GAD-50 Review

manufacturer: Guild date: 12/23/2010 category: Acoustic Guitars
Guild: GAD-50
This full-bodied, high-volume body style was developed with an emphasis on string-to-string balance, so that treble, mid and bass registers project evenly. The result is one of the most musically versatile dreadnoughts anywhere.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.7
 Features: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
GAD-50 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 01, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 580

Purchased from: Blue Note, Berkeley CA

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

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

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 7.6
GAD-50 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 20, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 674.99

Purchased from:

Features: Quite simply, the Guild GAD-50 is a reasonably priced introduction to Chinese-made, all solid wood acoustic guitars. Composition wise, the GAD-50 (dreadnought) features a solid Sitka Spruce top and Indian Rosewood back, sides, fret board and bridge pins. The GAD-50 also features Grover rotomatic tuners, ornate mother of pearl inlay and a bone nut/saddle combination, which some will argue gives an enhanced tonal clarity and presence. Aesthetically speaking, the GAD-50 is a 'plain Jane' at best. But for a no frills, no thrills guitar, it still speaks worlds. // 8

Sound: As many have commented before, the tone on this guitar sits surprisingly neutral. This may come at you as bad, or good news, depending on what you're looking for. Personally, I was a little disappointed in it's lack of character, then again I'm usually playing solo. However, in a band situation, that lack of tonal distinction may come in handy to complement your overall sound. It just depends on what you're using it for. Now don't get me wrong though, just because it lacks that edge, doesn't mean it doesn't still sing. Being that it's all solid wood and not made of a composite materials, you can hear and feel the sound resinating. Comparatively speaking, some will argue the GAD-50 gives lower end Gibson's a run for their money. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Straight out of the box, this guitar was setup quite well; a quick tune up and I was on my way. The book matched top laid visually even and didn't carry a single imperfection. The action was set superbly straight from the manufacturer and required no adjustments. The high gloss finish was lustrous and well applied, however, I do wonder how much such a think finish affects the tone; satin finished, or oil finished guitars are said to be able to "breathe" better than high glossed guitars, giving a more open sound. Although some will argue otherwise. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Guild made this guitar to last, that is easy to tell right off hand. The neck is set quite well in a dovetail neck joint and the fret board was free of razor edge. The body feels durable, but it's lack of overall weight worries me. A guitar needs guts, you know? Hardware, on the other hand, is much more solid based. The guitar holds a tune like no other and handles drop tunings like a champ. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar for about five years now, playing post rock to bluegrass, and this is by far the best acoustic I've owned. If this guitar was lost/stolen I would probably buy it again, assuming I had the cash. I do feel it is important to mention Guild's horrible taste in pick guard selection. Who in their right mind would want a clear pick guard? Although, for an additional $5 investment, you can fix that mistake without much hassle. Definitely not a huge setback, but a hindrance, none the less. However, for the price, this is definitely a steal. The only other company that offers a decent all solid wood guitar in the price range is Blueridge and even then Guild still comes out on top. // 7

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overall: 9.8
GAD-50 Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 23, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: Craigslist

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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