5/17/2012

c.1969 Guild D-35NT Dreadnought Guitar





This Guild is a cannon, pure and simple. It's very loud, full, rich, and big on tone. An excellent bluegrass guitar or fingerpicker as well, and it plays darn good. I'm pretty tempted. Hah.

So, about the guitar? Serial dates it to 1969 and this means it was made at the Westerly, Rhode Island factory. It's also been through a heck of a lot -- the belly is, well, bellied, there are hairline cracks (all beautifully, previously cleated) on the back and sides, and the (original) bridge has been shaved to compensate for the changed top profile. New frets or a full fret level/dress were put in/done at some point recently, too, and when I got this all back braces were loose, a side seam was coming apart, and there were a set of huge, heavy, 1980s Schaller gold-plated tuners on the headstock. Ick!

My work included fixing those back braces, seam separations, and doing a bit of setup and cleaning work as well as replacing the (poorly installed) Schaller tuners with some Kluson repros -- much more in keeping with the look of this guitar (and weight of it)!


The Guild dreadnought shape and sound is like some hybrid between a Martin D-18 and a Gibson J-45/J-50 -- it's got a bit of both worlds in it -- warm and sustained with a bit of dark overtones on the bottom but also pretty crisp and projecting on the mids and highs like a D-18.

As far as other appointments go -- it's pure D-18-ish, with the natural extremely thin spruce top and dark-stained mahogany back, sides, and neck. As expected, the neck profile is a little bit of a crossover as well, with a feel somewhere between a Gib and a Martin of the times, which to my hands feels awesome, liking both of those other shapes for different reasons.


Note that when I replaced the gold Schallers, there were gaps around the ferrule holes -- because whoever installed them must have had shaky hands while handling that drill! I've shimmed up the new (smaller) ferrules but it's unfortunate that the Schallers weren't installed more cleanly as this would look a lot cleaner if they had been.

The nut appears to be newer bone.


Rosewood board, pearl dots, and radiused.


Note the lotsa-pickwear around the pickguard and soundhole edges. The mark of a well-worn-in instrument!


This original bridge has a crack that goes right through the middle of it running across the pin holes. Someone must have sunk some glue into it at some point because it seems perfectly stable enough.




2-piece hog back.


Additional old strap button here.






The body has nicks, buckle-rash, small scratches, and wear spots here and there all over it, but it doesn't suffer as far as "looks" go. It's like a nicely worn-in pear of jeans.




Original hard case, too!


A good'n!

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