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Thread: GF-60 (Maple) and G-45 ?

  1. #1

    GF-60 (Maple) and G-45 ?

    Hi,
    I stumbled upon a 1980's Hank Williams Jr model G-45 over the weekend and was smitten. I'm primarily a Gibson acoustic guy and generally gravitate toward lighter weight acoustics. This G-45 is tank, but the ebony fretboard felt really good in the hand and this dread resonated and played like a great J-200.

    In the $2000 plus area, it was more than I wanted to pay on a whim, and I definitely didn't want to pay extra for any cost associated it with it being a signature model (I'm not seeking a Hank Jr. sig).

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this guitar as compared to GF-60 (maple) from the late 80's. I found one available, also with a maple bound neck with ebony board. It is priced a little better and I am wondering if what I found appealing in the Hank Jr (ebony fretboard/maple neck playability combined with really nice sustain for a maple body) would be there in a good GF-60.

    Thanks for any insight.
    2012 D50 (DTAR); 1984 G45 (Hank Williams Jr.); 2018 '59 LE Gibson J-50; 2001 Gibson J-45; 1944 Gibson LG-2; 1994 Gibson Roy Smeck Radio Grande; 1938 Martin 0-17; CA Cargo.

  2. #2
    Hey Nid2007,
    I don't have any experience with the GF-60... but if you aren't wedded to an ebony fretboard and bling of the G-45, and are looking for similar sound for less $$$, consider a D-30. The D-30 is a maple dread with arched maple back, spruce top with scalloped bracing, very much like the G-45 Hank Williams. But it has a rosewood fretboard and dot makers. They're usually relatively abundant on eBay and Reverb, and a nice one can be found for half (or less) the cost of a G-45.

    Another one to look at would be the G-37 (predecessor of the D-30), made from ~1973-86. Again, maple body dread with arched back, spruce top with straight (unscalloped) braces, rosewood fretboard with dot markers. Early ones had one-piece mahogany necks and silk screened logo. Later, a multipiece maple neck and Chesterfield logo. Early G-37s can be had in VG condition for as little as $600, and later ones up to around $1K.

    Don't know exactly what they were asking for the G-45... but there probably wasn't much of an "upcharge" for it being a signature model. It's pretty typical for limited edition Guilds of this trim level to sell in the $2-$3K range. There was a very similar limited edition model, the D-65S, with maple body, arched back, and the neck of a D-55 (ebony with abalone wedges in pearl block fret markers)...only ~20 made, and I think the last one I saw was in the $3K range.

    Happy hunting!
    Last edited by GardMan; 04-10-2019 at 06:09 PM.
    Dave

    '72 D-35 (Jan '73)
    '81 D-46NT (Oct '07)
    '94 DV-72NT (turquoise; Jan '16)
    '94 DV-72NT MK (malachite; Oct '14)
    '95 DV-73 NT HG (Aug '12)
    Gone but not forgotten
    '71 D-44NT (2008-2015)
    '74 G-37Bld (2006-2015)
    '74 D-25M (2006-2015)
    '76 D-50NT (2009-2016)
    '78 D-35 (1986-2007)
    '92 D-55 (2007-2014)


    All my Guilds, past and present (pics)...
    My Soundclick! page...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I do have a '83 G 45 (not Hank Williams Jr. model) and I think it is a pretty exceptional Guild. I paid more than the $2k you mentioned and possibly overpaid a bit but I've learned not to let $200 or $300 swing my decision too much. Sure, I'd like to get all my guitars for free but I don't mind paying to get something I really lust for.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nid2007 View Post
    Hi,
    I stumbled upon a 1980's Hank Williams Jr model G-45 over the weekend and was smitten. I'm primarily a Gibson acoustic guy and generally gravitate toward lighter weight acoustics. This G-45 is tank, but the ebony fretboard felt really good in the hand and this dread resonated and played like a great J-200.

    In the $2000 plus area, it was more than I wanted to pay on a whim, and I definitely didn't want to pay extra for any cost associated it with it being a signature model (I'm not seeking a Hank Jr. sig).

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this guitar as compared to GF-60 (maple) from the late 80's. I found one available, also with a maple bound neck with ebony board. It is priced a little better and I am wondering if what I found appealing in the Hank Jr (ebony fretboard/maple neck playability combined with really nice sustain for a maple body) would be there in a good GF-60.

    Thanks for any insight.
    Think that G45 was overpriced, even if a Hank Williams model
    The G45 was a dreadnought, the GF60 was a "Grand Auditorium", 16" lower bout "F body", flatback, and definitely upscale model from the G45.
    http://www.westerlyguildguitars.com/guitars/gf60.html
    Note the price difference between the GF60 and the D30 the Hank Williams was based on:
    http://www.westerlyguildguitars.com/guitars/gf60.html
    And with Guild they don't just bling up a guitar to get more for it, they save the bling for the guitars that deserve it, and in general as the price goes up so does the sound quality.
    It's kind of like comparing apples to oranges but that GF60 is the real counterpart to an SJ200.
    My F65ce's based on the same outline but is shallow and arched back, and it still gives up very little to my dreadnoughts, in fact for quite a while it was actually just as loud as my D40 (flatbacked 'hog body dread) until that one finally opened up.
    If you're going to record I say go with the flatback.
    Ya just gotta try it and decide for yourself, especially when it comes to the neck because that G45 might have been built at a time when Guild tended to have thicker (deeper not wider) necks.
    By the time the GF60's came out they were getting thinner and builds in general were getting lighter.
    GF60's had the benefit of George Gruhn/Kim Walker design and build DNA.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  5. #5
    Thanks for the info everyone. Very helpful, especially as to pricing. I definitely was not looking to like the G45 as much as I did. I prefer slope shouldered dreads, I usually think maple is too bright, generally prefer lighter guitars, and I usually steer clear from a neck as slim as the maple neck on the G-45. But something about that guitar...

