Other Guitars

NGD Guild X-175 Manhattan

1

Yesterday I took delivery of a Guild X-175 Manhattan. It's the sunburst finished, no Bigsby. We are talking the Korean ones, not vintage.

The decision to get this was not quite impulsive, but yet not planned. I was aware of these guitars since Guild released these but never tried one. Saw them at Sam Ash in Hollywood but they were way up on the wall so I didn't bother asking an associate to take one down to play.

I've read so much about these and thought they looked great but wasn't in the market for one but I was browsing eBay after putting in the keyword search "hollow body guitar". I saw this one listed and if you are interested in knowing, it was $525 including shipping. It came with the factory hard shell case. After I saw it for that price, I decided to do research and read many threads here on this guitar and I read the Guild forums and Walter's great write up on these Korean made models. I checked the Jazz guitar forums too but not much on these there. These guitars got so much good reviews that I thought for the price I should give it a go so I pulled the trigger.

Let me just say it's awesome. Okay I'll try to elaborate. Much to my surprise it came fitted with flatwound strings. Either a Jazzer or a Rockabilly guy owned it before me but I tend to think Rockabilly. Not Thomastik or Pyramid so I think they are Chromes since Chromes are common. I expected rounds on them and was going to keep the rounds and eventually put on some flats. Now I don't have to. Not sure if I'll put rounds on because flats feel great on this guitar and sound excellent. Thomastik or Pyramid next time.

Walter is a big proponent of Guilds and Franz pickups. I only tried a vintage Guild once and that was at West LA Music in Santa Monica about 20 years ago and only for a few minutes, so I forgot how they sound. I don't have anything to compare these too since I lack experience in Franz pickups but let's just say they sound really good. I read they sound a bit Dyna and a bit P90. I'd say so too. Walter from what I read had his rewound and they sounded like vintage Franz but for me I think I will leave them as is since I like them and don't recall how vintage Franz sound like.

The finish is excellent. I think Walter in a post said it's poly but not too thick. I see what he means. Spruce has grain that runs up and down for lack of better terms. You can recognize spruce by it's grain and in many guitars you can see the grain but you can't feel it. With this guitar it's finish is so thin you not only can see the grain but you can see the ridges thru the paint. I mean you can feel the ridges and see them push thru the paint. This is a good sign.

I first played it acoustically after I tuned it up then plugged in. Acoustically it's very resonant and you can feel the whole guitar vibrate. I have a Chinese made hollow body with P90s and it's nice but the finish isn't as thin as this and definitely not resonant like this. I feel it's important for a guitar to sound good unplugged even if it's electric because the sound or tone will come thru plugged in. This is a good example here. A guy I used to correspond to about guitar is named Itchy over at the Fender Forum, real name Rob. He loves jump blues and T-Bone Walker. He got a Fatdawg Gene (ES-350 like guitar) about year 2000 but about 10 years ago he saved up and got a vintage ES-350 with P90s. He described the difference between the two. He liked the Fatdawg but the Gibson of course was much better. He said the Fatdawg was like an electric guitar that was hollow but the Gibson was like an acoustic guitar that was electrified. If you can understand that you can understand how this Guild is. Even tho Korean and not vintage but sounds like an acoustic that was electrified. Now that's a good thing. When you hear those videos on YouTube of people playing say ES-150s or ES-300s with P90s and you can hear the guitars acoustic roots playing thru the electronics. Well, this Guild has that going for it. Strum a chord and you can feel the whole guitar's vibration throughout the body. Makes me appreciate this guitar so much and makes me turn away from my other hollowbody with P90s. I've always wanted an electric archtop that has a good acoustic sound to it even thru the amp like those old Gibsons. This has it. I've read in the jazz forums that the post 50s ES-175s don't have that acoustic quality and is more like an electric that is hollow rather than an acoustic that has been electrified like the '50s ES-175s with P90s.

I have no plan on putting on a Bigsby. I like Bigsby but I don't need it on this one. I have one on my 1965 Gretsch Country Club.

I didn't post pictures because I think you all have seen this model online but if you want pics I will post pictures, just ask.

3

Congratulations! I was checking out Guilds on Youtube yesterday. I'm liking the sound of the Franz pickups.

4

Pix. We just like pix.

– Bob Howard

Will do when I get home.

5

Congratulations! I was checking out Guilds on Youtube yesterday. I'm liking the sound of the Franz pickups.

– BuddyHollywood

Thanks Buddy!

6

Congratulations! I love mine.

A year and a bit ago, I traded it toward a 6120DE. Well, the DE is gone, and I missed the Guild so much I bought another--only a couple of numbers away from mine and originally from the same Canadian dealer!

I've owned a couple of vintage Guilds over the years, and (don't tell Walter) I like the new one better. Just more comfortable for me: 9,5" radius, and it seems wider at the nut (although I've never actually measured it...)

8

Old Guilds are great! The main problem with them for some is that they are narrow at the nut. 1 5/8" or less. Many people don't have a problem with that, some do. The Guilds in the 90s and into the 2000s from Westerly and Corona usually have a more substantial 1 11/16". You wouldn't think that a measly 1/16" would make much of a difference but it does for many. On the other hand, Guild quit using the Franz pickups long before that, back in the early 60s.

9

Congratulations! I love mine.

A year and a bit ago, I traded it toward a 6120DE. Well, the DE is gone, and I missed the Guild so much I bought another--only a couple of numbers away from mine and originally from the same Canadian dealer!

I've owned a couple of vintage Guilds over the years, and (don't tell Walter) I like the new one better. Just more comfortable for me: 9,5" radius, and it seems wider at the nut (although I've never actually measured it...)

