Since the mid-20th century, Guild flat-tops have been renowned as some of the best American-built instruments of their type. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the firm has just unveiled the new U.S.-made Standard Series models, including the vintage-inspired D-40 and D-50 dreadnoughts, and F-40 jumbo.
Introduced during Guild’s earliest days as the “Valencia F 40,” the 16-inch-wide, maple-bodied F-40 jumbo was discontinued in 1963 along with the similarly shaped Bluegrass model. This mahogany-bodied acoustic guitar was effectively replaced by the Bluegrass F-47 the following year. It’s larger sibling, the Navarre F-48, was concurrently manufactured during the ‘70s and is, Guild says, the “predecessor” of its new 17 1/4-inch Standard Series F-40.
Priced $3,125 ($2,499 street) with a Pacific Sunset Burst finish and $3,000 ($2,399 street) with a Natural finish, the Guild F-40 Standard features a Sitka spruce top along with an African mahogany back and sides, combined with forward-shifted, scalloped Adirondack spruce bracing. An Indian rosewood fingerboard and bridge, tortoiseshell pickguard, and Guild Deluxe Vintage open gear tuners complete this acoustic guitar’s classic look.
The Bluegrass Jubilee D-40 and Bluegrass Special D-50 debuted in the 1964 catalog and were billed as “Guild’s improved version of the popular dreadnaught guitar – with a pure, robust tone to add dimension to any performance.” While both models feature spruce tops, the D-40 was constructed using mahogany while the D-50 boasts a rosewood back and sides.
Although these vintage Guild dreadnoughts changed in appearance over the decades-long course of their production, the company says the new D-40 and D-50 Standard instruments, “reflect the best attributes of legacy D-40 and D-50 models while adding modern refinements in design, playability and construction.”
As per the F-40 Standard, the new mahogany D-40 and rosewood D-50 Standard dreadnoughts are available in sunburst and natural finishes that showcase Guild’s new Vintage Gloss nitrocellulose lacquer. This hand-sprayed process provides instruments with a worn-in feel that “highlights the natural beauty of the tonewoods.”
The D-40 is priced the same as the F-40 (see above) while the D-50 comes in a little more expensive at $3,625 ($2,899 street) for an Antique Burst model and $3500 ($2,799 street) in Natural.
Made in California, all of Guild’s new Standard Series acoustics ship with a hard case and signed/numbered certificate of authenticity.
Visit Guild for more information.
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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.
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