D-125 review by Guild

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (5 votes)
Guild: D-125
1

Price paid: $ 530

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features — 10
Body:

- Body Material: Solid Mahogany Top, Back and Sides
- Body Shape: Dreadnought
- Body Back: Solid Mahogany
- Body Sides: Solid Mahogany
- Body Top: Solid Mahogany
- Bracing: Scalloped Spruce
- Rosette: Mother-of-Pearl
- Purfling: Cream/Black/Cream/Black
- Body Binding: Black ABS
- Finish: Glossy

Neck:

- Number of Frets: 20
- Position Inlays: Pearl Dot
- Fingerboard Radius: 16" (406.4 mm)
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Neck Material: Mahogany
- Neck Finish: Satin
- Nut Width: 1.6875" (42.8 mm)
- Scale Length: 25.5" (648 mm)

Hardware:

- Hardware Finish:Chrome
- Bridge: Rosewood Base
- Bridge Pins: Ivory Colored Plastic
- Tuning Machines:Die-Cast
- String Nut: Nu-Bone
- Saddle: Nu-Bone, Compensated
- Pickguard: 1-Ply Black

Giving a 10 for features based on price. VERY few all solid wood guitars at this price and no others I've found have better features.

Sound — 9
Bassy with clear top end. Good drive in mid-range. Sound is full even with slightly subdued overtones. Actually a little more complex than I expected from a mahogany top. Great sustain and responsiveness and no rattle or buzz at all. Much louder than some other all hog guitars I've played. Really dark and moody sounding in minor keys but also has enough brightness to handle something a little less brooding. Great for blues and acoustic rock and roll. Good for bluegrass but probably not for lead in a large group.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action was fairly low for factory set-up. Will require only minor tweaking. All fits seem to be tight and straight. Glossy finish on body looks nice and is smooth. Neck has satin finish that allows for easy movement up and down the neck. Neck joint seems to have a slightly less smooth satin finish and possibly a shade different color. Pick guard has a nice shape but the black is kind of boring. I wish it was dark tortoise shell. Generic looking die cast tuners are decent though I believe this model used to have Grovers which would have been better. Nu-bone nut and saddle are well set and finished and provide nice sustain. Bridge pins are cheap looking and all white. Will likely replace them during set-up. Only has body strap button; no button on neck joint.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar seems extremely well built. Most of the hardware is of good not great quality but will likely last. Rosewood fretboard and frets are well set. The finish looks very well done and likely to last for years. Came with very nice hard case with a well padded interior. I have no qualms whatsoever about the durability of this guitar. The appointments that are of the poorest quality are the ones most easily replaced and therefore least impactful on long term durability (i.e. bridge pins).

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for 28 years. I play everything from Tom Waits to Old Crow Medicine Show to Pearl Jam (mostly flatpick) and this guitar seems to do well with all of them. I will say that I'm not sure it would hold up as lead in a large bluegrass ensemble but easily will cut the mix on a 3 piece (e.g. bass, banjo, guitar). Before buying, I compared this to the Martin D-15M and this actually outperformed it in most styles of playing (fingerpicking the Martin was very slightly better). The grain on the Martin was also less stripey but I actually prefer the look of the Guild. If it was stolen, I would not hesitate to buy it again. I wish it has different bridge pins (a quick fix) and nicer tuners (though the ones it has are fine). I also would have preferred a tortoise shell pick guard.

For the price ~ $525 new, I'm not sure you'll find a better sounding guitar especially not in all solid wood. This guitar is more versatile than some other all mahogany guitars I've played which still maintaining the warm\dark feel of mahogany. If this guitar was $1500, I'd probably give it a 8 but since it is 1/3 that price, I'd say it deserves a 10.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    relayer1
    Was this one of the ones when they still had the arched back? I've always wanted to play one of those, but they quit making them a few years ago.  They were one of the early Guild's most iconic features.