M-75 Patriarch vs. GSR both New Hartford

mavuser

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other than the pickups and a slightly different sunburst, what is the difference between the Patriarch M-75 and GSR M-75? I'll never own either one. They just look so similar. I had to ask.

I know one was botched on the jig. I'm not talking about that. i mean the inherent differences
 

SFIV1967

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The GSR M-75 is basically a Korean whitewood (I believe) one assembled in New Hartford and is based on an later 60ies model with the mini humbuckers. The pickguard is not periode correct for that type.

The American Patriarch is a 100% New Hartford made one and is based on a 1956 model, which Guild aquired.

The AP is really feeling exactly like a 1956 one (as I have a 1956 one I can say so).

So the AP and the GSR are two very different guitars to me. The GSR would have been nice if they would not have screwed up the neck joint.

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Just to compare, those are original 1956 and 1967 ones:

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Ralf
 
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mavuser

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thanks, as always, Ralf. I briefly owned a NS M-75 Aristocrat. it was a fine Korean reissue. the Patriarch must be a real desert island trophy!

does my GSR M-85 bass have whitewood from Korea? it has beautiful ribbon mahogany top and back (even if advertised specs are spruce top!). this would be the first i've heard of "Korean Mahogany," but I am far from an expert on the matter. or do you mean it was just cut and glued together in Korea? and the mahogany is still Honduran, or similar/African?
 

chazmo

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mav, just to be clear, the GSR was made from a body that was commissioned from an earlier Guild era, but it was made in New Hartford. Not to be confused with the Newark Street series.
 

mavuser

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mav, just to be clear, the GSR was made from a body that was commissioned from an earlier Guild era, but it was made in New Hartford. Not to be confused with the Newark Street series.
thanks Chaz yes I was clear on that part, and they did a fine job. I was digging a little deeper i guess. I think a lot of the wood is imported from all different places. but in the case of the above discussion, it sounds like more cutting and gluing was done at NH on some NH Guilds, than on other NH Guilds. I am not too curious really, as it is the finish/paint that makes the big difference on the imports. that part was definitely done at NH. the pickups are Korean/NS on the M-85, same as many of the NH electric 6'ers.

i have owned 10 Guild basses, most of them Hoboken Starfires. have owned as many as 9 of them simultaneously. the GSR M-85 is definitely the nicest of all of them. I am down to that and one Hoboken SF bass. Will probably swap the NS pickups out of the M-85 for something west coast USA, so she can keep up with the OG's.
 

fronobulax

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mav, just to be clear, the GSR was made from a body that was commissioned from an earlier Guild era, but it was made in New Hartford. Not to be confused with the Newark Street series.
I'm prepared to have my memory corrected again but maybe it is just a difference in the definition of "made".

The origin story I recall of the GSR electrics is that Donnie Wade (FMIC/Guild) had a number of guitar bodies cut and assembled in Korea. The project was shelved. The unfinished and uncompleted ("whitewood") instruments sat in storage until NH decided to complete them and offer them as limited edition GSRs.

So the body shapes and dimensions were chosen in the late 1990's. The wood was cut and assembled into bodies with necks in Korea in the 1990's. In 20xx and 201x the uncompleted instruments were completed in New Hartford which included finishing the wood, installing pickups and electronics as a minimum and may have included some "finishing" woodwork.
 

SFIV1967

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the Patriarch must be a real desert island trophy!
She was "good enough" for a John Mayer, so he used her on his world tour and that shows how good she was! He's a complete snob if you give him a guitar. I'm sure he would have used her more if not Guild was sold right at that moment! He endorsed Fender at that time and moved on to PRS afterwards.

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Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs replaced his modified '59 M-75 Aristocrat (left) with the American Patriarch M-75 (right) for his gigs!

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does my GSR M-85 bass have whitewood from Korea?
I have no info about it but believe the GSR M-85 whitewood was not from Korea.

Ralf
 
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SFIV1967

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just to be clear, the GSR was made from a body that was commissioned from an earlier Guild era, but it was made in New Hartford.
It's "dangerous" saying "the GSR"... Some of the early GSRs, yes, see my comment below. But the GSR M-75 never belonged to that Donnie Wade stash of whitewood I believe. That GSR M-75 whitewood came from SPG in Korea after the Newark St. line was introduced I believe. The Newark St. line was introduced in January 2013 and the GSR M-75 in autumn of 2013! Much later than other GSRs. Why NH screwed that model up I don't know... Especially as they had all done correctly already on the AP M-75.

