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Author Topic: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT  (Read 13428 times)

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Offline markm

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    • Mark McDonald Blues
Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:47:52 AM »
I bought one of these and went to all the trouble to write a review of it for Guitar Seminars because I had asked about one over there.  So I kind of closed the loop on that thread. So if anyone is interested here are my thoughts on the guitar.

First of all the reason for buying was to have a less expensive gigging guitar because I keep knocking my guitars off the stands, banging them into mic stands, etc.  So I wanted something that sounds good, all solid, but not expensive. 

I tried the Blueridges, some Larrivees, custom Blueridges (Eric Schoenberg has a fabulous 12 fret custom, slot head, mahogany and spruce model for 750), Epiphone Masterbuilts that looked great but did not sound so good. 

All in all the Guild GAD30 was the best all around, at least for my needs, which is a combo of fingerstyle blues, some pretty instrumentals, and slide.  This is exactly what it looks like:

http://www.guildguitars.com/instruments/search.php?partno=3810205821

Pluses:  Beautiful solid mahogany back and sides with maple trim with a high gloss finish.  Nice spruce top, nothing special but sounds great. Great neck profile and and love the open back tuners. Bone nut and saddle. It just sounds fantastic and is very light.

I had Taylors, Gibson Montana J-45s, American built Guilds, the Epiphone Masterbuilt all within feet away from the Guild.  I tried them all, and damn, if the GAD didn't sound the best of them all, but not really in a Bluesy way, more of a crisp and clear way.  It had some dead spots on the G string so I had it professionally set up (action raised a bit) and now it is all clean.  I have a VERY heavy attack and I can't get it to bottom out now.

Cool retro looking case but not too formidable. So if you are going to fly with one you might want to put the guitar in a molded case or a Taylor Tank Case.

Negatives: 

Fingerboard: Poor selection of Rosewood fingerboard and to me it is important to have a high quality, hopefully ebony, fingerboard.  But the profile is great making it work great for slide as well as fingerstyle. 1 3/4 at the nut. The natural finish and the cheap rosewood fingerboard gives it a little bit of a cheap look.

Amplification.  Fishman Natural 1 I think.  Piezo Hell.  I will probably bypass it and use my Rare Earth single Coil.  I would not have purchased an amplified one but everthing else on the guitar was great.  Could have probably saved a bill without the amplification. I used the onboard amplification for 1 gig and it started acting up half way through and I had to use a single coil.  But I think that might have just been the battery.  I have changed it and will gig it again this weekend so we'll see how it goes.  Should be about 700 people there so it will get a great test.

String spacing.  The string spacing is actually excellent with the exception of the high e is too close to the edge and is somewhat of a challenge to keep the thing on the board sometimes.  I can replace the nut and redo the spacing but the rest of the spacing is excellent so I don't know whether I will actually do that.


So all in all I am happy with the guitar.  Thought I would never go Chinese but it seems that they are really getting there act together in the case of all solid instruments.  Sound wise this thing really sings. I think they try to produce them with low action and I think if you raise the action a little the guitar really comes to life.

That is my review of the GAD 30E NAT

Mark


Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 12:00:23 PM »
Mark,

Thanks for the excellent review...I have  batted around getting one of these GADs several times...and still might in the future.  To my ear I actually prefere the GAD 30 R...the Rosewood back and sides model...this is odd cause I'm usually a mahogany fan...and I know it has ebony for the fretboard and bridge and slightly fancier inlays etc.  Did you happen to try one of these while you were shopping around?  if so I would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,

Blue
Blue in VT

Offline markm

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 02:37:01 PM »
Yes Blue I did try one briefly but by the time I went there to buy it was gone.  The one I tried was nicely appointed with nice woods all around.  As expected it had a bit of a darker,  more mellow sound.  It would have been a toss up for me if that one was still available when I was ready to buy.  The shaded top and ebony board sure make the guitar look and feel great and you can't beat the smell of fresh rosewood.

Mark

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 10:12:47 AM »
cool...thanks for your comments...I look fwd to hearing what you think of this guitar in a couple of months/years when it is broiken in!

Cheers,

Blue
Blue in VT

Offline Rivers

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 08:07:05 PM »
And this is exactly what my almost-new Guild GAD looks like:

http://www.guildguitars.com/instruments/search.php?partno=3810305837

I'm usually a mahogany guy (I A-B'd them both in the store) but this rosewood thing screams, more Gibson than a Gibson, so I'm with you there Blue in VT. It has a Fishman Matrix on board, 1 3/4" nut, longish scale, bone saddle & nut, cool maple binding and heel cap, nice pearl dot markers, Grovers, and pretty much a perfect setup. I got mine for $600, ridiculous, how could I not take it home. Previous owner (he didn't have it for very long) was a flatpicker, you can tell by the marks on the pickguard. Silly boy, this thing is a guitar built for fingerpicking.

My other instruments have sat idle since then (OK, it was yesterday :P). The Guild GADs are truly fantastic small body guitars and I give my GAD-30RE five stars for value, build, finish, playability, looks, cool factor and most of all tone.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 08:10:00 PM by Rivers »

Offline harpe

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 08:22:39 AM »
I bought a (sunburst) Guild GAD-30 about a year ago, to use as a "utility ax". Although I have always favored vintage prewar Stellas, Gibsons and such, I decided I needed to have something "expendable" - for certain gigs where I'd feel uneasy packing one of my "relics". I wanted a good sounding, responsive guitar - light in weight and loud with a 1.75" nut width. After trying numerous guitars in the same size range, I chose the GAD-30. The only thing I changed on it was to remove the pickguard (which I did the day I got it, so there would not be a ghost where it had been).

Neil Harpe

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 08:41:56 AM »
Did you remove the pick guard because you feel it diminishes the sound quality of the guitar or because of a visual preference? Or Both? I actually love large ornate pick guards but am always concerned that they interfere with the ability of the top to move as much or to project sound evenly.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline harpe

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    • Stella Guitars
Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 09:22:09 AM »
I removed it for the aetshetic/visual consideration. That said...I do not think a thin pickguard has much (if any) effect on the sound of a guitar. Really big thick double pickguards that cover half the top, like Gibson used on their Everly Brothers model, do adversely effect tone, though. A few years ago I had one of the Gibson "Harley-Davidson" guitars, only available from HD dealers. It was essentially identical to the E. Bros. model, with the same kind of large double pickguards. I removed the guards and the guitar sounded noticeably louder and was much more responsive. The change was dramatic!

Offline sustaireblues

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2009, 10:42:03 AM »
Hey Mark, I really enjoyed your review of the GAD.

Besides you really have to hand it to a guy that can turn clumsy into a good excuse to buy another guitar!  ;D

Joe

Offline Rivers

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Re: Review of a Guild GAD 30E NAT
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2009, 04:59:38 PM »
I thought about steaming off the thin guard then decided it fit with the classic Guild look so I'm leaving it on, will get around to clearcoat-polishing it to get out the flatpick marks.

One needs an excuse to buy a cheap well-made great sounding guitar? ;) I broached the subject with "Honey, I got this amazing deal at Guitar Resurrection today, saved us thousands...".

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