Guild HB-1 Pickup Teardown

Today I tear apart a vintage Guild HB-1 pickup. Why would I do such a thing to one of my favorite pickups? For the same reason that I used to take the phones apart when I was a kid in the ’70s: to see how it works.

Don’t worry, this pic of a pure unmolested ’70s Guild HB-1 in mint condition with its unused ring, perfect springs and screws is not the pickup I dismantled. Doing that would make me a monster. (more…)

Guild Flying Star X-88 Crüe

I have forever been curious about these Guild X-88 Crüe Flying Star guitars, and when the opportunity arose to grab one for a good price I jumped on it, eager to get my spandex out of storage in order to put it through its paces. The guitar I mean, not the spandex.

Sadly, my wife had thrown all my stretchy neon out years ago so I had to settle for a technical review devoid of any photos of me trying to reclaim my day-glo youth in style. I’m sure your disappointment is profound.

Let’s see how this, one of the pointiest of guitars of all time, holds up to the critical observations of someone who lived through the time when guitars like this were more popular in hot pink.

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Guild US Guitar Factories

I think we as guitarists tend to think of guitar factories as glorious magical places where our favorite instruments are born. Reality paints a different picture, however, because guitars aren’t born. Guitars are made, and they’re made in factories.

A random question on a forum made me wonder what the history of Guild factories looks like so I spent far too much time trying to track down addresses and current pictures of the current and past factories where Guild guitars were born made. This article is the result of that research. (more…)

Guild Liberator Elite

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The subject of this review is a guitar that I’ve lusted after for years, namely the Guild Liberator Elite. You see, one of my favorite guitars is a Jackson Archtop that I’ve played so much that I want another arched top super-Strat, but that’s a pretty rare thing to come by (at least for US-made Jacksons) so when I discovered that Guild made one, I had to have it. The only problem was that they didn’t make very many of them and they don’t come up for sale very often, so I had to wait. I don’t wait well, but waiting was my only option so after a couple of years of doing so I finally scored one of these rare beauties and had a chance to run it through its paces.

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Guild G300 Tamarack Acoustic Amplifier

I scored this little amp from a new shop in Nazareth, PA which allowed me to drive there and save not only the Paypal fees, but shipping as well. I kind of went in blind having never played a Guild acoustic amp before, but he let me try it and all the knobs appeared to work so I walked out with a good deal on this circa 1993 Guild G300 Tamarack acoustic amplifier.

I tore it apart, gave it a look, fixed the fiddly bits, cleaned up the enclosure and put it through the review process. Let’s see what I was able to learn about this cool little acoustic amp from Guild.

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Guild Timberline Acoustic Amplifiers

Around 1992 or so, Guild introduced the Timberline series of acoustic guitar amplifiers and only made them for a couple of years. Named after various trees and all but one made out of luxurious solid oak, these amps are quite eye-catching in the same way that hardwood encased cane-grill Mesa Boogies are.  These are very classy looking amps and comments on various guitar forums often include statements like “this is the prettiest amp I’ve ever seen.” Well, maybe that’s not often said about the footstool shaped G1000 shown, but the rest get a lot of cosmetic praise.

Sadly, there is very little information about these amps out there and almost every forum post I see about them contains people looking for more information, so I took what I’ve learned and put it together into this article.  (more…)

Guild S281 Flyer

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I got this guitar because it had a ridiculously low price and it said Guild on it. It was a completely blind purchase and I had absolutely no idea what to expect because I had never owned a Guild super Strat and always sort of thought that they were the long-forgotten failed group of guitars that were overshadowed by the likes of S100s, S300s, and Bluesbirds.

Since I have always favored Jacksons for my super Strat needs, I had never even considered one of these mid-late ’80s Guilds. Let’s see how it faired after I tore it apart and gave it the review treatment.

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1977 Guild S-60

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Here we have another New Guild Shape guitar from the late 1970s called an S-60.  I had wanted a Guild S-60 for some time and the only one I’d found was listed at $1200 which is hundreds more than I paid for my S300. This one popped up on eBay with some not-so-great pictures and a less-than-stellar description with an nice opening bid. Since I was the only one who bid I got it for a great price!

The S-60 is the entry-level into the Guild electric guitars of the era and if you’ve read my other reviews you’ll know that I have a thing for high-end Guilds, but as you’ll read I have a soft spot for these guitars as well. Let’s take a look and see if this 1977 Guild S-60 holds up to my fond memories.

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1998 Guild Starfire IV

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One of my favorite guitars is the 2000 Guild Starfire IV that I reviewed here. I bought the guitar in this review because it’s from 1998 which means that it has the Seymour Duncan made SD-1 pickups in it and I get a fair number of questions about them. Since I didn’t have a guitar in the current collection that sported these fine pickups, I decided to buy this guitar so that I could do things like A/B it against my other Starfire and swap the pickups in order to do some pickup comparisons for an article I’m working on.

While this guitar is very similar to the 2000 Starfire IV mentioned above, it is also different in some ways that may not be obvious at first glance. Is it good enough to replace one of my favorite Guilds? Let’s find out.  (more…)

1981 Guild S300

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Ahh, the Guild S300. Ain’t nothin’ else quite like it. Of course, that’s mostly because it’s pretty odd looking, but ask almost anyone who’s owned one and they’ll tell you how much it rocks. I’ve owned four and yes, they all rocked. Hard.

A Guild S300A-D was my only guitar for over 20 years and as a result I have a soft spot for these odd-looking beasts, so when the opportunity presented itself for me to score a 1981 Guild S300, I jumped on it. I needed to own this 1981 S300 both because I was without an S300 at the time and because I wanted to write about one of my favorite guitars which I could only do properly with one in hand. As luck would have it, the one that landed in my lap happened to be in almost like-new condition. Let’s take a look. (more…)