12/20/2014

1976 Guild F-50 Jumbo Flattop Guitar




I'll admit it... this is a great guitar. A friend dropped this off a couple months ago and it finally got into rotation for the light work it needed (pickup install, fret level/dress, bridge resculpt, setup). I've worked on several nice old F-50s -- both the real deal and pretty faithful copies -- but I can easily say that this is the best I've heard. It's got a really nice hugely-full sound but it's very much balanced and jelled-together in the mids. This makes it a perfect strummer for stage use (which is where it lives, anyway).


F-50s are roughly J-200 in size and design but have Guild-style laminate (flamed) maple back and sides rather than solid stuff and much simpler bling. The top is solid, x-braced spruce and the long scale length puts a good amount of tension on it. I suggest 12s as the heaviest gauge one puts on Guilds and because of the quick setup they feel like nice and easy on this.

The Guilds I've seen strung with 13s tend to have much more trouble over their lives... pulled necks, humped fretboards, bellied tops... isn't it funny what 20lb+ more tension will do?



Big old frets in a radiused ebony board with enough pearl to blind the crew of the ISS... you know it's a rock guitar when you're seeing that.



Someone else made this saddle initially... though I did have to totally recut it to give it proper compensation and action height. The bridge also got string ramps at the same time for better back-angle and cleaner loading.



The flamed maple, arched back is pretty easy on the eyes.



The lightly-flamed maple neck certainly has good angle and needs no reset.





Note the hilarious pearloid replacement strip of binding. I didn't have anything close on-hand... so why bother with being close? We'll deal with that later. For now this gives both the owner and myself a chuckle.


Here's how I tend to arrange those integral endpin/pickup jacks on guitars: I reverse the "cup" cover on the end. This seems to hold the straps better but it doesn't look as nice... but then again... this is a "live" guitar so the strap will likely be on it most of the time and hiding it.

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