Guild Polara - anyone played one?

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Freddy V-C
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Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by Freddy V-C »

I've been attempting to manoeuvre myself into a better financial situation, and in a couple of months I think I'll be in a position to splurge on some gear for the first time in ages. There's a few things I've got my eye on, and in most cases I feel pretty confident about what I want/need.

The one thing I'm unsure about is a new SG-style guitar. I've had a Vintage VS6 and a Yamaha SG200 over the years, both of which I regret selling. I've been kind of keeping my eye out for an Epiphone G310 (I love the daft shade of red) or a Bully (I love the massive shovel headstock), but I just got a targeted ad for a Guild Polara, and I'm intrigued!

I've lusted after a Guild S-100 since I saw Stephen Malkmus playing one with the Jicks like 10 years ago. At the end of the set he handed his guitar to my mate Lewis - tragically, Lewis is left-handed so he didn't really know what to do with it.

I didn't realise Guild still made them, but as far as I can tell the Polara basically seems to be the modern equivalent? It's a little more spendy than either of those Epiphone options, but I'm not opposed to spending a bit more. Plus these come in some amazing horrible colours. Case in point...

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Sadly I doubt I'll be able to find one locally to try out. So has anyone played one?
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by benecol »

I really love the white S100s; white SGs are about my favourite things. Guild have reissued them a few times; the late 90's/early 00's ones had some issues with the binding and fretboards lifting from the neck. One of the ones I played was like this. Really good, but too shallow a neck for me.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by Freddy V-C »

Interesting! I'm not too bothered either way about neck depth, honestly. How does the body thickness compare to a typical SG? That's more of a big deal for me.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by benecol »

I honestly can't remember - don't remember it being any thicker or thinner either way. Out of interest, which way do you prefer?

(google search suggests Guilds 1/8" thinner)
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by Freddy V-C »

Generally a thinner body! That's why I love the Squier Affinity Tele so much (I have two of them), IIRC they're about 1/4 inch thinner than a standard Tele body.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by Hurb »

The yellow looks pretty sweet.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by Nick »

The yellow with the one ply pickguard has this melted plastic guitar-Christmas-ornament quality to it that I love.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by Bacchus »

Nick wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2024 10:44 pm The yellow with the one ply pickguard has this melted plastic guitar-Christmas-ornament quality to it that I love.
Haha, YES! Or like it's made out of hard candy or something.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by plopswagon »

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ekwatts wrote: Wed Dec 21, 2022 12:53 pm The word "moisty" has made me irrationally angry.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by sunshiner »

Bacchus wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2024 10:51 pm
Nick wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2024 10:44 pm The yellow with the one ply pickguard has this melted plastic guitar-Christmas-ornament quality to it that I love.
Haha, YES! Or like it's made out of hard candy or something.
"I hate that sweets over there are called candy"
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by sunshiner »

Guilds are rad, the yellow one does look like a candy
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by Ankhanu »

60Cycle Hum did a review of the Deluxe version, I thought is sounded pretty rad.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by ekwatts »

Played a Polara recently actually, a friend bought one to replace a Gibson SG that got broken and I really liked it for the money paid.

Guild "came back" after Fender sold them off again a few years back, and they've done reissues of their most popular models pretty consistently since, I think the Polara is going to be one of the ones that sticks around for good now. I'm reading on wikipedia that the parent company that Guild were previously under was recently acquired by Yamaha, so that might explain why things went a bit quiet on the new model front for a bit about a year ago, but they've been running adverts for newer models (or newer versions of current models) quite a bit over the last few months. So I guess if you got one, you'd technically own a Yamaha SG again.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by benecol »

This review cropped up on my feed this morning.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by sunshiner »

Vintage Guilds are still relativelyy underappreciated. After WW2 Epiphone and Gibson were the two top shelf jazz guitar manufacturers with Epiphone being generally favoured more by pro jazz guitarists. The craftsmanship was thought to be superior to Gibson's and the guitars to be more prestigious. Fast forward 10 years, Epiphone started going under, just like jazz and a lot of manufacturing in NYC, while situated in the Midwest Gibson was growing ever stronger and wound up buying the fully bankrupt Epiphone up which effectively put an end to Epiphone's NYC factory. As far as I know at that point the personnel of the Epiphone factory moved away to New Jersey and started their own company Guild. Quality and materials wise Guilds were no worse than Gibsons and they seemed to make really good humbucking pickups with more transparent character than Gibson PAFs. Probably the reason Guilds didn't get more recognition was that nobody famous played them except Muddy Waters.

As far as I know the latest Guild reissues had a weird thing going with the bridge pickup being underwound and weak, while the neck being overwound and hot, which made them weirdly unbalanced. It was even in the official specs. The reason is thought to be that when the quality control at the original Guild factory gradually dropped there was a batch of guitars built where they got neck and bridge pickups misplaced and when the latest reissues were designed, they got hold of the guitars from that batch and just blindly copied the layout.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by plopswagon »

Vintage Guild


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ekwatts wrote: Wed Dec 21, 2022 12:53 pm The word "moisty" has made me irrationally angry.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by plopswagon »

And the guy from The Lovin’ Spoonful

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ekwatts wrote: Wed Dec 21, 2022 12:53 pm The word "moisty" has made me irrationally angry.
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by sunshiner »

plopswagon wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 4:41 pm Vintage Guild


That is so hot
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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by sunshiner »

plopswagon wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 4:47 pm And the guy from The Lovin’ Spoonful

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Re: Guild Polara - anyone played one?

Post by rahbro »

my buddy andy had white, black, and sunburst ones.
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