6/24/2016

1964 Guild F-20 NT Flattop Guitar





A customer of mine has been hounding me (in a good way) about finding a good Nashville-strung guitar for a long time. He realized he'd have to go up-market enough to get a good enough box to make him inspired to play (and record) it, but didn't want to go whole-hog into four-figure territory to do so. When he finally spotted this Guild on eBay, there was the answer! It came in earlier today, and since he has a couple instruments "slotted" into my repair schedule, I upgraded this one's status and got it ready for him.

It needed a fret level/dress, a bit of cleaning, a new (compensated for his particular stringing) saddle, and general setup. He strings it with a "low E" up two octaves -- so this tuning is doubly re-entrant and has only plain strings on it! It's got gauges 12, 18, 13, 9, 16, 12 "low" to high -- so, tension is comparable to a set of 11s on the left hand. I think it sounds amazing, with a lot of definition and volume that would make it an incredible band instrument, too.


These Hoboken-made Guilds have shorter 24 3/4" scale lengths and a "Gibson-ish" feel. The body design, however, is all "Martin 0-18" in its references. It has solid mahogany back/sides and a solid, x-braced, spruce top. The binding is all tortoise and the board and bridge are both Brazilian rosewood.


Everything appears original on the guitar (save my new saddle) and the truss works nicely.


The board has a radius between 12" and 14" and the profile is a slim rounded-C shape that definitely gives it a Gibson vibe.



Don't you love that intense tortoise pickguard?


The bridge is original save my new saddle and some string ramps behind it. I tried at first using the old (cut down) saddle, but instead opted for an ebony one (note how it's compensated for the stringing) which warmed-up the tone and cut the overtone ring just enough to make this tuning really, really shine.

I'd originally told the owner that I'd have to recut the saddle slot, but upon measuring I found that someone glued the bridge on wrong from the factory (just slightly) and the whole front of the saddle slot matched the 24 3/4" scale length -- which is just where I wanted it for this tuning! Sometimes one gets lucky.





Oops! Looks like one of the mounting screws is missing for the treble tuner plate. Time to go pop one in, huh? Hee hee.


I like the tortoise heel cap!





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