Guild X-500 Special Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Guild  X-500 Special Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1965)
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Item # 7939
Prices subject to change without notice.
Guild X-500 Special Model Arch Top Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Hoboken, NJ, serial # DA-103, sunburst lacquer finish, laminated maple body and neck; spruce top, ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a very lovely full-body Guild from the 1960s, a fairly unique piece with a bit of a story. To begin with, the X-500 is quite a high end model, roughly equivalent to Gibson's L-5CES although built with all-laminated woods instead of a fully carved top. There is multiple binding on the body, neck, and headstock, and the fingerboard inlay is the elaborate split block Epiphone style used only on top-line Guilds.

This guitar is marked "Special" on the label, indicating it originally had at least one custom-ordered feature. Exactly what, we can't say, as the guitar was sent back to Guild in the mid-'70s for a refurbishing, leading to a slightly odd but fully functional mix of '60s and '70s features.

The guitar appears structurally unaltered, but to have been factory refinished at that time; this darker, more amber sunburst is typical of the mid-'70s and subtler than Guild's '60s red/black standard look. It was also fitted out with a mostly new set of hardware -- the humbucking pickups in tri-mount rings, gold-capped knobs, and Bigsby are all Guild spec. from around 1975. The tuners are also Grover Rotomatics from that era. The original 1965 black-painted Lucite pickguard has been neatly cut to accommodate the larger pickups. This mix of features makes this guitar rather unique, with the somewhat lighter-built 1960s chassis outfitted with the darker, higher output 1970s pickups and a Bigsby.

Production figures for this model in any era are very low; Guild was having far more success with the thinline Starfires in 1965 and was mostly building flat-tops in the mid-'70s. This unusual guitar spans the eras and is a great-sounding and fine-playing instrument, quite suitable for straight-ahead jazz and also more aggressive-sounding electric styles.
Overall length is 42 in. (106.7 cm.), 17 in. (43.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 1/8 in. (7.9 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 guitar remains in fine playing condition, with a recent refret using '60s-style wire. There is some checking to the finish, and small dings and typical wear to the gold plating, but overall this is a nice clean guitar, complete in its original 1960s HSC. Excellent Condition.