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Thread: 1973 Guild D55 Questions and Mysteries!

  1. #11
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Wow.... I was like, "Wow, for sure RW back!" Then the sides, I was trying to suspend my preconceptions about "how specific woods look" but YIKES it does look like Mahogany. Our resident guru and expert on Guilds, Hans Moust, will have a better response for you. You can PM him here or look him up and his website will show up.... and he will respond. He's a good guy and he's the Guild .... what is it we called him guys? The Guild Master Jedi? Is that it? Anyway, stay tuned. There are people who will know or connect you with people who will know. Welcome to LTG. That's a SUPER cool guitar, by the way.....
    Tom in Vegas

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  2. #12
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Sillycon Valley CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooftop View Post
    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.
    HI Rooftop welcome aboard!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooftop View Post
    Is that just the way it is sometimes?
    Basically, yes, but:
    that highlight shot of the lower bout in the middle makes me suspect it was refinished at some point, and sanding the sides might have removed some of the stain.
    Typically they will match, although Guild did do changeups in stain from year to year.
    Gardman mentioned a "mystery guitar" with 'hog sides from years back, and while I don't remember that, I do remember that during that early '70's period we've seen at least 3 or 4 examples of D50's that I can remember with mixed Braz and EIR backs and sides, so I wonder if that's another possibility that's accentuating the color and grain mismatch .
    Finally, nobody's remembered to mention that D55's actually started out as "D50 specials" ordered by Tommy Smothers: D50's with an F50 neck.
    They got their own model number in '68 after appearing on the Smothers Brothers TV show and were actually called "Television D55"
    So the fact that it looks so much like a D50 shouldn't surprise.
    Gardman also mentioned he thinks the pickguard's been replaced, I agree, it simply looks too large and I didn't think black was used back then.
    It may be oversized because removing the 'guard on those Guilds is extremely difficult and likely to cause top damage, so this one may be covering up some of that.
    AHHH! Just remembered: Guild applied High Gloss finish over their 'guards. (a small part of the reason they're so hard to remove)
    If it's not finished over it's absolutely not original, and it doesn't look like it is finished over, from the 'guard edge in one of the photos.
    To confirm my memory I did some googling and assuming it's dated correctly, here's an '81 on Gbase showing the same very light side stain, and a black 'guard but with a smaller outline:

    Here's a '73 D50 with the tortoise shell I expected:

    Finally, love that inside shot of the sides!
    I'm pretty sure they're original because of the cloth reinforcing strips. That's exactly how Guild did it in the mid-70's.
    Finally, one thing we've learned over the years, Guild went "off-spec" and changed 'em so often that one just can't assume anything anymore.
    Last edited by adorshki; 12-06-2017 at 08:50 PM.
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
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    All bought new!

  3. #13
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    You have plenty of answers, so I will just say - I love the guitar!

    1984 Guild D64
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    2008 PRS Hollowbody Spruce

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    Gardman also mentioned he thinks the pickguard's been replaced, I agree, it simply looks too large and I didn't think black was used back then.
    Actually, black pickguards did appear in the early '70s, as on my '73 F-30R, in combination with rosewood back & sides and an ebony fingerboard & bridge.

    My '74 F-40 also has it's original black pickguard, this time combined with a deep red-stained maple back & sides and rosewood board & bridge.

    There does seem to have been a bit of mixing & matching of appointments during the early '70s, but I do agree that the pickguard on your D-55 looks like an oversized replacement piece - and the sides are doing an absolutely perfect impersonation of mahogany!

    A neat guitar with many more miles yet to go - enjoy.
    Last edited by bobouz; 12-06-2017 at 10:11 PM.
    > Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40nt / '76 G-37bld / '92 D-6nt-hg / '94 JF-30nt / '97 Starfire III / '14 Savoy A-150b
    > Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES-125T / '66 Epi Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100xt / '02 J-45 RW / '02 SG / '07 CJ-165 / '09 ES-339 / '10 ES-330L / '11 ES-335 P90s / '12 ES-330 VOS / '12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG-2 / '13 M.Kalamazoo / '14 J-15 / '15 J-50
    > Epis: '00 AIUSA Sheraton / '05 McCartney Texan / '09 Elitist Casino
    > Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 CS RW D

  5. #15
    Looks like mahogany sides to me. Both inside and out. It's Guild, anything is possible. Note how the sides look identical to the mahogany headstock back, pic in post 7.
    Last edited by swiveltung; 12-06-2017 at 11:53 PM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Rich Cohen's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
    Charlottesville, VA
    Very strange.
    Westerly: 1973 F-512, 1976 G-41, 1993 JF-100NT CRV, 1997 JF-30 BLD
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  7. #17
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Well, the abalone rosette didn't happen until much later, so there's one mystery solved.

    '73 was well past the Brazilian RW era, so the back is most likely EIR.

    The bridge does look like Rosewood, the fingerboard Ebony.

    I'm still voting on 'hog sides...
    Last edited by dreadnut; 12-07-2017 at 12:33 AM.
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  8. #18
    To my eyes, looks similar to the sides on this 1977 D55 featured on,
    described in the specs there as EIR.

  9. #19
    Cool Guitar! The sides actually look like some of the rosewood sides I have seen on Guilds from that period. It looks like the sides may have been cut differently from what we are used to seeing on most pieces of Rosewood. Just an opinion of course.

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  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonneville88 View Post
    To my eyes, looks similar to the sides on this 1977 D55 featured on,
    described in the specs there as EIR.
    It does bear a striking resemblance to this guitar.

    Thank you to everyone for all of the info and insight. I have a much better idea of what is going on with this guitar now!

    You guys rock!
    Last edited by Rooftop; 12-07-2017 at 05:26 PM.

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