8/16/2016

1973 Guild F-30 Flattop 000-Size Guitar





While the older versions of the F-30 resemble Martin 000-18s (or OMs, depending on whether they're short or long scale), the mid-70s F-30 got a revamped look (similar to a Gibson J-185 in shape) that was also used for the F-112 12-string. I have to admit that this is my favorite Guild body size and shape. Despite its deep body (4" to 4 7/8") and long 25 1/2" scale, it fits easily into the laps of most folks who don't generally like larger guitars -- thanks mostly to the tight waist and curvaceous outline.

The neck shape is also a slim, round C/D shape and the nut width is just a hair beyond 1 5/8" -- which makes this an excellent "rock-n-roll" barre-chord guitar. Tone-wise, it has punch and clarity like an OM but a clean, well-balanced timbre that reminds me more of Gibson jumbos. There's plenty of warmth but you really hear your notes jump out, unlike the Martin 000 sound which can have scooped mids (which = a sweeter, mellower tone to the ears). I don't think one or the other of these signature sounds is better -- but in a band setting I definitely tend to favor balance over sweetness.


The interesting thing about this guitar is that it was sent from the factory as a lefty, though the neck had factory-installed righty side-dots. During work I converted it to a righty and that included a neck reset, fret level/dress, bridge reglue and saddle-slot fill/recut, two new pickguards (with the original used as a template), general cleaning, and a set of new Kluson-style repro tuners (the original tuners on these tend to be junk, unfortunately).

It plays beautifully and with a dead-straight neck (rod works great). Action is 1/16" DGBE and 3/32" EA -- right on the dot -- at the 12th fret. I've strung it with gauges just about the same as regular 12s.

As you can see, the guitar has loads of playwear and general weather-check and finish crackle. There are only two real cracks, however -- a short one at the bass side of the bridge going to the pickguard (which the bridge plate covers, anyway) and one repaired "dent" crack near the endpin area.


I forgot -- this got a new bone nut and saddle, too.


The board and bridge are both rosewood and the board has a fairly flat radius -- maybe 16" or 14" at most?



The center seam on this guitar was made off-center by 1/8" at the factory.

When I aligned the neck and bridge on-center during the reset work I realized this and measured from the waist just to be sure I wasn't crazy. I don't think anyone would notice unless I told them, however. I see this a lot on old guitars (it's hard to get things perfect in a factory setting).


I re-used the original bridge but needed to fill the saddle slot and reprofile the top to an "even slope" shape. Guild usually "wedges" their bridges to have a thicker bass side and thinner treble -- but that was obviously not the case on a lefty-original bridge where it was swapped-around. It looks good!

The pin holes got a fill/redrill as well and I scrounged old plastic pins for it.






The serial number at the headstock can help, but a lot of Guilds (like this one, dated to Aug 1973) have date stamps under the top at the soundhole.



The back and sides are solid mahogany and the neck is, too.







Here's that repaired "dent" crack. It's small.

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