X-79 Skyhawk review by Guild

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (1 vote)
Guild: X-79 Skyhawk

Purchased from: A guitar shop in San Diego

Features — 10
This guitar, a rarebird, is a Guild X-79 Skyhawk, and was manufactured sometime around 1979-83 (I have contacted Guild about the serial number, turns out it may have been an original prototype guitar that Guild salesman would use to try to sell customers it, hence the strange grouping of wood), and has a mahogany body, a rosewood neck, and an ebony fretboard. It is a shortened scaled (24") 24 fret guitar, an originally laminate finish, then repainted to satin, and a tune-o-matic bridge. The electronics are pretty basic, just an HH (Humbucker bridge, Humbucker neck) setup with 3 knobs, 2 volume (one per pickup), and a single tone knob. It has a 3 way selector switch, and came with an original hard case (wood body, leather exterior, and fuzzy inside). The tuners are standard locking tuners, all the parts are original as well, except the neck pickup, which was replaced with a Seymor Duncan pickup.

Sound — 10
For a relic, and even compared to a new guitar, this guitar plays excellently, for a wide range of music, from jazz, metal, thrash, stoner, and blues - just not country: the humbuckers dont put off enough twang for country music. When used with any amplifier (I use a few types, my main ones being a Fender Super Sonic, an Orange Tiny Terror with an Orange Cab, a Crate MX15R, and a Fender FM15DSP) and with a few effects (I mainly use a Dunlop Crybaby Classic Wah Wah, a Boss TU1 Tuner, a Boss DS-1 Distortion, a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, an Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi, a Boss CH-1 Super Chorus, and an Electro-Harmonix Memory Man [all in that exact order on a Boss BCB-60 Pedal Board with a few signal boosters, and a channel selector), this guitar can play just about anything possible.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action on this guitar (though high) is perfect for the current setup. The pickup at the bridge was very well adjusted, but age got the neck pickup which was sub sequentially replaced. The bridge was perfectly routed, with not issues at all, and due to the age there are a few notable flaws, like some dings and chips on the paint, mainly on the neck or the guitar (this is likely due to 7-11 year old me, who also broke a Gibson Les Paul Jr Doublecut, being a hyperactive 7-11 year old). Also, the guitar is very light weight so it is easy on the player, as well as the fact that the body design is surprisingly comfortable.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has withstood many live shows, which my dad has played, and I have played many live shows with this guitar as well. The hardware seems like it will last - because it has lasted the 35 years it has been in existence. The strap buttons have long since been replaced a few dozen times over the course of its lifespan, with now Schaller Straplocks, so there is no way of telling if they were good fresh out of the factory (and seeing as it was a prototype, it is likely that they were just last minute add ons). I can depend on this guitar because it has existed for so long without many issues, and the finish, sadly is coming off due to age.

Overall Impression — 10
For most musical styles other than country, this guitar is perfect. It has a unique sound somewhere between a Gibson SG, Les Paul, and a Fender Stratocaster or Jazzmaster. I have been playing this guitar since I was seven years old, and would likely die if it were ever stolen or lost. This guitar is almost perfect, though the body doesn't allow for installation of a Bigbsy B5 because there isn't enough length from the tune-o-matic bridge stopbar. Though I did not purchase the guitar, in comparison to all my other guitars, this one is the king, except maybe being outdone by my Pacifica or Epiphone Casino. I wish it were black - that is my only wish.

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