Mike I am glad I was able to convert you over. I always take pride in bringing someone over to the dark side. LOL. Now I just need to get an endorsement royalty from Guild. Everyone who plays mine fall in love with them. Since you like the 6120’s, I think you will be happy with the CE-100. Same body size as the Gretsch 6120, just shaped slightly different. It is not the size of an ES-175 like many think based on the body shape. I was chatting with Grez earlier on the RC Allen thread about how much I liked the 6120’s and CE-100’s body size. They just fit me good. I have always found them to be the most natural fit for me of all guitars, solid or hollow. I think we may be calling dibs on the first RC Allen, 6120 size Grez guitar. LOL. Everyone will be fighting over it. LOL.
You can still find X-500’s guitars around, and they were just recently brought back. If I am not mistaken the X-550 was just a Gonzales signature model, and was pretty much just the X-500 but with P-90’s basically. Do not quote me on that. The X-500’s with the Franz pickups sound very cool. The Duane Eddy models were also based on the X-500. Another guitar I think you would dig, since you mentioned the 500 is the X-175. Very similar, mainly just a different body shape. The ones with the Franz Pickups are killer sounding. All of them are though. Another thing with Guild is the X whatever numbers are the same guitar just bring different add-ons. So an X-170 is the same as an X-175. The higher numbers will either have fancier inlays, or bindings, or may have a Bigsby vs standard tail piece. It is the same with the X-500 series. I will dig around and see what I can find online so you can get an idea of prices for vintage ones. They will not be as cheap as a CE-100 or Starfire.
Here is a couple of X-175 Manhattans that I found on Gbase.
This is a cool X-160 from the Westerly years. I really liked these
Not a Guild but these Electromatics 5125’s 5129’s are cool if you come across them and can be had very cheap. i let a sparkle finish one slip away because I was looking for a nice Tele style guitar at the time and still kick myself for it.
Oh I was mistaken in the previous post. They did make other x-550’s. They were not just the Dave Gonzales signature models. I am curious about where this one you found is made. I know after Fender bought the name, they moved everything out of Westerly RI and into Corona. 2004 they discontinued production of all Guild electrics and moved them overseas and they all eventually became the DeArmond brand by Guild. Since these guitars fell in that transition time period I am curious to where they were made. You can tell a difference in the Pre-Fender Westerly Guilds and the Corona CA. made Fender Guilds. not really a good guitar vs a bad guitar, just different. Different construction, materials, and things of that nature. I prefer the Pre-Fender Westerly RI. The Hoboken NJ. are my favorite.
Yes, what you said about buyouts by Fender and factory moves is what Barry Grez related to not much buzz about their products. It all gets so confusing that you have to do a lot of research to be sure of what your buying. I think this turns people off and they look toward reliable makers. Another detail is that when you start looking at the vintage offerings out there you see consistent flaws like their binding shrinkage issues and cracks in places where you don’t see them on other vintage guitars. Then you get players like Robben Ford stating in interviews that his first guitar was a Guild Starfire and it was just ok. These are guys that play thru Dumble amps, can afford it, and are looking for a whole different feel and tone. We’re a different market. We gladly pick up a Harmony archtop with a P-13 played thru an early breakup but sweet amp and have a blast. Guild needs a PR person and I nominate you for the job. They would actually sell more guitars if they had that info. Right now I see $5000 archtops, #7 of 20 as an example, and they’ve been up for sale for a year. At the other end I see $950 Korean made Manhattans with Bigsbys and “frequency tested” single coil pickups and I have no idea what that is.Just know from past experience that they’re coated with a thick layer of poly or urethane. Anyway, I’m rambling and that’s what Guild does. Man they sure are good though when they get it right. I’ve looked at the guitars you posted above and I seriously have to get rid of this G A S, LOL. Thanks Bryan
Just a couple of questions regarding Guilds; How do you prevent binding cracks on the old ones? Is this a humidity issue or does it have to do with the material they used? Also, what are the “frequency tested” pickups on the new ones? Are they an attempt at reproducing the Franz pickups? In looking over reviews of the new Korean Guilds, they get good write ups. I haven’t tried them. Years ago I had a Dearmond Guild X-500, if I remember right, and it was a huge thing coated with a 1/16″ layer of poly on the body. It played well but I just couldn’t stand the plastic feel to the whole thing. I don’t hear any mention of that with the recent ones coming out of Korea. Maybe they toned it down a little. Thanks, Mike
I have never had problems with binding on my Guilds. I have heard of this, and had problems with Gretsches, but have never heard of this problem with Guilds. That does not mean this is the case though. With vintage Gretsch guitars it is the material that it was from giving off gases, and these gases being trapped in the case with the guitar. So people like my father who always kept his guitar locked in the case in the house had trouble with this. My dad’s not only deteriorated the binding but also start to corrode the electronics of the guitar. People that I know that did not keep their guitars in the case, unless transporting, never had these issues. So if it is a problem that affects Guilds just keep it out of the case.
