LI

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I like well crafted acoustic guitars. Made in USA, Canada, Europe? It’s all good to me. I’d give consideration to Korean or Japanese to reach a price point. I’ve never had to resort to MIC for a guitar and I see no reason to start now.
 

Happy Enchilada

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OP: You can't go wrong with a US Guild acoustic. It's a guitar you can play and love for a lifetime. To wit:

Many moons ago when I was a much younger and hairier guy, I went off to college and made friends with a guy in my dorm who also played guitar. By the time our sophomore year rolled around, we decided to put an act together and play local coffeehouses and bars. I forget what kind of guitar he had to start with, but I had a Yamaha FG180 that I'd had since eighth grade. My abilities had outgrown it and I wanted to upgrade. The trigger came when my buddy came back from Thanksgiving break with a Guild D25 he had gotten at Axe In Hand in Dekalb, IL. It was an amazing guitar and I vowed I would get myself a Guild. I sold my Yamaha to a kid in the dorm for $20 less than I originally bought it new, and over Christmas break I visited the Axe In Hand in Decatur (my hometown) and was instantly awestruck.

There on the wall hung a pair of big beautiful curvaceous blonde jumbo Guilds - a matching pair - 6 and 12 strings. I opted for the 6 (much more utilitarian), which cost me a whole $400 (it was gently used, as was the 12). But if I'd had the moola, the 12 woulda gone home with me too. So for several decades I wistfully thought of it as "the one that got away."

I played the snot out of that big jumbo JF 30. It was my constant companion and my best friend. We played in coffeehouses, student pubs, and even one "family restaurant." And one magical night when we were having a party and the power went out. Met all kinds of ladies and even made enough $$$ to purchase a pair of kangaroo skin Tony Lamas. Then decades hence following my divorce, I was forced to part with it to make rent. I regretted it daily since. So a few years ago when I discovered Guild had seceded from the evil Fender empire (acoustics was something Fender never got right), I was elated. I rushed down to my local guitar merchant and put in an order for an F55. Then Ren Ferguson shut everything down for about 2 years to get production up to his lofty standards ... and I ended up waiting 2 years and 5 months for my new Guild. And it was worth every second - it's an amazingly well crafted and surprisingly light TONE CANNON. But I digress (frequently).

So a few days ago I stroll into the same local guitar merchant's shop MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS and there hanging on the wall is a big beautiful curvaceous jumbo Guild 12 string. The clouds parted and a beam of sunshine enveloped me and the guitar. I took it down and strummed a few cowboy chords and was instantly smitten. So I enquired.

It came from the estate of an older local gent who passed and his widow brought it in. It had a few hairline finish cracks and one down the top on the lower bout end of the bridge, but as luck would have it, my buddy and luthier was in the store at the time and assured me that was no big deal. So I asked the price and we came to an understanding. He wanted a mere FRACTION of what Guild wants for new ones. Plus I had a couple guitars and an amp on consignment, and this was a great way to clear the decks. Went home and snatched the cash out of my gun safe and went back the next day and now it's MINE!!! Here's some cheesecake for ya:

The 1991 Westerly-made JF 30-12 by itself:
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The F55 together with it (sorry about my foot and the cat toy and my son's game controller and awful lighting):
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... and here's the money shot, which I call "Babies got back." Nothing like a nice piece of maple ...
1648833012156.jpeg



So much for "thinning the herd." But at least I got rid of some things I wasn't thrilled with and got something I'll treasure. And for a GAS addict like me, that's a good day. Plus my wife is very understanding, which is good since overnight temps are dipping down into the 20s lately and my truck isn't all that well insulated. So I'll be fouling the air on my back porch soon as I learn the chords to "The Wreck of the Ella Fitzgerald."

Taylors are fancy toys for dentists and dilettantes and middle-aged church musicians (with bolt-on necks, no less).
Martins are nice but spendy, and lately they've added cheap imports to the line to trade on their logo.
Gibsons are spotty for QC and way overpriced. And Guild stole Ren Ferguson from their acoustic shop in BOZEMAN, MONTANA - a most desirable place to live - does that tell you something?
US Guilds are well-crafted, robust, great-sounding guitars that, with proper care, you can pass on to your kids.

Cheers!
 

Spox

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I have a Guild D4 Westerly True American which I think was their entry level US built option but despite being the poor relation of the Westerly line it has a touch of magic to it. To the OP I'd recommend looking to try out used US Guilds hands on and when you find the one which matches your budget you'll know it and possibly buy a lifetime guitar.
 

DaddyG

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Last year I bought a Guild D-140, all solid for $800 and it is a great sounding git. Also have a 2512e and a NS Manhattan, I am very happy with them. Strange thing is that the 12 string sounds different on different days volume-wise.
 

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FenderLover

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Mine is a D-60, 1987, same as Johnny Cash's except in natural. It plays real well and sounds great. Lately, I had the occasion to weigh my acoustics, the D-60 is about one pound heavier than my Martins and J-45. Don't really care, just sayin'....

By coincidence, I'm wearing my "Guild, Made to be Played" T-shirt today!
 

FenderLover

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Back in the late '70's and early 80's, Connecticut had a lot of player's using Guild acoustic guitar's.

