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Thread: M20e and M120e

  1. #1

    M20e and M120e

    Yes I've currently got them both, it seems there are just too many bargains around in January, so how did I come to own both?

    I really wanted the M20 but as I currently have a DV52 and a nice Regal resonator ( another bargain but that's a different story) I couldn't really justify the expense of an M20e which are currently around 1500 in the UK. I had actually played an M120 sometime back in a store and was pretty impressed, it fitted my needs for a smaller guitar suitable for fingerstyle and blues, and other than maybe the Taylor GS there's very little competition in this price range, I believe the Taylor isn't solid wood either. So my sights were set on the M120e and I thought I would wait for a decent deal, preferably a nice conditioned second hand one. A few weeks ago, one came up at an online store, and after a little negotiation, I get it for 400 and its on its way to me, a natural M120e in pristine condition and at a great price.

    Dealing with a reputable guitar shop normally pays dividends and so it proved this time as the guitar was set up perfectly and the condition was exactly as described, with its dark mahogany full gloss finish, abalone rosette and chesterfield logo the M120e is a beautiful looking guitar. The action is fantastic, the neck feels great and sound wise its very nice, its my first mahogany guitar and obviously its considerable smaller than my DV52 so expectantly the sound is very different, more constrained with less sustain and at the risk of doing it a disservice, more 'boxy'. Its a loverly guitar and with build in electronics and a case its a steal for 400 so I'm more than happy with it...

    However I'm only human and like a lot of guitar players I still can't help to peruse and just look what other guitars are about, so imagine my dilemma when I stumble across a pristine M20e vintage suburst for 875, and when the seller accepts a cheeky bid of 750, what choice do I have? Well hello Mr M20e!

    This time its a private sale so I'm wondering whats the catch, but its through Reverb so the seller doesn't get the funds until I confirm I'm happy, it arrives and I'm mostly happy, the guitar is in pristine condition, but the action is on the high side, and its just doesn't sound quite right. To be fair to the sellers it is as described so I pay for it no question.

    First job set up the action, no truss rod adjustment necessary, saddle needs sanding down, so off with the strings and out with the saddle, its pretty obvious someones had a go before and made a shocking job of it, clearly they didn't realise its needs to be sanded flat, its been sanded to a point, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!! Not to worry there's still more than enough to get a nice flat base and at the right depth to get the action sorted, easily sorted and a restring with some new strings.

    Oh my goodness!! Clearly this was the problem, the guitar now plays and sounds wonderful, and with the sunburst and satin finish it really is absolute stunning looking guitar, very nicely understated, a proper guild with proper guild mojo. I can't tell you how pleased I am with this guitar, the sound is beautiful and not just for fingerstyle its sounds great strummed too, every time I play it, it puts a smile on my face. I really do love the mahogany tone, hammer on's and pull offs are crisp and clear, and its a very comfortable size to play, it just feels right.

    So naturally its begs the question is it better than the M120? In my opinion yes most definitely, but they're priced accordingly and with the M120's you're still getting a lot of guitar for your money, well done Guild!

  2. #2
    Congrats - You got a brother from another mother.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SFIV1967's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Bavaria / Germany
    Congratulations! That Oxnard M-20E sound like a wonderful guitar as does the MIC M-120E! It's cool you can compare two such guitars!


  4. #4
    Hello from Finland

    Now you have good choice - depending of nature of the gig.

    If it is "civilized" - like recording studio or concert with seated audience - then it will be M20e - if it is some "hole-in-the-wall" joint - then take M120e.

    First good guitar - GUILD Duane Eddy 400 - I was 3rd owner - still regret letting it go 25 years ago - used to have Artist Award and Starfire - no regrets here.
    Present guitars - all bought new - F50R 1975 - F512 1977 - F212CSB 1979 - OM-240CE 2018 - Schecter Startocaster
    Bought secondhand - B30SB fretless - RED Songbird - White Songbird - S-60D - D-125 - Gibson 3/4-size acoustic 1957 - Carmelo Gonzales nylon string - old Levin Lute

  5. #5
    Definitely can’t justify keeping both, I always pick the M20 out of the 2, so I’ll be parting with the M120e, because as like Guild says “made to be played’.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jedzep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Absolutely. I think the M120 is a generic copy of a Guild small bod legend.
    I try to think but nuthin' happens.

    '63 F30
    '57 M20
    '64 M65
    '62 Martin 00018
    '31 Gibson L0
    '35 Gibson L00
    '49 Gibson J50

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