The 1950's saw a boom in electric guitar playing, with Fender & Gibson dominating the new solid body market and Gibson, Epiphone and a host of other brands looking to develop electric arch top guitars for the jazz players of the day. When Epiphone moved from New York to Philadelphia in 1953, many of the companies workers opted to stay behind in Manhattan and join the newly formed Guild guitar company, taking with them the knowledge and experience that would go on to inform some of the best arch top models of Guilds '50s & early '60s period. This 1960 Guild X-350B Stratford is a wonderful example of exactly this - a deluxe arch top model that takes influence from its contemporaries while displaying all the craftsmanship and tonal qualities unique to vintage Guild guitars.
Original introduced as the X-375 in 1953, the model would go on be know as the X-350B Stratford in the late '50s, with this 1960 model featuring a highly flamed Maple top and Maple back and sides. The body is fitted with a set of 3 Franz over wound single coil pickups which posses a unique sound, with arguably more clarity than a Gibson P90, and plenty of warmth and character that make them ideal for jazz playing styles. The electronics feature the same push button pickup selectors as the Epiphone Emperor Regent, a direct result of the workforce migration from Epiphone to Guild' Manhattan factory in the early '50s. The neck features a comfortable 'C' style profile and sports pearl block inlays and a bound fingerboard. As a top of the range model at the time, this 1960 X-350B features gold plated hardware including the 'G' logo tailpiece, pearloid Guild headstock inlay and gold Kolb tuners.
This guitar is in very good condition, with the kind of play wear and patina to the finish that would expect from a guitar of its age. The electronics, finish and hardware are all original and in full working order, and this guitar retains its original case.