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Thread: 1973 Guild D55 Questions and Mysteries!

  1. #1

    1973 Guild D55 Questions and Mysteries!

    Hello fellow guild lovers!

    I am in need of your expertise and help to solve some mysteries I have with a 1973 Guild D55.

    I will post pictures to illustrate where my confusion lies and hope that someone can help me figure this out.

    My 2 main questions are
    1- Why does this D55 have a D50 top?
    2- Does anyone have any idea what kind of wood is on this sides? It does not look like the Indian Rosewood on the back in grain or in color, I have had people tell me that it is everything from Koa to mahogany to Brazilian Rosewood... and I have no idea what to make of it.
    Between these two mysteries I am not really sure what to make of this D55 : ) But one thing is certain, it sounds amazing!

    Any help would be appreciated.







  2. #2
    Welcome. The sides look like rosewood to me, but I'm not the expert...Hans Moust is...he'll likely be along soon to help...if he doesn't see your question you can email him at his website...you can find it in his membership profile, or someone here with better net access and great search foo will find it for you. Congrats on posting pics first try.

    And everyone is going to ask you 'how does it sound?'...that's all that's important.

    Fear not, the thundering hordes will pop up soon with their opinions.

  3. #3
    Rooftop... Welcome to the LTG Forum. That's a fine looking Guild Dreadnaught guitar you have there, with a lot of honest player wear. "Made to be played." And good job of navigating the steps to post photos!

    What makes you think that the top is a D-50 instead of a D-55? Is it the rosette, the pickguard or the rosewood bridge? Those all look normal to me.

    I have to admit that the sides look more like mahogany than EIR rosewood. According to the "Guild Guitar Book" (Hans Moust), the D-55 was introduced in 1968, but it was available on special order only. It became a standard model in the Guild lineup in 1974.

    Yours may have been a special order with different tonewood used on the sides. There are others 'round here with more knowledge than me and I'm sure that they will check in soon.

    Bill

  4. #4
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    Boy, that sure looks like 'hog sides...

    Not sure why you think the top is D-50-ish.

    One thing for sure, it was made to be played!
    "The air's as still as the throttle on a funeral train." John Prine

    '76 D-25M
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    Rooftop,

    First of all, welcome to LTG. That's a pretty cool first post since there's definitely some mystery going on here. That axe has been ridden hard and put away wet. Probably literally.

    I think the finish has been stripped off the sides of this guitar (and possibly the soundboard as well, but I think that's just worn). If the sides are in fact mahogany rather than rosewood, that would probably tell you that the soundbox has been rebuilt at some point (the sides should be rosewood), but I doubt it.

    Anyway, great stuff!
    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

  6. #6
    The ultimate campfire guitar! (and no...not for firewood). I would say that that is a typical D55 that has been sweat upon for years and years and years.....however.....the sides really appear to be mahogany. Top looks standard.....after you pour sweat and beer over it for 20+ years. Back is most def east indian rw in my opinion. Sides?....well....sure looks like hog....but that makes no sense. Hmmm. Try soaking a piece of EIRW in beer and sweat for 20 years and let me know if it turns into mahogany.

    Great first post....thanks for the photos. That guitar looks like it has been loved....then loved again....and again..... Made to be played indeed.
    D-40 Std New Hartford 2012
    F-30NT Westerly 1974
    M-20 Hoboken 1968
    Yamaha FG-110
    D-50NT Westerly 1978 (unfortunately sold)

  7. #7
    Thank you all for the replies thus far! I can already tell this is an awesome community.

    As to the reasoning behind thinking that it may be a D-50-ish top is that I thought that the Rosette around the sound hole on a D-55 was Abalone, while the D-50 had the ivory looking rosette, and the bridge looks rosewood to me, although it does get suspiciously dark on that left side.

    It has definitely been well played and loved, It sounds amazing, easily the best guitar I have ever owned by a wide margin.

    I really hope we can solve the mystery of what is going on with the sides, I love the guitar any which way, but would like to know everything about it!

    Here is a pic of the neck, where you can see a little more love and wear put into it.


  8. #8
    Interesting! Rode hard and put away wet, indeed!

    I was thinking that years back there was another post about a rosewood backed guitar that appeared to have mahogany sides... can't recall if it was a D-55 or D-50, tho', and couldn't find the thread in a rudimentary search.

    OTOH, if you look at the 5th pic, you can see a bit of the inside of the side thru the sound hole... in that pic, it looks more like rosewood, to me.
    Dave

    '72 D-35 (Jan '73)
    '81 D-46NT (Oct '07)
    '94 DV-72NT (turquoise; Jan '16)
    '94 DV-72NT MK (malachite; Oct '14)
    '95 DV-73 NT HG (Aug '12)
    Gone but not forgotten
    '71 D-44NT (2008-2015)
    '74 G-37Bld (2006-2015)
    '74 D-25M (2006-2015)
    '76 D-50NT (2009-2016)
    '78 D-35 (1986-2007)
    '92 D-55 (2007-2014)


    All my Guilds, past and present (pics)...
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  9. #9
    If you are thinking D-50 top because the rosette isn't abalone... it's because the 55 didn't get its abalone rosette until ~1993.

    OTOH, to me the pick guard looks as if it has been replaced. The inner edge doesn't follow the sound hole contour as well as I'd expect.

    Can you post a pic of the region of the end pin area (bottom of the guitar)...
    Dave

    '72 D-35 (Jan '73)
    '81 D-46NT (Oct '07)
    '94 DV-72NT (turquoise; Jan '16)
    '94 DV-72NT MK (malachite; Oct '14)
    '95 DV-73 NT HG (Aug '12)
    Gone but not forgotten
    '71 D-44NT (2008-2015)
    '74 G-37Bld (2006-2015)
    '74 D-25M (2006-2015)
    '76 D-50NT (2009-2016)
    '78 D-35 (1986-2007)
    '92 D-55 (2007-2014)


    All my Guilds, past and present (pics)...
    My Soundclick! page...

  10. #10
    Once again thank you all for the great insights.

    Safe to say that I had some uninformed assumptions about the top. Thank you all for the info about that. All the other D55s I had seen had the Abalone rosette, so I had just made the assumption they all must have it.

    Looking inside to see the sides from within is a great idea. Here are a few pics to show that. Also the end pin area and bottom region. It does look more like rosewood when seen from within and near the bottom. (At least to my untrained eye.)

    If it is indeed rosewood on the sides, I wonder why the stain/color of the back and sides differ from one another so much. Is that just the way it is sometimes?






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