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Thread: Just How Rare *is* the M-30 Del Rio?

  1. #1

    Just How Rare *is* the M-30 Del Rio?

    The M-30 Del Rio: famously played by Big Foot as evidenced by the singular blurry photo of him that exists.
    What's the deal with its rarity?
    I was always curious about the M-20 (though the recent Oxnard M-20 I purchased wasn't quite what I was looking for, as noted in my review/for sale listing in the FS/FT board), and when I was originally shopping for a mahogany guitar maybe three years ago, I was primarily interested in the M-20 until a cheap 00-15M chanced its way to me via someone my band shared a practice space with. But whenever I saw "M-30," I always thought it was a typo from someone who was a key shy of their intentions.

    So naturally, as time when on, I assumed "Del Rio" (presumably named after the river that nursed the gold-leafed trees at the heart of El Dorado) was, at best, just a rumor told to inspire collectors and drive them mad, but after seeing a dowdy and abused/loved one Reverb a few months back when I was purchasing an F-30, I became more curious. (Another strange addendum in relation to the that link is that when I was searching for that it, I found another listing that looks to be the same guitar, especially when looking at the cleating, but the date is 1953 and it apparently belonged to the seller's father... how it got purchased and resold in such a short turnaround and somehow even got misdated in the process is a mystery for another time.)

    I don't know how well it can be believed, but Guitar List seems to purport the incredulous notion that they were produced from 1952-1985, which might be semi-plausible if they made one a year, but I don't see them as a fitting in to Westerly's mid-70s output. Furthermore, Guild's dating system doesn't seem to leave room for them in their 1965-1969 dating scheme.‡ If nothing else I think it's safe to assume that they were among the first off the line and were around at least until the date of that catalog I linked to, which is from "196X."

    Does anyone know how many may have been made, or have an explanation for the scarcity of them? Were they that unpopular? Or was the price point to close to a spruce-topped F-series model in a time when all-mahogany guitars weren't in vogue? If nothing else, they seem to have been an option for nearly a decade, so the scarcity is at least a bit of a surprise.

    (‡ To be fair, though, I don't see the M-20 in their mid/late 60s numbering system, but I do see the equally elusive M-20พ, and I'm pretty sure I've seen the AH serial numbers on regular sized M-20s from that period. I am a bit curious about those, too, like is the พ scale actually พ, and if so, is that in relation to the 24.75" models, or did the M-20 also get a 25.5" scale length boost in the 70s like the F-20s did?)

  2. #2
    Senior Member gjmalcyon's Avatar
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    Here are some links to earlier discussions here (I used Google's site search feature to find):

    http://www.letstalkguild.com/ltg/sho...ld-M30-Del-Rio

    http://www.letstalkguild.com/ltg/sho...715-Guild-M-30
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gjmalcyon View Post
    Here are some links to earlier discussions here (I used Google's site search feature to find):
    http://www.letstalkguild.com/ltg/sho...ld-M30-Del-Rio
    http://www.letstalkguild.com/ltg/sho...715-Guild-M-30
    Yeah, I caught those, but didn't see a whole lot more than value speculations.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Since I can't get mine at the moment, does Han's book address any of this?
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

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    This space available.

  5. #5
    He says they started in '59 and were discontinued in '64. So, they didn't last long.

    (And if any come up in decent shape for not ridiculous money, you're gonna have to fight me for it. Unless you want that cleated one. That's too messed up for me.)
    Chris

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  6. #6
    there was no “M-20 3/4,” that may have been an option for a special order, but ive never seen or heard of one. they are 24.75 scale. mid-late 70s they made some 25.5 scale as well. M-30’s pop up occasionally, but it is going to sound a lot like the M-20, so if the M-20 is in your “sell” pile (even a new oxnard), I wouldn’t be so hot for an M-30. you may want to try the mahogany top flat back D-25 from 1968-1972 (also some corona era reissues, as well as the current Oxnard “D-20”) which are all 25.5 scale dreads, or possibly an F-30 with the spruce top

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mavuser View Post
    M-30’s pop up occasionally, but it is going to sound a lot like the M-20, so if the M-20 is in your “sell” pile (even a new oxnard), I wouldn’t be so hot for an M-30.
    I actually have a 72 F-30. It's seen some battles, but it's hands-down my favorite acoustic I've ever played. The balance is perfect, and my first couple stabs at recording it last month came out better than any steel string acoustic experiences I've had before.
    After playing the M-20 a bit last night, I am second-guessing how much I want to sell it. If nothing else, I'm going to check out an older M-20 this weekend, so I'm curious as to how much more that will mellow out the highs (I recently saw user markfhp's comparison of his 65 M-20 and his 2018 model, and the 65 definitely sounds more like what I was expecting, though the specs of the new ones don't seem to imply as different of a tone as what I feel like I'm hearing given that the bracing is the only notable change publicized).

    On a related note, it's a real bummer that the only physical copies of The Guild Guitar Book are so expensive. I'm much more of a player than a collector, but it would be nice to be able to read it.
    Last edited by [J.K.]; 12-05-2018 at 05:13 PM.

  8. #8
    I've not seen anything to contradict Hans Moust's account--I've personally seen exactly one in my half-century of Guild-watching (and I bought it), and I've I've noticed a very few more in on-line sales. There's a lot of misinformation about the dating of Guilds, including assertions that models that only appeared after 1958 were available earlier. (I won't get into the Nick Drake legend--though it certainly bumped the market value of my '65 M-20 when it came time ot deacquisition it.)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Letson View Post
    (I won't get into the Nick Drake legend--though it certainly bumped the market value of my '65 M-20 when it came time ot deacquisition it.)
    Oh man, sometimes I wish it were possible to put an asterisk next to every mention of him using that guitar. To be fair, it was one of the things that led me to peek into older Guilds years ago, but listening to the guitar on Bryter Later, especially tracks like Hazey Jane and Fly, it's audacious to attribute that sound to a smaller guitar, much less a mahogany model.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SFIV1967's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Letson View Post
    There's a lot of misinformation about the dating of Guilds, including assertions that models that only appeared after 1958 were available earlier.
    I think is has to do with the odd numbering of the M-30 serial numbers in 1959. As far as I understood they had only 4 digit serial numbers like 1105 or 1468 or 1506 or so. Which would have been 1953 or 1954 serial numbers... I am not sure Hans ever explained why the M-30 (and maybe also M-20) used those four digit serial numbers serial numbers outside the normal 5 digit range at that time. I think we discussed about a handful of M-30 here at LTG in the past, Hans had also told about the last batch of 21 pcs M-30 made in 1964 after the model was already discontinued from the catalogs and price lists.
    Ralf

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