Hands-on review: Guild F-150RCE
(John Gorbe | Posted 2011-11-12)
Guild is one of those names in the guitar industry that is synonymous with class, quality, and legendary status. When I heard that the company released a new series of acoustic guitars I had to see what they did this time around. What follows is my experience with the new F-150RCE. No, it’s not a test drive of a Ford pickup…it’s a beautiful jumbo body electric-acoustic that sings of pure joy and excitement. First, let’s check out the specs.
The Guild F-150RCE offers a jumbo cutaway body with a solid spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides. It also boasts a MOP rosette, black/cream/black purfling, ivoroid body binding, pearl block inlays, ivoroid headstock binding, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany neck with ivoroid binding, rosewood bridge, gold tuning machines, Nu-Bone nut and compensated saddle, and a Fishman Sonitone under-saddle pickup with thumbwheel tone and volume controls.
Guild certainly wanted this guitar to stand out among the pack. The first thing that I noticed on this model, are the beautiful mother-of-pearl block inlays. They really pop and make a statement about the quality of this guitar. The mother-of-pearl theme is also stated in the rosette, which is not over-done but simple and elegant adding class to this instrument.
The pickguard is nicely done here following the contours of the body and not only being functional but adding an aesthetic quality as well. Something as simple as a complimentary designed pickguard can be overlooked…nice touch with this design.
Another nice touch here is something else that can be very easily overlooked – the headstock. The Guild logo is stepped in a “V’ shape flowing with the stepped design of the headstock. Guild has found ways to incorporate eye-catching design from top to bottom on this instrument. The idea here is if you see this guitar hanging on a wall you’ll want to take it down and play it.
When you take this guitar down and play it you’ll probably want to play it for a while due to it’s low-neck profile making it very easy to play. The neck has a slight gloss feel but not enough to become too tacky while playing. Moving along the neck with my thumb felt comfortable and didn’t hinder my ability to execute position shifts. Also contributing to this is the action. The setup coming direct from the factory is great – not too high or too low…just right. Yes, Goldilocks would be happy.
Tuning stability is solid and other than tuning to drop D I had no need to tune this instrument during a regular practice session. The tuners were smooth when turned and had a quality feel. The strings were also wound around the post correctly, which goes a long way to eliminate pinging and slipping.
The Fishman Sonitone electronics are simple and get the job done effectively. What I really liked about this system is that the volume and tone controls are located inside the soundhole. Reaching in with your fingertips can manipulate the thumbwheels to achieve the sound you want. The output jack is located in the end-pin and has a secure feel when plugging in an instrument cable.
The F-150RCE has a balanced sound with nice substantial bass response thanks to the jumbo body. The mids were even across the entire range of the fingerboard and the highs were not shrill but shined nicely with no dead spots.
The guitar is also quite loud when played fingerstyle and of course with a pick it fills a large room quite nicely! It’s nice to play a guitar and feel every note resonate through the body. This resonance delivers great sustain throughout the range of the instrument and really makes it a joy to play.
The Bottom line
The new F-150RCE is a very nice instrument for the player looking for a guitar to record with or to perform in a small or large venue thanks to the Fishman Sonitone pickup system.
When shopping for an acoustic guitar there are really a just a few things to look for: Solid tone woods, tuning stability, great action, feel and sound. The F-150RCE offers all of this to the potential buyer for $1679.99 MSRP USD. If you’re looking to upgrade your acoustic or need a nice acoustic with the ability to plug in, this new Guild should be considered.
Learn more at www.guildguitars.com