I am not familiar with the Guild line that has just been relaunched. I just know that after Fender bought them out, and finished moving them in 2001, Guild no longer made them. They were then, and now a Fender made and owned instrument. Guild is in a different circumstance than what Gretsch is after being bought by FMIC. This is not technically correct, but the best way I know to summarize it. Gretsch still runs and builds all aspects of Gretsch, and Fender pretty much is just a distributor kind of thing and gets money from them. Fender has pretty much nothing to do with the building of Gretsch guitars. I am in the dark about Guild now other than what I read on them. I am curious as to what the “Frequency Tested” pickups are as well. My guess from what literature I have found on them is they are tested to be as close as possible to the Original Guild pickups. Do not know for sure though. I have read with the overseas Guilds being made now it is still a “Poly” finish, but not sure of the thickness. Certain online photos from people selling them you can see it is a cheap plasticy looking finish. I will search some of them later so I can post pics. They do have an American made line out now, but it is limited to just a few models. The X-500 is one of them. From looking at carriers of them I feel they are a little overpriced. I do read very good reviews of them, both US and overseas, but I still curious to just what they are. Like I mentioned earlier, the Westerly RI and Hoboken NJ made instruments are just different than the ones made in Corona CA. Not good or bad, just different.
These pictures to me make the new finishes look cheap on the new Guilds.
Going back to your comment on “Reliable Makers” I am starting to think now a days that is something of the past. All of the Manufacturers have had their down points. Gibson a few years ago was putting out some sketchy instruments quality wise, as was Fender. I have had terrible luck with recent Fender amps especially. I agree on the whole buy out thing you mention with it making it difficult to decide as a consumer. Buyouts have never helped anyone. Epiphone was never the same after being bought out, Fender was really never the same after the CBS buyout. I have played some Guilds that did not fluff my skirt, but at the same time I have played plenty of Leo era Fenders, and “Golden Age” Gibson that were not much to speak of either. As a whole I have always found Guild to be on par with the best of Gibsons and Fenders in terms of their build quality. Gretsch as well. Gretsch had binding issues on some, but some Leo era Fenders had really bad, what I call “Tail Flip”, where there is a raise in the fretboard where the neck bolts on making it hard to get a nice low, even action due to the strings fretting out on this higher section. Little issues like this can be found on any manufacturer past and present. Like I tell everyone buying guitars you just have to play everything until you find that one. They are all different, and you just have to find what speaks to you. People claim the Strat is the best thing ever made. I have never played one I like.
The link above is an example of what I was seeing over the years on various vintage Guilds and especially on the 50s Aristocrat models. I was getting concerned having just bought my first vintage Guild. Trying to decide if I should humidify it in the case because of living in Arizona with 90% of the year being really dry. I’ll have to play it by ear. Just like my guitar playing.
You’re right about play everything until you find the one. Before the economy took a dive I made a hobby out of buying guitars, trying them, and could normally get my money back out of them in resale. I was never concerned about finding just the right one. I’ve learned now that when you find a winner ya better hang on to it. Those days are over for getting your investment back for the most part because of fees and shipping charges that have sky rocketed recently.
