GAD’s Guitar Review Standards

Having written a fair number of guitar reviews, I figured I would document my steps in case anyone out there was curious. Additionally, I figured having a fair bit of transparency into the process would somehow had credibility to the entire affair. Really, though, I felt like writing this so I did. The end. Well, not really. I discovered that I was writing things like “The Beesly Book” and figured that I should specify what stuff like that means instead of writing an explanation in each review.

If you’re at all interested, here’s what its like for me to write a guitar review.

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How I Took my Solar Eclipse Photos

As pretty much everyone in the world is no doubt aware by now, there was a total solar eclipse over the continental US on August 21st, 2017. I endeavored to not only see the eclipse from the path of totality, but also to take pictures. Naturally, since I was involved, it was never that simple.

The pic you see was taken by me on August 21st, 2017 in the parking lot of the Greenville Marriott in South Carolina. This article will show you more pics and explain what I went through to get them because that photo did not happen by chance. I spent weeks preparing. Here’s how. (more…)

Guild S284 Aviator with EMGs

Today’s review is for ngle 1985 Guild S284 Aviator with EMG pickups. I bought this from Guitar Center’s used website that contained a single terrible picture in the hopes that it would pay off like some of my other Guild purchases have.

The S284 is from the higher end of the Guild New Aviation line from the 1980s and came with a list price much higher than some of the other guitars such as the S270 or S281 Flyer. Is it worth the increased price? Let’s find out.

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Guild X170T Mars

This review is for a Guild X170T Mars from 1999. To be completely up front from the start, there is no part number X170T Mars that I’m aware of, but that’s what I call these for reasons that will become obvious in the review.

I scored this guitar in mint condition on eBay for the right price and have put it through my normal review process (and then some).  Read on to see what I like and dislike about this very orange Guild guitar.

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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 Liberator Elite

1988-Guild-Liberator-Elite-Top
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 S281 Flyer

Guild-S280-Flyer-Top3
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

Guild-1977-S60-Top2
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

Guild-1998-Starfire4-Top2
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…)