GAD-50 review by Guild

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (34 votes)
Guild: GAD-50

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: Craigslist

Sound — 9
I tend to play a lot of Bob Dylan, CCR, alternative tunes and kinda bounce around between styles. This guitar has a nice, deep woody tone that accentuates the individual notes of each strum, pluck, etc. Playing "Hotel California" on this guitar is a dream. I do have to say that the "brights" on this guitar aren't quite as bright as say...a Taylor or something along those lines, but I think it leans towards more of a Martin-type mellowness. A nice unique warmth to it. The string-to-string balance, overall tone, depth of resonance & warmth is something thats kinda hard to find in a guitar at this price range. I personally think its a great sound, but others may disagree. Overall, it has a sound comparable, if not better than most guitars worth twice the price.

Overall Impression — 10
I bought this guitar with the intent of keeping it around for a long time. I compared it to Yamaha's, Taylors, Martins, Epiphones, Tak's, Ovations, Seagulls, Gibsons, Breedloves, you name it. All in all, I couldn't find a better deal for sound, price, quality & looks for the money I spent. I'll probably keep the guitar for years to come and really look forward to it "opening-up" more as time goes on. Go buy this guitar, seriously. Guild knows what they're doing.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is built like a tank. High quality grover tuners, scalloped bracing, good woods, etc. I don't gig or anything like that, but I've dropped it, tripped over it, etc. Its withstood all my negligence and abuse lol. The finish, like I said before, is pretty thick, but I feel that it will help keep it looking new. I don't know if it affects the tone at all, but I think it sounds great. Easily comparable to guitars twice the price, and you don't have to worry about losing a ton of money if you damage it.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The set up on this guitar is perfect, but I think the guy who had it before me had it set-up professionally. The neck is straight, saddle & nut are high-quality bone, frets even & level, etc. The finish is kinda thick, but it gives it a nice Shine to the instrument. Doesn't seem to affect tone. The only flaws I can see on it are some light scratches here & there, but then again, I think that was probably the fault of myself or the guy before me. It has a nice, simple rustic kind of look, which instantly appealed to me. Abalone fret markers, MOP finger dot "snowflakes" & MOP "Guild" logo on the headstock. Nice & simple. I'm not the kind of guy who likes rhinestones & glittery stuff on their guitar lol.

Features — 10
I purchased a used, 2007 Guild GAD-50 Acoustic dreadnought guitar from some guy on Craigslist. Chinese made solid select spruce top, rosewood back & sides. Not quite sure about the # of frets, but it you check the other reviews, I'm sure they'll tell you. The specific guitar I purchased came w/ a sweet tweed hard-case that gives the whole set-up a very retro type of look. A steal for the price, for sure.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought a Guild GAD50PCE on 12/29/10. On 1/7/11, I noticed a 2-3" crack from the binding to the left of the neck toward the soundhole. It looks like it will run further. ONE WEEK I had this guitar. I've owned many guitars in the 39 years I have been playing and have NEVER had a guitar crack, even during the 5 years when I lived in the arid Southwest. Avoid this guitar unless you are prepared for a major headache. Buy this guitar if you are looking for very expensive kindling wood.
    I don't own a Martin, but I would imagine that the Guild GAD 50 could easily compete with low end Martins. After playing a guitar with laminated back and sides for some time, I was stunned how loud and crisp this all solid wood guitar sounds. My only complaint with the GAD 50 is that the frets seem to be a little higher than normal which makes sliding with your fingers not particular comfortable. So watch out, country blues players. Other than that, I can't point to any irregularities. While the guitar is China made, you certainly couldn't tell it from its quality.
    Fsunoles...sorry about your luck. Guitars are... made of wood...they all...are subject to cracks. I am a guitar collector and have all makes and sizes...I find gibson is one of the worst about cracking and hairline fractures. Anyway.... I hate it for you. I bought a GAD-50 and I have to agree with everyone else...bang for the of the best on the market. Beautiful woods don't always mean beautiful sound... in this case it does. Right away my first reaction A full bodied deep rich sound... I did have to bring the strings down a bit...but it adapted beautifully. I play all over my state in a jazz/bluegrass band... and from now big dollar guitars will stay at home in their case. I highly recommend this's a great axe for the buck! (Player for 46 years)
    I won a contest at a music store I was not familiar with. I Road out of town anyway because after 47 years of playing, I love Saturday music store jaunts. Spent 3 or 4 hours there and couldn't find anything I wanted. Walked past a new GAD 50 on a stand and just ran my hand across it. And that was that. While I am an electric & classical player for reasons of finesse, I decided to take a chance. I went strictly on the sound & the neck in my hand. I don't play acoustics so I didn't know anything about it. I do know a lot about the Martin D-35 herringbone, which I like, but my GAD 50 is too close for comfort at 5 times less the cost. Once I got her home I discovered electronics hidden up under the sound hole. Then plugged her into my Mesa Boogie and went to heaven! I have 13 high end American made dream guitars gaining equity in hard-shell cases, but this baby gets all my attention. You cannot go wrong with this model regardless of your expertise. Quality; beauty; sound & playability. I paid $555 out the door with an unusual looking quality hard-shell case by Guild. This baby will stay in my family forever & will never be for sale at any price. I can't think of a single negative comment and I am VERY picky. As JIMI said: we're just jammin' you can leave or you can stay. This one stays!!!