Thursday, 28 November 2013

1976 Guild Model B-50 NT acoustic bass guitar

I've pondered before as to what may have been the earliest production model of an acoustic bass guitar. This Guild Model B-50 NT probably comes close as being one of the first. This example was built in 1976 so it is certainly contemporaneous to the Ernie Ball Earthwood acoustic bass which was in production from 1975 to 1985. Modern bass players who like playing high up the neck might not be too impressed that the neck meets the body at the 14th fret, but the Ernie Ball was worse with the neck/body junction at the 12th fret. Like the Ernie Ball, the Guild B-50 NT has a huge body ideal for recreating those string bass tones; the body depth is a whopping six inches! These earliest of acoustic basses were built purely as acoustic instruments and did not require on-board electronics so as to be heard above other acoustic instruments, unlike the majority of acoustic basses in production today.

Currently listed on eBay, this is a whopping bass with a whopping Buy It Now price of $2,295.

G L Wilson

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  1. Hi, I bought a 1977 version in the early 80's for $400 CND. It sounded amazing and the 6 inch body created a resonance which felt great when played. However, it was very susceptible to changes in humidity and required frequent truss rod adjustments to play in tune. By 1991 the truss rod was dead tight and there was a bow in the top behind bridge. After a gig I was offered 700 USD and said yes because its playable life was near over. I ran into the buyer a few years later and he was none to pleased with his purchase. I have seen a few in stores since then and they have all suffered from the same problems. Someone told me that the reason Ernie Ball Earthwoods joined the body at the 12th fret was they did not think a longer scale neck could withstand the extreme tension of modern, round wound strings.

  2. Smithfield Fair bassist, Bob Smith, has used the Guild B-50 exclusively since 1978. Currently, he uses a 1978 model with a 1976 for backup - both fretless, and a fretted 1979. After many years of successfully using only a Shure SM11 inboard mic. to amplify, he now uses a K&K Pure Bass. The only neck problem he's ever experienced had to do with a conversion from frets to fretless and was solved with a new ebony neck blank. Regular maintenance check and upkeep by Holger Notzel at Riverfront Music assures the best life and play-ability. This is a true gem and should not be short changed.

  3. I've pondered before as to what may have been the earliest production model of an acoustic bass guitar. This Guild Model B-50 NT probably ...



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