Other Guitars

New (to me) Guitar Guild X175B Manhattan

1

Got this a few weeks ago from a fellow GP'er. Stone mint condition, barely even a fingerprint. Been real busy, more pictures and a full review to come

2

Another....real nice grain on the spruce top

I'll be back when I have some time w/ a full review.

3

I just got the same guitar yesterday. Only mine has many changes. Humbuckers, trapeze tailpiece, changed pots, master volume, bridge upgrade. It's a cool instrument. MD

5

Beautiful guitar - I've got one and it's a keeper!

9

Congrats. I have one too, in sunburst, and it's a keeper.

10

OK, here we go. This is a Newark St. Guild X175B Manhattan. Don't know the year but would assume it was produced under FMIC before the sale of Guild to Cordoba so it's either a 2013 or 14 made in Korea by SPG. Fit / finish: Typical poly finish, not quite as thinly applied as my Gretsch Power Tenny but not overly thick either. Some don't care for the aged ambered look of the blond finish, but I like it. It's a poly guitar, it ain't gonna get there naturally. No apparent finish flaws. Aged binding applied perfectly w/ no color bleed. Maple back and sides have nice grain and are a nice contrast to the nicely grained laminated spruce top and three piece mahog/maple/mahog neck. Neck: Has a very comfy med chunky "U" shape w/ a 1.65" nut, 9.45” fretboard radius and perfectly leveled and decently polished /crowned med jumbo frets w/ nicely finished fret ends. This combination yields a vintage, broken-in feel. The bone nut (and only real flaw) was a bit high for max playability (minor) but also was cut short on both sides so it wasn't close to being flush w/ the neck binding (string spacing was not effected). I assumed a new nut would be in order, but my tech was able to fill the gaps w/ a concoction of superglue and bone dust followed by a good polish and buff along w/ lowering the nut slots (the work is undetectable) and a general set-up w/ a set of Pure Nickel Wound DR 10-46's (11's were stock) and the guitar now plays effortlessly w/ an almost dead straight neck, action @ the 12th fret on the low E is 4/64" and high E 3/64" and you can hit it hard w/o any buzz or rattle up and down the neck. Hardware: open back Grover Statites work/look fine; typical MIK Unsung TOM style bridge is nothing special but more importantly was perfectly radiused to match the 9.45” fretboard ( w/ a little clear nail polish it may be a keeper). Guildsby is seated perfectly and works smoothly. I did replace the stock 7/8”spring with a 1” for better range and feel. Electronics: From what I can see has full size pots (can’t ID the brand) that are quiet and turn smoothly. PU selecter switch feels decent and is quiet . Sounds: Despite the laminated construction, unplugged this is a LOUD guitar with a sweet tone. If you put on a set of 12’s it could work as an acoustic. Plugged into my deLisle Nickel Box, the Franz repro pu’s really shine. These pu’s might look like P-90s but they are their own thing entirely. They kind of live somewhere between P-90s and Dynas. Fat, crystalline cleans and they retain note clarity and separation even with plenty of OD and distortion. They have the punch and thump of Dynas but also exhibit the snottiness of good P-90s when cranked or overdriven. If you are familiar with the Guild/Franz pu tones of Dave Gonzalez of the Paladins, this guitar nails it. This guitar is perfect for Rockabilly and Blues. Another nice feature is that it comes with a really nice hardshell case. Not the typical import case but a perfectly fitted real deal TKL arched top case just like Gretsch Pro Series models come with. In summation, the X175B is a keeper. For the sake of comparison, I would say that the overall quality lies somewhere above the latest generation Gretsch Electromatics and below a Gretsch Pro Series guitar.

11

Great review, Gretschadelphia! Judged by its own merits, there isn't much not to like about the Newark St. X-175B. It seems people only find it wanting when comparing it to a vintage Guild X-175. I love my Newark St. X-175B.

12

It seems people only find it wanting when comparing it to a vintage Guild X-175.

Yep, that sums it up - the Korean X175 is awful nice, and like I've said before, it would still be a great deal if it was more expensive. But side by side, I can get more detail and dynamics out of my old ones. Still, the NS series ones are great, and I love the neck profile on them.

13

New, for around 1,099.00 out the door they are a great deal; a super clean minty used example like mine is an insane value. One of the things they really got right which separates the X175B from so many other Asian made re-issues of vintage guitars are the pu's. Never having played a real vintage X175, they sound great to me; but the consensus among folks who really know is that they got really close. Guild/FMIC could have just used some generic Asian made Dogear P-90's and as we know, Franz pu's may look like P-90's but they definately ain't P-90's. I love the history of Franz pu's....Guild's happy accident. Apparently they were trying to copy Gibson's P-90 and didn't do a very good job of it but ended up with a great sounding pu in its own right.

14

really great guitar, regret selling mine...definitely on the 'buy back' list. Congrats on the NGD!

