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.
– Cosmetics: 8/10 (some visible pick marks on the pickguard)
– Working order: 10/10 (perfect)
– Rhythm Playabiliy: 7/10 (if you like Gibsons, make that 10/10)
– Lead Playability: 7/10 (ditto)
– 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.