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1969 Guild Artist Award

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Serial #: AA164

Body size at lower bout:17" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 10/16"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; figured tiger flame maple neck; handcarved bookmatched maple back and sides; ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl/abalone split-block fingerboard; ornate "pitcher and star" abalone/pearl peghead inlay; 7-ply body and headstock binding, triple-bound f-holes, bone nut.

Hardware: 100% original hardware, including gold-plated harp tailpiece; compensated ebony bridge; gold Grover Imperial tuners; original Guild logo pickguard; original floating gold DeArmond Model 1100 Adjustable Rhythm Chief pickup.

Notes: Introduced as the Johnny Smith Award in 1956, Guild's top of the line guitar was rechristened the Artist Award in 1961. Individually handmade by the most experienced builders at the shop, the Artist Award continued to sport appointments seen only on ultra-deluxe instruments of the 30's and 40's, including a full seven plies of binding on both the body and the peghead. The deep ebony fingerboard is trimmed with three plies of inner binding on the face, just like the old Epiphone Emperor, whose ornate split-block fingerboard inlay was continued in the Artist Award as well. Even the f-holes are triple bound.

Since the model was retired in the early 2000's, the Guild Artist Award has been avidly pursued by aficionados, and production has always been extremely limited. This handsome guitar is one of just ten examples built in its model year, and the first '60's vintage AA we have had the pleasure of offering to date. It's one of the very first built with the long 25 1/2" scale, and at just 6lb. 4oz. is by far the lightest Artist Award we have had the pleasure to play. Accordingly, it is also the most acoustically lively, with warmth and volume far exceeding examples from later decades. The neck profile too is distinctively slim and elegant, ideal for the player demanding vintage performance, but unwilling to wrestle a big old-school neck.

This example has been maintained in superb condition, with 100% original finish and hardware, free of cracks, pick and buckle wear, with just a bit of normal thumbwear and a few incidental finish dings in the side. Action is smooth and low over excellent medium jumbo frets, and the voice is warm, open and utterly captivating. The original De Armond 1100 pickup is a welcome addition with it's classic vintage tone, and is a value over $1200 alone on the vintage market. If you've been waiting for a true vintage, top-line, all-carved American jazz guitar at a price within reason, don't wait long. These beauties are hard to find, and an outstanding value.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original black Guild plush hardshell case.
























































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