1960 Guild Aristocrat M-75

Here’s a vintage 1960 Guild Aristocrat M-75 semi-hollowbody electric guitar. This particular example, serial number 12359, is in excellent 100% all original condition and includes a non-original vintage (Silvertone) soft case! While the aesthetic design of the Bluesbird, a name by which it would later become known, was clearly inspired by Gibson’s Les Paul model, the construction approach was significantly different, and this set it apart from its famous rival. With very minimal playing wear, yet tons of vintage vibe, this is the perfect specimen for players looking for both a great guitar and an undeniably solid investment.

This ’60 Guild M-75 Aristocrat features; a carved Spruce top, a hollow/chambered body construction, single-coil P-90 style pickups, a height adjustable rosewood bridge, Guild “center-raised” logo above the Chesterfield inlay, gold single-line Kluson Deluxe tuning machines with oval pearloid buttons, a traditional harp-shaped Guild tailpiece, transparent skirted knobs with gold G-logo inserts, single-ply black pickguard with both Guild and chevron graphics, and other refined appointments.

This no-issues example is in perfectly intact all original condition, with no breaks, no cracks, no repairs, nor modifications.

Famously appropriate for jazz, blues, or rock, the Bluesbird has a unique tone all its own; vibrant, warm, rich, and pronounced. The body construction complements the fantastic P-90 style single-coil pickups perfectly. The guitar is incredibly light, and only weighs 4 pounds and 14 ounces… less than most acoustic guitars!

The perfectly balanced pickups, 4.97Ω (neck) and 4.95Ω (bridge), are surprisingly loud, comparable to most P-90 pickups with respect to volume output. Both pickups are highly efficient and all (3) positions sound incredible. The neck is straight, the truss rod works, and the action is low. The original small frets exhibit expected playing wear, but somehow still render the guitar very enjoyable to play.

Don’t let the fancy aesthetic fool you, this guitar is authentically organic and rich with vibe. When it came to performance, the Aristocrat’s body construction and pickups produced a thicker, stronger sound, with more personality. Guild’s catalog called it “a magnificence of tone never before achieved in a guitar of this size.” And for the most part, Guild really did create a very amazing sounding instrument with better natural acoustics and resonance than any other solidbody rival.

Large block fingerboard inlays (pearloid, though, rather than mother-of-pearl) and gold-plated hardware had nothing to do with the Aristocrat’s sound, of course, but the ornamentation nevertheless gave it a more sophisticated look. Guild dropped the Aristocrat in ’63, but it returned in ’67 under a new name, the BluesBird, still with the routed mahogany body with spruce top. Humbucking pickups replaced the soapbar single-coils, but otherwise, changes were completely cosmetic.

As mentioned, the guitar is clearly patterned after the Les Paul, but it is a vastly different instrument. The semi-solid construction gives the Aristocrat the tonal warmth of a hollow body while allowing the volume that the new music demanded. It also is much lighter than a Les Paul, in fact, approximately half the weight on average, an important feature for long gigs. It is equipped with Guild “Frequency Tested” soapbar single coil pickups, tone and volume controls for each pickup, and a “lightning flip” pickup selector switch.

The guitar has Honduras mahogany back and sides and a spruce top. It measures 13 1/2″ (upper bout) x 17 1/4″ (lower bout) x 2″ (thick) with a 23 1/4″ scale that 1950s Guild literature designates the “new popular short-action professional scale.” These guitars have become quite popular in the last several years, and for good reason, they play like butter and are absolute tone monsters. The guitar can go from a rather subtle jazz style tonality to a “œcuts like a knife” rockabilly edge with, dare we say, just a flip of the aforementioned lightening flipper. Once again, the guitar weighs an incredibly light 4 lbs 14 oz.

M 75, M75, Blues Bird, Gibson