Guild GAD Series Member Reviews

Scratch

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How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild:
Year & specific model:
Purchased new or used:
Price paid:

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired:

Build quality
Looks
Projection
Bass
Mids
Highs
Sustain
Playability/comfort
Dependability
Fingerstyle
Flatpick
Strum

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor):

Favorite Strings (one selection only):

Would you buy another if lost/sold:

Overall Assessment:

Most Appreciated Characteristic:
Least Appreciated:
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment:

Other observations/comments:
 

Horse

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Apologies to GAD owners for taking the humour a bit too far.
I can sometimes allow myself too free a reign.

Horse.
 

Triggs

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I just picked up a GAD-50L a few months ago. The fit/finish seems pretty good. Before I comment on the sound and playability, I must confess that I haven't played in 25 years. I think it sounds pretty good. My 2 complaints are the neck is very narrow, (used to play classical, so used to a wider neck), and Guild doesn't make an American made left handed guitar. Oh, and it seems to go out of tune rather quick. I bought it on Ebay for $500 (factory refurbished). Anyone have any tips they care to share, feel free.
 

Siwash

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I own a GAD 50, purchased in 2007. It has a noticeably deeper tone than others in the price range, so a more unique voice. It has great character; the diamond position markers, the sunburst. It had a clear pickguard, which was replaced with a tortoise one. Grover tuners; no problem keeping in tune.

I am very pleased with the bass response and the trebles. There is not much string tone separation; the sound is a blend, pretty much across the board. It has an excellent sustain.

I would like the neck to be a tad wider and a bit thicker. I know the trend for lower priced guitars is to try to appeal to the huge electric guitar market, but as I play more, I want a thicker neck. I think the thin neck is the one off-putting thing about this guitar.

A luthier in the area who played it said it had a Martin tone, and thought it was one of the best Guilds he'd ever heard. He has a substantial playing (and luthiering) bank of experience, so that was a surprise to hear, actually.
 

srickl

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Guild GAD30-PCE

How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: 8 months
Year & specific model: GAD30-PCE
Purchased new or used: New
Price paid: $1000

Build quality 10
Looks 10
Projection 8
Bass 8
Mids 10
Highs 10
Sustain 9
Playability/comfort 9
Dependability 10
Fingerstyle 10
Flatpick 10
Strum 7

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor): Mint

Favorite Strings: John Pearse light or medium – presently using new mediums

Would you buy another if lost/sold: yes

Overall Assessment: This guitar is as close to a Collings as I have found; this is a very pretty guitar – the trim and details are tasteful; the build quality is excellent.

Most Appreciated Characteristic: appearance and dimensions. And the guitar’s African padouk wood smells really nice when the case is opened up.

Least Appreciated: I might have the string spacing changed in the future and consider a soundport.

Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: When I purchased this, I A/B’d it against similarly styled (F30) New Hartford Guilds (which were $1000 more in price). This guitar easily held its own.

Other observations/comments: Since the purchase, the guitar’s voice has opened up and it is a very well balanced guitar. I suspect with time it will continue to develop its voice (and my playing will continue to improve :lol: ).
 
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How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: 2 months
Year & specific model: GAD m-120
Purchased new or used: new
Price paid: £400

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired: 8

Build quality: feels very solid, i have dropped and banged it around already and no dings or breakages.
Looks: great, except the finish.
Projection: best out of all the small body guitars i tried.
Bass:
Mids:
Highs:
Sustain: I know nothing about these, but it sounds great to me, can be a bit 'thuddy' but i quite like that.
Playability/comfort: ridiculously easy, my fingers arent the most dexterous so its perfect.
Dependability: what? its always in its case when i need it.
Fingerstyle: very easy, everything is nice and closer together and you can mask mistakes.
Flatpick: not sure what this is?
Strum: not as good as a big dreadnought, but again better than other small bodied.

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor): new

Favorite Strings (one selection only): i put martin mediums on for a bit of a deeper sound, not sure if it made much difference.

Would you buy another if lost/sold: definitely, unless someone gave me more money.

