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  1. #1

    les paul vs. guild bluesbird

    whats your take on the guild bluesbird? some compare the les paul to the bluesbird, saying it has the same growling tone, and is well crafted. what do you think? whats the difference

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Never seen a Guild of any kind (making it much like a Gretch, Rickenbacker, Flying V, SG, etc. in that regard...) The Bluesbird I see in photos looks like a LP copy with a mildly bizarre cutaway. I know nothing about its tone or construction. I wonder what the tenon looks like...

    The Guild I would be most interested in is no longer made. It was the Brian May model. I would also like an Artist Award, but that kind of money will buy a brand new Suzuki Swift (well maybe a 3-cyl. Chevy Metro, the same car but with a 1.0 L 3-cyl engine...)
    With patience and determination,
    one day, my playing will not suck.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    i personally HATED the neck on the guild...

    sounded good
    but definitely not as good for a metal sound

    had great overdriven blues tone though

  4. #4
    Aggie
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    The Bluesbird

    is Guild's take on the popular Gibson LP.

    They may be ok if the budget is tight...but not IMO close enough to a LP to warrant serious consideration. When Guitar Center did not carry Gibsons, they were pushing the similarity of Bluesbirds to LPs. No wonder that idea got handed around.

    I have heard decent P-90 tones on the Guild Bluesbird version of the LP 56' but the humbucker version is just another LP wannabe. If not mistaken, the Bluesbird tops are close to the photo-grauve whatever, fake-burst used on some Epiphone LPs. The Bluesbird is also chambered (having hollowed out areas to reduce the weight) unlike MOST LPs.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I'd love to hear from someone who owns one. I, too, am curious as hell. The other day I was in a big music store in NYC and was shopping for an LP. The one Bluesbird was up in the corner all lonely. I tried it and even if the neck was skosh larger than I prefer, it was very comfortable and I LIKED it, and I kept coming back to it, and I plugged it into a Marshall and it was intense.

  6. #6
    Mesa Master 1959burst's Avatar
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    good guitars but i'd rather have a les paul.;)

  7. #7
    Drumbeater
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    If this thread continues for a few days, I'll give you a report on them as my local Fender dealer just got two of them in. One is a AAA, and the other is the standard Bluesbird. Both are humbucker models, so I won't be able to report on the P90 version. Should be able to give an opinion by Friday at the latest.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I've played a ton of them.

    They are made well and have some cool tones. Not very Les Paulish in tone or feel.

    Tops are almost always Western Maple, some are stunning and they haven't been stained or enhanced to death like a PRS.

    I could not come to grips with the small neck or the flat low frets. If the neck was more playable I certainly would own at least one. The tone is very cool and usable.
    Last edited by Big Al; 07-22-02 at 02:52 PM.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  9. #9
    Drumbeater
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    Well, I got to try one sooner than I thought, so here are my impressions.
    First, the workmanship on this one was beautiful. Excellent fret & nut work, binding was very even and well done, lacquer showed no drips anywhere that I could see. The rosewood board was quite dark and dense. Not Brazilian, but very good. Definitely a AAA top on it, great wood. Flame was prominent from any angle, and had a deep 3D effect. The one fault I would find in the looks department was the volume and tone knobs. They look like what they are, cheap plastic. Nowhere near as good looking as the top hats on a Lester. Guild should really make a change as they cheapen the looks of the instrument in my opinion.
    The neck was certainly not as nice as on the Les Pauls, and I didn't find it was as "player friendly". Not a particularly fast neck, and not comfortable to play, at least not for me. I second Big Al's comments about it.
    Tone was very good, but again, not the balls or depth of a Les Paul. Not bad at all, just not the same. To my ear, it was thinner sounding than an LP. Pups are Duncan SH-1s, but you can also get it with P90s. I would have liked to hear one with the P90s, but they didn't have one in the store.
    The weight was very light. Less than either a Lester or a Strat because of the chambered body. You could play for hours with no strain at all. Good gigging instrument for that alone.
    All in all, a good guitar for the money, but certainly doesn't sound anything like a Les Paul, so if you are hoping for something that does, forget it. It's a quality guitar, and I wouldn't mind having one, but I agree with 1959burst, I would rather save up more cash so I could have another Les Paul.
    Anyway, that's my two cents worth. Cheers.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Guild Blues-tweety-birds

    . . . at least the old ones, are GREAT!