– reverb11

The nut is wider on the newer ones. I've had a sunburst "first generation" Korean reissue, and that had a vintage spec neck and nut width - had to sell that one at one point, and ended up getting a more recent (black) one, and that has a slimmer neck and a slightly more generous nut width. I actually preferred the first one's neck specs because it was more like what I'm used to, but the one I have now is just fine.

Even though I still play my old ones most, I still think the Korean ones are a spectacular deal. My main gripe with them is that the treble pickup sits a good deal closer to the neck on them, and that seems to be a Mike Lewis thing (he was responsible for the whole line when FMIC still owned Guild) - he did the same thing on the Gretsch Electros.

While it does get you a fatter lead pickup tone, it takes the twang and edge out of the middle switch position, and for my use, that's where the money is on these guitars. I moved the lead pickup back on the reissue I have now, and presto, all the zing and twang I craved is there.

Shawn, btw, my old ones have a very round 'board too - around 9.5", and my 1960 Capri even has a 7.5 radius!

10

How can I tell what generation mine is? Serial #?

12

Congrats....that's a terrific price for a terrific guitar. I also have the blond 175B version and I love that guitar. No question these guitars sound like electrified acoustics. Even when played acoustically, the 175's have a very sweet, complex tone. Amplified, with those Franz pu's they are just heaven for blues, rockabilly and even rock. I also like that Guild got the little (but really counts) stuff right like the bridge saddle radius matching the fretboard radius and of course those killer sounding Franz pu's, Guild's happy accident (Guild was attempting to copy Gibson P-90's and didn't quite get it right but came up with pu's that actually sounded great in their own way).

13

How can I tell what generation mine is? Serial #?

– ThePolecats

I don't know about serial numbers. The earlier ones came with two bridge saddles - one for a plain G, one for a wound G.

14

Mine came with one saddle but then again it was used, so not sure if it was lost or left out by the previous owner if there was a second one. In the case there was an Allen wrench in a bag, so the owner before me was careful about keeping things so not sure if it didn’t or did have a second bridge.

15

Just checked the case again and there is a second bridge in there. I missed it the first time. Okay this is an older model but pristine condition.

The seller has another. If you like it grab it when you can.

16

Congrats on scoring a great guitar at a great price! The Newark St. Guilds are remarkable guitars. I miss my X-175B . . .I will own another one someday.

Play 'er in good health!

17

Sweet looking Guild, and that's a smashing deal at 525, congrats!

I have been playing way more acoustic lately, but I just picked up my 175B a day or two ago (I think it was once yours, AndyJ?). I need to get back to that one, and electric guitar in general.

18

OK, sounds good. I'll get one.

19

Sweet looking Guild, and that's a smashing deal at 525, congrats!

I have been playing way more acoustic lately, but I just picked up my 175B a day or two ago (I think it was once yours, AndyJ?). I need to get back to that one, and electric guitar in general.

– redrocker

I sold my X-175B to Atomic Music in Bethesda, MD, to fund my VS 62 Tenny. I know you bought something of mine at some point, redocker, but for the life of me, I can't remember what. I've sold so much stuff over the last 4 years, it's hard to keep track.

20

Thanks everyone for the congrats.

For those of you who have one of these or had, what strings do you use? I mentioned mine are flatwounds and probably Chromes. I don’t know the gage for a fact but if I was a betting man I would say probably 10s. I have to find someone with a caliper to verify. Definitely not .09 or .12. Not sure if Chromes even come in .09 but in .10 they do.

21

I have some Silverface Fenders but this guitar sounds better thru Tweed. So I play thru a Tweed Princeton clone. Just enough dirt or fuzz about 5 on the Richter scale, LOL.

What amp are you playing thru.

22

Thanks everyone for the congrats.

For those of you who have one of these or had, what strings do you use? I mentioned mine are flatwounds and probably Chromes. I don’t know the gage for a fact but if I was a betting man I would say probably 10s. I have to find someone with a caliper to verify. Definitely not .09 or .12. Not sure if Chromes even come in .09 but in .10 they do.

– ThePolecats

ThePolecats, nice-looking guitar. I think the sunburst actually looks a bit nicer than the blonde that I own!

As for strings, I play Thomastik Flats on this guitar. They make them in tens, believe it or not, and I swap the wound G for a plain 17. All my strings for the last few years have come from Strings and Beyond (good prices and free shipping to the USA and Canada for any order over $30). I know many will say that is too light a set for an archtop, but I play lightly, for the most part, and my bridge is pinned. I don`t have any tuning or tone issues, and my fifty year old hands thank me... This is the only guitar I use flats on-- all my Fenders are Pyramid Pure Nickel round tens or Curt Mangan pure nickel 9.5s. Flats just seem to work for me on this one--I like the sound of the low E and A strings with them.

I play the Guild through a number of amps, but mostly a 1966 DR and a Tweed Deluxe clone, because the places I play seem to get smaller and more quiet!

23

I have Pyramid pure nickel round 11-48 on all my archtops.

24

I have Pyramid pure nickel round 11-48 on all my archtops.

– WB

Walter, I started using Pyramids a number of years back and they have been my favourites ever since. I worked in a music store for years, and have tried a lot of string brands. For me, the Pyramid Pure Nickel rounds are consistently the best. I never break them, and they never sound harsh. They feel good under my fingertips and have a softer feel when bending.

I don`t work for the Pyramid company--I just really like their strings. Thomastik Blues Sliders are the only strings I found that compare well to them.

25

Pure Nickel 11's . . .


Register Sign in to join the conversation