DATING GUILD GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS

The decoder deciphers the serial number to the production date of your Guild guitar.
Guild's official serial number documentation is far from complete as many lists have been lost in the past. New and not in the USA made guitars are incorporated in the decoder as wel.

Where to find the serial number
The serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock, and at (semi) acoustic guitars on the bottom inside of the body or stamped on the neck block.

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.


Guild serial number date decoder

Other decoders
EpiphoneIbanez
ESPMartin
FenderPRS
GibsonRickenbacker
GretschSamick
GuildSquier
HöfnerTaylor
JacksonYamaha
Guild history in short
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 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.


Alfred Dronge


Carlo Greco

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.

SERIAL NUMBERS


   The tables below provide the most accurate information available to Guild to distinguish date of manufacture by serial number. But as already
   mentioned, the documentation of the serial numbers is not complete because there are lists in the past have been lost causing leaving some
   gaps in the dating.

1952-1960

YEAR LAST SERIAL NUMBER PRODUCED IS ESTIMATE
1953 1000-1500
1954 1500-2200
1955 2200-3000
1956 3000-4000
1957 4000-5700
1958 5700-8300
1959 12035


1960-1969
This table shows the first and last serial numbers of guitars produced from 1960 to 1969.

YEAR FIRST NUMBER LAST NUMBER
1960 12036 14713
1961 14714 18419
1962 18420 22722
1963 22723 28943
1964 28944 38636
1965 -- 46606
1966 -- 46608
1967 -- 46637
1968 -- 46656
1969 -- 46695


1965-1969 From 1965 to 1969, Guild used a separate serial numbering system for each model. This table lists the year, model, and start and
end serial numbers for each instrument.

MODEL 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
A50 AB101 - 136 AB137 - 162 AB163 - 203 AB204 - 240 N/A
A150 N/A N/A N/A AI101 - 108 AI109 - 113
FULL LIST 1965 - 1969

1970-1979
This table shows the first and last serial numbers of guitars, produced
from 1970 to 1979. Corresponding model names or numbers are not available.

YEAR FIRST NUMBER LAST NUMBER
1970 46696 50978
1971 50979 61463
1972 61464 75602
1973 75603 95496
1974 95497 112803
1975 112804 130304
1976 130305 149625
1977 149626 169867
1978 169868 195067
1979 195068 211877 (tot 30 Sep. 1979)


1979-1983
From 1979 through 1983, Guild continued to use separate serial number prefixes. for every guitar model. This table shows the year, model and
last serial number.

MODEL 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983
ARTIST AWARD JA100012 JA100043 JA100067 JA100097 JA100107
B301-B302 BB100400 BB100846 N/A N/A N/A
FULL LIST 1979 - 1983

1984-1989
From 1984 through 1989, Guild continued to add serial number prefixes
to each model. This table shows the year, model and last serial number.

MODEL 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
ARTIST AWARD JA100122 JA100127 JA100133 JA100147 JA100203 JA100227
ASHBORY BASS N/A N/A AJ23 AJ1109 AJ1235 N/A
FULL LIST 1984 - 1989

1990-1994
From 1990 to 1994, every model also had a serial number prefix.
This shows the year, model and last serial number.

MODEL 1990 1991 1992 1993
ARTIST AWARD JA100274 JA100280 JA100328 JA100379
B4E N/A N/A N/A LD000271
FULL LIST 1990 - 1994

1994-1996
For 1994, only the latest serial number of each model is available.
For 1995 and 1996, Guild continued to use serial number prefixes
for each model, and the first and last serial number of the year.

MODEL 1994 1995 1996
ARTIST AWARD AA000039 AA000040 - AA000089 AA000089 - AA000105
A25 N/A N/A AF250272 - AF250893
FULL LIST 1994 - 1996

1997-1999
This table shows the year, model and start and end serial number.

MODEL 1997 1998 1999
ARTIST AWARD AA000106 - AA000158    
A25 AF250894 - AF250896    
FULL LIST 1997 - 1999

GAD serials
The round label on the inside with a GAD (number) were consecutive but do not refer to the production date of the guitar.
The serial number that correlates with the production date can be found on the heel block.


For the decoder: only type in the number that is on the neckblock, so without GAD.


Dated after February 2005 made in Tacoma, Washington
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) began building Guild guitars in Tacoma, Washington in 2005.
These have a serial number consisting of two letters and six digits.

Example: TK 135012.
• The first letter "T" indicates that the guitar was made in the production facility in Tacoma.

• The second letter indicates the year of manufacture and is based on a dating system introduced by the Tacoma guitar factory in 1998 who associated the letter "B" with that year.
The following years are linked in sequence to the alphabet.
(I = 2005, J = 2006, K = 2007, L = 2008, M = 2009, N = 2010)
In this system, the letter "K" stands for the year 2007.

• The first three digits are derived from the "Julian" calendar, which associates each day of the year with a respective number in numerical order from 1 to 365. These three digits indicate the production month and day.
In this example, the number 135 indicates that the guitar was made on the 135th day of the year (2007), which is May 15 according to the Julian calendar.

• The last three digits of the serial number refer to the unit number built on that day. In this example, 012 indicates that this is the 12th guitar built on May 15th.

• Summarized: T (made in Tacoma), K (in 2007), 135 (on 15 May), 012 (the 12th guitar on that day).

Dated from December 2008, made in New Hartford, Connecticut
The same dating system described above also applies to Guild guitars made in New Hartford, Connecticut.

The first letter indicating the location of the production, however, this is now "N", meaning "New Hartford" indicates.
Serial number NL 348 004 is N (built in New Hartford),
L (in 2008), 348 (December 14), < strong> 004 (the 4th guitar on that day).

Guild factory New Hartford


Other serial number formats
PYYxxxx (7 digits)   P = Production location. 3 Made by Cordoba, Valencia, Spain. YY = Year.   xxxx = Production number.

PYYxxxxx (8 digits)   P = Production location. 1 = China   8 = Oxnard, California. YY = Year.   xxxxx = