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This vintage Guild F-20 NT guitar was made in the famous Hoboken, New Jersey, plant in 1964, judging from the label, its serial number (33686), and the Guild website. This model was introduced in 1956 as a version of the original F orchestra style guitars, discontinued in the late 1980s to re-appear as the GF series.
But as we all know, newer isn't necessarily better in guitars. This particular guitar has been dominating lesser and larger instruments for 46 years, and the resonance of its aged woods will continue to improve with its new generation of players. Its classic design and well-aged looks make it stand out in a crowd, but it’s the surprisingly full sound that will make other musicians turn around to check it out.
The Guild F-20 has a "folk" or mini-jumbo body style, with a 13 ¾” lower bout and a rather narrow pinched waist compared to a dreadnought, making it easier to handle for many players while sacrificing surprisingly little of its powerful bass. It has a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back, neck, and sides. The body has multi-ply binding, top and back, and it has a tortoiseshell pick guard, a rosewood bridge, and a multi-stripe inlaid rosette. The bound 14/20-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay position markers ends in a blackface headstock with three-on-a-plate chrome tuners and a pearl Guild logo. Since both the rosette and the inlaid headstock are upgrades from the standard single stripe rosette and decal logo, I assume that this is a limited edition or custom version; it is a really cool-looking guitar.
Considering its 46 years of seasoning and enthusiastic play, it’s not surprising that there are a few cosmetic and structural items to report: there is of course some finish “crazing,” especially on the top of the lower bout (“to let the sound out,” as my luthier says), as well as some dings visible in pictures 2, 3, and 4. There is a professionally repaired crack from below the neck to the sound hole, culminating in the careful replacement of some wood at the back of the sound hole; all this is shown best in picture 12. Finally, the bridge is an authentic professionally made reproduction, and the saddle has been replaced with a bone saddle. All of the recent repairs and replacements were by a professional luthier, and I see no evidence of any other repairs from the past.
This is not a museum piece. While it is a totally cool instrument, it is a real Guild, “Made to be Played,” and it has been making music and turning heads for almost two generations. It has now been thoroughly checked out and set up, the action is medium-low, and it’s ready to beat up on some banjo and fiddle players, despite its modest size. Any hesitation you might feel about it due to its honorable battle scars should be more than overcome when you hear the remarkable sound and resonance released from its solid woods by those years of experience. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, it will pass into the hands of a player able to make music and turn heads for a generation or two to come.
The vintage chip board case came with this guitar, and it fits perfectly despite the F-20's somewhat unusual shape, so I assume that it is original. It shows some wear (for example, the pocket top is missing in action), but the hardware is all functional, and it offers adequate protection for its light weight. However, I feel sure that when you fall in love with this wonderful Guild Troubador, you will want to find a hard shell complement for this vintage guitar.
Buyer pays a flat rate of $45 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashiers and personal checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.
I have made every effort to describe and illustrate this guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. Its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was inadvertently misrepresented in this listing.
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