1959 Guild "X-500 Stuart"


Guild was established in New York ca 53/54, and many of its workers were former Epiphone employees. Thus the early Guild models resemble the '53 Epiphone line like two drops of water. Epiphone had started very early on with the development of electrics (dubbed 'Zephyr'), and the guitars themselves were very fancy and similar to the acoustic archtops. The main issue however were the pickups; though the latest version of the ToneSpectrum pickup (aka "NY pickup") was quite good, they  never were in the same league as Gibson's P-90 or pickups from other manufacturers of the era like DeArmond.

I cannot say enough good things about Guild electrics though. This 1959 top-of-the-line X-500 Stuart model is an excellent jazz guitar and sounds really nice loaded with flatwound Chromes.

The pickups were made by Franz, later models feature Guild's own HB-1 humbucker which was also favored by master luthier Jimmy D'Aquisto.

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Just like Epiphone, Guild made its high-end acoustic archtops with carved tops, but even the most expensive electrics came with laminate tops only. This was just seen as the more strong and sensible construction, as a stiffer top would have better resistance against feedback. This one has a very nice 3-ply spruce top, which sounds remarkably well even when played acoustically.