Variation in 1960's and 1970's D-40s

Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Guild Total
0
First post, happy to be a part of the community! I've had the "bad" luck of really falling in love with my friend's 1965 D-40 and am trying to get a similar guitar for myself. Right now I'm considering a 1970 D-40 online and wanted to see if anyone here had experience in playing a wide range of Hoboken era acoustics to get insight on how much they vary instrument to instrument and year to year. I know it's a risk to buy online without the opportunity to actually get my hands on it but I also could see there not being a huge amount of difference between the guitars (aside from the obvious fact that they may have lived different lives over the past 50 years). Anyone got any insight? My principal questions are: a) would the necks be the same measurements; and b) how much tonal variation could I expect between the two? Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Guild Total
0
Thanks! I initially thought that might be the case (I thought Hoboken was only until 1969?) but the label made me think that the seller might just have the year wrong. Or are there earlier Westerly's with that same label? I'll post the serial number when he sends it to me.
Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 2.07.32 PM.png
 

SFIV1967

Venerated Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
12,946
Reaction score
1,758
Location
Bavaria / Germany
Guild Total
8
The label I see in your guitar does not even show Hoboken on it, so that was a Westerly label. Westerly also reused old Hoboken labels for some time however.
What is the second number after the 4 ? The string is over it. Because 46606 was the last number in 1965, afterwards from 1965 till 1970 a different serial number system was used and only during 1970 it was switched back to the old system and 50978 was the last number in 1970.
So the second number should be a 7, 8 or 9 ? (47, 48, 49).

This was the "standard" label 1965-1970:

1610828500231.png


During 1970 and after the old Hoboken labels were all used in Westerly they started new labels without showing the factory:

1610828649328.png


Ralf
 

adorshki

Reverential Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
29,268
Reaction score
616
Location
Sillycon Valley CA
I’m no expert but I thought for a few years there was a bit of overlap in production at Hoboken and Westerly.
Yeah, roughly 2. First guitars out of Westerly were M20's in August '67, after some months of setting it up for production. Guild Guitar Book says "It would take until 1969 before the whole operation was transferred from Hoboken to Westerly" and "After 1969 until about the middle of 1971 the Hoboken plant had been used for storage and repairs..."
 

Rambozo96

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
785
Reaction score
406
Location
Texas
Yeah, roughly 2. First guitars out of Westerly were M20's in August '67, after some months of setting it up for production. Guild Guitar Book says "It would take until 1969 before the whole operation was transferred from Hoboken to Westerly" and "After 1969 until about the middle of 1971 the Hoboken plant had been used for storage and repairs..."
I really need to get around to getting that book.
 

Br1ck

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
640
Reaction score
164
Location
San Jose, Ca
My 70 D 35 was built in Westerly but has a Hoboken label. I've read that the Hoboken builds were lighter than mine, but have no first hand knowledge of that. Just a few years later, 73 or 74?, they started heavier builds, though many like them. If I had played a Hoboken guitar I loved, I'd try to get as close as I could. I'd also be willing to put a significant amount into repair, either now or in the future. They are, after all, fifty plus years old.
 

donnylang

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
168
Reaction score
146
Location
Oakland, CA
The last Hoboken D40s would be mid-1968 I believe (mine is one of the last). In my experience, the early Westerlys are in the ballpark. A ‘65 is early for a D40 and should have a different vibe from a 1970. Hoboken D40s are pretty hard to find, and they sell for a good amount more. 1968-72 is the sweet spot in value for dollars. I’d personally steer clear of post-1972 Guilds in general, but that is just my preference.

Hoboken Guilds tend to be physically lighter, more “woody” and airy sounding than post-1972, which are heavier-built and more punchy and “direct” sounding. 1968-72 are in between. This is a super generalization and one man’s opinion.

*I’ve owned about 20 Guilds made from 1964-75.
 
Last edited:

mavuser

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
373
Location
New York
the one from 1965 may have a 1 3/4" nut width. I would ask your friend to measure it. the one from 1970 will almost definitely not have a 1 3/4" nut width. the Hobokens are out there!
 

Grassdog

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
535
Reaction score
89
Location
Cincinnati, OH
The last Hoboken D40s would be mid-1968 I believe (mine is one of the last). In my experience, the early Westerlys are in the ballpark. A ‘65 is early for a D40 and should have a different vibe from a 1970. Hoboken D40s are pretty hard to find, and they sell for a good amount more. 1968-72 is the sweet spot in value for dollars. I’d personally steer clear of post-1972 Guilds in general, but that is just my preference.

Hoboken Guilds tend to be physically lighter, more “woody” and airy sounding than post-1972, which are heavier-built and more punchy and “direct” sounding. 1968-72 are in between. This is a super generalization and one man’s opinion.

*I’ve owned about 20 Guilds made from 1964-75.
I'd agree that late Hoboken/early Westerly D-40's are pretty much in the same ballpark. I've owned 3 D-40's from that period ('68, '69, and '73) and they were all lighter build, very resonant guitars with prominent low end. The '68 is my favorite of the bunch but it's also the one with the most honest player wear and tear and a top that really shows it's age. It has incredible vibe. I think you're gonna do well if you buy one from this period. A lot of them are going to be in need of neck resets, however, so I'd recommend asking questions about the neck angle and getting pics of the bridge/saddle area.

IMG_5762.JPG
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Guild Total
0
Man, I've come to the right place! Thanks for all the info, based on the serial number I got (49527) it appears this thing definitely is from 1970. I'm very grateful to know I'll need to get a measurement on the nut to make sure the necks are the same. It sounds like tonally they're in the same ballpark, but I might just try and hold out for a little to see if I can get one closer to the one I'm hooked on. Either way I'm glad to know if the impulse gets to be too strong I probably won't regret getting the one I'm looking at. Thanks y'all!
 

Heath

Junior Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
41
I have a ‘66 Hoboken D40. When I got it it was in dire need of a neck reset which I had done. It plays wonderfully now and is probably the lightest guitar I’ve played.
 

GardMan

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
4,861
Reaction score
169
Location
Utah
Guild Total
6
A couple other things to note re: differences in 60s-70s D-40s:

The headstock ornamentation went thru several changes during that time period... a discussion of which can be found here...

Guild experimented with fan bracing (as opposed to the more typical X-bracing) on the D-40s for a brief period sometime in the (mid?) 60s...
 
Top