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.

(more…)

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

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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…)

1981 Guild S300

1981-Guild-S300-Top
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…)

1982 Guild S-275

1982-Guild-S275-Top1
Curious about a Guild I had never seen in person, let alone owned, I snagged this guitar through Craigslist for a reasonable price with the sole intention of writing it up here.

The Guild S-275 is a bit different than most of the Guilds I own while also being a typical Guild. It’s a very interesting guitar in that it seems to be designed to appeal to both Strat and Les Paul buyers in the hopes of being the best of both worlds. Does it measure up? Let’s see how it fares as I put it through my normal evaluation routine.  (more…)

2000 Guild Starfire IV

Guild-2000-Starfire4-Top5
There are many Guild Starfires, but this one is mine. Well, this is one of several of mine, but this one is special to me because it was the first Guild I bought when I got back into playing guitar around 2008 or so. I bought it sight unseen for $1200 after someone at Norm’s Rare Guitars gave me an in-hand description of it over the phone. It was mint and I had to have it.

This guitar ruined me for other guitars in a number or ways and though it is almost perfect for me in every way, it is not without its faults. Naturally I will outline whatever faults I feel this guitar has in excruciating detail right along side my gushing praise for all of the guitar’s many merits. As someone who’s owned far too many Guilds, what could possibly make this one so great?  (more…)

Guild Bluesbird Bake-Off

Guild-Bluesbirds-1970-2016-1600
Being in the lucky position of having not two, not three, but five Guild Bluesbirds with their build dates spanning from 1974 to 2016, I figured I would set about comparing them.

In order to try and impart a bit of logic to the proceedings, I employed something called a decision matrix. This is a tool I learned from a project manager many years ago and I use it to make decisions for purchases all the time. For example, if I’m going to buy a car, I will evaluate individual aspects of each car (stereo, comfort, power, etc.) with a numeric value. I will then total up each car’s scores and the winner should be the logical choice. I usually add a weight to the scores and then multiply each score by the appropriate weight as well. In other words, if I’m really concerned with the power, I’ll give that a weight of 5 so a raw score of 3 would result in a weighted score of 15. I then compare the raw and weighted scores to see if they agree.

In the case of guitars, a lot of what matters is either subjective (tone), or very personal (neck feel), so bear in mind that these numbers are for my tastes and you may very well score them differently. Still, it’s a fun exercise, so let’s see if the math matches with my gut feelings.   (more…)

2001 Guild X-500T

2001-Guild-X500T-Top
If you’ve read any of my work then you may know that I can be a tad obsessive. Take, for example, this Guild X-500T. I already owned two Guild X500s (reviewed here) which were great, and I currently own a Guild Starfire III-90, but what I really wanted was an X-500 with a Guildsby and P90s. Oh yeah, and with a 1 11/16″ neck at the nut since that’s one of the other things I obsess about. I also like red in my sunburst guitars. But how would I possible ever find such a beast? Why, through constant trolling through Reverb, eBay, Forums, Craigslist, and such, that’s how!

Is this guitar everything I’ve ever wanted in a full-sized Rockabilly Jazz box? Let’s find out.  (more…)