Guild D-25 Review

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  • Sound Quality

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  • Value For Money

matnicholls's review of Guild D-25

★★★★★
Guild D-25

Guild D-25 - In summer 2002 I decided that I needed an...”

Written on: 14/09/2004 by matnicholls (2 reviews written)

Good Points
Fantastic sound
Traditional good looks
Built like a tank
Great value for money

Bad Points
No fitted pickup

General Comments
Guild D-25 - In summer 2002 I decided that I needed an acoustic guitar I could commit to. Having saved up my money, I went out and played a load of guitars - Taylors, Martins, Gibsons, etc. On price, sound and build quality, the Guild D-25 was the overwhelming winner.



The D-25 has a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides, arched-back construction and rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays. My model is finished in a natural hig- gloss finish and has stock Guild tuners. No electronics to speak of, although a factory-fitted pickup is an option.



I bought the guitar as New Old Stock. It was built at the old Westerly, Rhode Island Guild factory in 1996 before the company was taken over by Fender. I paid £699 and the guitar came with a Guild hard case.



So what's it like? Well, firstly and most importantly - sound. It sounds fantastic and as it has opened up these past two years it has only improved. The sound is rich with full bass (not at the expense of crisp treble, though) and with its arched-back construction, very LOUD! Some criticse it as boomy and claim to have had trouble recording it, but with careful microphone placement I find it pretty easy to get a sound that sits well in a mix.



Action and intonation is spot on, as is to be expected of a new guitar. This is a guitar that you just want to pick up and play. The worst I can say is that its wide - though not abnormally so - neck may present a problem for those with very small fingers.



Build quality has traditionally been Guild's strength and they don't disappoint here. This thing is heavily braced, has a heavy-duty finish and quality fittings. Tuners will keep it in tune for years. In short, it's built like a tank. It's not impossible to damage a Guild - but you have to try VERY hard.



Where the Guild wins out over similarly-priced guitars from Martin and Taylor is in the quality feel of the instrument. Whilst the Martins and the Taylors feel like entry-level instruments, the Guild most certainly doesn't. It's a quality instrument, hand-made in the USA by a quality manufacturer.



To sum up: The D-25 is a great guitar, particularly when you consider the price - if you can find a used example, they are the bargain of the century. The sound is great and the fit and finish have a quality feel. Everyone who has ever played this guitar has fallen in love with it, and my positive experience with this model has led me to acquire 2 more Guild acoustics (a 1973 D-25M and 1997 D4-12). Highly recommended.

  • Sound Quality

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    Reviewer's Musical Standard

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186540_Crmoorer's Response to matnicholls's Review

Written on: 25/03/2005

I have a 1975 D-25, and although it needs some work (the saddle needs to be re-glued and there are cracks where the neck connects to the body), it is an awesome guitar.
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<br>Quality? Not a problem - this thing is built to last. A bit heavy, but that's what I like in an acoustic - it gives it a feel of quality and togetherness that some of the Martins and practically all of the Taylors I've played just don't have.
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<br>And even after all those years, the sound is still pretty good - a strong bass, a deep, rich middle and a crisp, poigniant treble.
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<br>This is surely a keeper!

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Bernie O Neill's Response to matnicholls's Review

Written on: 06/03/2009

Bought my D-25 FOR $300.00 in the late 1970's at Guitar City in George St, Sydney. Second hand, it had holes around the sound hole where some nutter had installed a clamp-on pick-up. Varnish was faded and cracked but I had the whole body re-done. I could see my face in the arched back it was so shiny. About 20 years later the amazing luthier Jim Mills replaced the fret board, re-varnished the body and installed a Martin thin-line pick up which is connected to the amp through the butt strap bolt. Jim also fitted Guild gold coloured machine heads. They look better than silver ones when matched against the guitar's colours. The case has a Guild logo on a metal strip glued to the case.
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<br/>
<br/>Bernie 0'Neill Australia

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428564_Dougb's Response to matnicholls's Review

Written on: 31/12/2008

Bought a D25 in 1974 and it has been with me since. A friend put a beautiful inlay job on the peg head and neck with abalone. Looks and sounds great still!

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381663_Blackfootj's Response to matnicholls's Review

Written on: 11/07/2008

I bought my Guild D-25 new in 1973. I guess that they all had a darker, reddish finish on the top, and an even darker back and sides. My Guild has done nothing but mature in these past 35 years, and I play it more today than I ever have (I'm a bassist normally). I feel very fortunate that when I bought it, the price was only $265 including the best hard shell case. I would be curious what the value would be today, however, I would never sell the guitar. It will become part of my estate, and my son who plays sax will hopefully end up with it, and learn to play. I recently had a new set-up performed and with a few changes at the nut and bridge, it now plays better than ever. It was hard to get back from the luthier because he fell in love with it.
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265787_Gary D Parker's Response to matnicholls's Review

Written on: 05/11/2006

I bought my first guitar in 1975. It was the Guild D-25. Since then, it has aged to perfection the tone is almost that of classical guitar. Deep, rich, mellow sound.

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265303_Cmoorer's Response to matnicholls's Review

Written on: 31/10/2006

I also have a 1975 D-25, and the combination of quality and sound is excellent. The guitar has a lot of bass, but mid and treble are good as well. It's very well balanced and delivers a nice full sound that higher value Martins and Taylors just don't have.
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<br/>What it is exactly describes what it isn't. Its balance of deep base, full mid tone and burly treble make it an excellent blues and rock guitar, but make it less suited to folk, where a more "punch," "trebly" sound is usually preferred. That's not to say however, that it won't get the job done in folk if asked to do so.
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<br/>The guitar is very well built. It spent many years in my dad's un-climate controlled attic (I live in New Jersey - known for hot summers and cold winters), and shows little "battle damage" (other than a neck and saddle that needed to be re-glued).
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<br/>What's nice is when jamming with others, the guitars versatility really shines. It's loud enough to be distinctly heard but, after some adjustment, can be played quietly and makes a nice "sound enhancer."
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<br/>Overall, after playing many other guitars from supposedly "better" manufactures, I'd take this Guild over all of them.

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213168_Blugene's Response to matnicholls's Review

Written on: 09/10/2005

I bought a new Guild D-25 BR in 1968 and have kept and played it ever since.
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<br> Great sound, holds its tune wonderfully, and holds together great.
<br>
<br> -blugene-

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