15

as for the franz pups (originally from queens nyc)...try using pure nickel guitar strings and dropping the pups lower into the body..provided they were wound to correct spec (tho that varied esp in the 50's)..the biggest difference is the magnetic field of the pup…older pup magnets lose gauss..but gauss can be measured and a new magnet can be tweaked to equal it…the other ez alternative is to play with magnet to string distances and the type of string..pure nickel being less magnetic than nickel plated steel or stainless

the dr pure nickels were the perfect choice!!…pure nickel wrap on a vintage round core! bravo

heres some franz info (from a vega guitars site)

The pickups were built by the Franz company of Astoria, Queens, NY. Franz built pickups appeared on guitars by a variety of brands including Premier, Orpheum, Stewart, and even D’Angelico; these particular units are mostly identified with early Guild guitars, which featured them from 1953 to 1963. In fact, the combination of a laminated spruce/maple body with Franz pickups strongly recalls a contemporary Guild X-175; the sound is quite similar as well. These pickups resemble Gibson P-90s both visually and structurally, but there are subtle differences that give them a brighter sound and hotter output than their Gibson equivalents.

chances are that franz may have used 43 wire which would make them different than the 42 wire of gibby p90's cheers

17

I prefer pure nickel wound strings, especially with single coil pu's. The only guitar I string with nickel plated strings is my Gretsch Power Tenny. The TVJ Powertrons seem to like the brighter nickel plated D'Addario XLs. I was using Mangan Pure Nickels but the last couple of sets lost the "zing" on the low E and D relatively quickly, becoming very "thunky" sounding. I'll see how the DRs hold up....so far so good. I've also had good results with GHS Burnished Nickel Rockers and Gibson Vintage Reissue Pure Nickels. I may also try a set of GHS Pure Nickel Rockers (the roller wound ones w/ the fatter cores) . Pyramids are a bit pricey and I'm afraid I might like them........

18

ok cool (talkin to a fellow searcher)..hip to (and have used ) all of those!!..

dr pure blues/nickels were a fave but poor qc started showing up with rusty strings..take 2 packs to get one good set..if that!

must say the old fellows at d'addario still make a nice set for fender..the pure nickels..steadfast as always

gibby pure nickels are nice vintagey toned, but dont hold tuning true (for long) and a bit more tension

ghs are nice..i prefer the the small core bnr's..tho i like the rene martinez/santana big cores on some…(it's up to the guitar)

anyways experiment with "franz" pup height..drop it down way low and work it/listen your way back up..esp that neck pup..its a bit more tolerent to change…

cheers

19

I think the pu's are dialed in pretty well. The neck poles are down pretty low, just up high enough to balance the volume string to string. The poles are a bit higher on the bridge pu, enough to make it pretty close in volume to the neck pu. Apparently it was decided on these reissues to space the bridge pu further away from the bridge to avoid high end spikiness associated with the vintage X175's...I have no frame of reference to compare it to a real vintage example, but I find the bridge pu to very usable on its own and I would think the additional distance from the bridge helps with the volume balance w/ the neck pu. That being said, I certainly also see the tonal advantages having it closer to the bridge. The increase in distance between pu's would certainly create an even bigger distinction in the tone produced by each individual pu which is nice also. I have found the vol and tone controls very helpful when I want to compensate for the position and volume of the bridge pu also.

20

Thanks for the review. This guitar has caught my interest. I haven't tried one yet, so your review is all the more helpful.

I might just need to take one of these Guilds for a spin.

Dylan

21

I sure am enjoying my mutt X-175B. No B now, no Franz p/us either. Something about the basic feel and nature of this one ... it holds together. Feels right. Even with the wrong strings (at least IMO, flatwound 12s) and humbuckers I'm not totally in love with (SD 59s), plenty of worthy sounds.

The original owner found the Franz repros much too noisey, also not really the jazz sounds he wanted. He ended up completely rewiring, with new pots too when he swapped in the HBs. So it occurs to me, maybe that noise might be gone too.

I could:

.. Reinstall the Franz p/us. .. Swap in a set of SD Seth Lovers ... which I'm guessing would be a perfect humbucker choice for this guitar. .. install my favorite P-90s (Wolfetone).

Might be a tough choice. This guitar could probably sound good any of those ways. MD

22

I use an EHX Hum Debugger with all my singlecoil guitars so hum is not a problem for me. I don't think it could hurt to reinstall the Franz pu's...IMO they sound great in this guitar. The only thing that might effect the tone negatively are the values of the replacement pots may not be the best match with the Franz pu's....but that's an easy fix too. As far as strings are concerned, go with roundwound "pure nickel" in your guage of choice. Even with10-46's, mine sounds clear, fat, punchy and big.

23

Gretsch:

What value pots are best for the Franz? I did restring. A custom set, bottom three strings from D'Addario EXL .11s, treble strings up one, plain (.19 for G, .15 for B, .12 for E). so much better. Now I can really hear the balance in this guitar. It's got soul!! MD

24

Gretsch:

What value pots are best for the Franz? I did restring. A custom set, bottom three strings from D'Addario EXL .11s, treble strings up one, plain (.19 for G, .15 for B, .12 for E). so much better. Now I can really hear the balance in this guitar. It's got soul!! MD

– mad dog

I'm no expert when it comes to this stuff. 250k's are typically used with single coils and 500k's with humbuckers but I'm sure personal taste comes into play. If you have the stock pots from the 175 it should be indicated on the pot. The only thing I can actually see w/o removing a pot is that they are fullsize not the mini's that typically come on many imports. I wouldn't be surprised if they were Alpha's which are actually good quality. With 500K pots, single coils might sound a little spikey in the high end.....maybe someone with some real knowledge in this area could chime in.

25

soundsamples of this lovely guitar;

it's a nice budget "Paladins guitar", not a X500 but still damn good :)

Link

Link

reverb is a Boss Fender '63 in effectsloop on a Blues DeVille 410


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