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Thread: Guild DE-400 Ch.

  1. #1

    Guild DE-400 Ch.

    Quote Originally Posted by hansmoust View Post
    If my memory serves me well you guys at some point owned the same guitar!
    Quote Originally Posted by gilded View Post
    Hans, I think Darryl owned my old instrument even before me and Ted Greene! But matsickma's DE is a different instrument than Darryl's.
    Hello Harry,

    Over the years I've seen the guitar that you once owned being offered at various guitar shows and in various eBay auctions; in some cases with different hardware and pickups. At the time you had it (and when I inspected the guitar at the Arlington Guitar Show) I believe the guitar had a harp tailpiece; is that correct?

    Anyway, maybe Matsickma wants to post a photo of the one that he has now; I will recognize the wear on the body if it is the same guitar!

    Sincerely,

    Hans Moust
    www.guitarsgalore.nl

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Default's Avatar
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    So it's the "Flying Dutchman"of Guild guitars? Is it that unexciting of a guitar where it is doomed to go from player to player and never find a home?
    Last edited by Default; 11-25-2017 at 09:05 PM.
    "Steve, you are a man of many goats."~ capnjuan

    "Alternatively, you could just go the ultra-relic route with it. Basically go for a look that says the amp was on fire and they put it out using belt sanders."
    (amps - I need a "99" & "50")

  3. #3
    Cherry DE400

    Default, I don't think so. It was/is a good guitar, just not for me.

    Hans, you may have well examined it with a harp tailpiece on it. I think you said the guitar came from '70, I don't really remember.

    Pics? I have some pics of that cherry mahogany guitar, somewhere. Of course, I have pics on photobucket.com, but they won't release them to me.

    From memory: the guitar was pretty rough and a lot of the true collectors here wouldn't have liked it.

    Problem 1) When I moved the bridge to restring the guitar, holes in the body were revealed where a former owner had performed radical surgery to 'keep a bridge in the right place!' Yikes!

    Problem 2) The mini-buckers had been replaced by white DeArmonds. AND those replacements looked right but had a higher Ohm resistance than the usual Guild DeArmond pickups (Hans clued me in on that!).

    Problem 3) The pick guard was made for minis and did not fit well with DeArmond pickups .

    Problem 4) The pickup cut outs had been changed too, but not where you could see this from the outside.

    Problem 5) There was lots of wear on the body, very little of which showed up in the nice photos that the Seller, a respected shop in the SF area, sent me.

    Problem 6) It had a Bigsby on it, but the Tail of the Bigsby (the company calls it the Hinge) was cracked. This caused the Bigsby to sit at an angle on the guitar. I got a millwright to fix it later, but the repair didn't last. He said he'd make me a new one for $100, but I started looking for another Hinge.

    Problem 7) The neck had been re-set and re-fretted. It was a sloppy job (either clear glue or clear lacquer had pooled at the base of the heel of the neck), but the neck lined up with the body in all directions, even had a good break-over angle, so I didn't care.

    I called the Seller and complained about the condition. He said I'd had it longer than 48 hour right of refusal time period. I told him that I had talked to his assistant in a timely fashion and felt that should 'count'. He declined to give me compensation for the damage, so I told him I was sending the guitar back. There was a pause and then he said, "Where do I send the check?" I told him where. We have never spoken again, which is fine with me.

    I didn't like the way DeArmond pickups sounded (at that time) and located some mini-humbucker pickups on eBay being sold by an ex-Pat rocker in Venezuela. I paid $300 for the pickups and they arrived from South America three weeks later, without insurance, tracking or signature requirement, in a soft, 'sort-of-padded' envelope. This was my introduction to the ways that 'true musicians' ship stuff! I blew my stack, but the pickups were not damaged, so it all worked out. Oh, I think Hans told me the minis were both neck pickups.

    The guitar came in a good aftermarket case that would have fit an X500 perfectly, but was not good for a thin line 17" guitar body.

    Anyhow, I got my luthier to fix a lot of the stuff like the holes in the top under the bridge where some one had pinned it before.

    I put the ‘Venezuelan minis’ on the guitar and fired it up. They sounded good.

    After a couple of weeks of playing, I decided that while the guitar was a good instrument, it wasn't right for me. The tight 5-ply laminate guitar body fed back fairly easily (a lightly struck cymbal at 15' would set it off), the 1 5/8th" neck was too small for me to play comfortably and the Bigsby was still broken.

