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The quality and price of Guild guitars from 50 years ago.
The GAD-30 brings back the glory days of Guild, when a Guild acoustics were coveted. It is beautifully crafted solidwood guitar with high end appointments, and wonderful tone--for almost the same price a topline Guild fetched 50 years ago. A beautiful instrument and an incredibly good deal. Includes a Guild hardshell case.
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Reviewed by 9 customers
Displaying reviews 1-9
I've owned a Guild GAD 30R for a few years now. It is indeed a pleasure to play, because it is lightweight, compact, and has the BEST NECK available on any guitar by any manufacturer on the planet. Why do I say that? It's narrow and flat with little change in size from its nice 1 3/4 inch nut, all the way up the scale to the body. A near perfect neck! Near perfect AFTER the guitar has been set up correctly.
The guitar is not without flaws. The guitar arrived new with terrible, unplayable, high action. The poly (not nitro) finish is so thick that the guitar has a tinny, sometimes boxy tone. If you buy it, you'll go through lots of different strings sets trying to find strings that sound GOOD on this guitar; not many will. Mine had some high frets that needed filing. A couple of braces inside the guitar behind the bridge repeatedly popped loose, and had to be reglued. To get the action down substantially I had to make a new, lower, bone saddle (the original crumbled while attempting to sand the bottom), and I also had to crank the truss rod fully over clockwise. The ebony bridge pins splintered during string changes, so I replaced them with bone, a smart, sound-improving upgrade.
The covering on the nice tweed case has lifted in a few spots... Not a big deal.
Overall, I rate the guitar 7 out of 10 despite the problems I've had with it, because now that I have it setup correctly for me, it is a joy to play! As I mentioned above, the narrow and flat neck is just wonderful, the 1 3/4 inch nut width is great for a fingerstylist like me, and the light weight and small OM size allow one to lay back on the couch and play for hours.
Once setup correctly, the playability of this guitar is superb. Its just a shame that the TONE of this guitar is so poor compared to other guitars, and I lay most of the blame for that on the heavy poly finish.
Guild got the specs right, except for the poly finish, but the "craftsmen" in China didn't execute the build or the finish spraying very well. It makes me wonder what the American-made Guild F30 Aragon model must sound like...
To summarize, iIf you want a great playing fingerstyle guitar, this can be one!
If you want a great playing fingerstyle guitar with great TONE, you'd better look to Martin.
I have owned this guitar in the past and found it is simply too difficult to play. This is because the fretboard is way too flat, which takes away from an otherwise nice guitar. While some players might like that feature, to me, it didn't make this model worth it in the long run. In other words, a guitar this expensive should have a more curved and playable fretboard. This one also doesn't have anywhere near the full bodied tone of the Guild jumbo body guitars, or the dreadnaught DV6 and D40s for that matter. It sounds dull and flat. I kept it for awhile, thinking it would grow on me. Then I ended up trading it in for a Fender Telecaster. The one thing I did like about the guitar was the finish - iced tea burst - which was awesome. But for some reason, Fender has since discontinued that particular finish on this model and the GAD JF 30 12-string too. Otherwise, I don't regret having traded this one in. Now I just value and appreciate the several jumbo body Guilds I have that much more.
I sold my 1970's j-50 Gibson because it started getting weird harmonically, due to body structure wackiness. I sold it on E-bay in about an hour, and turned around and bought the GAD30R. I have no regrets. This guitar is all I was looking for. I just wanted a nice guitar for my office that sounded nice and wouldn't give me a headache with tuning problems. Boy was I surprised. The tone of this is awesome. Bright with a sustain that I have not heard from a guitar in this price range EVER. Probably best for finger picking but flat picking is ok too. I'm used to my J-45 and can't bang on this one as hard but this is a loud guitar so I don't really have to. It is a steal for the money. As good or better than the Taylor, Martin in the 000, same price range models. The craftsmanship is flawless. It even smells good. The only thing I have found to tweek is the nut is a fraction on an inch off making the high E slip off the fretbord occassionally. Plus it's a wider fret board than I'm used to. If you're looking for a loud boomy guitar stay away. This is loud, but more midranged to trebely. But nice. The case is just fine with a green tweed. Very handsome. I don't usually write reviews. That says something
I played three models today of this guitar. I played the GAD30R in Iced Tea Burst and GAD30 in natural and in Vintage Burst.Owning a Gibson J45 Rosewood and loving the tone and sustain, I had it in my mind that the GAD30R was the guitar I was taking home. I found that the Mahogany models were significantly brighter in tone and ultimately chose the Natural model to buy since it was the brightest and was set up perfectly. As anyone knows who has bought guitars in the past, is that each guitar is different.I was informed that the smaller body size does have a slightly muted sound because of the Rosewood. The Natural compared to my Gibson is significantly brighter but this is a good thing. Why would anyone want a collection of guitars that all sound alike?This Guild is a remarkable guitar and I know already it will be a permanent part of my collection. It feels, looks & sounds great and is built with fantastic detail. The cost is the deal of the century. Buy one now!!! You will not regret it. The HSC is not so well made. If you compare it to any American made HSC you will see the difference. I don't see the case lasting a lifetime. But the guitar, oh yes!
I bought this guitar a week ago and abosolutely love it. It has excellent craftmanship, a nice warm sound and great sustain. It is a great value and worth all the money you pay for it, a great buy.
The GAD-30 surprised the heck out of me. Quality EVERYWHERE. Quality materials, all solid, even the 1-piece mahogany neck (no scarf joint here). Full, bright sound, great sustain. No flaws inside or out. The binding and finish are perfect. This level of workmanship out of China is what Japanese work was to Fender models years ago. The OM choices at this price point are a stripped down Larrivee (and no other credible competitor, including Martin), or a full-featured Guild, and I believe Guild wins this one. It gets a 9 overall only because it's not a Collings or a Santa Cruz.
I just purchased one yesterday and have absolutley no regrets at all. The guitar has excellent craftsmanship and looks great. It plays easy and has low action on the strings. I have owned a number of acoustic guitars in the past but this one far surpasses all of them in sound, quality, price, etc. The case that it comes with is high quality too. If you decide to buy one I highly dought that you'll be dissappointed.
I can't say enough nice things about this guitar. It sounds amazing and the neck is the most comfortable of any guitar I have ever played. I currently own four Larrivees, a Northwood and a Paragon. This guitar holds it's own with these guitars - for a fraction or the price. I an so taken by this guitar that I am going to purchase the GAD-30R also. Buy this guitar - you will not regret it!!!
What can I say, the first time I picked up the Guild GAD-30, I knew this was a fine guitar above the rest. One of the first things I noticed was how easy it played and how great it sounded. A loud and even projection in tone and sound. This guitar is alive and I want to play it all the time. The neck is placed at just the right angle so my picking hand doesn't get tired and it is well relaxed. Fretwork is beyond outstanding. The construction and natural finish are superb. It also comes with a high quality hardshell case which is included in the price. This guitar is way above the rest in quality, price, playing and sound. I ended up buying it the same day and haven't put it down since.