11/03/2013

c.1963 Guild F-20 NT Concert Guitar


Essentially Guild's version of the 14-fret Martin 0-18, old F-20s turn up all over the place in varying degrees of disrepair. Once they're fixed up, though? Nice guitars! They feel even a little bit cozier than Martin 0-18s with a more compact-feeling body. They don't have quite the same creamy overtones and bell high end that Martins have, but the x-braced, shorter-scale (24 3/4") Hoboken-made ones like this fellow have that old-timey, mid-range focus going on. I'd imagine this would make a great recording guitar for folk, old-time, and country blues because of that balance string to string.

Like an 0-18, the F-20 has solid mahogany back, sides, and neck with a solid spruce top and rosewood board and bridge. The neck profile, as typical for Guild, flies somewhere between a Martin and Gibson in feel. It has that Martin side-to-side feel but a Gibson's front to back depth and C-shape rear.

I worked on this guitar for a customer and that entailed several crack cleats and repairs, a shave and reglue of the bridge (and saddle), fret level/dress, cleaning, new (old stock) tuner ferrules, and setup. It's rocking a regular 54w-12 set right now and sounds pretty darn good for a 14-fret small body. It has extra depth to the voice that I find lacking in modern 00-size Martins and similar and the clean sound up and down the neck means this is a great guitar to capo.





Metal truss over, inlaid Guild logo, fun "open book" headstock shape and bone nut.


Rosewood fretboard with (for modern fingers) medium-sized frets.


The trim is 0-18 style save for the Guild-tastic pickguard and bridge shape.


Bone saddle and original chewed-up plastic pins. You can see the bridge discoloration due to the difference in stuff soaked with original finish (the wings) and the cut-down section (in the middle). I've roughed it all up to match better but it never quite comes out perfectly unless you're willing to stain the bridge (which I don't like to do).


Unlike the top (which has several hairline cracks that are now fixed), the back and sides are crack-free. Note that this guitar is only bound on the top edge.





The serial dates it to 1963 while the average, plain-Jane tuners are types that one can also find on many Harmony products from the same time.

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