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Old 06-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #1
K33nbl4d3
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Guild M20 - Any good?

Today my neighbour gave me an old guitar and a banjo he'd found in his attic saying he thought they looked homemade and he'd almost thrown them out but asked if I was interested. I was already, but then I saw the guitar was a Guild, and I know the name Guild has at least some relevance. Looking at the guarantee label thing (whatever they call it) I found out that it was an M-20 and from the serial number (and the smell ) I found out it's probably from 1965. It's got a string missing (and three of them with hardly any tension in them), the intonation's way off, the top two tuning pegs are really loose, and the front of the headstock is peeling off, but otherwise it feels pretty nice and would make a far better first acoustic than anything I could afford.

Basically, what I want to know, is:
1. Is a 1965 Guild M-20 any good?
2. What sort of cost will I be looking at to get the above mentioned problems fixed (besides the strings, I can just about manage that myself, and the headstock peeling, cause I'm probably only going to be able to afford to get it playable again)
3. Does anyone have any specs on the M-20? Like, body wood, fretboard radius and such?


Pic below:
show

Last edited by K33nbl4d3 : 06-30-2013 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:01 PM   #2
Captaincranky
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First, I'm not getting how you've pegged the intonation as being off, with a missing string and not tuned up.

A set of decent tuning machines can be had for thirty bucks. So, I'm going to say fifty bucks tops in parts. You should be able to string it, and install the machines yourself easily.

If the headstock veneer is peeling, glue it back down.

At that age, depending on how it was treated, it could have some loose soundboard braces due to lack of humidity. Again here, you slap a mirror inside the body, and glue them back on.

The guitar looks like it's mahogany, top and all. In that era, it's also likely the instrument is all solid wood.

I'm not getting why you're hesitating. Guild is a top brand, and unless I've misunderstood, the guitar is free. (??)

The search engine called "Google", pulled this up in the top 3 results: http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-196...A-/280858239019

Last edited by Captaincranky : 06-30-2013 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:23 AM   #3
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don't try and second guess what's up with the guitar. take it to a qualified luthier or tech and find out what it needs. i've played an M20 a few years older, and i thought it was pretty nice, and sounded surprisingly like 2011GAD version i had.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K33nbl4d3
Today my neighbour gave me an old guitar and a banjo he'd found in his attic saying he thought they looked homemade and he'd almost thrown them out but asked if I was interested. I was already, but then I saw the guitar was a Guild, and I know the name Guild has at least some relevance.
Am I reading this correctly that this person GAVE you the guitar? In other words, it's already yours?

Because the syntax is ambiguous enough that it could mean he "showed" you the guitar.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
K33nbl4d3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
First, I'm not getting how you've pegged the intonation as being off, with a missing string and not tuned up.

I'm no expert, but I did the standard check on the three strings still properly in place after tuning them and it's pretty majorly out. Noticed the neck was bent back a little yesterday, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
A set of decent tuning machines can be had for thirty bucks. So, I'm going to say fifty bucks tops in parts. You should be able to string it, and install the machines yourself easily.

Even I can definitely string it, on my budget I was looking at sorting out the current machine heads, but it's looking like that's not an option at this point, they're too far gone, so thanks for that info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
If the headstock veneer is peeling, glue it back down.

Yeah, I'll concede it was pretty dumb not to have figured that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
At that age, depending on how it was treated, it could have some loose soundboard braces due to lack of humidity. Again here, you slap a mirror inside the body, and glue them back on.

By the feel of it there's nothing too wrong in that department, but I'll check on it properly later when I have time to spare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
The guitar looks like it's mahogany, top and all. In that era, it's also likely the instrument is all solid wood.

That the guitar is mahogany I found out later, but thanks for the second bit of info, cause I wouldn't have figured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
I'm not getting why you're hesitating. Guild is a top brand, and unless I've misunderstood, the guitar is free. (??)

I'm not hesitating about the brand, what I wanted to know was whether the guitar was worth putting money into bearing in mind that I'm still in full time education so my income is not all that much. I'll accept that I could've made that clearer. My question on whether it was any good was simply because most companies have had their mistakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
The search engine called "Google", pulled this up in the top 3 results: http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-196...A-/280858239019

When I asked for specs I meant figures (fretboard radius being a big issue after one and a half years playing my awful barre chords on a 12 inch Epiphone fretboard) While I appreciate the link (which I'll admit I didn't dig as far into as I might've done in my initial search), I was (I guess I didn't word it so well) wondering if anyone was expert enough to know such specifics as scale length and the like. I hope that at least slightly justifies my dissatisfaction with what google told me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake
don't try and second guess what's up with the guitar. take it to a qualified luthier or tech and find out what it needs. i've played an M20 a few years older, and i thought it was pretty nice, and sounded surprisingly like 2011GAD version i had.

That's the plan, since I have little experience, I was just trying to get an impression of how much I'd be spending based on what I'd seen was wrong. Thanks for the opinion, I don't have much to compare it to since it's my first acoustic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Am I reading this correctly that this person GAVE you the guitar? In other words, it's already yours?

