1965 Guild M-20 Flattop Guitar

A customer of mine dropped this Guild M-20 off for repair some time ago. If you've read the blog for a while, you might know that I'm a bit taken with small-body, Hoboken-made Guilds. They're just... great guitars. They're simple, rugged, sound a lot larger than they are, and are perfect couch-potato instruments. Unlike a Martin they're not too velvet-sounding and hi-fi and unlike a same-period Gibson LG-2 or similar they've got a bit more bite and snap in the upper-mids.

The M-20 was clearly a rip-off of a Martin 0-15 from the same time -- satin finish, solid mahogany throughout, lighter x-bracing, short scale -- but it does have a slightly-wider lower bout and a different upper-bout look and body outline. The cute little pickguard helps set-off these guitars, too.

This one needed all the usual work -- neck reset, fretwork, bridge work -- plus a little extra, but now that it's done it plays bang-on and sounds excellent. These have a midsy, punchy sound to them that records just about perfectly. You can bang chords or flatpicked lead lines on it but also enjoy fingerpicking, too.

Repairs included: neck reset, fret level/dress, seam and hairline crack repairs, saddle-slot recut (now it's a drop-in) and new bone saddle, setup, etc.


Top wood: solid mahogany

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany

Bracing type: x

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret:
3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 custom set

Neck shape: slim-med C

Board radius: ~10"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-lower


Scale length: 24 5/8"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

Body width: 13 7/8"

Body depth: 4 3/16"

Weight: 3 lbs 7 oz


Condition notes: it's original throughout save the new saddle and some tuner-plate screws. There's a couple repaired hairline cracks on the top (pictured) and a cluster of hairline cracks/punch-ins on the treble-lower-bout-side that are all repaired as well (with a little filler). I modified the saddle slot into a drop-in slot and made an oversized bone saddle for it. This let me get the compensation correct and is also a lot more secure. The current saddle height is a bit extra-tall but I fully expect it to "settle" into needing about 1/32" to 1/16" or so taken-off as the top gets used to tension again. The finish has all the usual weather-checking and whatnot throughout and is a little buffed-up here and duller-there as you'd expect with an old satin finish. It looks prettier in the photos than it is in person but it's respectable.


It comes with: a lousy old chip case.


















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