Gary A. Donahue

Gary A. Donahue (GAD) is a working consultant, trainer, and author who has been in the computer industry for over 35 years. Gary has worked as a programmer, mainframe administrator, Technical Assistance Center engineer, network administrator, network designer, and consultant. Gary has worked as the Director of Network Infrastructure for a national consulting company and has been the president of his own New Jersey consulting company; GAD Technology, L.L.C. He currently works at Arista doing all sorts of traveling and training.

Having spent a great deal of time writing documentation for clients, Gary learned that it was this part of the job that he most enjoyed. After writing a successful book on Networking entitled Network Warrior, he has dedicated much of his free time to writing. Gary has written Cozy Tales, a book about his beloved Newfoundland dog, which has not yet been picked up by a publisher. Many of the stories about Annie in this blog are being assembled into a book entitled Tales of a Butter-Licking Ferret-Dog. In June of 2011, the second edition of Network Warrior hit the shelves. In October of 2012, Arista Warrior was published by O’Reilly and the follow-up Arista Warrior, 2nd Edition was released in July of 2019.

Being a teacher by nature, Gary enjoys the process of imparting new-found understanding to others. Gary has taught Tae Kwon Do, Photography and Astronomy, and Networking both informally and professionally. Being someone who disdains boredom, Gary has many hobbies including amateur radio, astronomy, bicycling, computers of all kinds, gadgets, guitar, hiking, home theater, martial arts, photography, SCUBA diving, chess, competitive shooting, and 3D printing & design. Many of these hobbies are reflected in the articles and reviews written on this site. Gary is the owner of the Newf-Net Newfoundland Dog forum and is the author of the Newf-L F.A.Q, He is also the owner of the LetsTalkGuild forum.

Sites of mine that are linked to this blog include:,,, and

All original photographs on this page are copyright © 2010-2020 Gary A. Donahue. Any non-original photos were carefully gathered from the public domain, usually sourced from Wikipedia. Reviews may include product photos taken from the original manufacturer’s website.

A note regarding reviews: Product reviews on this site are the result of me buying the reviewed equipment off the shelf or online. In the event that a vendor has provided a free sample for review, that fact will be plainly stated in the review and the vendor will be informed that I will post my true feelings, whatever they may be. Come to think of it, that may be why I don’t get many free items from vendors to review. Details about my guitar review standards may be seen here

If you’d like to reach me you can always email me at

42 thoughts on “Gary A. Donahue

  1. Pingback: Day 48 | Lufayo
  2. Pingback: Day 57 | Lufayo
  3. Hi Gary–

    I write a blog about pet insurance in Australia.

    We just did a price comparison of over 100 breeds, and Newfoundlands ranked as the most expensive breed to insure, costing over $3,000 per year!

    I don’t have much firsthand experience with Newfoundlands, and would like to add a couple quotes to the article from a Newfoundland expert on why rates may be so high, what owners can do to keep the costs of care reasonable, and if anyone actually pays such sky high premiums for their dog.

    I’d very much appreciate if you’re able to share a few thoughts for inclusion in our article.

    Thanks very much!


  4. Gary, I saw your video on the Rigexpert 230 zoom. I am considering an antenna analyzer and trying to decide between the 230 zoom and the AA-1000. I would appreciate your input. Thanks.

    1. It really depends on your needs. I never do anything above the 70cm band, so the added range is lost on me. If you need the higher range, then the choice is made.

  5. Gary:

    I have a mint condition Guild S300A-D I am considering selling. I bought it new about 40 years ago, and it has been sitting unplayed in my closet for decades (bass is my instrument). Please contact me if interested. Thanks.

      1. Hey Konrad – sorry I didn’t put this together sooner. I now own the guitar that Michael was talking about in his post.

  6. Gary,

    Great site !! Very interesting to me as a Guild Guitar lover. I have a 1964 Jetstar as well as a 2000 Bluesbird. I once bought an early ’50s, (’52 or ’53 I think), X-350 which was incredible but I sold it to a friend who really needed a good guitar at the time.
    I play guitar in The Barn Cats,
    & The Crackers,
    as well as having a long career of being a music photographer,
    Thanks very much for all the information you have shared in such a pleasant manner.

