Guild M-20 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1965-6)

Guild  M-20 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1965-6)
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Item # 11791
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Guild M-20 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1965-6), made in Hoboken, NJ, serial # AH-1655, dark mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The mahogany M-20 was Guild's least expensive guitar in the 1950's and '60's and while not a rare model per se has become one of the company's more sought-after vintage instruments in recent years. The highly influential English singer/songwriter Nick Drake is linked to this model in the popular imagination due to an album cover photo, but even apart from this connection the guitar itself has much to recommend it and still represents an excellent value in a vintage solid-wood flat top

A small body all-mahogany guitar, the M-20 has a different tonal character from any other Guild and excels particularly as a fingerpicking instrument. This mid-60's model is very lightly built, especially for a Guild! The neck is slim and comfortable, somewhat in between typical Martin and Gibson spec. of the period. The tuners are Waverly openback strip gears, fairly basic but still better than the Japanese tuners Guild substituted a bit later on. Arguably this is a better guitar of this type than either of those companies were producing in 1965.

With no binding and only the plainest inlay the M-20 has a very austere look but a typically expansive sound. This M-20 dates to 1965 or early '66 and is rarer than the more typically encountered late 1960's/early '70's models made in Westerly, Rhode Island, with a thinner finish and more responsive sound. This one has only minor wear and repair remaining a lovely little guitar, a nice playing and great sounding example of an instrument we receive many requests for.
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

For nearly 60 years along this is a clean and great sounding little guitar, played in a bit but recently given its 100,000vmile tune up and so an excellent player. There some small scratches, dings and dents to the finish overall; the back shows a spot of disturbance from what looks minor strap burn. As with all these unbound guitars the heaviest wear is along the back edge but there is virtually none of the common pickwear to the top. The finish on the back of the neck is oddly worn down to the wood in a couple of decent sized spots but feels smooth to play on with only a couple of tiny dings and dents. The vinyl headstock facing has shrunk up just a bit as is typical with Guilds but less than many of this period.

The guitar remains original with no alterations other than the required work to make it play well. There are no visible cracks; the only internal repairs are a few brace ends re-glued. The neck has been very neatly reset (a difficult procedure on these) and the rosewood bridge is an exact replica of the original. The original frets were polished out at the same time. This was obviously a well-cared for M-20 and with the recent maintenance is an extremely comfortable player, one of the best sounding we have heard with plenty of volume and a really powerful ring. Excellent - Condition.