1999 DeArmond M75t


Note: this will be my last major update for a few weeks. Vacation beckons!

Guild was acquired by Fender in the late 1990s. They decided to bring out a DeArmond line of cheaper Guilds, alà Squier. Instead of calling them Squiers, they used the DeArmond brand name, which Fender had the rights to. Read all about it here!

The M75t was the top of the line model of the Korean made range. At least, it was the most expensive. It has a Bigsby copy tremolo bridge and USA made DeArmond 2k pickups. The body is maple on top of some cheap Asian mahogany-sound alike. This guitar is very heavy. They rectified this with the next model, the semi-hollow M77t.

I bought this guitar at the Pied Piper in Huntington WV in January 2002. This model was discontinued by then, and had damaged knobs, but they didn’t give me a discount on it. Fargin’ bastages. I put on the Earnhart sticker myself. I’m not a fan. It just looks good.


The tremolo doesn’t stay in tune. It probably needs a graphite nut, but installing those requires effort, so I swapped in a roller bridge instead. Same post spacing – it just drops in! It came from Guitar Fetish, my favorite “el cheapo” guitar parts store. Well, it stays in tune a little better, that’s for sure. It’s also slightly brighter, with a touch more sustain. Decide for yourself if that’s a good thing.


This is a picture of the headstock. Yay, it’s a headstock.

The guitar plays like a Les Paul. It has the 12″ Gibson fretboard radius and close string spacing which doesn’t agree with my long skinny fingers. It’s also fat front to back, which can hurt my thumb after long playing sessions. I usually just play power chords with this guitar to limit finger pain. If you like Gibsons, you’ll like this.

This is my go-to guitar for Sex Pistols raunch and Brian Setzer twang. Also excellent for surf. There isn’t a single genre that this guitar couldn’t do. It has a lot of character, but not so much that it loses versatility.

The bridge pickup has some P90 snarl and bite, but it still has that DeArmond twang. The neck pickup is fat – downright chunky – but chords sound ill-defined with distortion. Of course, there’s massive twang in the in-between position.


Condition: 9/10

– Cosmetics: 8/10 (some visible pick marks on the pickguard)

– Working order: 10/10 (perfect)

Playability: 7/10

– Rhythm Playabiliy: 7/10 (if you like Gibsons, make that 10/10)

– Lead Playability: 7/10 (ditto)

Sound: 9/10

– Bridge: 10/10 (twangy and midrangey)

– Both: 10/10 (twang city)

– Neck: 8/10 (fat, a little muddy)

One of my favorites. Reliable and versatile. I’ve played shows with this.

2000 Squier (Cort) Telecaster


Twang King!

This is my 2000 model Squier Telecaster. My mom bought it for me for my birthday back in 2001.

It was originally the “fat” variant, with a humbucker pickup in the neck and a traditional Telecaster pickup in the bridge position. I really didn’t care for the obnoxious ceramic magnet single coil in the bridge position, so I bought a humbucker bridge and added the Guitarfetish Surf 90s.


The Surf 90 is an interesting pickup. It’s a single coil in a humbucker case. It is supposed to sound like an old DeArmond Dynasonic. I figured that hey – the Dynasonics are supposed to be ‘twangy’ pickups, and the Telecaster is supposed to be ‘twangy’, so let’s combine them! It worked rather well.

To make the guitar stand out even more, I reversed the control plate, ala Bill Kirchen. Then I put on the Muddy Waters volume and tone controls. I really like this arrangement. Working the volume control is so much easier.

The bridge Surf 90 is a tad too dark for my liking. Sounds great, but lacks a certain bite. It has alnico 2 magnets. I suppose I’d like it better with alnico 5’s. Too bad there’s no easy way to change them. Doesn’t really sound much like a Telecaster anymore, but it’s still cool.

The neck pickup is nice and fat. Not the clearest, but you can at least still hear the individual strings. It’s not all that different from the original humbucker, to be honest.

As you might expect, the magic happens in the in-between position. That’s where all the twangy goodness comes from. With both pickups in parallel, tone just oozes from this guitar. It ‘hits above it’s weight’ – lots of tone for such a cheap guitar.


Part of the reason for the more ‘expensive’ tone is that this is a true ‘string-through’ Telecaster. The strings go through the body, like the expensive Teles. Strings mounted to the bridge is a sure sign of a cheap Tele. But then a few people actually do prefer the sound of the top-mount Telecasters.


The neck on this thing is of the ‘baseball bat’ variety. I really do not like that. My thumb cramps like you wouldn’t believe. It is downright painful to play this for long periods. One day I’ll get the sander after it and profile it. Other than hurting my thumb, the guitar plays well. I’d prefer a contour body – screw tradition!



Condition: 10/10

– Cosmetics: 10/10 (needs a good cleaning)

– Working order: 10/10 (works like new)

Playability: 8/10

– Rhythm Playabiliy: 8/10 (I don’t like the baseball-bat neck, but that’s just me)

– Lead Playability: 8/10 (decent frets)

Sound: 9/10

– Bridge: 7/10 (too tame – needs more bite)

– Both: 10/10 (twang!)

– Neck: 8/10 (fat with decent clarity)

I would gig with this guitar.