Price paid: $ 1000
Purchased from: Consignment from local store
Sound — 10
The sound is as complete as a dreadnought can be in my opinion. It has a big fat bottom end, great highs and is awesome for flat or finger picking. I play anything from Robert Johnson style blues to rock and country. I prefer a smaller bodied guitar like the M20 Guild (which I also own) for the old-timey blues, but it will do it all and do it all with plenty of volume. I do not have any "buzz" anywhere and the action is quite easy. I generally do not put a mic on this guitar. If I am playing with a group, I can easily overpower the sound of smaller guitars and often other dreadnoughts. This Baby is made to be played, but also made to be heard!
Overall Impression — 9
Like other guitar players, I have owned a few and played many. This Guild DV-52 is one of the best dreadnought guitars I have played IMO, even when comparing it to older high dollar Gibsons, Martins and Taylors. I also love the D-55 with all of it's beautiful appointments, but overall, this one is beautifully simple with limited aesthetic additions. I like a little less flash, if you like more, maybe consider a Vintage D-55. Also, due to it's rarity, it is fun to show other players. If you can find one, they are a great buy since they continue to be undervalued in general. I paid just $1000 for a nearly perfect example. I wouldn't trade it for a $5000 Martin.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is as tough a guitar as you can find. It has a nice weight to it, a little heavy compared to most acoustics I pick up, but that is one of the things I like about this guitar. You feel like you have something special and well built in your hands when you play it. This guitar projects a huge sound. I often play with folks that have a pick-up on their guitar and have no problems keeping up unless we are in a large room. Of all the guitars I have owned, if I had to only own one, this would be it. It is solid enough to take what ever you throw at it I am sure, but it makes you want to be careful with it. So for dragging to the campground, I would take another so you don't hurt this one.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I am not sure if the guitar has ever had a set up other than factory. The action is perfect and my particular guitar has no issues. It has been very well cared for without so much as a nick or ding, just some pick marks on the guard. The neck is straight. It has a beautiful but simple Abalone Rosette. It has the Herringbone zipper on the back, all the expected scalloped bracing etc that you would expect from a high end acoustic. Gold Grovers are nice as well but don't seem to hold a tune for more than a day or two. I think that may be due to age but worth mentioning. It is also worth mentioning that I put in several hours of playing each day, often with this guitar, that also could be part of it.
Features — 9
Built in the mid-90's, pre-Fender, RI built in the USA. Dreadnought design with solid Spruce top and solid Rosewood back and sides. The bridge is Ebony along with the fret board and a Mahogany neck. I have the natural finish model and no electronics. The width at the nut is 1 11/16". It also has gold Grover tuners. The 9 rating in this section is only due to the old tuners needing adjustment every couple days of playing, your experience might be different. It has 20 frets and is of course attached at the 14th.