The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew
    Oh how nice! What year/era?
    61 X500

    Johnny Smith used to play one prior to endorsements. Not sure which year though. I suspect early to mid 50’s?


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie
    61 X500

    Johnny Smith used to play one prior to endorsements. Not sure which year though. I suspect early to mid 50’s?
    Oh I bet you're going to like that! As I said earlier, I have a '58 X-500 with the Franz pickups and it is easily in my top 3 guitars. I always wanted to try one with Dynasonics, as I've liked those pickups in the Grestsches with 'em that I've tried.

    I've actually visited the building in Hoboken where those guitars were birthed, but I didn't find out that it was the old Guild factory until later.

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archie
    Yes DawgBone that was my X700. Recorded straight into a Universal Audio D/A converter. No amp or effects in the chain, except a bit of reverb from an AU plug in.

    The X700 has that nice nutty sound you don't often get from the X500. Prices on the X700 seem up and down. One sold here for about $3500 a few months back. I was tempted to buy it myself but have other pressing priorities. I will one day buy another one.

    The Gibson L5CES is not better made than a Guild X-700; if anything Guild binding is much finer and the headstock is prettier (imo). The Guild inlays are also more attractive and the tail Piece is a work of art in itself. Guild necks are also (imo) nicer and have a more sophisticated heal carves. It's not a competition but that's my impression from experiencing both.

    The Guild x700 is for the most part the same as an L5CES (minus scale length) but the X700 tops are slightly cruder in shape and the over all plate, is not as refined. The Gibson is likely a better quality plate in terms of carving (they are both router carved). The X700 feels like it is one thickness throughout and the 'carved' aspect, seems more of a marketing position, than an attempt to make a 'carved' archtop. Guild probably thought this because what is the point when you have two huge pickups and tone knobs cut into it anyway and they have the AA line.
    Gibson feel the same way about their L5CES which is braced like a tank. They're not foremost 'carved' guitars. They are electric Archtops so refining the top is not important. Bracing and over all thickness probably is.
    Then you have playability which I would probably give to the Guild.

    The L5CES has more of a chime where the X700 has more of a thunk, likely due to the L5 having a 25'5 scale length and a more pronounced arch to the top and back plates.
    I would therefore say the L5 CES has the better tone in the room.

    My one gripe with the X700 would be the top and back plates are definitely looking to avoid any warranty issues. But then they do give you that thick, soupy, nutty tone, that on recording, sounds pretty close to perfection. Certainly as close as I've gotten with all the 50+ Archtops I've owned.

    I'd score it as follows:

    Playability (neck angle, fingerboard extension, heal size, cutaway access) = Guild
    Tone = Gibson
    Value = Guild
    Recorded Tone = Draw.
    Looks = Draw (although I personally prefer the Guild)

    Attachment 106657Attachment 106656

    Here's the recording I made.

    I could listen to the tone of that Guild with you playing it all day long. A truly heavenly tone. Thanks for sharing it again.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by SierraTango
    I know the Guild is not a "Holy Grail", anyone here giging or working with a X-500 or X-700?
    My last working archtop before switching to 7 strings in the ‘90s was a blond X500 that I bought new about 10 years before. If I hadn’t gone to 7, it’d still be my main axe. The quality was outstanding - beautiful to look at, very well made, great tone, and wonderfully playable. I always thought the neck was a bit thin for me. But I’d had a ‘60 175DN, a ‘69 L5CN, an L50 and (briefly) a ‘34 L5 in the 30 years before I got it, and I thought that all of their necks were a bit thin for me too.

    The top Guilds from Westerly were stellar guitars for the working musician. If you find a good one, marry it.

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Yes. CES-style means two pickups, four knobs and a three-way switch, all set-in, for the most part. Just as WES-style is one neck pickup and two knobs, all set-in.
    This might be an idiosyncratic use of "WES". CES is an acronym used by Gibson to denote a certain variant style that crossed model and size lines - so there are L5 CESs, Super 400 CESs, and L4 CESs.

    "Wes" (not "WES", it's not an acronym) is a guitar superstar's name, used along with his last name, to designate a specific tribute model. There are no Super 400 WES or L4 WES guitars. There's only an L5 Wes Montgomery model. I suppose it's natural enough in common usage to truncate the name to "L5 Wes", but I don't buy it as a generic indication of an archtop of any size with a single set-in pickup.

    There are single-pickup cutaway Super 400s and L4s around, but they usually have the model suffix CES.

    So I guess I see a distinction that you don't, and we'll just disagree on this one.

  7. #31

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    Sure, no problem with that. I suppose, if the aforementioned guitar players name was Bob, or Vance, there might be less symmetry to the endeavour. Maybe a bit more humour. An L-5BOB, yeah, that would be my cup of tea. Reminds me of a band I was in a few decades back - Neutron Bob.

    I suppose a Les Paul decked out like an L-5WES might be called an Les Paul-LES, but LP-WES is easier to understand. Better yet, Wes Paul, because it's funnier. Like this one, below.

    For better or worse, the English language evolves - whatever works tends to stick around. WES is a very handy designation that works for me, at least
    as a generic indication of an archtop of any size with a single set-in neck pickup, with set in volume and tone controls.
    Attached Images Attached Images Guild X-500, 700 - CES Alternitive?-gib-wespaul-jpg 

  8. #32

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    So many guitars.. so little time.