7/09/2016

1970 Guild F-30 NT Flattop Guitar





What a difference a year makes! Compared to a 1969 F-30, this 1970 model is quite similar in specs, save that the scale length is an inch longer at 25 5/8" vs. the old 24 5/8" scale. As many folks know when deciding between a 000-18 and an OM (Orchestra Model) variation on the 000-18, that longer scale makes a huge difference in tone and feel. There's more "forward" projection and crispness in the bass register rather than a chunkier, warmer tone -- and the extra scale puts more tension on the strings for a slightly "stiffer" feel.

Frankly, though, that last bit is secondary on a Guild neck from this time as the super-quick (well, modern) C-shaped neck profile and 1 11/16" nut width means that it "feels" about the same to my fingers -- comfy and fast even with standard 54w-12 strings (like the ones on this).

Soon after this was made, the body shape of the F-30 borrowed the "mini-jumbo" shape from the Guild F-112 models and the sound changed from the sort of punchy, focused "almost dreadnought" OM-like sound of this model to a more shimmery, balanced, Taylor-esque sound. Both are good but quite different.


Body specs on this are 15 1/4" at the lower bout with 4 3/4" depth to the sides (that's fairly deep for a 000 body). I think that extra depth is what gives this its "dreadier" tone. The top is solid spruce (not matched, though -- check out the cool "bearclaw" figure on the treble side) and the back, sides, and neck are solid mahogany.

My repairs included a fret level/dress, saddle compensation and adjustment, and general setup. I also cleated and sealed a small hairline crack right under the high E string on the top coming from under the pickguard and terminating at the bridge. The only other crack is a repaired small hairline on the back.

I also replaced the replacement Schaller tuners that were on it (kinda heavy and out of place) with some Kluson-style repro tuners that lighten the headstock and give it more of a vintage look. They work well and I've stashed the old Schallers in the guitar's case in the event someone would want to reinstall them (someone who likes neck dive, maybe).

It plays on-the-dot at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action height at the 12th fret. The truss works well, the frets have plenty of life left (though this was their 2nd level/dress), and it's ready to go.


Aside from the tuners, the rest of the guitar appears "stock."


The board and bridge are both rosewood and the board has a flattish profile (maybe 16" radius?) which contributes to a sort-of "modern" feel. Almost everyone uses 14" these days unless you're a 12" Gibson fan.




While the saddle is on the lower side, there's still some adjustment room -- and let's be honest -- every old Guild's saddle appears on the lower side. They seem to have been made with not much tolerance at the factory. I've adjusted the worn string-ramping behind the bridge to keep the break-angle nice and tidy, though.

I forgot to mention that I also put a very small, lightweight (cedar soundboard material) "bridge plate cap" only under the line of the pin-holes. Guild had a habit of drilling their holes so close to the saddle (like Martin) that the winding overlap on modern strings has a tendency to slip up right behind or over the saddle. I can't stand that, so I made the tiny cap to keep them snug. It adds almost no weight and keeps the ball-ends tidy, too.

The original, wide-ish, maple bridge plate is all intact and in good order, though.


Guild's borrowing of Martin style 18 trim is pretty obvious.



The solid mahogany back and sides look great. The finish is in overall good shape, though there's the usual scuffing, minor nicks, and whatnot throughout.



Someone added a strap button to the heel some time back.


This is the hairline crack that was cleated/repaired in the instrument's past (a good job).







The serial number places this at 1971 per the Guild website, though using my inspection mirror I found a date-stamp of August 7, 1970 just forward of the x-brace.


The guitar comes with its (original?) Ess & Ess hard case (in decent shape) and the set of old replacement Schaller tuners.

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