The origin story I recall of the GSR electrics is that Donnie Wade (FMIC/Guild) had a number of guitar bodies cut and assembled in Korea. The project was shelved. The unfinished and uncompleted ("whitewood") instruments sat in storage until NH decided to complete them and offer them as limited edition GSRs. So the body shapes and dimensions were chosen in the late 1990's. The wood was cut and assembled into bodies with necks in Korea in the 1990's. In 20xx and 201x the uncompleted instruments were completed in New Hartford which included finishing the wood, installing pickups and electronics as a minimum and may have included some "finishing" woodwork.
I believe Korea is not correct in that context. Donnie Wade run Jackson Guitars and, when it was sold to Fender, he went along with the sale to FMIC. (Well actually the story seems to be more complicated. Akai Electric purchased select assets of IMC, including Jackson/Charvel guitars and was sold to FMIC later on.) Wade was based in Japan at that time I think and worked with factories in Japan, so highly unlikely that Korea had a hand in them. I even think to remember that the GSR Starfire VI bodies were sent from NH back to a factory in Japan (Terade) to put the spruce top on them as NH didn't have the fixtures for that Gibson 335 type body size.
What I believe to remember is that the Donnie Wade bodies were used on the GSR Starfire I Bass, the GSR Starfire II Bass, the GSR Starfire VI and the GSR T-500.
I don't know about the GSR X-180, GSR X-150D, GSR X-500D, GSR M-85 II Bass and the GSR M-75 whitewood bodies, I think some or all came from elsewere, not from Donnie Wade.

I know that is all a lot of speculation...

Ralf
 
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fronobulax

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OK. I will try not to assert that the Donnie Wade factory was Korea in the future. Thanks.
 

chazmo

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Ralf, I was not aware of the contemporary production of whitewood MIK electric bodies during New Hartford's era. I was only aware of the old stash from Donnie Wade. That was never disclosed to me during the LMG discussions I had with the managers 1-on-1. Interesting!
 

GGJaguar

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I love my GSR T-500, but a close inspection of the interior work quality suggests that the body was definitely not made in New Hartford. It certainly MIK quality, though. I'm not convinced that the neck is MIK so it could be a NH piece.
 

SFIV1967

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Ralf, I was not aware of the contemporary production of whitewood MIK electric bodies during New Hartford's era. I was only aware of the old stash from Donnie Wade.
Your discussions were earlier and about the earlier GSR models I'd say. There are two possibilities for those few GSR M-75 made. They could have used the same manufacturing tools and fixtures like for the American Patriarch M-75. But that one was 100% NH made. The misaligned neck/pickup routing on the GSRs speaks totally against that theory. It speaks for bodies from somewhere else. And Steve (Default) said they were imported whitewood from somewhere in Asia. And I don't think there was a Bluesbird shaped body from Japan 20 years earlier that could have come from Donnie Wades stash. The size was exactly like the first gen. Newark Street Aristocrat. Hence I thought the only possibility is that SPG shipped 20 something whitewood bodies to NH which NH later screwed up. SPG was in full production with the Newark St. M-75 and it would have been dead easy for FMIC to get those bodies from Korea to NH in no time. But I also have no proof for that but it makes most sense here. Remember the rack that you saw during a LMG, there were the X-type models and the basses in it, no Bluesbirds. If I remember correctly the M-85 style basses were scrapped I think as the wood was too soft.

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Ralf
 
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Ralf, I never heard that the SF VI were sent back to Japan to be re-topped. I had heard the bodies were made in Japan and finished in NH. A very nice guitar either way. So when were the Japanese whitewood bodies actually made? Like my GSR Starfire VI.
Thanks John
 
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SFIV1967

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So when were the Japanese whitewood bodies actually made? Like my GSR Starfire VI.
Donnie Wade only joined FMIC in late 2002!

"October 30, 2002 -- Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced today the creation of a new manufacturing subsidiary, to be called Jackson/Charvel Manufacturing, Inc. Consequently, Jackson/Charvel Manufacturing, Inc. has signed a deal to purchase specific assets of the Jackson/Charvel Guitar Company, which was a division of Akai Musical Instruments Corporation (AMIC). The acquisition, effective as of October 25, 2002, will include all existing inventory of products and trademarks relating to Jackson and Charvel....AMIC product manager, Donnie Wade, will join Fender and will head up the marketing efforts."

So my take from that is that FMIC gave the task to Donnie Wade to see if they continue electric guitar production during or after Corona and Donnie Wade was also the driving force behind the GAD models and he moved to Tacoma as soon as they moved there from Corona.

Since FMIC did not approve on that electric guitar project (but approved the acoustic GAD project) Donnie got that electric guitar whitewood most probably sometime in 2003 or 2004 from his known sources in Japan. Chushin Gakki was the builder for Charvel/Jackson in Japan but Terada made guitars for many US companies like Epiphone. Hence my bet was on Terada as possible source and that also matched what I remember from Steve (Default) who had mentioned that the Starfire VI bodies were shipped back to Terada to retop them. Would make most sense if they came originally from there.

So I don't think it makes sense that they were from the late 90is already as frono said earlier. Rumors were they were stored partially either in Scottsdale or Nashville (both locations make sense for a new FMIC/Guild program) before being shipped to Tacoma (when Donnie was there) and from there later to NH.

Ralf
 

fronobulax

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So I don't think it makes sense that they were from the late 90is already as frono said earlier.
I'm quoting someone else but if he wasn't at FMIC in the 90's then it can't be right and I'll try and correct myself.

I will note that there is a possibility that my source was thinking it was 2000 plus or minus and I remembered an earlier date but not the uncertainty. There are definitely idiomatic uses of numbers that were never intended to taken as a precise count.
 
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