Because the syntax is ambiguous enough that it could mean he "showed" you the guitar.

Yup, I figured saying he "gave" it to me was enough, but I s'pose not.

Thanks for all the replies.

Last edited by K33nbl4d3 : 07-03-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:35 PM   #6
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your a lucky person K33. even if you don't have the funds right now, that baby's a keeper. store it away like a squirrel's nuts and work on it when funds allow. you have the rest of your life to aquaint yourself better with it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazz, post: 1323322, member: 239735
When I asked for specs I meant figures (fretboard radius being a big issue after one and a half years playing my awful barre chords on a 12 inch Epiphone fretboard) While I appreciate the link (which I'll admit I didn't dig as far into as I might've done in my initial search), I was (I guess I didn't word it so well) wondering if anyone was expert enough to know such specifics as scale length and the like. I hope that at least slightly justifies my dissatisfaction with what google told me.
Well, if you want to know the scale length, just get a tape measure, and measure from the saddle to the top nut, bass side. Dude, the guitar is in your hands. So, in the form of a bad pun you have a complete grasp of the obvious.

12" fretboard radius is almost universal, get over it, and get used to it. I say that because 80+% of the acoustics you run into will have between a 12" & 14" fretboard radius. It's not a Strat with those 9.5" radius necks. I know in a lot of cases the old Martins were dead flat, and so are many classical guitars.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazz, post: 1323322, member: 239735
That's the plan, since I have little experience, I was just trying to get an impression of how much I'd be spending based on what I'd seen was wrong. Thanks for the opinion, I don't have much to compare it to since it's my first acoustic.
Here's cheap tuners, courtesy of Patticake: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/...ers,_3L_3R.html

The intonation is going to be off. They even didn't think to use compensated saddles back in those days. Shouldn't matter. Just blast away on open chords the way you're supposed to, and leave the high register shit to your electric.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazz, post: 1323322, member: 239735
Yup, I figured saying he "gave" it to me was enough, but I s'pose not..
Normally it would have been, but you backed up "gave" with "showed". Considering the link I showed you the guitar sold for $1500.00. "Gave" becomes a stretch at that point. But wear it in good health, and don't show your buddy that link.

If you can manage a good photo of the issue with the neck, it would help us to sort out that problem. If it's twisted sideways, it might be a no go. If it needs to have relief put into it via a truss rod adjustment, different story. A guitar that sat with no strings for years is a prime candidate for the neck to bend back. The tension from a full set of strings, and a tweak of the truss could be all it needs.

And barre chords, get your wrist far enough under the neck, make sure your finger follows the curve of the neck, keep the index finger close to the front fret at the position you're playing, then hang on for dear life. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise, it requires time to build up the necessary hand strength.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 07-03-2013 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
K33nbl4d3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepchildusmc
your a lucky person K33. even if you don't have the funds right now, that baby's a keeper. store it away like a squirrel's nuts and work on it when funds allow. you have the rest of your life to aquaint yourself better with it.

That's certainly how I'm feeling right now, I'm growing seriously fond of it already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Well, if you want to know the scale length, just get a tape measure, and measure from the saddle to the top nut, bass side. Dude, the guitar is in your hands. So, in the form of a bad pun you have a complete grasp of the obvious.

Okay, once again I should've turned my brain on there, fair point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
12" fretboard radius is almost universal, get over it, and get used to it. I say that because 80+% of the acoustics you run into will have between a 12" & 14" fretboard radius. It's not a Strat with those 9.5" radius necks. I know in a lot of cases the old Martins were dead flat, and so are many classical guitars.

Alright, that's worth knowing, I guess I'll just have to develop decent technique...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Here's cheap tuners, courtesy of Patticake: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/...ers,_3L_3R.html

Thanks for the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
The intonation is going to be off. They even didn't think to use compensated saddles back in those days. Shouldn't matter. Just blast away on open chords the way you're supposed to, and leave the high register shit to your electric.

I guess I can't complain about the limitations of a free guitar much...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Normally it would have been, but you backed up "gave" with "showed". Considering the link I showed you the guitar sold for $1500.00. "Gave" becomes a stretch at that point. But wear it in good health, and don't show your buddy that link.

I don't believe I did say "showed", but okay. And to be fair, I imagine that guitar was in much better condition than mine, but nonetheless a good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
If you can manage a good photo of the issue with the neck, it would help us to sort out that problem. If it's twisted sideways, it might be a no go. If it needs to have relief put into it via a truss rod adjustment, different story. A guitar that sat with no strings for years is a prime candidate for the neck to bend back. The tension from a full set of strings, and a tweak of the truss could be all it needs.

Looks to me like it just needs truss rod adjustment, but I may get a photo if I can borrow a camera again (or my neighbour finds one in his attic )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
And barre chords, get your wrist far enough under the neck, make sure your finger follows the curve of the neck, keep the index finger close to the front fret at the position you're playing, then hang on for dear life. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise, it requires time to build up the necessary hand strength.

Thanks, much appreciated.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
Bill43
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If you really want to know more - try this link http://letstalkguild.com/
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