Guild Duane Eddy DE-500 Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1967)

Guild  Duane Eddy DE-500 Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1967)
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Item # 9176
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Guild Duane Eddy DE-500 Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1967), made in Hoboken, NJ, serial # EI-127, natural lacquer finish, laminated maple back and sides, spruce top; laminated maple neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This DE-500 Duane Eddy Standard is a very rare guitar and one of Guild's most sought after 1960s offerings, a serious, high-grade professional instrument with a lovely combination of features. The Duane Eddy model was inaugurated by Guild in late 1962 as they jumped at the chance to create an instrument endorsed by the top-selling instrumental artist of the time. The original signature model was this DE-500, a very high-end thinline hollow-body based on Guild's T-500 but adding DeArmond pickups, a Bigsby vibrato, and a master volume knob on the cutaway, all features Duane Eddy specified from his Gretsch 6120.

This DE-500 from 1967 has a thinline 17" single-cutaway body, finished in a lovely amber natural lacquer like Duane's personal guitar. It is built of laminated curly maple with a spruce top, 6-ply-bound top and back. The pickups are Guild's standard 1960s humbuckers as used on most of their line after 1963, which replaced the DeArmonds at that time. The tailpiece is a gold-plated Guild Bigsby unit paired with the aluminum Bigsby adjustable bridge, stamped "Guild spec." under the saddle. The pickguard is back-painted Lucite and has Duane Eddy's signature in script and the Guild logo.

The bound laminated maple neck has a split pearl-and-abalone block-inlaid ebony fingerboard, a descendant of the old Epiphone emperor pattern. The bound headstock has Guild's typical plastic overlay with "G-shield" design inlay used on their top end guitars. This 17" guitar has a slightly livelier acoustic sound than the familiar Humbucker equipped Starfires -- mostly due to the spruce top -- and is quite a versatile instrument, excellent for everything from straight-ahead jazz to country to garage-band rock, and of course Duane Eddy songs!

A DE-400 -- briefly called the "Duane Eddy Junior" -- was added to the line as a more affordable option with the same construction features but less fancy cosmetics in early 1963. Both models are among Guild's most highly regarded electric guitars today but were not good sellers at the time, especially the very deluxe and expensive DE-500. This model sold only a total of 41 units from 1965-1970, 20 of them in 1967. Many of these went overseas, where instrumental rock and Duane himself remained more popular than back home in the US.

Although never as popular a model as Guild might have hoped, the DE-500 -- especially blonde examples like Eddy's -- are now considered one of the most desirable of all the company's creations. This is a wonderful guitar and simply a great thinline hollow-body by any standard.
Overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 17 in. (43.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 15/16 in. (4.9 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is an exceptionally clean instrument for more than 50 years on, and easily one of the nicest Guild electrics we have ever had. The finish shows only some very light wear, with some small handling marks but very little play wear. The gold plating has typical wear but is largely intact, and there is some very slight binding shrinkage in a few spots. It appears to have been very cleanly refretted long ago; the wire is somewhat larger than typical of Guild in the 1960s, but very comfortable to play. The original case is present and the warranty card is still in the pocket. Truly one of the finest 1960s Guild instruments of its era, and a simply lovely guitar...even if you're not a Duane Eddy fan! Excellent + Condition.