    Anyone have thoughts or experience with the D-44M? One is avail for less than half the price of the G45.
    2012 D50 (DTAR); 1984 G45 (Hank Williams Jr.); 2018 '59 LE Gibson J-50; 2001 Gibson J-45; 1944 Gibson LG-2; 1994 Gibson Roy Smeck Radio Grande; 1938 Martin 0-17; CA Cargo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nid2007 View Post
    Thanks for the info everyone. Very helpful, especially as to pricing. I definitely was not looking to like the G45 as much as I did. I prefer slope shouldered dreads, I usually think maple is too bright, generally prefer lighter guitars, and I usually steer clear from a neck as slim as the maple neck on the G-45. But something about that guitar...

    Anyone have thoughts or experience with the D-44M? One is avail for less than half the price of the G45.
    Pretty sure it was their first maple dread, had a flat back.
    Assuming good overall condition with a case, sounds like a good price.
    I based my earlier comment about recording characteristics on my experience with my hog body dreads:
    The archback D25 produces more distortion than the flatback D40 when recording, and they're essentially identical build formulas except for the back configuration.
    And while I love my F65ce, I was noticing it was extremely jangly in recording on my GF's cell phone, even though not that jangly to me from the playing position.
    I think a flatback would reduce the jangliness, but what I really wanted was a woodier recorded tone and finally accomplished that with a set of silk'n'steels tuned a whole step down.
    Can't see any reason it wouldn't give a D44m or either of the other 2 a new voice, too.
    In case you also like to experiment with strings.
    As for the previously mentioned D30, I think that one's also well worth your consideration.
    Have a buddy with its earlier iteration, the G37, and that was the single best sounding acoustic guitar I've ever heard in my life.
    Sustain "forever", and that's really not too far from the truth according to several owners of that model and D30's, here.

    Final thought re "something about that guitar...".
    There's lots of guys here who'd say "Get the one that speaks to you".
    'cause we hear at least 3 or 4 stories every year from new members who're trying to scratch the itch left by the one they didn't buy.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  7. #7
    Thanks. There is a 1990 D-30 avail for around 1k; maybe that's the ticket. But like you said, the "something" about the G45 is sticking in my head.
    2012 D50 (DTAR); 1984 G45 (Hank Williams Jr.); 2018 '59 LE Gibson J-50; 2001 Gibson J-45; 1944 Gibson LG-2; 1994 Gibson Roy Smeck Radio Grande; 1938 Martin 0-17; CA Cargo.

  8. #8
    Doing some research, I see I can get a 1985 G-37 for about half the price of the 1985 G-45 HW. I don't care about the fret marker bling, but I really liked the feel of the G-45 neck fretboard. It may be in part because the hard hard ebony on the G-45 is so different from the rosewood board on my Gibson's. But it could have also been the maple neck, which the 1985 G-37 also has.

    Am I correct in thinking that the 1985 G-37 should be pretty much the same guitar as the 1985 G45 HW--the only difference being the blingy ebony fretboard vs the plain rosewood fretboard on the G-37?

    Thanks!
    2012 D50 (DTAR); 1984 G45 (Hank Williams Jr.); 2018 '59 LE Gibson J-50; 2001 Gibson J-45; 1944 Gibson LG-2; 1994 Gibson Roy Smeck Radio Grande; 1938 Martin 0-17; CA Cargo.

  9. #9
    "Pretty much the same guitar" - NO.

    Not even close - they're completely different animals, have owned several of both.

    Advice - find a good D30 and run with it. Decent player-grade with some wear but good
    neck angle can be had for $650 - $750ish, excellent examples $900 - $1100.
    G37s are interesting but not as user friendly as D30s.

    Agreed though, G45 HW's are cool!

  10. #10
    Re: your comments on the "feel" of the neck... You should be aware that during thru the Hoboken and Westerly years (and even Corona?), Guild necks were shaped and finished by HAND. A template was used to guide in shaping, but the overall shape of the neck can vary considerably from guitar to guitar, within the same model, within the same year, and MAYBE even within the same batch. Even nut width can vary from the standard spec of 1-11/16". For example, my '76 D-50 had a narrow but thick neck, my '92 D-55 had a standard 1-11/16 width but was very thin front to back, while all three of my DV-7Xs from '94 and '95 have nut widths within 0.01" of 1-3/4", even tho' the spec is 1-11/16", and the "thickness" back to front of the DV necks varies.

    So, just because you loved the neck of one '85 G-45 doesn't mean you'll love the neck of the next one that comes along.

    (of the 11 Guild necks I have owned thru the years, there were only two that I never really felt comfortable with... a '78 D-35 that started out thin but got abruptly thicker at ~the 6th fret, and my '76 D-50, that was narrow and fat...)
    Dave

    '72 D-35 (Jan '73)
    '81 D-46NT (Oct '07)
    '94 DV-72NT (turquoise; Jan '16)
    '94 DV-72NT MK (malachite; Oct '14)
    '95 DV-73 NT HG (Aug '12)
    Gone but not forgotten
    '71 D-44NT (2008-2015)
    '74 G-37Bld (2006-2015)
    '74 D-25M (2006-2015)
    '76 D-50NT (2009-2016)
    '78 D-35 (1986-2007)
    '92 D-55 (2007-2014)


    All my Guilds, past and present (pics)...
    My Soundclick! page...

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