    I pulled the Bigsby to look at it again and noticed the holes for another tailpiece at the butt of the guitar.
    I also bought a Guild harp tailpiece and the holes lined up perfectly, so I put that tailpiece on. It didn't sound any better or worse than the Bigsby. Hmm!

    I bought another Bigsby and put it on the guitar. The Bigsby lined up to the body with no Angle or Slant. Hurrah!

    I still couldn't enjoy playing it. Boo!

    I sold it to Jay Pilzer, the Guild Guy, for several hundred dollars less than I paid for it, but I was a motivated seller. A year or so later, I saw it for sale at a Chicago music store, for a $1,000 over what I sold it to Jay for, which was okay by me. Again, the new Seller’s (not Jay’s!) pics were 'way better' than the actual condition of the guitar, which just goes to show you that there are Pirates every where and you should never trust a photo!!!

    Lessons learned? Well, on setting up pickups, for sure!

    Some where in the pursuit of a viable DE400, I played another DE guitar with DeArmonds. I didn't like that sound either and commented on same to my guitar show booth buddy who knew a lot about pickups in general and also what I liked to hear. He got out a screw-driver and dropped the magnets 'way down' on the DeArmonds and suddenly, I began to appreciate the sound I was hearing and playing!

    I also learned that you could get the mini buckers close to the strings for a better, bluesier sound. I wish I'd known that back in the '70s when I had a George Barnes Acousti/Lectric! I'd probably still have that sucker!

    Leftover Parts?

    I still have those white Dearmonds. In fact I have three, but who is counting?

    I found a Guild Hinge, repaired the Bigsby and gave it a good selling.

    What else?

    Darryl has a good story about buying the guitar on the East Coast and selling it later in California, but I'll let him tell that story.

    That's it! gilded/Harry
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post

    And I like Harry's approach.
    '66 Starfire I SB bass, '67 Mark IV pear wood, '75 Mark 4 P padauk, '00 Bluesbird black,
    '66 Thunderbird amp, '68 Thunder 1 RVT amp, '70 Superstar Combo

  4. #4
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    I have been playing my DE400 with DeA's this morning and found the tone to be better than I remember.
    I think I need to turn down the bridge poles as mentioned above and add additional spacers to raise the pickup to balance it out a bit more. Additionally the pickups are wired out-of-phase so that needs to be corrected.
    Normally I like the out-of-phase setup but with the volume difference between the two pickups adjusting the volume of the neck pickup doesn't have as much impact on the tone difference of the pair.
    I'll revisit this after I raise the height of the bridge pickup.
    M

  5. #5
    kewl, hope it sounds good for you! gilded
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post

    And I like Harry's approach.
    '66 Starfire I SB bass, '67 Mark IV pear wood, '75 Mark 4 P padauk, '00 Bluesbird black,
    '66 Thunderbird amp, '68 Thunder 1 RVT amp, '70 Superstar Combo

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gilded View Post
    Cherry DE400

    I still have those white Dearmonds. In fact I have three, but who is counting?
    The cracking hinge is a familiar problem. I've had it on two Starfires. What were the Dearmonds in the end? The P90 style ones?
    9 (nine) pieces of chicken (small), 1 portion of chips with garlic sauce, 3.50

  7. #7
    Parker,

    What were the DeArmonds in the end? They 'are' DeArmond 2000 pickups that look exactly like the 2000 models spec'd for Guild guitars, but I gave Hans the Ohm readings and he said they were high for the Guild 2000 pickups he'd measured, so I have to assume that the pickups are for something other than a Guild.

    I'd give you the measurements, but I can't find my Ohm meter (looked twice!) so I'll have to do it later in the week. I had pics of the pickups with the readouts on Photoshop, but you know what happened to that deal!

    I tried to join imgur recently and happened to see that they were hacked a few years ago and 1.5 million customer IDs were compromised.

    Tell you what, PM me your email address and I'll send you some pics!

    Harry/gilded
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post

    And I like Harry's approach.
    '66 Starfire I SB bass, '67 Mark IV pear wood, '75 Mark 4 P padauk, '00 Bluesbird black,
    '66 Thunderbird amp, '68 Thunder 1 RVT amp, '70 Superstar Combo

  8. #8
    Don't worry, Harry, just wondered if they were the 2Ks rather than the 2000s.
    9 (nine) pieces of chicken (small), 1 portion of chips with garlic sauce, 3.50

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