Purchased from: Sweetwater Music
Sound — 10
First off, the F-412 has no struts inside the guitar. That's right. This guitar was build with a lot of tender loving care, that's why it took a month and a half to be constructed. The F-412 is a jumbo, and when you hit a good power chord on it, strumming over the sound hole, it will fill any room with sound. And what a sound it is. Rich, full, all points of the audio spectrum. If you're a 12-string player and know what you're doing, this guitar will attract a crowd, stop people dead in their tracks. It absolutely commands attention. Ever had a guitar that actually makes you a better player? This is a guitar like that. I have to say that this is not a guitar for the beginner. You'd best have your callouses build up to the point of leather, because this guitar does not suffer whussies. The band of steel running down the neck will eat your fingers alive. Because of the tension of those strings, Guild installed double truss rods in the neck. It's built like one the Humvees I travel in over here, but it sounds like a symphony. Fender bought out Guild a few years back, and I had some concern about that, but be rest assured, Fender was smart enough to get the exact recipe for building these guitars when they bought the company. It brought back so many good memories from 25 years ago. When I opened the case, this beautiful guitar was nestled in it's fuzzy red shag nest inside a very formidable hard shell case (it was shipped to the other side of the planet without any problem at all). was such a vision. I swear it looked up at me and smiled. Love at first sight. This is what it's all about, boys. The Guild F-412, as far as I am concerned is the finest 12 string guitar made in America. The F-412 is why you play guitar for decades because by that time you are not only worthy of it as a player, but it's price tag won't put you off because by this point in time you have few bucks in the bank. Don't kid yourself. Sure, a 12-string can be used for delicate acoustic music. Lemme tell you, when I rip out "Won't Get fooled Again" on it, even Pete would smile. I can lauch mortars with the sound this guitar puts out. Without an amp. If you're a 12-stringer and considering taking the big plunge, this is the guitar you've been waiting all of your life for.
Overall Impression — 10
There is not a flaw to be found with this instrument. Perfection in the art of the luther. The F-412 is to 12-strings what the Mona Lisa is to paintings, what a Dino Ferrari is to automobiles. It's the top of the food chain, the absolute best you're going to find and worth every single penny of it's cost. If it were stolen, heaven help the bastard if I found him. I'd rather someone steal the woman I'm with than this guitar! I can always get another woman. This is a guitar to grow old with, plain and simple. A family heirloom, something that can get passed down from generation to generation. Can I give it higher marks that that?
Reliability & Durability — 10
The F-412 is built like Fort Knox, but the last thing you'd ever do is abuse it. When you find something this good, you take care of it. I wipe mine down after every time I play it, just because it looks so beautiful when it's polished and shiny. Sure, I'd gig with, just take of it, and it'll take care of you.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Every single this about the Guild F-412, down to the most minute of detail is nothing short of a work of art. It looks every bit as good as it sounds. Strike the strings near the bridge and the effect of taking some of the bottom end out makes the guitar chime. Get neared to the sound hole, and the deep resonate bass kicks in. There are no empty holes in the sound whatsover. play full strum with the side of the pick in a brushing motion, and you'll give a keyboard a run for it's money in painting a lush background of sound that any lead player will love to play on the top of.
Features — 10
I work for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Gardez, Afghanistan. Although I really enjoy what I do here, being a guitar player for 40 years, that was something that was really missing. My drummer back home, just to jerk me around sent me a Martin Backpacker. Well, it worked. That little piece of crap drove me over the edge. I had to have the goods. I found out about Sweetwater Music in Fort Wayne, Indiana (thanks Kurt) because they're the ones Who shipped me the Martin. I owned a Guild F-412 many years ago, bought one Brand New in '76 for $750. Well, this one was almost four times that much, but I'm very happy to report that the F-412 I had shipped to me in 2007 is every single bit was majestic as what I remembered. Beautiful flamed maple sides and back, spruce top, mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard with mother of pearl (abalone) inlay. Gold plated Grovers. One big difference with this one as opposed to the one I had long ago is that I had this built for me at the Guild factory in Tacoma, Washington and had their D-TAR pick up system installed. There is something you'll feel in the way this guitar plays that you won't find with any other guitar and it's very difficult to describe. There is a certain unique Precision about it, in the way it was constructed which translates to the feeling you get when you play it, both in it's fingering and what you feel when you put a pick to the strings. This instrument is very special and completely amazing.