  7. Hi Garry,
    Great site !! I’m new into Guild electrics and I found a lot of information here. I got one acoustic DV-4 which is great guitar and that let me to think about buying some Guild solid body. I consider buying S-300 and found somewhere in your posts that your review of S300A-D is coming. Is t? I don’t know what wood to choose. So, do you have any sound samples of your S300 A-D to compare with those in your S300 review?
    That would be very helpful.


    1. Yes a review of the S300A-D is forthcoming. No I don’t know when. As a result, I do not yet have samples of the S300A-D to compare. That may soon change depending on my other workloads.

      1. I was given an S-100 guild with the acorns/maple leaf for my 10th birthday. I had it for 40 years and had to sell it to help pay for my mother’s care.
        I want to have it back so badly. Are they going to be reissued.
        I really want my original back but will consider any that are available.

      2. I can’t say what Guild might do, but even if they did reissue it, I can’t imagine it would have the same vibe as the originals. Those Nature Boy Acorn S100s are pretty uncommon, so I’d keep an eye out online to see if yours pops up. It might take a while so you might need to be patient. Good luck! I know what it’s like to want to get an old guitar back.

  8. I enjoy your site. I just got my first Starfire (I once had a wicked Dearmond SF Special and vowed to get the real deal) , a Blonde 2000 SFIII with the mushy Fender pickups. I knew that when I bought it. I have a trusted shop guy who will rewind them for me. Are there any specs I should request on the rewind ? Thanks

  9. Hi Gary

    I am new to Arista and am watching ACE -Essentials videos,Please can you tell me how to enlarge that video of you talking in the slides ?


  10. Hi GAD,
    Thanks for compiling all the information on Guild Pickups! I have a1997 Starfire iv (blonde) and I want to tame the high frequencies and to reduce the pickup output. I’m thinking of doing a magnet swap and inserting an A2 in the bridge and A3 in the neck; have you ever done any magnet swaps with these pickups and, if so, what did you think of the results?

  11. Hi Gary,
    I’m a brand new subscriber, just saw your 2017 article on the Guild Nightbirds, and was surprised to see that apparently only 54 X-2000 Nightbirds were produced. I happen to have one, bought new in 1992, #CL-000013. Never knew it was so rare, although I certainly have never seen another on any stage. Several years back, I switched out the EMG pickups for Seymour Duncan SH-1 ’59s (I still have the originals, too), which brought a great guitar up to an ever higher level! As another multi-Guild owner (including an Artist Award, SF-IV, D-55, 2 D-40s, and several others), I loved your article – thanks!

  12. Big fan of your guitar reviews but wandered into your Newfie stuff. I must say it was very informative and valuable. Too many people buy puppies and have no clue as to what to expect from a particular breed….hell, way too many people buy dogs (or even cats) and have no clue and the poor animals end up in rescues or neglected or both. We had a Newfie mix from a rescue that was the most amazing dog one could ever dream.
    Through dumb luck Thor had all the good Newfie stuff but the shorter hair of whatever other breed genes were in there. Thor, like many Newfies was the ultimate Nanny dog and watched over our children like no other. He was their playmate, protector (but in that gentle Newfie way), herder and pillow. The ultimate family furry family member. Thanks for the Newfie stuff, it brought back some great memories.

  13. I’ve been reading your reviews of Guild Starfires all day, and I was pleasantly struck by how well written they are. I passed on a ’62 with dynasonics a few months back, and now I’m reasonably sure that I’ll never be happy again. As a Jersey boy, I’ve always been fascinated by Guild. It’s simply a matter of time before I pull the trigger, and your reviews contain exactly the kind of thorough, esoteric- perhaps borderline neurotic knowledge I’ll need to make the “right” choice. I was getting ready to head to the store and buy my first starter fountain pen when I saw that your site’s banner included a handsome nib. I thought, “wow, this dude sure shares at least two of my interests. I wonder why…”

    Tom Donohue

  14. Hi Gary —
    I saw your article about Guild Bluesbirds from early 2017 and I like the five that you have gathered. I have yet another variation — a Bluesbird that was made in 1985 with a very low BLxxxxxx s/n. It was actually called the George Gruhn Bluesbird, one of a small group made when GG was with Guild. Pretty obviously, this model went on to be the Nightbird. This one has a spruce top and original Seymore Duncan pickups, both of which are rare for this model. there is a write up about these in the 2nd edition of “Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars.” I have had this guitar for over 25 years but I am getting older and thinking about putting it on the market.

