Guild F-30-NT Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1963)

Guild  F-30-NT Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1963)
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Item # 11627
Prices subject to change without notice.
Guild F-30-NT Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1963), made in Hoboken, NJ, serial # 23585, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

The often very fine sounding Guild flattops of the 1960's are surprisingly hard to find these days, despite being a fairly popular choice in their day. This is a 1963 natural-top F-30, the midline, mid-size model in Guild's flat top line. The F-30 stood in the company's line above the all mahogany M-20 (famously regarded as the "Nick Drake" guitar) and F-20, the same size and shape with a spruce top. The larger F-30 is generally similar in layout to a Martin 000-18, but with a somewhat different body shape owing something to Gibson's narrow-waisted jumbo guitars. The back, sides and neck are mahogany with a spruce top and rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

This is an extremely well-built and responsive guitar, much lighter than the more familiar Rhode-Island made 1970's Guilds and easily on par (or better) compared with similar size Martin or Gibson offerings from the same era. This early 1963 model has some older-styled features compared to the more common mid 1960's examples including the 1950s "open book" headstock shape, Waverly openback strip tuners and a slightly different pickguard design. This F-30 is a really superb sounding instrument, a smooth finger-or-flatpicking guitar with a vibrant midrange tone which works equally well as a strummed chord machine. This may not be the cleanest example we have had but one of the best sounding and playing.
Overall length is 40 in. (101.6 cm.), 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a very fine playing example, a bit scruffy looking but all original, showing a decent amount of play wear and repair overall making for a "genuine relic" feel. There are dings, dents and scrapes to the finish scattered just about everywhere, with noticeable pick wear to the top around the pickguard and a some scattered belt buckle wear into the finish on the back. The pickguard has what looks like some old tape marks on the surface. The back of the neck has some noticeable capo wear and a deep scrape into the wood in the 7-10th fret area.

The top has several well-sealed grain splits, one running along the bottom edge of the pickguard to the front edge, below and behind the bridge to the back edge and a third off the back edge running up to the bass side bridge wing. The back has one crack repair near the upper curve of the bass bout that looks like the result of an impact long ago. There are some other deep scratches and dings but no other major cracks.

This guitar has had a lot of work done to optimize playability including a very cleanly done neck re-set which is a notoriously difficult procedure on Guilds of this era. This was a VERY neat job with some light touch up to the seams around the heel, only noticeable on close inspection. It has also had the fingerboard trued with a perfect period-correct refret, original bridge reglued with a new saddle and regluing of several braces. The original small maple bridge plate is fully intact.

While not as clean as some perhaps this well-loved F-30 is now a superb playing and sounding old Guild, with a lot of character and a truly expansive tone. It includes a good fitting modern Gibson-logo HSC. Very Good + Condition.