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Guild’s S-100/S-200 “Kickstand” Models

Guild S-100 Polara (left) and Guild S-200 Thunderbird. Guild S-200: Hans Moust. Guild S-100: William Ritter. Instrument courtesy of George Gruhn. Much like several other well-known manufacturers, Guild has, through the years, changed ownership, locations, and identities. Guild was founded in 1952 by Alfred Dronge, a teacher and music-store owner in New York, and many of his first employees were former Epiphone workers hired after that company...

Guild Aristocrat M-75

Photo by Kelsey Vaughn Guild didn’t introduce a true solidbody electric guitar until 1963, but the Aristocrat of 1954 gave the appearance that Guild was competing head-to-head with Gibson’s new Les Paul Model. However, with its hollowbody and spruce top, the Aristocrat was more than just an interesting variation – it was quite a different animal altogether. Despite its small, single-cutaway body, the Aristocrat was probably...

Guild F-512

Click to enlarge. Photos: William Ritter. Instrument courtesy of George Gruhn. The earliest origins of the 12-string guitar in America remain murky, but it’s likely the idea originated with immigrants from Italy and Mexico; both countries have a long history of instruments with double-string courses – the mandolin, tiple, and many versions of the Mexican guitar being great examples. By the turn of the 20th century, Oscar Schmidt and Lyon...

Guild Liberator Elite

Every once in awhile you find a guitar that’s almost too beautiful to play. It’s just enough to sit there and admire it, not risking a ding. A good case in point is this drop-dead gorgeous 1988 Guild Liberator Elite, one of the last guitars to be produced before Guild got out of the solidbody electric game in the late 1980s. Guild guitars, founded in 1952 amidst the implosion of Epiphone, had been a player in the solidbody game...

1988 Guild Liberator Elite

Every once in awhile you find a guitar that’s almost too beautiful to play. It’s just enough to sit there and admire it, not risking a ding. A good case in point is this drop-dead gorgeous 1988 Guild Liberator Elite, one of the last guitars to be produced before Guild got out of the solidbody electric game in the late 1980s. Guild guitars, founded in 1952 amidst the implosion of Epiphone, had been a player in the solidbody game...
Guild Basses in the Early 1980s

Traditional, Temporary

Guild SB-201: Rick Malkin. The early ’80s were a unique time in the history of American electric guitars. Fender and Gibson were both owned by corporate interests – the former CBS, the latter the Norlin conglomerate – and both suffered product offerings that had quality issues and/or uninspiring designs. Guild, on the other hand, was still battling the (unfair) “Gibson copy” stereotype it had been combating since the late ’70s with its S series...

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Guild’s S-100/S-200 “Kickstand” Models

Joe Negri

Photo: Michael G. Stewart. “What are you bringing? Are you gonna bring the Timex or are you gonna bring the good guitar?” That’s the question technicians and stagehands at Pittsburgh’s WTAE TV asked musical director Joe Negri in 1969. For more than 25 years, he was rarely seen without his lavishly appointed 1942 D’Angelico New Yorker. Now, his station colleagues jokingly equated the D’s replacement, a less-flashy Guild Stuart X-500, with a...

Guild Standard Series Acoustics

(LEFT TO RIGHT) Price: $2,499 retail/$1,799.99 street (F-30); $2,699 retail/$1999.99 street (F-30R); $2,799 retail/$2099.99 street (F-50). $2,499 retail/$1,799.99 street (D-40); $2,799 retail/$1,999.99 street (D-50)Info: guildguitars.com Founded by a jazz guitarist as jazz-box builder, the Guild company also built a solid reputation with its ’50s acoustic guitars. The brand’s profile as an acoustic builder was certainly given a...

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Guild Basses in the Early 1980s
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