    I never finished reading this thread (although I am VERY interested) because I am short on LPF-time right now, however, I will cannot spend much time on this subject.

    Old Bluesbirds are NOT at all like Les Pauls except for the shape. They have carved spruce-tops (it may be pressed-lam) and hollow-aspects.

    I have never owned one but have come close at vintage shows (they are not cheap, at least the original ones).

    For me, it would be like having a Les Paul-shaped guitar with a hollow (almost Gretsch-like style, resonance, and design) - body, and P-90's. I have played them on more than several occasions, and I would LOVE one. Someday, perhaps.

    For now, it is my long-awaited R9. . . after that, I will buy a guitar built by Michael Stevens - Mike's guitars are something to look forward to!

    cheers, dan
    Les Paul Forum Rocks

  11. #11
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Of course, you guys know who the parent company is now.

    On the old ones: You got it Dan. A friend of mine has one that was given to him years ago with an original tweed Deluxe by the old man who bought it new.

    I did some repair work on the guitar (fixed the shrunken binding and general cleanup. Really cool guitar. Very light weight and fat sounding. Sounded like a big assed Gretsch.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I had an old one in Santa Barbara. I got it from the same dude that sold me the brown Concert and Gretsch Round Up, (YEEEEHAWW!!).

    It was an unbelievably beautiful Guild Sunburst. It had the sweetest Flame Maple back! Guild burst back then are my absolute favorite for color. I dug the duane eddy Single Coils too!
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #13
    If I remember correctly, the older models did have a solid, carved spruce top (at least thats what the dealer told me).
    the faster we go the rounder we get

  14. #14

    blues 90

    The P-90 version was called a Blues 90 and it had a rounder more Les Paulish neck. Also had dot inlays and more subtle flame top.
    Saw one that was store stock in a guitar center some time ago for $550 without case. Sounded better than the humbucker equiped Bluesbird IMHO....

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I have a 2000 AAA Bluesbird (sunburst finish) as well as an R7 and a Leo 59, so maybe I can offer some comments. I personally think the Bluesbird is an excellent guitar, but it's not just a LP copy.

    The necks seem to vary on these things. I've played some that were fairly thin, but mine is nice and thick. Extremely playable and appealing if you like thicker necks. The neck binding is nicely done and the frets are dressed slightly lower than my '95 R7 - more like the new R9's I've played.

    Tone wise, it lies in between a LP and an ES-335. The neck pickup sound is more articulate than a LP and the bridge is a little lighter sounding. I find it to be more "touch sensitive" than my LP's. You can generate some controlled feedback with it because of the chambers, but it doesn't go out of control as quickly as an ES-335. Like an ES-335, it's better than a Les Paul at clean and mildly overdriven amp settings.

    To some up, these are cool guitars, especially for blues players or others that aren't using high gain. I'm glad Guild (Fender) makes them.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Well like I said, I dig the tone.
    It is different from a Les Paul (a good thing), and the build quality was good. But those necks suck. The frets are all tiny and dressed way low. Too low for me. I could not find a comfortable profile. The knobs do look cheezy and they gotta go, just on style points alone.

    I have seen some absolutle stunners. I wish i could get the neck I prefer as I really like these guitars.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  17. #17
    Panic Kernel
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    The early script logo spruce topped P90 joints are beautiful. Kinda like a well built Duo Jet. The original BB's had little in common with the Lester with the exception of the scaled down body. The were hollow. I want a script logo Blonde BB bad.....

