The Artist Award is the crown jewel of Guild guitars built in Westerly RI. Only the most experienced luthiers in the Guild workshop were entrusted to build these fine instruments and they used their best materials in the production.
This 1996 Artist Award features a beautifully figured flame maple back, sides, and neck paired with a bookmatched spruce top. Multi-ply bindings, an engraved gold-plated tailpiece, ebony bridge, gold Grover Imperial tuners, and a tortoise pickguard w/floating pickup round out the Artist Award's deluxe '30s-'40s inspired appointments.
After spending some time with this gorgeous guitar we immediately got why these are so sought after and highly regarded by working jazz players. It has a wonderful, rich midrange and acoustic voice when played acoustically. To make things easy, we usually think of archtops as falling into either the Wes camp or the Jim Hall camp tonally - this guitar lives more in the Jim Hall world to our ears - meaning - it has more of an acoustic quality, an air surrounding each note, that Jim's tone has. It's really gorgeous and inspired a prolonged playing session as a result.
Plugged in, the replacement Haussel Flat Jazz humbucker (floating) delivers exceptional tone. We'd never played this pickup (only the Haussel humbuckers and P90s found in Nik Huber's guitars) but are super impressed with its touch sensitivity and ability to translate that rich acoustic voice. It's a beautiful sound and one that pairs perfectly with this guitar.
Condition: Excellent. Aside from a minor neck heal seam separation repair and one or two minor indentations on the body, this guitar is in incredible condition. The setup is excellent with low action.
This top-of-the-line archtop is perfect for players looking for an archtop at a very reasonable price. Priced with hardshell case.
- Carved Spruce Top
- Flamed maple back and sides, multi-ply bindings
- 17" wide body
- Ebony fingerboard and bridge
- Mother Of Pearl / Abalone fingerboard and headstock inlays
- 25 1/2" Scale length
- 1 11/16" Nut Width
- Floating neck pickup
- Grover Imperial tuners
- Hardshell case
- SN AA000089