8/16/2015

1969 Guild F-30 Aragon 000 Flattop Guitar




Old Guilds are nice Guilds! Well, the new ones aren't too shabby, either, but I really like late 60s through early 70s ones. They had some sort of magic going on about then. This is the "old" F-30 shape and clearly marks itself out as a competitor to the venerable Martin 000-18. It's solid spruce over mahogany, short scale (24 5/8"), and blends a Martin personality in its aggressive punch quality with a Gibson aesthetic with its cherry sunburst, bigger pickguard, and thicker mids. It's a good compromise and the mild D-shaped neck with 1 11/16" nut width can be appreciated by players of either crowd.

It's got a huge voice: big, punchy, in-your-face. I tend to think of this sort of tone coming out of dreadnoughts and not 000s.


This is a customer's guitar and when I opened the case it looked like all it needed was a good setup as someone had done work in the past... a refret, bridge reglue, neck reset of some sort, and other fixes here and there. The board and bridge might've been entirely replaced, too -- though I'm not entirely sure. They were at least resurfaced (sanded).

It turned out that I needed to do a light fret level/dress and spot-leveling on frets as the refret job also coincided with a neck that, even strung up to pitch with mediums and nothing dialed-in on the truss rod, had just the tiniest backbow in frets 1-2. Now that I've dealt with that, it plays perfectly with 1/16" treble and 3/32" bass action at the 12th fret and totes big old medium strings happily. The bridge also got a mild shave/sanding and string ramps and the saddle had to be cut down and compensated as well.


The bone nut is a replacement. It still has that nice original metal truss cover, though. The headstock's multi-ply plastic veneer has been reglued a bit sloppily in the past but it's all there.



These are handsome guitars!


Unfortunately the saddle is pretty low on the bridge. I have a feeling that it'll need a shim-up in winter, though, when there's less moisture in the air. There's still decent string height over the body, though, so it's not a big deal -- and the tone doesn't appear to be suffering as it's got a lot of kick.




The back has a couple of non-issue, very tight and small hairline cracks -- which are the extent of any cracks on the guitar.


The tuners are older replacement Kluson Deluxe units.






I can't argue with the eye-catching depth of Guild finishes. It seems they always pull out a lot of the grain.




The guitar even has its original hard case (also in good shape).

No comments: