Guild Pilot Pro 5 Fretless Reviews 4

This guitar was hanging forever in a small music shop near my home. The owner said that it was traded in for a new guitar and that people seemed to be afraid of it because it's a fretless. I also noticed that the fretboard needed some work. I told him he should just give it to me and he said to come back on the night of a fingerstyle demonstration in a few nights and we could talk about it. I told my wife about the guitar, since it was nearing Christmas (sly dog that I am), and when I returned the Pilot was gone and the owner was acting real suspicious. I played it cool and got my Pilot the day after Christmas (because my wife is also a sly dog), so I have no idea what she paid for it.

What's not to like! The body is poplar with an emerald green clear coat. It's light, deep and mellow with clear crisp highs when needed, and looks great. It has gold plated hardware the same as stated in the previous reviews. The Schaller bridge allowed for setting up exactly the way I like it. The Grover tuning pegs are rock steady. The balance is great and the action is the best of any instrument I've owned. It has 2 J Style EMGs (which I didn't think I'd like until I played it. Man what a great voice.

As I stated before, the neck needed work. I made up my mind that I wanted to replace the worn rosewood neck with a new ebony neck. Have you ever tried to find someone who wants to help you replace a neck on a Guild bass? Everywhere I checked I heard the same thing, "Oh, it's a Guild. I'm sorry. I could help you with almost anything else, but I can't get parts for Guild." After a LOT of searching, I found Bbo Basses in Gaithersburg Maryland. Bob Bowdren fell in love with Guild basses a long time ago. He builds custom basses for a living. It seems, he visited the Guild Bass Shop just before they closed and they were so impressed with him that they gave him jigs, tools, necks, etc. Anyway, he talked me out of replacing the neck and just resurfacing it and coating it with a special epoxy. The result is amazing. It growls like a tiger. The G string almost sounds like a sitar, and every note blossoms beautifully. So, I guess you could say that what I don't like about my Pilot turned into what I like best about it.

The bolt on neck joins the body tightly. the fret lines (white) show up for me very nicely, but aren't very visable from a distance. Pitch is perfect (to my ears anyway). The finish is deep and clear. With the exception of one note on the G string, it rings nicely. The gold hardware shows off very nicely against the emerald stain. The body sculpting is adequate (I'm hard to please when it comes to comfort). All things considered, I believe that Guild made a fine bass. It's a shame they aren't still doing it.

Poplar body (deep and mellow but light). High quality gold hardware. Emerald clear finish that makes the most of the grain. Good balance and easy comfortable play. Deep growling voice that can still hit the high notes with authority.

Dave A rated this unit 4 on 2004-09-22.

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