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Thread: New Guild Day - Guild AO-3CE - Orchestra Cutaway - Natural Finish (MIM)

  1. #1
    Senior Member PittPastor's Avatar
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    New Guild Day - Guild AO-3CE - Orchestra Cutaway - Natural Finish (MIM)

    OK, the Arcos is here! [I have not decided yet to keep it, so feel free to chime in with opinions. I'm not emotionally invested. Yet.]

    First impressions are pretty good. I will have an expert look at it before I make my final decision. I see a line that seems to not follow the flattop grain, and wonder if that might be a lacquer crack. But I'm not too concerned about that. Everything looks good to my eye -- except the action seems crazy high to me. I know my D40C is low (both because I like low action and because of the neck issue and cut saddle compensation) but this one just seems way too high.

    It has (old) medium strings on it now. I will switch them out for lights. That will make the action seem better, but I still don't like how high it gets by twelfth fret. I imagine that can be fixed, but (correct me if I am wrong) that means shaving the bridge -- so I need to wait until I make the decision to keep Arcos first.

    The electronics are a pleasant surprise. I like having a tuner, and EQ built in. I haven't plugged it in yet. I will do that later today, I hope.

    The case is a soft case. Not crazy about that. But the foam packing in the soft case is solid. I think it protects it really well. The nice thing about it is it won't get nicked or scratched like a hard shell case does. But I really don't like the idea of zipping and unzipping every time I want to take it out to play. If I keep it, I probably will look into a hard shell case for it.

    The arched back is hardly noticeable when I play it. That's a plus. I thought it was going to feel like trying to play an Ovation (something I never could get used to!)

    The sound is brighter than my D40C. Surprisingly, tho, I feel the humming of the bass strings through the arched back more than I do on my D40C. It has a pretty good voice. I don't love the tone's balance -- but I don't want to focus on that too much. I am sure it will sound different with new strings. If I don't like the bright sound, Martin Retros are really good for making tones seem more woody, and I just happen to have a set here. So, I will try a couple of things before deciding.

    OK, enough babble... you came here to see pictures! (I know you guys so well...)

    Here we go:

    In the "Hard Soft Case"


    Front


    Back. Arch not noticeable


    A look at the slotted bridge. Never had a guitar with one of these before


    showing the action. Don't like how fast it rises


    Electronics


    And here's how you know it is a refurb:


    Here is a closeup on the arch. IDK how to make this smaller!
    Last edited by PittPastor; 11-08-2017 at 05:07 PM.
    ----------------------------------
    1980 Guild D40C Sunburst
    1978 Guild Mark II Classical

    Soundcloud - Cat's In The Crade (D40C)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    Pitt... That's good; definitely bring it to a tech/luthier. That action is unacceptable and looks practically unplayable, but it also looks like there's a ton of saddle to work with to get the guitar set up properly. Saddle height might not be the only adjustment this needs, however. So, again, a set up (or at least an inspection) by a pro is the right approach.

    Good luck.

    By the way, do you see "USED" stamped on the back of the headstock? Usually that was done to MIRC'd guitars. I can't tell from your pix.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neal
    I am going to hang onto this little F-20 and play it as a reminder that life is sometimes rough, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the damage you accrue along the way defines who you are.
    Quote Originally Posted by marcellis
    Growing old is a bitch.
    Guild 12-strings:
    1978 G-312NT (Westerly) - "Franzz",
    1994 JF-30-12Bld (Westerly),
    2006 F-512 (Tacoma),
    2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford) - "Connie"
    2014 Orpheum 12 OOO SHRW (New Hartford)

    Non-Guild 12s:
    1970 Martin D-12-20
    1980 Ibanez AW-75 (Series I)
    1984 Taylor 655

  3. #3
    Senior Member PittPastor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazmo View Post

    By the way, do you see "USED" stamped on the back of the headstock? Usually that was done to MIRC'd guitars. I can't tell from your pix.
    I do not. But there is no number stamped there either. Maybe they didn't do that in Mexico in the Fender days, and that's why they didn't stamp it? IDK. But the fact that the only feature that indicated it is refurbed/used is a very removable label to me is odd.
    ----------------------------------
    1980 Guild D40C Sunburst
    1978 Guild Mark II Classical

    Soundcloud - Cat's In The Crade (D40C)

  4. #4
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    No, I wouldn't expect a number. That ended after Corona (sadly). Interesting that there's no USED stamp. Best wishes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neal
    I am going to hang onto this little F-20 and play it as a reminder that life is sometimes rough, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the damage you accrue along the way defines who you are.
    Quote Originally Posted by marcellis
    Growing old is a bitch.
    Guild 12-strings:
    1978 G-312NT (Westerly) - "Franzz",
    1994 JF-30-12Bld (Westerly),
    2006 F-512 (Tacoma),
    2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford) - "Connie"
    2014 Orpheum 12 OOO SHRW (New Hartford)

    Non-Guild 12s:
    1970 Martin D-12-20
    1980 Ibanez AW-75 (Series I)
    1984 Taylor 655