  18. #18
    Drumbeater
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    Yep, I agree completely. The tone is not a Les Paul tone, but it is a very cool Blues tone. As Rick said, more articulate, and definitely not suited at all to Hard Rock, but great for Blues.
    I didn't care for the neck either, Big Al. Maybe if you tried enough of them, you could find one with a neck to suit your needs, but the frets are pretty low so you would likely also want a refret done right away.
    Another thing that I forgot to tell you guys. The dealer told me that Fender is now building these guitars in California instead of at the Guild facility. The new ones are supposed to have "Fender" imprinted or on a sticker or something on the back of the headstock near the neck. The two I saw did not have this, so I assume they were not made in Cal. Whether or not there will be changes to the quality of workmanship is hard to say, but it is certainly possible if they are no longer being made at Guild's facility. If anyone is interested in buying one, you might want to try to get one that hasn't got the F word on the headstock.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member Scott_F's Avatar
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    I have been lucky enough to own a Guild Blues 90 and a AAA Bluesbird. I got rid of the Bluesbird because the humbuckers didn't cut it for me. My Les Paul was just better at doing the humbucker thing.

    BUT, the Blues 90 is my second favorite guitar. People gripe about the lack of binding on the neck, but the rosewood is so polished and laquered that it looks like tortoise shell! It's beautiful.. The Blues 90 neck is like a 50's LP neck, nice and fat.. The Bluesbird neck wasn't. The new Fender Corona-made guilds are something in between if you read the Guild marketing fluff.

    The P90's are a Seymour Duncan Hot P90 RWRP in the neck and a Duncan Custom P90 in the bridge. Unbelievable tone. So good that it has taken my Strat almost completely out of the picture. The ultimate single coil sound to me... especially when combined with the resonant tone chambers. It's a beauty.

    I came across the GC Guild blowout sale near the end and I just started calling GCs across teh country until I found this one. 599 with a case. Shipping was less than 15 bucks. Just a great guitar. It did have a bit of shop wear on it, but for the price, I wasn't complaining.

    Here's a pic or two.... I love this Westerly, RI-made guitar! But I love my 99 Ebony LP Std with Seth Lovers more.

    And I did put some Gibson knobs on it. The Guild ones DO suck! By the way, the pics make the red look much brighter than it is.


    Last edited by Scott_F; 07-23-02 at 01:58 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: les paul vs. guild bluesbird

    Quote Originally Posted by Redhod View Post
    I'd love to hear from someone who owns one. I, too, am curious as hell. The other day I was in a big music store in NYC and was shopping for an LP. The one Bluesbird was up in the corner all lonely. I tried it and even if the neck was skosh larger than I prefer, it was very comfortable and I LIKED it, and I kept coming back to it, and I plugged it into a Marshall and it was intense.
    Hi. My first post here. I have a 2017 Guild Bluesbird (strapped on as a matter of fact). I never owned a Gibson LP. I have spinal stenosis in the neck and they are often heavy. There is quite a range now where there are weight relieved ones at affordable prices. But I chose the Bluesbird because all the demos on YouTube of the latest Bluebirds impressed the hell out of me. And also I had a Bluesbird back in 1975-77 and felt at my age this will probably be my last electric guitar purchase and I felt like I was "coming home" sorta. I'll be 62 in July b/t/w.

    Korea makes great guitars--my Schecter A-6 is made in Korea and it is awesome (Seymour Duncan Nazgul in the bridge, Sentient in the neck, Hipshot bridge, Grover Locking tuners, large block MOP fret markers). The Bluesbird also has Seymour Duncan pups and the sound is much different that the Schecter so it's not like buying a guitar whose bases are already covered in my arsenal. The Bluesbird is "chambered" and weighs under 7 lbs. The neck is perfect (as is the Schecter) for my hand (I had surgery for carpal tunnel on my fretting hand and it wasn't entirely successful). The pricey Les Pauls I've tried had thick necks which I didn't like.

    No one can argue with the Les Paul pedigree through. I have been playing along with all the music I have where I know the classic Les Paul was used--like Jethro Tull "Benefit" and "Stand Up", Boston, The Who and so on. I am a member of True Fire and have been playing several of the 30 licks or 50 licks lesson titles in the blues and rock and am so pleased with the Bluesbird's versatility. It has a great balance across the pickups. All in all, I'm blown away. I had an Epi Les Paul for some years but it was nothing to write home about, and I ordered an Epi LP Prophesy which was "pleked"--it had great action but it gave me nothing the Schecter couldn't already do, so I sent it back. I don't regret a thing about getting this Guild. I got the "antique burst" instead of the lighter "ice tea" one. It has coil splitters but if I want single coil sound I'll throw on my G&L which I fitted out with the Fishman Fluence Greg Koch "Gristle Tone" system. That gives me a panoply of Fender sounds and I totally recommend that for Tele owners that aren't totally thrilled with their sound. Cheers folks.

