for me, they've always been a good place to kill some time when i'm away somewhere w an hr or so to kill. ( i can ALWAYS find something to play in most shops i've walked into)
never had any on line dealings w them til a cpl of yrs ago when i was shopping around for an older 60's or 70's GUILD 12 string. They'd have a pretty good selection of 'em at their different locations, but man....their one sentence descriptions of gear, gtrs at least....and the crappy one or two pics they'd provide that give you very little to go on...points off.
Anyway, i'd found a '66 Guild F-112 in one of their stores for $450. it was listed "fair cond". but gave no more details about what's it's ailments might be. i called up, got a young, but helpful guy on the line, and after i told him why i was calling, and asked about the gtr's problems, he asked me to hold while he found the gt.
he came and said..."wow, this gtr is pretty rough" me, "how so?"...he then went on "well there's a cpl of top cracks, some seperation of the top and sides, and the neck needs a reset. badly!"
i was really impressed w how forthright he was...and of course that's EXACTLY how he SHOULD have handled it. All the same I was impressed.
Not long after that, i met up at a halfway point between myself and the owner of a '70's D 20-12. We agreed to meet at a GC in St. Louis.I picked the particular location of this store because I'd checked their inventory and they had three mid priced 12 strings there.
A new Martin, new TAYLOR, and a used Breedlove. All ac/elecs which is what i need for gigging. I got there a little early so i could check those gtrs out. Found there acoustic room in the back of the store...oh, goodie! It's just me and some gtrs!
I played them all acoustic.... The Taylor and Martin, both big dreadnaughts were 1st and 2nd in terms of ac tone/vol and really quite close. The Breedlove w it's smaller OM sized body didn't have the same low end booty. But it did have a really nice neck and a cutaway. I love playing up the neck on 12's that intonate well, and the Breedlove intonation was spot on. It did have more high end zing and i do like some of that when you're playing w other instr. Then I set to the task of plugging them in just as a very nice lady comes into the acoustic room.
we exchanged greetings and as it turns out she's a local gigging musician in that area who owns and gigs out w two high dollar 12 string TAYLORS! We had a great talk about 12 strngs and she too is a big fan of GUILDs. it's a match made in heaven because I'm getting to pick her brain...and EARS on these 12 strings.
wait you say..."aren't you meeting someone at GC to buy THEIR Guild 12 string?"
yes, i was but I was really planning to go home w a gtr that day! and if it wasn't gonna be his Guild....it was gonna be one of these.
I plug all of 'em into a nice acoustic amp and it's not even close...the Breedlove is wiping the floor w the others. i ask her to play 'em all and that just confirms how my ears already heard it.
so, now i know....if this guy's GUILD ain't really happening for me, i'm going home w this B-Love that has a $500 tag on it.
Mr Guild 12 had his listed on c-list for $600. Trust me I AM a GUILD guy....i WANTED to like his gtr but it was just a dud. very disappointing. I didn't even say anything to him about thinking that any of the three 12's there blew his away. and i mentioned nothing about planning to the Breedlove after he got his ass down the rd. i simply thanked him for meeting me but i didn't like his gtr.
then the conversation got kinda funny. now keep in mind, this is a grown man in his 40's who appears well mannered and educated to the ways of the word
"yeah, so i don't like think your gtr is what i'm looking for but i appreciate you meeting me halfway to show it to me. Good luck w the sale."
"what, so you're not gonna buy it?"
"no, i don't care for your gtr. sorry. it's not what i'm looking for. "
"well, i drove 90 min to get here!"
"and i appreciate that. i drove an hr and 45 min to get here. but i never told you i was BUYING your gtr. i specifically said we should meet up so i might check it out."
"so, you're NOT gonna buy it?!?!!"
"No, man. I'm not WHY would I buy it if I don't like it?"
so now...cue the big dramatic exit! now he grabs the gtr and hastily stuffs it into it's very nice and vibey old GUILD case. and he's two steps to the door leading out of the acoustic room, and the case opens up and gtr falls out!
"this f**k case. it does that sometimes" i tried really hard and succeeded at not laughing at this point but likely couldn't keep the smirk off my face. he takes off.
after he stormed off, my 12 string lady friend who was there for all this and i had a good laugh. i told her i was gonna offer GC $450 for the B-Love if they throw a new set of strngs in. She congratulated me on a choice she would have made. we exchanged cards, she took off and then GC and I closed the deal on it.
I'm still very happy w this gtr and it's THE one acoustic gtr i bring to SARAH & MARK gigs.
JUST GROOVE, BABY!