Overall Assessment: better than other small guitars in its price range with the added bonus of solid wood (even though its cheap and probably unethically sourced african mahogany)

Most Appreciated Characteristic: ease of playing due to neck
Least Appreciated: the horrible finish
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: reading that the m120 was used by nick drake, only to find out that this probably wasn't the case...

Other observations/comments: this took too long
 

Stirlander

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Year & specific model: 2003 GAD-25
Purchased new or used: New (still in original packaging on Ebay)
Price paid: 599

Build quality: 10. On first inspection it looked flawless. The wood binding was gorgeous and well executed. I installed a pickup a few days ago and inspected the inside. It was also flawless. No glue drips or loose purfling.
Looks: 10. Everyone comments on how beautiful the wood is. Need I say more?
Projection: 10. This particular guitar floors every player that gives it a whirl in this category. The other guitarist in my band played it when I got it and his first comment was how the sound just seemed to JUMP out of the guitar. I agree with his comments.
Bass
Mids
Highs

Not sure how to rate these separately, however, it should suffice it to say that it is one of the most balanced guitars I've ever played. The string to string articulation is incredible. Its got gobs of Bass, a gorgeous amount of Mids, and sweet, singing highs. Hammer-ons and pull offs ring out well within thick five and six-string chords.

Sustain: 8.5. The sustain is more than sufficient. It won't sustain indefinitely :)P), but longer than most any guitar that I've played.
Playability/comfort: 8. Action could be a smidge lower, but it's not high by any means. The neck is comfortable, not too thin, but not too chunky. It took some getting used to since its radically different than the neck on my other guitars, but I've come to love that neck. I believe it's my favorite or very close to.
Dependability I've had it for a couple weeks so I can't really comment on that, but it seems like it should hold up as well as any other acoustic.
Fingerstyle 9: Delicate fingerpicked lines sound gorgeous on this guitar. The Khaya body is both bright and warm and at low volumes is smooth as silk. Very balanced at low volumes. The bass doesn't overpower the rest of the guitar nor does it get lost when played softly.
Flatpick 9. Great flat-picking tone. The overarching balance of this guitar makes bluegrass just come alive.
Strum 9. Great full tone while strumming. It breaks up nicely at higher volumes giving it that bluesy grit. Soft strums sound delicate but full. Medium to loud strumming has good volume and each string can be heard in the strum, which was a nice surprise.

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor):
Well it was new, I'd sure hope it was mint. Lol. It was.

Favorite Strings (one selection only): Dunlop Phosphor Bronze Mediums. I will never go back to the D'addarios that were on this originally. I've always used D'addarios, but on this particular guitar, they just don't have as good of balance. The Dunlops highlight the richness of the bass and highs in a way that is almost magical.

Would you buy another if lost/sold: Absolutely. This has a tone that is just beautiful. Better than any other "Hog" I've played, and at a mere $600.... It's practically a steal. I would NOT however, buy the newer model (the GAD-125). The neck on the older model is much better, and the inlay on the headstock makes the guitar look much more deluxe.

Overall Assessment: I give it full marks. 10/10, an A+! This guitar has the sound that I've always wanted. The workmanship is great. The look is fantastic. People love it and I love it. And at such a good price, how could one be unsatisfied?

Most Appreciated Characteristic: The tonal balance and articulation.
Least Appreciated: The case that it came with wasn't glued correctly so some of the tweed was coming off. I had to reglue it my self.
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: When I showed my bandmates my new guitar and their eyes widened, their jaws dropped open and they were captivated by its sheer beauty. lol

Other observations/comments:I'm glad that I got the older model. It also sounds really good with a L.R. Baggs M1 active pickup in it. That's what I'm using live and I'm very satisfied.
 

calstang66

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Guild GAD-50

How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: 4 months
Year & specific model: GAD-50 year unknown
Purchased new or used: used from Guitar Center online
Price paid: $450

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired:

Build quality = 9
Looks = 9
Projection = 9
Bass = 10
Mids = 8
Highs = 9
Sustain = 9
Playability/comfort = 10
Dependability = 10
Fingerstyle = 8
Flatpick = 10
Strum = 10

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor): Good

Favorite Strings (one selection only): Polyweb Custom Light

Would you buy another if lost/sold: for sure

Overall Assessment: Favorite Guitar ever held (priced under $3000) other than her big sister, the D-55. Supreme tone to accompany my folk, mellow and Christian worship style singing.

