Should I buy a Guild X500 with neck reset?

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Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum but have been learning a lot from previous conversations about Guild Guitars. I have an acoustic-electric Guild made in Westerly from the year 2000. It's one of my favorite guitars. I am writing because I am getting into playing jazz and am looking for a vintage arch top that is in the $2,000 and under range. This weekend I had the privilege of playing a 1970s Guild x500 and loved everything about it - the looks, the feel and playability, the action and - most of all - the sound. It was hard to put down. The seller wants $2200, which seems like a good price for a Guild x500 in general. However, the seller informed me that a few years ago the guitar was mishandled during shipping and the neck separated from the body. It was professionally reset by a luthier. As an intermediate player, the guitar seemed great to me and nothing about it's playability made it seem like anything was wrong with it. After he told me about the neck reset, I asked him if he would consider $2000 and he said he would. So, I love the guitar, but I've never bought one that had had such a major repair before. I wanted to check with the experienced Guild players on this forum to get your opinions on whether buying a guitar that's had a neck reset for this reason is okay as long as it was done right, or whether it's too risky. If I love the way the guitar plays and sounds, and the intonation and action are great, does that matter more than whether it was damaged and repaired in the past?

I've posted two pictures that I took of the guitar. I had taken the pictures just to remember what it looked like and they are not very comprehensive. If I go back and play it I could take more photos of the neck.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer some guidance here. I really appreciate it!

Matt
 

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Uke

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Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum but have been learning a lot from previous conversations about Guild Guitars. I have an acoustic-electric Guild made in Westerly from the year 2000. It's one of my favorite guitars. I am writing because I am getting into playing jazz and am looking for a vintage arch top that is in the $2,000 and under range. This weekend I had the privilege of playing a 1970s Guild x500 and loved everything about it - the looks, the feel and playability, the action and - most of all - the sound. It was hard to put down. The seller wants $2200, which seems like a good price for a Guild x500 in general. However, the seller informed me that a few years ago the guitar was mishandled during shipping and the neck separated from the body. It was professionally reset by a luthier. As an intermediate player, the guitar seemed great to me and nothing about it's playability made it seem like anything was wrong with it. After he told me about the neck reset, I asked him if he would consider $2000 and he said he would. So, I love the guitar, but I've never bought one that had had such a major repair before. I wanted to check with the experienced Guild players on this forum to get your opinions on whether buying a guitar that's had a neck reset for this reason is okay as long as it was done right, or whether it's too risky. If I love the way the guitar plays and sounds, and the intonation and action are great, does that matter more than whether it was damaged and repaired in the past?

I've posted two pictures that I took of the guitar. I had taken the pictures just to remember what it looked like and they are not very comprehensive. If I go back and play it I could take more photos of the neck.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer some guidance here. I really appreciate it!

Matt
Welcome. I'm not an expert on your question, but I too am interested in replies from the experts here on this forum. Looks like a nice old guitar with soul. I have an x-175 blond, which is really an x-500 without the bling and gold hardware. I bought it used. It's a 1978 and I have no complaints
 

geoguy

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Welcome . . .

I'm no expert, but maybe take photos of the neck join to the body, on both sides of the neck?

And another photo showing the action at the 12th fret? And maybe a fourth pic showing string height above the pickups & body.

Some repair shops struggle to perform neck resets on Guilds, so I'm surprised the neck & body parted company during shipping.

As long as there wasn't other damage resulting from the shipping mishap, and the neck reset was performed well, in my opinion someone has already performed ordinary maintenance that you shouldn't have to repeat for a long time.
 

Rambozo96

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If the action is fine and there’s no evidence of the neck being removed I honestly wouldn’t give it a second thought. On a flattop a neck reset is one of those things that will be required eventually. When it’s required seems to depend on a case by case basis. I imagine on an archtop a neck reset is probably also an eventual necessity.
 

Rambozo96

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However if they done a crap job touching up the finish at the heel after the reset then I’d see if I can’t haggle a few off the price.
 

fronobulax

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Welcome. In general a well done neck reset (or reattachment) is nothing to be feared. I'll let others weigh in on how to assess the work and price and other aspects of condition.
 

Walter Broes

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2000 is not a bad price for an X500. I'd ask just how "the neck was separated from the body". If there were no breaks, but it was just loose and it got reglued, I wouldn't be nervous at all.
 

kakerlak

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2000 is not a bad price for an X500. I'd ask just how "the neck was separated from the body". If there were no breaks, but it was just loose and it got reglued, I wouldn't be nervous at all.
This is about right. I think it'd be more like $2300-2500 without the reset, assuming it's clean. If the shipping damage meant cracks to the sides/back, then I think the price is a bit high, though it still might be structurally fine. But if it's a nice clean professional reset where the only real tell is the separation line in the finish, the action is good with room for adjustment and the fretboard is flat, without any hump/fall-away at the body joint, then it's a good buy.

I will disagree with the notion that a neck reset is an inevitability with an archtop in the way it tends to be with flattop acoustics. The inherent geometry, arch in the top and direction of tension and compression from the strings is better balanced in an archtop than it is on a flattop, where the neck wants to twist into the body and bridge twist the opposite direction. That's not to say archtops never creep -- they sometimes do -- but it's not the same sort of inevitability.
 

kakerlak

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I just took a closer look at your pics and I think it might be better to walk on this one. The extra holes drilled in the pickup rings mean something else was in this for a while, so I'd want to be sure to see the pickups pulled before I handed over any money to be sure they were era-correct HB-1s. There's also a pretty nasty gouge in the top near the bridge and another by the end of the fretboard. Most importantly, for something that's had a neck reset, that bridge base and body both look fairly significantly sanded down and without much, if any downward adjustment to be had via the thumb wheels.

With all that in mind, it had better play dead perfect and seem stable, because it's already at the absolute margin of adjustment and I'd want to be into it at more like $1500-1600 because it may not stay there.
 
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