Guild F-20NT Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1968)

Guild  F-20NT Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1968)
$2,650.00 + shipping
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Item # 9731
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Guild F-20NT Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1968), made in Hoboken, NJ, serial # AG-2539, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black chipboard case.

The often extremely fine-sounding Guild flat-tops of the 1960s were popular at the time but can be surprisingly hard to find these days. Well into the 21st century good playing examples are far from common! This is an early-1968 natural-top F-20, the smallest body size in the company's line up. The F-20 was the next model up from the all mahogany M-20 (famously regarded as the "Nick Drake" guitar) and is the same size and shape but with a spruce top instead of all-mahogany construction.

This guitar has one of the two standard finish options offered, designated "NT" for a plain natural top. It shows typical features for this era, including a "center peak" headstock faced in plastic with an inlaid Guild logo and Japanese-made strip tuners. This is a very handy and well-built little guitar, much lighter in construction than 1970s Westerly-made Guilds and easily a match in sound for similar Martin offerings from the same era. It makes a smooth little finger-or-flatpicking guitar, with a vibrant midrangey sound that also works well as a strummed chord machine. This is a delightful recording or gigging guitar, played but not abused; a very nice example of one of the better small body flat-tops of the 1960s.
Overall length is 39 in. (99.1 cm.), 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This guitar shows some fairly minor wear and repair but remains nicely all original and plays and sounds excellent. The finish is still shiny but has general wear overall, not so much from playing as just random dings and dents; there is hardly any pickwear at all. There are isolated small dings and chips to the back and sides, most heavily on the lower side. The area of the back just below the heel has had some minor loss, likely due to the process of a neck re-set. The top is generally quite clean, the lower treble bout has some finish separating slightly along the grain lines, probably from some exposure to moisture. This is solid and not flaking off, but is visible. The lower sides of the headstock have some visible hanger wear.

There are no cracks on the instrument; it is fairly rare to find one of these over 50 years old that is crack free. The neck has been reset to the original full-height bridge, the original frets have hardly any wear so playability is excellent. Even the bridgepins and endpin are original. This is a neat little gigging or recording guitar with a bright, ringing sound and plenty of volume for a small-body instrument. It is housed in what appears to be the original yellow-lined chipboard case, which is in excellent condition if not a perfect fit, typical of many from the 1960s! Excellent - Condition.