GAD-50 review by Guild

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (34 votes)
Guild: GAD-50

Price paid: $ 580

Purchased from: Blue Note, Berkeley CA

Sound — 8
This is my second guitar. I am an amature country blues player (e. g. Blind Boy Fuller, Missisipi John Hurt) devoted exclusively to syncopated bass style fingerpicking. Been playing less than a year. In my limited view this is a very handy guitar. From watching others play it (one punk guitarist, and one Dave Matthews wannabe, who both loved it) I'd say that it has a neutral tone well suited but not specifically devoted to any one style. With fresh strings it is a bit twangy (which I like since a lot of my inspirations used dobros). When I was concidering buying it I played it against a Gibson Dred and thought they were comparable with the Gibson having slightly better sound. It has a vastly superior sound to that of the more expensive American made Guilds.

Overall Impression — 10
The best thing about this guitar for me and anyone else who has played it is the neck. As I got better I started sliding up and down the fretboard and my Blueridge BR-40 felt like quicksand. I was not going to buy a new guitar when I went in and played the Guild for the first time, it completely won me over. I did not find it aesteticly pleasing (I do now) but it was so easy to play, it was litteraly as if I could play twice as fast becuase of the neck shape and thiness. This might be something specific to my hand (large with long thin fingers) of course but I was blown away. Even though the Gibson looked better at the time and sounded better the Guild had a close sound and a much better feel. Its like that perfectly balanced sword or Colt peacemaker you see in films. I've had it for three months and I still check out other guitars at stores, I have not come across anything with as good a feel. I have come to love everything about it. If it were stolen I'd replace it, and get one of thoes peacemakers to prevent subsequent theft. I am a relitively new player but I play on average 2 hours a day. Give it a go if you get a chance, the shopowners are not going to point you towards it if they think you can afford something more expensive.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I only worry about the back and side finish, it does seem thin. Other than that everything is solid.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I am no expert but for flaws all I can detect is that the finish on the back and sides does seem to be skratch prone and that there is a slight imperfection underneath the transparent pick guard close to the neck. Other than that its a ship-shape Dred. The action is very comfortable and adjustable.

Features — 8
Chinese built, mahogany neck, 20 frets. Solid spruce top. Fretbord, back, and sides solid Indian rosewood. Very thin neck. High gloss polyester finish. Dreadnought body. No electronics. Grover Rotomatic Die-Cast tuners. I had to pay another 100 for the case but it is sturdy and stylish.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I recently bought a Guild GAD-50L, the left hand version of the GAD-50. I compared it to a similarly priced Martin and walked out with the guild. Can't say enough nice about this guitar. I absolutely love it.
    I upgraded to the dark burst Guild GAD 50 from an ovation celebrity deluxe series. The ovation had a fast action but i couldn't stand the constant twangy/treble sound. The Guild is almost as fast if not more so due to the thin neck and the sound is so much more rich. Comparing it to similar guilds, martins, taylors, and a breedlove i can say that the guild is my personal choice as the best guitar for under $1,000.
    I also own a dark burst Guild GAD-50R. I love this guitar, it has great sound and allows for speed along the fretboroard. An excellent guitar for under 1000$
    Paper Snowman
    Funny, I noticed the same thing mentioned above with the Blueridges, about the fretboards being super hard to slide on. I played the Guild right after a blueridge and it was like butter.