Most Appreciated Characteristic: TONE
Least Appreciated: nothing really
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment:

Other observations/comments:
bass is unique, exotic, like you've never heard. Beautiful.
 
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How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild:5yrs c2 and 3yrs 30ce
Year & specific model:Gad C2 and Gad 30ce
Purchased new or used:both new
Price paid:

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired:

Build quality10
Looks Both have gloss finishes that are impecable
Projection C2 10 30ce 8
Bass 10 8
Mids 9 8
Highs 8 8
Sustain
Playability/comfort both 10
Dependability both 10
Fingerstyle both10
Flatpick ?
Strum ?

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor):Mint

Favorite Strings (one selection only):C2 D'addario normal tention 30ce elixer light

Would you buy another if lost/sold: yes and yes

Overall Assessment:C2 sounds and plays as well as the much more expensive Remirez I've Played The 30ce was compaireble to the taylor GC3 I played.

Most Appreciated Characteristic: Price
Least Appreciated:None
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: None

Other observations/comments:
 

acousticpickers

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How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: Bought used off of Craigslist this week.
Year & specific model: 2011 GAD-25
Purchased new or used: used (barely, as had been bought new in Jan. '12)
Price paid: $300

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired:

Build quality 10
Looks 10
Projection 10
Bass 9
Mids 9
Highs 9
Sustain 10
Playability/comfort 9
Dependability we'll see...
Fingerstyle good
Flatpick excellent
Strum excellent

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor): Excellent

Favorite Strings (one selection only): will put Elixirs (medium lights) on when original strings need a change.

Would you buy another if lost/sold: yes

Overall Assessment: super quality for short money

Most Appreciated Characteristic: looks and intonation.
Least Appreciated: pungent mahogany smell!
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: picking it first time sitting on a rest-stop bench in the shade on a sunny day!

Other observations/comments: This plays and sounds like a Guild should!
 

calstang66

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Scratch said:
How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: did not buy, played it in the shop
Year & specific model: 2009 GAD F212 12 String Grand Auditorium Sunburst
Purchased new or used: New
Price paid: asking $1100, came down to $850 plus tax, includes OHSC

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired:

Build quality = 9
Looks = 10 (Sunburst)
Projection = 9.5
Bass = 9.5
Mids = 10
Highs = 10
Sustain = 10
Playability/comfort = 10
Dependability = ?
Fingerstyle = NA
Flatpick = 9.5
Strum = 9

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor): New

Favorite Strings (one selection only): NA

Would you buy another if lost/sold: yes

Overall Assessment: some GAD are obviously inferior to the USA made, this IMO is an exception

Most Appreciated Characteristic: comfort, beauty, sound
Least Appreciated: nuttin
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment:

Other observations/comments:
many GAD offer great performance, quality, value
 

billymo

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How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: 2 days
Year & specific model: 2011 GAD50 Antique Sunburst
Purchased new or used: Used
Price paid: $400

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired:

Build quality: unknown, seems great to me, I'm not qualified to evaluate build quality
Looks: 10, never seen a prettier sunburst, a lot of yellow which I love
Projection: 8
Bass: 10 as good as any I've every played, which is a lot
Mids: 8
Highs: 9
Sustain: 10
Playability/comfort: 10
Dependability: no comment
Fingerstyle: NA
Flatpick: 10
Strum: 110

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor): mint

Favorite Strings (one selection only): don't have a favorite

Would you buy another if lost/sold: yes

Overall Assessment: Extremely impressed

Most Appreciated Characteristic: Tone, beauty, sustain, comfort, guitar has it all.
Least Appreciated: mids might be a little weak...
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: the first Guild I played was a D55 which was stunning in tone. This GAD50 is extremely close. I love this guitar, looks and tone and comfort are all 10 out of 10. I prefer this smaller nut width.