No I’m not a strat guy either. Selling a Robert Cray soon that I converted to a soft tail and is a great guitar but I just don’t play it now. I don’t believe in closet classics. Pass it on to someone that’ll use it. Mike
Yeah that is not what I was thinking of when you first mentioned it, and what I was referring to with the Gretsch guitars. The Gretsch issue is the binding just kind of rots and crumbles off. It doesn’t shrink and pop off in big chunks like the picture you posted. I have seen what you posted in all types of guitars. What causes that I do not know. With all of the checking on the finish of the guitar, and other states of things on the guitar from the photo you can tell that guitar was not taken very good care of. Both of my vintage CE-100’s are in very good shape. Binding and everything is in perfect shape. Some checking in the finishes, but very mild, and other things you just expect from a guitar that is from a guitar of the mid 50’s and another of the mid 60’s. I wouldn’t take that photo as a representation of what becomes of Guilds, or that they have any kind of build flaw to them. I have seen that in all manufacturers with a guitar that has been neglected. The Gretsch issue was a unintentional build flaw in that specific era because people just didn’t know that type of binding material would do that, so that is something that will happen to all Gretsches of that time if not careful. This Guild is not a case like that in my opinion. I attached some picture of the binding rot I was referring to with Gretsch. This way you can see the difference. This can be avoided by keeping them stored out side of their cases.
While trying to find pics of Gretch binding issues I came across this interesting looking Yamaha. Does anyone know anything about this one. Some interesting looking pickups in it. Here are some pics
It sold on ebay for 1300+. Cool looking guitar there. Kinda Gretsch-like. Here’s a copy and paste portion of the ad…..
An awesome archtop built with incredible Japanese quality! An improved and updated take on classic rockabilly archtops of the 50s.
The AES-1500 gives you great vintage tone at a great price. The hollow body is made of Sycamore and maple for great tone. Check out the gorgeous figuring! The 24.75 inch scale maple/mahogany neck features a bound rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays. Dual Dimarzio Q-100 humbuckers deliver a variety of tones. An upgraded Bigsby B-7 vibrato with tension bar, roller bridge and sealed tuners keep it rock solid. The finish is a gorgeous transparent orange and set off by gold hardware. A great looking, sounding and performing guitar!
This Yamaha plays and sounds great. The neck is straight, the action is good and the frets are fine. The pickups deliver a variety of tones. Everything works as it should. This is a solid used instrument in EX- condition. It has seen some moderate use and shows some normal wear. It shows light to moderate pick and clearcoat scratches and moderate indents and dings. Some fading of the gold hardware. Normal wear and tear for a player. Comes in a very cool brown Yamaha hardshell case.
This is a great tribute to many classic vintage archtops without the problems or the price. Great Japanese quality throughout. Hard to find, I’m not even sure if you can still get this model new. Here’s your chance to grab one. BUY IT NOW and own a great guitar!
I found this little oddity when I should have been working here at work. LOL. It is an old Martin Electric archtop. Looks like it could be pretty cool. It has the DeArmond Dynasonic pickups, and is a fully hollow Thinline. Does anyone know anything about these? The body shape kind of reminds me of the Grez guitar Tommy has. Thought you guys might be interested in checking it out.
I have never seen one before. I hope someone can weigh in on that Martin. It looks cool.
I see those come up for sale every few years. They would have done well to get rid of the 000-18 style head stock. Maybe a hot rod color paint job and bigsby,lol. It must play pretty good being a vintage Martin. Bet it sounds good with those pickups.
Yeah I thought the same thing about the head stock as well. I would like to see the ones with the Bigsby that have the same M stamp in them that other tailpiece has also. That might be cool looking. I always liked the V cut out in the Bigsby’s that Gretsch have. Hot Rod Red would definitely be a Grez look a like. LOL. I am sure the Grez is a much nicer guitar at the same price.
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