The folky clubs were filled with them....

From the web:
"My name is Jerre Haskew in Chattanooga, TN USA, and I delivered this great Guild D60R and another just like it to John at The House of Cash in Hendersonville, TN in the fall of 1987. I was president of Guild Guitars at the time and had gotten John's endorsement on an airplane going to Boston early July when he was heading up there to play the July 4 concert with the Boston Pops Symphony. He ordered two of these in Cherry Sunburst. They were made by our then Guild factory manager and incredibly great master luthier, Kim Walker, www.walkerguitars.com. We paid John NOTHING for his endorsement, and he helped relaunch Guild along with Eric Clapton and many others back into the acoustic and electric guitar limelight."

Johnny used his for more than 10 years before switching to a Martin D-42 until he passed. Got that one too ;).
 

RoscoeElegante

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FWIW, I got one of my daughters the mahogany D-120.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GD120Nat--guild-d-120-dreadnought-natural
I tried it out for a couple of weeks before being able to bring it to her, and thought it was very good. Nice deep sound, with crisp highs, quite balanced. Very good neck, played smoothly. A very comfortable medium-sized dreadnought build.

She's got quite slim hands but really likes it, too.

I've been playing Martins and their old house-brand Sigma (a great-sounding, unkillable DM-18) for decades. And I'd be fine if this Guild were my main acoustic. Excellent value for the $.
 
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srblue5

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A lot of my favourite players from the '60s and '70s (e.g. Paul Simon, Mississippi John Hurt, Peter Tork) played Guilds so I've always been fascinated by them.

Haven't had a chance to try out a lot of vintage ones but I did get to play a friend's all mahogany Guild D-25 from the '70s that was very sweet. I'm not a huge fan of dreadnoughts though. I sure would love to try out one of their F series guitars, either new or old.

Years ago, I went looking for an acoustic 12-string and after trying a half dozen mid-priced to fairly expensive ones from Martin, Taylor, Seagull, etc., I finally tried out an all-mahogany Guild D-125-12 from their import line, which was sitting at the back of the shop neglected and seemingly unwanted. It went home with me -- *that* was the 12-string sound I wanted (think Rod Stewart's "Every Picture Tells a Story") and I'm still astonished by its tone every time I pick it up.
 

Maguchi

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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.
Heck yeah! What's not to like. Never owned one yet but played a few both old and new and they were great sounding and playing guitars.
 

johnnylaw

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Just for the sake of accuracy, Westerly is neither in China or Pennsylvania, but in SW Rhode Island close to the Connecticut border.
The guitars from that small factory scan be serious contenders. The dreadnoughts are a flatpicker’s dream.
0C3FCF65-19D9-43B9-A1AC-9F821C83986A.jpeg
 

marshman

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I have had opportunity to play older Guilds, both 6-and 12-string jumbos, (I played them in the early 90s, but actual vintage unknown) and they were both spectacular instruments. Given the apparent under-valued nature on the used market they definitely bear consideration if you're searching for a nice Guild.

If a great-sounding 12-string is actually what you desire, I own an MIK Takamine 12-string jumbo that I really enjoy. If I had to complain, a) the batteries don't seem to last very long, but that might just be because I don't actually plug it in much, and b) the thing is LOUD. Most of my buddies use 'stage acoustics' these days, thin bodies, small tops, expected to be amplified, and my Jumbo 12 can easily "drown out" 3 of them.

I am currently reeeeeally GASing one for the new Guild 8-string Baritones. I have yet to get my actual hands on one, but if it can provide half the experience of the Taylor at a quarter of the price, I'll be a happy lad, indeed. My local is expecting delivery soon.
 

mystichands

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Bar none, the best acoustic guitar I’ve ever owned was an old, beat up Guild F-30 I found in a pawn shop for $75. It had the pickguard removed, was a beautiful sunburst, was made in the Hoboken factory. Now, when I look for them, they’re all over $1500. I’ll probably never get another one, but I replaced it with a 68 Yamaha FG110, which I also got for $75 in the same pawn shop. It’s nowhere near as good as the Guild. But it’s still pretty good.
 

mystichands

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I have had opportunity to play older Guilds, both 6-and 12-string jumbos, (I played them in the early 90s, but actual vintage unknown) and they were both spectacular instruments. Given the apparent under-valued nature on the used market they definitely bear consideration if you're searching for a nice Guild.

If a great-sounding 12-string is actually what you desire, I own an MIK Takamine 12-string jumbo that I really enjoy. If I had to complain, a) the batteries don't seem to last very long, but that might just be because I don't actually plug it in much, and b) the thing is LOUD. Most of my buddies use 'stage acoustics' these days, thin bodies, small tops, expected to be amplified, and my Jumbo 12 can easily "drown out" 3 of them.

I am currently reeeeeally GASing one for the new Guild 8-string Baritones. I have yet to get my actual hands on one, but if it can provide half the experience of the Taylor at a quarter of the price, I'll be a happy lad, indeed. My local is expecting delivery soon.
Some of the old Guilds are very expensive. Like the F30 I used to have. They’ve become pretty collectible. I’d like to try one of the new ones sometime.
 




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