  15. Hi Gary:

    I lovedthat you captured all of this info on Guild. I worked for Fender 1996-2000 as a designer and writer. During that time, I spent a lot of work on Guild. For instance, I put together the Guild Gallery magalog. I have a bit of cache of material from that time if you’re interested in it.

    Cheers, Eric

  16. Hi Gary,
    Thanks a lot for your awesome blog, great infos.
    I just put for a friend a Master Volume on his Guild Starfire I (like 2 years old guitar), he’s a Gretsch player at the begining so he enjoy the mod, but he think that he need treble bleed now.
    Have you experienced about the values of the treble bleed for their dynasonic pickups?
    Thanks a lot

  17. Gary, good day, I hope you are doing well with all this covid BS going on.
    I just happen to have a Guild Nightbird ST; serial number LB000020, which is the last one produced according to what I have been able to find out; and your information seems to validate that. I watched the video by Iron Mike that you have linked.
    Mine is in pretty nice shape, with original pickups, some small nicks and dings but nothing real bad, and the original HS case in very good condition; I can send you some pictures if you wish. Let me know.
    To the point, do you have any idea what this would sell for, if I were to decide to part with it?
    Thanks in advance.

  18. Hi! I’ve enjoyed your site…I own a ’97 Starfire iv which is a great guitar. Have you experimented much with different strings in your starfire iv? I’ve had good results with Newtone strings and with Pyramid strings and I’m wondering what others have tried. Have you tried any Thomastik Infeld strings in a starfire iv?

    1. Hey there. I’m a big tinkerer with everything – except strings. I do use Thomastik Infelds on some of my archtops and they’re hard to beat if that’s the kind of tone you’re after.

  19. Hi Gary
    Saw your Nightbird site. I have a late ’88 Nightbird II. Bought it in ’89 from a pawn shop. This original and unmodified Bird had “Nightbird” engraved on the truss rod cover. I noticed that you state “blank” for the cover of the Is and IIs. The ’90 Birds, which changed appointments, added back in the Nightbird engraving from what I have seen and what you state. So, I am thinking here that since mine was made and bought before ’90 (and the resurgent engraving), that possibly these IIs, or at least some of them, had the engraving as standard. Would like your thoughts please. I have subsequently replaced my original but boring engraved cover with a very beautiful abalone shell inlay of a nightbird flying in the dead of night. I would attach a photo here but do not see a way to do that. Thanks for your countless hours and effort to keep alive all the information for these incredibly unrecognized treasures from some of Guild’s best years with George Gruen at the forefront.

  20. I was wondering if you still had the file for the printed guitar. I would like to have a 2 humbucker version and your model on Thingiverse will not allow that. I also have a 300×300 build plate and would like to print it in as few pieces as possible. this is a project for my 17 year old guitar player. thought I would buy a cheep Squire as a doner

  21. Giday Gary
    Excellent information regarding the : Timberland Guild amplifiers, thank you.

    I have a G-500 Guild Amp and I have mixed feelings about the sound… But then I realised perhaps it has a blown transistor of capacitor or something… The amp on the clean channel has an amount of distortion that I don’t like, as I want a totally clean sound… My Question : Is that how it is suppose to sound on the clean channel or is it likely to have a blown component ? I’m based in New Zealand so not much information on these amps

    Any advise is welcome… and if you need any images of the amp I can certainly oblige

    Regards Raoul

    1. Hey there. The Guild G500 doesn’t have a “clean channel” or any channels, really. The G500 is an acoustic guitar amp designed for acoustic guitars either with or without a preamp. If the guitar has a preamp then the switch should be set to “active” and if the guitar does not then the amp should be set to “passive” and the preamp adjusted to taste.

      The amp is designed to cleanly amplify an acoustic guitar, so if you’re using an electric guitar it likely will not sound good. That said, the amp is ’90s tech so it may not sound as good as a modern acoustic amp. Still, while solid state components are often reliable for decades they can drift or even fail.

  22. GAD,
    I recently read one of your articles on the Guild S-100. I bought one new back in the early 90’s and am having trouble finding the serial number online. I think it’s probably a 1994 or 1995 but I’m not sure. Additional info on it would be great. The Serial # is: FB000040.
    Please let me know if you can shed some light or direct me to some info on it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *