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My first encounter with a Guild acoustic guitar was back in the early ‘70s, when I saw Leo Kottke working his finger-picking magic on a beautiful Guild 12-string. Though Guild is also known for their basses and electrics (I love the big hollow-bodies) it has been the acoustics that always stood out for me.
It seems, to my ears at any rate, that Guild acoustics sound just a little warmer than any other acoustic guitar I have heard. Only once have I had the pleasure of playing one, and that was in the late 1990s. To be honest, I have never found playing a twelve string guitar pleasurable – be it acoustic or electric – but I like the sound and that Guild I played just warmed my soul with its full-bodied tone.
History of Guild Guitars
Founded in 1952, Guild was bought by Fender in 1995 and just recently sold to the Cordoba Music Group. Production has moved all over the United States with CMG relocating the Guild factory to Oxnard, just north of Los Angeles. Some Guild instruments have been manufactured in Asia, such as the DeArmond, Madeira and Burnside brands which have all been discontinued.
The Outsourced Model
The GAD series (“Guild Acoustic Design”), introduced by Fender, are made in China and are the first non-US made guitars to actually bear the Guild name. The GAD series represents Guilds budget guitars and offer great value and quality.
With its easy-to-spot inverted-V name on the headstock, Guild guitars can be seen in the hands of many great guitarists, form blues master Dave Van Ronk to long-gone folkie John Denver.