  5. #5
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    That photo of the action height makes it look like the truss rod is completely loose,like it's showing a forward bow. first thing is to get the relief dialed in.
    That compensated saddle looks pretty dang tall, too. I suspect you have a LOT of room to shave, there.
    After dialing in the relief (flattening the neck) I'd measure the action at the 12th fret and assume Guild's last published spec of 6/64 on bass E and 4.5-6/64 on treble at 12th fret are good starting points.
    You want to lower the saddle by 2/64 (1/32) for every 64th you want to lower the action.
    If you can't lower the saddle enough to get down to an acceptable action for you (I'm assuming 4-5/64th on bass side) without leaving at least 1/8 of saddle height above bridge, I'd pack it up and ship it back.
    Another detail is that the crown of the saddle should match the fretboard radius, for which the last published spec I know of was 12".
    You luthier has the appropriate measuring tools for that.
    Also check the nut slot depths/string clearance at 1st fret, those can make action feel unacceptably high if not deep enough, too.
    I think you got advice on how to do that back in your D40 thread, if not, check good ol' Frets.com for background on how to do that.
    Even US Guilds were shipped "high", at the top of the spec, out of the box, and I have a suspicion Mexico was nowhere near as thorough as the US factories were, let alone whatever MIRC may have felt was acceptable.
    The assumption is that it's always easier to lower action to a customer's taste, than to raise it.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  6. #6
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PittPastor View Post
    I do not. But there is no number stamped there either. Maybe they didn't do that in Mexico in the Fender days, and that's why they didn't stamp it? IDK. But the fact that the only feature that indicated it is refurbed/used is a very removable label to me is odd.
    Yes, the stamp was to obliterate the headstock s/n, so it doesn't need it..also I think those "USED" stamps may have actually been Fender stamps as I think I've only seen 'em on Coronas, which had other warranty exchange inventory and "B" stock on hand prior to the MIRC liquidation. Primarily finish blems.
    And if you pull off that MIRC label I'm sure the s/n will come off with it, which is the primary purpose.
    A couple of years ago MIRC was able to tell a member exactly what they did to their guitar from that number, too, as they were the first buyer from the outfit MIRC sold it to.
    Don't know how long they keep those records, though, since the return window from their dealers is limited, too, or was at the time at least.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  7. #7
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    One look at that action and my vote would be to send it back. Probably not worth investing in the repairs as it's not American made. My $.02
    "The air's as still as the throttle on a funeral train." John Prine

    '76 D-25M
    '99 DV-52ABHG
    '98 DeArmond Starfire Special
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    Yes, the stamp was to obliterate the headstock s/n, so it doesn't need it..also I think those "USED" stamps may have actually been Fender stamps as I think I've only seen 'em on Coronas, which had other warranty exchange inventory and "B" stock on hand prior to the MIRC liquidation. Primarily finish blems.
    And if you pull off that MIRC label I'm sure the s/n will come off with it, which is the primary purpose.
    A couple of years ago MIRC was able to tell a member exactly what they did to their guitar from that number, too, as they were the first buyer from the outfit MIRC sold it to.
    Don't know how long they keep those records, though, since the return window from their dealers is limited, too, or was at the time at least.
    Al, you got that kind of wrong about the headstock branded stamp. I don't know whether it was MIRC or Guild that stamped USED on the headstock, but since Corona, there've only been USED stamps on the MIRC'd guitars. As noted, they did obliterate the factory s/n on the paper label (by sticking one on top of it).
    Quote Originally Posted by Neal
    I am going to hang onto this little F-20 and play it as a reminder that life is sometimes rough, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the damage you accrue along the way defines who you are.
    Quote Originally Posted by marcellis
    Growing old is a bitch.
    Guild 12-strings:
    1978 G-312NT (Westerly) - "Franzz",
    1994 JF-30-12Bld (Westerly),
    2006 F-512 (Tacoma),
    2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford) - "Connie"
    2014 Orpheum 12 OOO SHRW (New Hartford)

    Non-Guild 12s:
    1970 Martin D-12-20
    1980 Ibanez AW-75 (Series I)
    1984 Taylor 655

  9. #9
    Hello

    It looks as if the neck is about straight up to 10th fret and the bow is in short area 10-14. I was using paper edge against my screen. In my book that IS a Problem. But I am not luthier. I only adjusted some 500 guitars action in music store way back then, but they were all evenly bowed. This one seems complicated.

    Other than that - it is pretty.
    Last edited by Nuuska; 11-08-2017 at 05:47 PM.
    First good guitar - GUILD Duane Eddy 400 - I was 3rd owner - used to have Artist Award and Starfire
    Present guitars - F50R 1975 - F512 1977 - F212CSB 1979 - all bought new - B30SB fretless and RED Songbird bought secondhand - Schecter Startocaster - Gibson 3/4-size acoustic 1957 - Carmelo Gonzales nylon string - old Levin Lute

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    You could buy a slide, & learn to play the "My New Guitar is Folding Up on Itself" blues.

    I'd be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't need a neck reset, &/or a truss rod repair.

    I'd be astonished if a guitar shop sent it out like that . . . less so if it was sold by an individual.
    several Guilds, one Gretsch, one Taylor, & a Squire CV tele

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