Guild F50 Blonde
It happens occasionally that I take a sufficient liking to a guitar to be reluctant to sell it when it arrives in my shop. The Guild is a true Showman's guitar, a big loud brassy blonde — and nice with it.
It is difficult to write a critical assessment on something which has few faults and is correctly and accurately produced for the job which it has to do. Its high price is justified by its ability to sound equally good whether played gently or hard. Technically, it has a wider dynamic range than almost any other acoustic. If I were to make any change, it would be 2mm on the width of the neck (a personal taste).
Back and sides are made of laminated flamed maple, which is almost essential on a guitar of this size for use on stage, as larger guitars tend to get more than their fair share of knocks. The back is domed like a cello-back (as with many of the recent Guilds). The fact that this pattern of back does not require struts, seems to improve the quality of tone on a large guitar.
The top is high quality solid spruce, and bridge and fingerboard are ebony. While the inlay in the fingerboard is of high quality, the standard of finish on the frets and fingerboard could be improved considerably. The bridge-saddle is beginning to lean forward because of excessive string angle and/or too high a saddle. Incidentally, the patterns visible in the fingerboard inlay are caused by counter-inlaying coloured abalone shell into the real Mother-of-pearl blocks. The head inlays are also real Mother-of-pearl. Unfortunately, if Guild wish to imitate an ebony headfacing with black paint, they really must learn to scrape it off the white head-binding in a tidy and professional manner.
How about it, Guild, exactly the same guitar, with fewer stripes around the edges, a plain ebony fingerboard with small simple dots front and edge, better finished frets, nickel-plated Schallers instead of gold Grovers, simpler head decoration, and a proportionately lower price? I think a little research would show that the simpler model should have a slightly wider fingerboard. It is fair to say that an economy version — the F48 is available but this has a mahogany body. Three different variations of the F50 are available with varying specifications but just a simpler version of this guitar would be ideal.
Retail Price £128.00
Review by Stephen Delft
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