    Last edited by Corporal Clegg; 05-25-17 at 07:22 PM. Reason: added image

  21. #21

    Re: les paul vs. guild bluesbird

    Quote Originally Posted by Redhod View Post
    I'd love to hear from someone who owns one. I, too, am curious as hell. The other day I was in a big music store in NYC and was shopping for an LP. The one Bluesbird was up in the corner all lonely. I tried it and even if the neck was skosh larger than I prefer, it was very comfortable and I LIKED it, and I kept coming back to it, and I plugged it into a Marshall and it was intense.
    I remember playing one off the rack when they were first in production

    Always a lot of speculation about the Guild Bluesbird and comparisons to the Les Paul. Many are inaccurate. First, is to compare the actual models most are interested in: “production” Les Paul that is common today (as opposed the Paul’s original design) and the Guild “Westerly” product build in the Guild factory in Rhode Island in the late90s.

    Most important, Guild never made a copy of anything Gibson. Guild was formed when Gibson purchased Epiphone and moved production. There are no Les Paul qualities in a Bluebird other than some similarity of look and they are both “fine musical instruments.” And let’s face it, they both use the basic hour-glass guitar shape used for 100s of years. The Bluesbird came from a radical Guild design called the Black Bird, and an evolution of the Guild Aristocrat. Guild was primarily an acoustic and hollow body electricbuilder.

    The Bluesbird is a semi-hollow design (chambered). It has small frets and a narrow neck. Most used the Seymore Duncan 59 pickup. BB tend to have a “tinny” sound and are not as easy to play as a Les Paul. However, where it stands out against the Les Paul is in definition and clarity with use of high distortion. If you have played the 335 in “Revolution mode,” you will see similar results. BB is an excellent choice for R&B style rock and roll, rock-a-billy, punk, new wave. I even love it for some drop-D metal. So, its not what you think. Its name and its look give to a “refined” man’s instrument. Its more of a meat grinder in its best use. As for the Gibson Les Paul, you already know it has arguably the best depth of sound and midrange in a production guitar. If I were going to play actual “Blues,” I would choose the Les Paul over the Bluesbird all day long. The Gibson, played clean, has unmatched clarity and precision in its sound. If a Guild Bluebird sounds like anything, it would be an early period Telecaster, IMO.

    So, here is the takeaway. The Blues Bird is nothing like a Les Paul. End of story.
    Last edited by Shine; 12-23-18 at 04:14 PM.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: les paul vs. guild bluesbird

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I have a 2000 AAA Bluesbird (sunburst finish) as well as an R7 and a Leo 59, so maybe I can offer some comments. I personally think the Bluesbird is an excellent guitar, but it's not just a LP copy.

    The necks seem to vary on these things. I've played some that were fairly thin, but mine is nice and thick. Extremely playable and appealing if you like thicker necks. The neck binding is nicely done and the frets are dressed slightly lower than my '95 R7 - more like the new R9's I've played.

    Tone wise, it lies in between a LP and an ES-335. The neck pickup sound is more articulate than a LP and the bridge is a little lighter sounding. I find it to be more "touch sensitive" than my LP's. You can generate some controlled feedback with it because of the chambers, but it doesn't go out of control as quickly as an ES-335. Like an ES-335, it's better than a Les Paul at clean and mildly overdriven amp settings.

    To some up, these are cool guitars, especially for blues players or others that aren't using high gain. I'm glad Guild (Fender) makes them.
    I have had an American red one since 1997, I agree with all the above. It a professional level instrument. It sounds like a 335/L.P. They are still a steal. I also have a 96 LP STD LE goldtop it's not the same thing, but they could and have stood in for each other. I find it an esy guitar to play. That's why I bought it.

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