NAMM 2021: Westerly Collection "BT" models (=Baritone)

highwayman

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Great news about the baritones. Can't wait to play one, especially keen on the 8string. Will take while, though, till they will be available here in Germany. I would prefer a shorter scale (26,77 inch or 68 cm)
 

awagner

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With the arched-back F50R's that makes 3 and I've got this nagging suspicion there's one more out there I'm forgetting..but for sure, arched rosewood back is the least common of all Guild flat-top body configurations.
There was also an arched back F512.

 

adorshki

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There was also an arched back F512.

I did forget about that, but the model itself was "order only" at the time and not really "regular production", and so could be more easily tailored to the customer's wishes. That particular one is more of a one-off than a true production model, although possibly more than just that one was made.
 

adorshki

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And after all, the talk was about laminated Rosewood in Westerly Collection 200 models anyway...
Ralf
Veer started to remind Tom there were some actual regular production arched rosewood back models in Guild's history.
Given the short lives of those models it wouldn't surprise me if these Westerly collection models also only last a couple of years as I suspect the sound really only appeals to a relatively small number of players, although it may be just the thing for a baritone size body.

I also note the back on the BT258 uses the same construction technique as the arched back F50R's: 2 inside and outside halves glued to a single center sheet, creates the impression of a 2-piece flatback, though that's probably just coincidental.

I'm intrigued but I doubt I could handle that 27" scale.

And I can't fault 'em for at least offering some interesting affordable options for folks, even if they are only intended to be relatively short-lived models. If true, probably a good marketing philosophy, too:

Experienced buyers probably realize they should "Get 'em while they can".
 
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SFIV1967

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I posted 3 new parts of a video from todays NAMM product introduction under the products in post #1.

(It's one big video, I started them at different times for each product posted and only the total first 8 minutes are new 2021 products, all other afterwards is just a review of 2020 products)

Ralf
 
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GGJaguar

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I'm intrigued but I doubt I could handle that 27" scale.
I had a Larrivee BT-03 baritone (mahogany body, spruce top, 12-fret dread). The scale length isn't too bad to handle, but the wider nut width (1 13/16") made it more challenging. Luckily the neck profile was relatively "thin" so that helped. String choice also matters. If I remember correctly, it came with .14s which had some tension to them. I put true baritone strings on it and while the tension was lower, the bigger strings made fretting chords a little more difficult. But it was a really fun guitar to play and the 12-fret format made for one very loud "velvet hammer".
 

sailingshoes72

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There was also aa as an arched back F512.

Thanks for the link Ralf! Interesting article by George Gruhn in Vintage Guitar about the origin of the 12-string guitar and the history of Guild, Martin & Gibson manufacturing 12-strings.
 

SFIV1967

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Guild wrote on Facebook yesterday:

"Available March 1st, 2021."

140602188_10157757185121105_2788613394670350828_o.jpg


Ralf
 
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Ajbaum77

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I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the idea of acoustic baritones. I’m primarily a bassist but I’ve wondered how well a baritone would fit in a small acoustic ensemble vs an acoustic bass.
 

fronobulax

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I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the idea of acoustic baritones. I’m primarily a bassist but I’ve wondered how well a baritone would fit in a small acoustic ensemble vs an acoustic bass.
Try staying at the 12th fret or above on your bass :)

The acoustic ensembles that allowed me to join did so because the bass filled in an octave that was otherwise empty and unused. But there is definitely a choice, as using a cello instead of an upright bass in a "classical" setting demonstrates.
 

Aristera

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There were at least 2 "regular production" arched rosewood back models, but granted they were both pretty short-lived, less than 3 years each:
D5ce
F5ce
With the arched-back F50R's that makes 3 and I've got this nagging suspicion there's one more out there I'm forgetting..but for sure, arched rosewood back is the least common of all Guild flat-top body configurations.
Bob Weir talks about his in an 2017 Acoustic Guitar mag. If you don't have the movie Festival Express you can see Bob's in action here.


"Bob Weir says that Garcia usually played his Martin D-28 during the acoustic sets (which turned up at shows sporadically through 1970), while Weir favored a Guild: “On the occasions that someone put an archtop in my hands, I was taken by how well they pro-jected,” he told me in a 2005 interview, “and though I wasn’t about to go with an archtop for the style of music we were playing, the sheer volume was pretty impressive, so I said to Mark Dronge [of Guild, who had a close relationship with the Dead], ‘Why don’t we do a flattop with an arched back? It’d be loud and have a beauti-ful tone.’ “There were three of them made—one for me, and [Dead roadies] Ram Rod and Rex Jackson each got one. It’s an F-50 archback with an oversized peghead, which improves the sustain. It’s one of the prized guitars in my col-lection—the first one I ever designed. I used it in the ’69-’70 acoustic sets and played it a lot on the Festival Express [a trans-Canadian train trip in the summer of ’70 featuring the Dead, the Band, Janis Joplin and many others].”
 

adorshki

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Bob Weir talks about his in an 2017 Acoustic Guitar mag. If you don't have the movie Festival Express you can see Bob's in action here.


"Bob Weir says that Garcia usually played his Martin D-28 during the acoustic sets (which turned up at shows sporadically through 1970), while Weir favored a Guild: “On the occasions that someone put an archtop in my hands, I was taken by how well they pro-jected,” he told me in a 2005 interview, “and though I wasn’t about to go with an archtop for the style of music we were playing, the sheer volume was pretty impressive, so I said to Mark Dronge [of Guild, who had a close relationship with the Dead], ‘Why don’t we do a flattop with an arched back? It’d be loud and have a beauti-ful tone.’ “There were three of them made—one for me, and [Dead roadies] Ram Rod and Rex Jackson each got one. It’s an F-50 archback with an oversized peghead, which improves the sustain. It’s one of the prized guitars in my col-lection—the first one I ever designed. I used it in the ’69-’70 acoustic sets and played it a lot on the Festival Express [a trans-Canadian train trip in the summer of ’70 featuring the Dead, the Band, Janis Joplin and many others].”
Always like those reminiscences, but I believe Chazmo's F50R "Cap" was a '67 rose/archback and suspect it predates Bobby suggesting the idea to Mark D. But I think the extra-wide headstock is unique to the "Weir" guitars.
 

SFIV1967

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but where do you get a set of strings for that?
Very good point John! 8 string sets are indeed rare and I only know one available set originally made for Taylor Guitars who offers 8 string Baritone guitars since more than 10 years.
String gauges of the Elixier set are: .016 .022 .030/.012 .047/.014 .059 .070 (mind you have 27" scale to cover!)

1611490037141.png


EDIT: As researched by JohnW63 who asked Guild and they said...

"Thanks for reaching out! Here are the strings for the BT-258E: D'Addario EXP23 - Coated Phosphor Bronze (.016-.070) & Octave Strings (.012 & .014)"

1611737565962.png



Also for the 6 string Baritione BT-240E you need special strings! You can't uses standard 6 string guitar strings as you are also talking 27" scale here! Tuning is 5 steps down from a standard guitar.

There are much more choices for 6 string Baritone, some examples:

EDIT: Guild is also using D'Addario EXP23 - Coated Phosphor Bronze (.016-.070)

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Examples of other available sets:

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Ralf
 
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