Other observations/comments
 
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How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: 5 months
Year & specific model: 2013 D 150
Purchased new or used: New
Price paid: $750 with HSC

Owners rate 1 (least appreciated) to 10 (most appreciated) in following categories with comments as desired:

Build quality 9 great fit and finish. Nice Wood, frets nicely finished. Loses a point for plastic nut and binding.
Looks 8. Well finished. Kind of plain but has some nice touches like mother of pearl logo on headstock and MOP on rosette
Projection 10 LOUD with great sustain
Bass 7 for a guitar that's loud the bass is a little subdued, but it is beginning to "bloom" as I play it more
Mids 7 lacks a little articulation
Highs 9 can really cut through the mix. Can be a little brassy.
Sustain 10 (Insert Spinal Tap reference)
Playability/comfort 9 LOVE the neck after playing bass for 30+ years and other guitars with thick necks this thing is easy to play. Action is a little high
Dependability so far so good
Fingerstyle ???
Flatpick My playing is kind of technically retarded, but I can't use the guitar as an excuse.
Strum 10 Strong point. Big, loud, you can really beat on it.

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor): Mint. Still haven't put a ding or scratch in it.

Favorite Strings (one selection only): D'Addario Phosphor Bronze Light gauge (12-53)

Would you buy another if lost/sold: In a second. A steal at this price

Overall Assessment: Great guitar. My current favorite I play it every day. And I'm a bass player.

Most Appreciated Characteristic: Fast, easy playing neck
Least Appreciated: Guild can't make an American made instrument of this quality at this price.
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: Playing guitar with my brother, he asks to try mine out. I take his Martin D 28 he takes my Chinese Guild. AS we're playing he asks me over and over "How much did you pay for this?". He couldn't be believe how well it played and how good it sounded. I love the way his guitar sounded, but I'd much rather play mine. I couldn't wait to trade back.

Other observations/comments: This guitar has fantastic bang for the buck
 
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I've got 2.......A D140 and a F130 CE. I installed a K&K Pure Mini in both. As all here have found....they're real nice guitars. I've been playing 43 years and have had 3 Martin D18's which were great guitars no doubt. But they weren't better sounding or better playing than my two Guilds. The build quality of the Guilds stands up.
I've been in the Machine Tool business all my working life and today it's all about Jiggs & Fixtures and CNC machining. It has streamlined Guitar manufacture. Now I can own a well built , great sounding guitar with out going to the Bank. If the design is good and the materials well chosen along with quality control no one will lose.
 
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I have been listening to lots of videos at Maple Leaf Music of some real nice guitars in the range of $2100 to $5700. There were Martins, Goodall, Collings (best of the bunch) and Bourgeois and I'm still thrilled with my two Guilds. There's good consistency of quality and sound between the two guitars that would suggest Guild is on the right road.
I really feel that the K&K Pure Mini , the Fishman Loudbox Mini or the Roland AC33 augment the sound considerably. But then, I rarely play unplugged.
 

Robbob

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I've got a GAD-30 i bought off of Ebay, it is quite nice and well broken in. I also have a GAD-40 I bought in 2012 that was reworked in the Tacoma factory and stamped used on the back of the peghead. It is real deep with maple back and sides much like a Gibson Nick Lucas model, but way better. The fingerboard is a bit narrow but considering I have a grand in the two guitars I feel quite fortunate to two fine sounding guitars. I have owned other Guilds in the past but they were no better than these.
 
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How long have you owned the GAD Series Guild: Since 2011
Year & specific model: 2011 GAD F212
Purchased new or used: New
Price paid: £560

Build quality - 10
Looks NA
Projection - 10
Bass - 10
Mids - 10
Highs - 10
Sustain - 10
Playability/comfort - 7
Dependability - 10
Fingerstyle - 9
Flatpick - NA
Strum - NA

I would add two more factors

Intonation - 9
Tuners - 10

Condition (Mint/Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor):Mint

Favorite Strings (one selection only): Newtone 11-50

Would you buy another if lost/sold: Yes

Overall Assessment:
Great guitar, if anything I am a bit surprised by how well the guitar was made. In 4 years of owning the guitar, I've used a myriad of different string gauges ranging from 10-47 to 11-52 in a number of different open tunings and the distance of the strings at the 12th fret is still exactly the same as it is on the QC card which the guitar shipped out with.

