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An upper-class acoustic for a plebeian price.
The GAD-30 R from Guild is a stunningly good guitar for a very moderate price. It features the orchestra body style with many quality appointments: Solid Sitka spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back, sides and bridge. Ebony fingerboard on mahogany neck, bone nut and saddle, wood bindings, mother-of-pearl inlays, tortoise shell pickguard and abalone dot inlays are all features you'd expect at a much higher price. And it includes a Guild hardshell case.
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Reviewed by 22 customers
I had a 70's Gibson j-50 that I kept in my office to have near me, but it started to get weird on the top and would not stay in tune. It was nice but frustrating. One day I sold it on ebay in about a 15 minutes. I turned around and bought a new one of these GAD 30R Nat. It needed a new nut as the one it came with was mis sawn. After the pro set-up I must say this is an awesome guitar. I have an Gibson J-45, that I use when I need to but I prefer this one. It rings, and is sooo beautiful. I've had it a couple years 5-6 and I have no regrets. Mine was less expensive than they are today, but I still think these are a real bargin.
I've had my GAD 30R for several years now, and wanted to share my long-term experience. It is a truly outstanding value at this price point. Make no mistake, this guitar is not in the same class as higher-end Martin and Taylor OMs or Grand Concerts, and posts to the contrary are very misleading. However, you will not find a guitar in its price range in anywhere near this class, and I've played for 20 years and have owned many and played them all. This blows away the Epiphone and other competitors, trust me. I can afford a high end guitar, but as I play mostly classical, I just can't justify the extra couple grand to upgrade, and I really enjoy playing this one. Compared to the Martins and Taylors, the Guild has thinner lower bass and more brittle treble notes. The upper bass and mids are very sweet and rewarding, though, and the guitar plays amazingly smoothly. The guitar sounds a little thin when strummed (get a dread or higher end OM/GC for that) , but it is rich and very resonant when played fingerstle. This is an absolutely beautiful guitar, with the figured maple binding, pretty rosewood, and aging toner on the top. All in all, a great guitar. I'll eventually buy a high-end steel string, but will keep this as an awesome first real guitar for my son.
I have had my GAD-30R for about 6 months now, and I cannot say enough about it. First off, as good as it looks in the pictures, wait until you see it in person. Beautiful workmanship and the quality just shines through it. I took off the crappy strings it comes with and replaced them with some Ernie Ball Earthwoods, and my God. The sounds that comes out of this guitar is heavenly, beautiful tone, deep resonant lows and sweet crystalline highs. All of my buddies dropped their martins and taylors and wanted to play my guitar every chance they got. And of course with the hardwoods used, the tone will only improve with age. The case is very sturdy and high quality, with a retro tweed outside, and nicely plush interior. I cannot emphasize enough what a steal this is; buy it, you will not regret your purchase.
Got the Antique Burst model from MF (btw MF incorrectly shows an Iced Tea model instead). Owning US-made Martins and custom-made parlors, I was wary of Chinese manufacturing but took a chance based on reviews here and Harmony-Central, as well as satisfaction with a recent MF purchase of the GAD-G212E (which I will review later on). The only flaws I see are some excess brace glue on the inside near the soundhole, and a less than optimal fit (loose) inside the OHSC. There was also some excess treatment on the ebony fretboard (noted in other reviews), easily buffed off with a polishing cloth. And as noted by others, it took about 48 hours to acclimate to my temperature/humidity-controlled studio to settle-in. After a week, I?m pleased with the feel and sounds obtained from fingerstyle, flat-picking and moderate strumming, even with the stock strings and setup. I prefer this 30R?s neck over the modified V on my Martin 00-18V (both are 1-3/4? wide at nut). Hope it holds up over the years.
As noted by several reviews here, this is a great acoustic guitar for the price. The materials are very nice, producing a good tone and feel, not to mention it's very pleasing to the eye. I bought the natural wood grain, and I couldn't be more pleased as it looks much better in person than in the photos here. The workmanship is that of a guitar easily twice its price, and it plays just as good as many acoustics I've played in the $1200-1800 range. That said, if you've ever played a top-end Martin or something in that range, this Guild is not that... but you wouldn't expect it to be! It's lightweight and a good size, not producing a booming resonance but a warm, rich sound. As also noted, the case is a vintage looking tweed that was much better than I expected to come with the guitar. Overall, this is a 4.5* instrument when you factor everything in... there are better acoustics out there, but none that even get close to sniffing the price of this little gem.
I just bought mine very slightly used. I already own a Martin D-16, Gibson J-200, and Guild CO-2. I wanted something like the Guild, but less pricey, that I would feel more comfortable traveling with. I thought this might be very much like it, and I was right. Everything about it made me feel at home immediately. I did change the strings and bridge pins. It came with Extra Light strings, and I put on light Martin "Eric Claptons". The ebony bridge pins were not in good shape, one was split and a couple more were ragged. I put in Tusq. Other than that, this thing is beautifully made, no excess glue inside, I love the ebony fingerboard like my CO-2. I have not done a side-by-side tone comparison, no need. This GAD-30R is an amazing value, plays like guitars costing many times more. I will be happy with this for a long time, and no longer fear the airlines. At least not quite so much.
I've owned this guitar for about 8 months now. I'm a beginner, but have made great progress with this baby. Even when I mess up, this guitar sounds great. After trying some different string set-ups, I went back to the original strings she came with - GUILD phosphor bronze lights. I am an average sized woman and this guitar is just so comfortable in my arms.
I have owned my Guild GAD 30 for some time now, probably about six months. I have played it for family and friends and around the house. I would say it is a great guitar for the money. The wood is beautiful, the tone is superb for its size and the case is cool too. The only thing I would not do with it is play it at a large venue gig. It just doesn't project well enough for that kind of gig.
So yes, all 5 across the board may be quite a bit biased, but this guitar deserves it. For the price, you really can't do much better, considering what all you get from this guitar. You get ALL solid woods, Grover Sta-Tites, real wood binding, a cool Tweed case, and my dealer threw in a whole bunch of stuff free of charge. It is light, but a durable guitar to say the least. I would love to see Guild put Nitro finishes on these guitars and wonder what kind of tone I'd get if I did. Now however, it's an intimate tone, perfect to accompany singing. It doesn't have the boom of my low end Martin, and that makes me happy actually. This guitar is more even toned to me, and I like the quieter voice. Overall, a VERY nice guitar that would still be a steal at it's retail price. My lust for higher end Taylors, Gibsons and Martins has ended and this probably will be the last acoustic I own.
I've owned one of these guitars now for a few months. When I bought this guitar I was actually looking for a dreadnaught body style with a super bright sound. This guitar is the exact opposite, but I was struck by its sound, feel, and excellent price, so strongly that I had to have it. This guitar wants to be loved in a tender way. Playing hard on this instrument would be like beating a kitten. Treat it gently and it will purr oh so sweetly; lay into it, and the results will not be pleasant at all. Picking on this instrument sounds great, and finger picking is just heavenly. Looks and construction are great. For the price, you can't go wrong.