Every acoustic guitar builder has their flagship model – the instrument that embodies a pinnacle of craftsmanship. The Martin D-45, Gibson J-200, and Epiphone Excellente, for example, have all enjoyed their place at the top of the tree at one time or another. And for Guild, it was their masterfully built D-55 that topped the pricelist when it appeared in the late ‘60s.
Debuting in 1968, the D-55 remained a custom-order instrument until the mid ‘70s when it entered regular production due to demand. Also known as the TV Model, it was endorsed by Thomas Smothers of Smothers Brothers fame and featured prominently in their popular television appearances.
During the ‘60s and ‘70s, 6- and 12-string Guild acoustics were seen in the hands of top performers the world over. The firm rose to prominence around this time having formed in the early ‘50s in New York. In the wake of Epiphone’s exodus, skilled ex-employees found a new home building archtops, though Guild’s focus soon shifted to flat-tops.
Celebrating their platinum anniversary, Guild’s new GSR D-55 70th Anniversary Limited run comprises just 70 instruments. Overseen by Guild Master Luthier Chuck Sanzone, each guitar has been specially numbered and appears with a signed certificate of authenticity.
Constructed using premium Madagascar rosewood and Adirondack spruce and put together using traditional hide glue, this 16-inch-wide dreadnought-style guitar features scalloped X-bracing for a rich, room-filling tone that harks back to those top-notch flat-tops of yesteryear.
The GSR D-55 70th Anniversary Limited’s neck is made using mahogany with a walnut center strip, adding great stability while enhancing looks. With a 25 5/8-inch scale length, the instrument boasts a comfortable C-profile neck along with an ample 1 11/16-inch nut width.
A 12-inch radius ebony fretboard sports large mother-of-pearl/abalone inlays, matching the guitar’s top-drawer abalone soundhole rosette and top purfling and mother-of-pearl Guild Peak and G-shield headstock inlays.
Fitted with gold Gotoh open-gear tuners and hand-finished in a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer, this gorgeous guitar comes set up with D’Addario EXP16 Coated Phosphor Bronze Light (.012 - .053) strings and ships with a Guild premium humidified archtop wood case.
Visit Guild for more information.
Get The Pick Newsletter
All the latest guitar news, interviews, lessons, reviews, deals and more, direct to your inbox!
Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.