The Guild Guitar Company is a United States-based guitar manufacturer founded in 1952 by Alfred Dronge, a guitarist and music-store owner, and George Mann, a former executive with the Epiphone Guitar Company.
The brand name currently exists as a brand under Córdoba Music Group.
The first Guild workshop was located in Manhattan, New York, where Dronge (who soon took over full ownership) focused on electric and acoustic archtop jazz guitars. The advent of the folk music craze in the early '60s had shifted the company into production of an important line of acoustic folk and blues guitars, including a dreadnought series (D-40, D-50 and, later, D-55) that competed successfully with Martin's D-18 and D-28 models, and jumbo and Grand Concert "F" models that were particularly popular with blues guitarists like Dave Van Ronk.
Rapid expansion forced the company to move to much larger quarters, on Newark St. Notable also was the Guild 12-string guitar, which used a Jumbo "F" body and dual truss rods in the neck to produce a workhorse instrument with a deep, rich tone distinctive from the chimier twelve-strings put out by Martin.
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These guitars were the first Guild instruments to bear slim pointed headstocks, sometimes called "pointy droopy", "duck foot" and "cake knife" for their distinctive shape.
In the 1980s, Guild introduced a series of Superstrat solid bodies including models such as the Flyer, Aviator, Liberator and Detonator, the Tele-style T-200 and T-250 (endorsed by Roy Buchanan) and the Pilot Bass, available in fretted, fretless, and 4- and 5-string versions.
It is still made, copied by virtually every guitar manufacturer.
The decline of the folk and acoustic market in the later '70s and early '80s put severe economic pressure on the company.
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