Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil has been synonymous with Guild for decades, and has now finally teamed up with the brand to release two new signature S-100 Polara electric guitars.
One of the S-100 Polara Kim Thayil models is a luxurious, ultra-limited, USA-made instrument with jaw-loosening appointments, while the other – the “Newark St. Collection” model – is an assembly-line guitar with a far more accessible price point.
You can see the alt-rock guitar hero demonstrate the S-100 Polara's capabilities in the demo below.
The US-made S-100 Polara boasts premium specs, among them a Honduran mahogany body and neck with a slim, Thayil-favored shape, and a bound Indian rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl block inlays. Sounds on the guitar come by way of a pair of custom Guild USA HB-1 humbuckers hand-wound by Jason Lollar, with an additional phase switch included.
Hardware-wise, the six-string features a reproduction Guild/Mueller style bridge and compensated stopbar tailpiece, and Grover Original Rotomatic tuners. The guitar's back cover pays tribute to Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger, while its truss rod cover is a nod to the band's final studio album, King Animal.
The Guild USA Artist Edition Kim Thayil S-100 Polara – to give it its full name – is limited to just 30 examples, and comes in a white nitrocellulose finish. It's also housed in a custom hardshell case with a certificate of authenticity.
Each model is also hand-signed by Thayil, and rings up at a healthy $6,999.
Distinguishable from its US-made sibling by its black-as-the-night finish, the Newark St. Collection Kim Thayil S-100 Polara features a mahogany body and set neck that sports a bound rosewood fingerboard with pearloid block inlays.
Sounds come by way of two “vintage-correct” HB-1 humbuckers, built with Alnico II magnets. These can also be tweaked by an onboard phase switch.
In terms of hardware, the Newark St. Thayil S-100 is outfitted with a Tune-O-Matic bridge and Guild compensated stopbar tailpiece, with the same illustrated custom truss rod and back covers. Its price tag is $899.
For more info on both Thayil signature models – which are set to be released later this month – visit guildguitars.com.
Get The Pick Newsletter
All the latest guitar news, interviews, lessons, reviews, deals and more, direct to your inbox!
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
"B.B. King Had a Left Hand That Could Do Things That Were Not of This Earth. I Knew I Could Never Do Any of That": Blues Legend Buddy Guy Explains How Learning What He Could (and Couldn't) Do from His Guitar Heroes Shaped His Unique Style
60 Years on, The Rolling Stones Are Still Going Strong. Hear Their New Single, "Angry"