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  1. #1

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    The Guild A350 is one heck of a rare bird. Anyone have any experience at all with these?


    Guild A350-guild-a350-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I owned and cared for a closely related model, an '66 A-500, for a few years. I regret the sale and the absence of that guitar more than any guitar ever.

    It was a beautiful guitar. It sounded best when used as a four-to-the-bar rhythm machine, but it was also good for chord solo and single lines. It's only real weakness was it's very narrow neck (see above: it was a rhythm machine). But still, if I had the chance to buy one again, I would.

    Are you familiar with Hans Moust's Guild book? If you're interested in Guild guitars, the book (and Hans) are a great resource.

  4. #3

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    These were nice guitars - carved top/laminated rims@back like all the cutaway A-series archtops - ideal for use with a Dearmond floating pickups.
    - @17" bottom bout
    - theoretically 24 3/4" scale but some 25 1/2" scale ones may be out there.

    There was a blonde A-350 in decent condition knocking around Toronto for the longest time at Atomic Age, that was sold in 2013. Neck on the narrower side, I remember.

  5. #4

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    Yeah I had one, too. I dont think all had laminated backs. Mine at least was not particularly great sounding acoustically compared to its closest ancestor ; the Epiphone Triumph/Broadway (although that is tough competition for any archtop ever made).

    But I agree would work very well with a floater. I think many came with DeArmond 1000's. And if you have a blonde one, the DeArmond usually has a white insert instead of red on a Guild. Pretty cool.

    Mine was a burst with a rather narrow nut width, too.

    If you dont have it yet; get a copy of Hans Mounst's The Guild Guitar Book. Even if you dont own a Guild it is still a great read for anyone into archtops.
    Last edited by fws6; 01-09-2014 at 05:43 AM.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by fws6
    ...I dont think all had laminated backs….
    mmmm….I'd guess that 99.99% of all A-series Guild archtops have laminated backs.
    99.99% of all Guild X-series (X-500, etc.) have laminated tops.
    I think the Benedetto X-700 was the first carved-top x-series archtop.
    Guild electric archtop guitars started out and were designed as laminated guitars, unlike Gibson and Epiphone.
    The company had a very European mentality (and used lots of European hardware, interestingly enough).

  7. #6

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    Hammer certainly they are there but not 99,99 % of them. See the Guild guitar book page 139 , which shows a blonde A350 and comments " most A350s had a solid carved maple back, but this instrument has a laminated back, which is somewhat unusual"

    once again, if you dont have the book get a copy. Doesnt matter if you have a Guild or not, any archtop fan will love the book.

  8. #7

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    I looked at a 1959 A 150 that had binding separation revealing a solid maple back.

  9. #8

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    Guild books? Yes, I have both of them.
    P.139….mmm….I disagree with Moust in this regard, but I certainly could be wrong. Then again, so could he.
    I am definitely not a Guild expert - I've only examined/played maybe a hundred Guild archtops in the past 35 years, and have yet to play an acoustic Guild archtop with a carved solid maple back other than an Artist Award.

    My understanding was that the A-series is essentially the X-series but with carved and/or pressed tops.
    I thought the backs were laminated, but maybe they were pressed or carved.
    I'd be thrilled to be wrong about this. Evidence would be good. Does anyone have any?

    My understanding is also that, especially in the 1950s, Guild was willing to do all sorts of custom orders. They were a small company at the time, making relatively small numbers of instruments and could do it. An A-150 with a solid maple back is interesting and unusual, but certainly makes sense as a custom order - Moust himself explicitly describes it as having laminated rims and back.

  10. #9

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    FWIW, my A-500 was a carved solid back of course. Perhaps a possible source of confusion is all Guild jumbo flatops have laminated backs. Just thinking....

  11. #10

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    I own a 1970 A350 built in the origional Guild factory in Hoboken New Jersey

  12. #11

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    ive played an x350 for 20 years
    not sure the diff
    fine guitar
    1 3/8 nut
    franz p90s are noisy and you have to tame those trebles...
    the push button apparatus is a sight to behold,
    the springs that make the buttons pop up can vibrate...
    i took out the apparatus and back 2 pickups.
    Guild A350-guild-2014-jpg
    only person ive ever seen play one was Barry Gibb on TV from a BGs concert in the 70s!
    not a lefty - picture is flipped

  13. #12

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    Not that this settles anything, but the 1960 Guild catalog lists the top and back of the Johnny Smith Award as carved, but only the top of the A-350 and A-500. Interestingly, the body dimensions of all three models are listed as identical.

  14. #13

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    I got the info regarding my A-500 from Hans Moust's book, and from correspondence with the man himself. He said the the A-500 used the same woods and build technique as the JS and AA, only differences being headstock and appointments. We are talking early Guilds however, so models varied from guitar to guitar.

    FWIW, I am pretty sure my '66 A-500 had a solid back because of matching inside and outside grain. I owned it before my first digital camera however, so I can't prove it to y'all.

  15. #14

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    Catalogs are notoriously unreliable, so I'm with you. Great guitars and too infrequently seen (and played) these days. I did check the 1966 Guild catalog and it lists the specs the same as the 1960. BTW, vintaxe.com is a great site, even though it is subscription.

  16. #15

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    If I didn't have a pile of German archtop guitars, I'd have a few Guilds around. Here's the A-350 that was in Toronto. More beat-up in person than the photo shows, but still pretty cool:
    Attached Images Attached Images Guild A350-guild-350-atomoc-age-front-jpg 

  17. #16

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    I'm very curious about the Guild A350 and A500. I currently own a X-700 from the 90s and have played a few other older Guilds which seemed to be great. I've done some research on them and the info on this site seems to have a little bit of conflicting thoughts on the builds on these.

    Anyone have any firsthand experience with either of these? Sound, build quality, details, etc, etc?

    Thanks as always!

  18. #17

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    They are both excellent carved-top 17" archtops, on par with other, similar, 17" carved top archtops in terms of sound, build quality, details, etc. I highly recommend them, based on having played several examples of each over the past 40 years.

    They are of particular interest to the player who wants a high-quality @17"-wide cutaway acoustic carved-top archtop with a 24 3/4" scale length. There is not a lot of selection for this combination of features: between vintage Guilds, some high-end vintage German-built archtops, custom-ordered instruments from builders like Mark Campellone, and a few more, the pool of available instruments is small.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 07-10-2020 at 07:16 PM.

  19. #18

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    I think Guilds are a bargain. I have never owned one, but have played many. They always seem to be great guitars at much lower prices than Comparable Gibsons.

  20. #19

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    this nice '60 X-350 just popped up at Gryphon

    https://shop.gryphonstrings.com/prod...ord-x350-58691

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    That's one of those Stratfords I believe. The acoustic ones are the model that interests me. Cool looking though!

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    mmmm….I'd guess that 99.99% of all A-series Guild archtops have laminated backs.
    99.99% of all Guild X-series (X-500, etc.) have laminated tops.
    I think the Benedetto X-700 was the first carved-top x-series archtop.
    Guild electric archtop guitars started out and were designed as laminated guitars, unlike Gibson and Epiphone.
    The company had a very European mentality (and used lots of European hardware, interestingly enough).
    The X-700 always has had a carved top.