DATING GUILD GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS
The decoder deciphers the serial number to the production date of your Guild guitar.
If you want to know the year of manufacture of your Guild guitar, you can decipher it with the serial number decoder, or find it in the tables below.
Alfred Dronge was born in Warsaw, Poland on August 16, 1911 as Avram Dronge. In 1916 he emigrated with his parents to the US.|
In the early 1930s Alfred found a job in the music store 'Silver & Horland' where he learned a lot about music and musical instruments.
Alfred himself played banjo and classical guitar and played in a small orchestra and also gave music lessons.
In 1936, Alfred partnered with Barney Sagman open a music store at 130 Park Row in New York City. After two years, Sagman was bought out and Alfred began to specialize in repairing used instruments.
In 1952 he founded along with former "Epiphone Guitar Company" executive George Mann, in New York "The Guild Guitar Company". After only a few months, Alfred took full ownership of the company.
Epiphone's move to Philadelphia brought some of the Epiphone employees into Guild. In 1953, the first hollow body electric guitars were produced in Manhattan, New York. In the following years, the first flat tops and acoustic archtops were built.
Due to the rapid growth of the company, production was moved from New York to larger premises in Hoboken, New Jersey.
For the growth of the company are factory manager Bob Bromberg, luthier Carlo Greco and Gilbert Diaz partly responsible.
In the 1960s folk music became popular in the US.
This led Guild to produce a line of acoustic folk and blues guitars with models as D-40, D50 and D-55. Also popular in this decade were the Starfire, Thunderbird and S-100 Polara models.
Inspired by Carlo Greco, Guild also started making their first classical guitars. The first model is named after Alfred Dronge's son, Mark.
The company continued to expand and was sold in 1966 to the Avnet Corporation, which relocated production from Hoboken to Westerly, Rhode Island. The first guitar (M-20) came from this factory in 1967.
The move from Hoboken to Westerly was gradual from 1966 to 1969. The stock labels were also taken and used in Westerly until they were exhausted.
A Hoboken label does not necessarily indicate that the guitar was actually built there.
The decline in interest in folk and acoustic music in the late 1970s was a heavy economic pressure on the company.
A tragic day was May 3, 1972; Alfred died in his private plane that
crashed near the airport in Groton.
Alfred Dronge was 60 years old.
In the 1980's Guild introduced a range of solid body guitars with models as the Aviator, Detonator, Liberator, Flyer and the
Pilot Bass (fret and fretless).
These guitars were the first Guild instruments with slender pointed headstocks and, because of this shape, were also called pointy droopy,
duck foot and cake knife .
In 1995 Guild was sold to Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC).
In late 2001, Fender decided to close the Westerly, Rhode Island plant and relocate all Guild production to the Corona, California plant. However, production in Corona was short-lived.
In 2004 Fender bought the facility from the Washington-based Tacoma Guitar Company. All American Guild acoustic guitar production moved to Tacoma. The production of in the US. Guild made electric guitars was discontinued completely.
In 2008, Fender Guild moved again when it acquired Kaman Music Corporation of New Hartford, Connecticut.
Here the handicraft production of all US-made Guilds was resumed.
The Guild factory in New Hartford began with production of the top models D-55 and F-50 in 2009.
The production was soon increased and acousto-electric versions of these models were also made.
In 2014, production in New Hartford was discontinued because
FMIC had sold the Guild brand to Cordoba Music Group (CMG), based
in Santa Monica, California.
Cordoba set up a new factory in Oxnard, California and started production in 2015.
The first models were introduced in early 2016, the M-20 and D-20.
The more expensive models such as the D-55 followed in 2017.
In the early 2000s a new line of Guild acoustic guitars was developed, the GAD series. GAD stands for Guild Acoustic Design.
These guitars were based on Guild's earlier acoustic designs but were built in China and are prefixed with GAD.
The GAD line was discontinued by Cordoba in 2014.
In 2015, the acoustics "Westerly Collection" and electric "Newark Street" line were introduced as a tribute to Guild's more than sixty years of rich manufacturing history.
Guild factory New Hartford
GY = China.
YY = Year.(20YY) MM = Month. xx = Production number.
KC = Korea Cort. IC = Indonesia Cort.
Y = Year.(199Y)
KC = Korea Cort.
Y = Year.(20YY) xxxxxx = Production number.
KWM = Korea World Musical. KSG = Korea SPG.
YY = Year.(20YY) xxxxx = Production number.
C = Corona, California.
MM = Model. (example: UV = F50, PM = D25 ) xxxxxx = Production number.