Most Appreciated Characteristic: It's rock solid. Sounds fantastic too.
Least Appreciated: My only gripe with the guitar is that I wish it had slightly wider string spacing at the saddle and to nit pick the distance between the pairs of strings was slightly closer, it is to nit pick though.
Favorite GAD Series Guitar Story/Moment: Really I couldn't be happier with the guitar.

One thing I'd sneak in is it records like a dream.
 

D30Man

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I am a little late to this party, but I want to throw my opinion in on the GAD series should a newer prospective Guild buyer on a budget come stumbling across this thread for some direction / opinions.. I have owned 2, and though I traded them both straight for a 2001 Corona D-50 a few months back, I have nothing but really good things to say about the GAD that I have owned and some that I have played.

GAD Makes / Models owned: 2007 gad 50 ( SUNBURST ) and a 2014 gad d125 ( solid hog natural )

D125 NOTES: It was a great guitar overall and sounded awesome when I bought it. I had the action lowered and the luthier went a touch too low for my taste compromising some of the awesome tone. Also, like most if not all GADs, it was glossy as hell.. The earlier version which was called GAD25 was a superior instrument I believe to this one. It had a lot more detailed appointments, bone nut and saddle and was overall beefier in my opinion.. A songwriter I gig with owns a GAD25 and I love playing his.. It is a damn fine instrument..

GAD 50 NOTES: The GAD50 I had was one of the earlier series and did it sing? It sounded almost as good as the Corona D50 I have now.. One flaw that it had was that the neck was put on crooked in the factory.. This flaw along with the fact that the guy I bought it from was an avid church player who toured the church circuit with this guit in the trunk often made it hard for me to fall in love and easy at trade time.. Serious fret issues abound with that one.. However, tone wise, it was a magnificent guitar.. I would buy another if the price was right..

In closing, the GAD series in my opinion is truly a great line up of guitars for anyone on any level.. I am really excited to try out the westerly collection line.. And contrary to some of the folks on here that name does not bother me even a bit.. I am also keeping my eye out for a well-priced GAD25 ( not D125 ) to add to my collection and if I run into a well-priced GAD50 along the way I might make a deal...
 

Bill Ashton

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I have to chime in (again?) on this post, not having read all the threads and somewhat worried that I have posted previously...

In 2009 I bought a GAD30PCE...and about a week later a Tacoma D55...as before, the "siren of Rosewood" got me.

Stand alone, that "PCE" was an exceptional guitar. My personal problem is that I think I am just a dreadnaught-guy...if
it doesn't sound good to me playing it, it doesn't sound good..which does not mean it doesn't sound fantastic about ten feet out...

My problem was that I had both this small body GAD and a D55. Happy as a clam playing the GAD, but if I pulled out the D55
the GAD sounded like a cereal-box to me...the GAD was a ~$1400 guitar that I got for about $900 at the time...my brother "gifted"
me with a " '95 vintage-Strat" which he got off eBray for about the same money...so after an appropriate "cooling off" period I gave
him the GAD...he loves it...his wife loves it...I get it back from time to time to change the strings (use LaBella, the guitar loves them,
DR Dragons a close second)...to me, the on-board electrics sound very brittle but I didn't have an acoustic-amp at that time.

The padauk/stika combination is as nice as you can find (I had read that padauk is a "rosewood subsitute")...if I was doing a custom
build I might think of that tonewood combination...in a dread, of course :pride:
 
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D30Man

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I am pleased to say that a couple of weeks ago I added a GAD back to the stable.. I found a GAD25 on reverb in really good condition and negotiated a really good price. I did a NGD on the Acoustic thread.

Review notes: Love it!!! It is balanced, warm, has great projection, and maybe the most comfortable neck profile that I have played.. It fits me like a glove and it is going to be a great guitar with which to write songs.. I picked it up for well under $500 and it is worth every penny. I own a vintage westerly cherry d25 and a late 90's westerly d30 and I will say that this GAD25 holds its own with the other two.. Just a phenomenal build quality. The Chinese were really trying to compete when they made these..
 
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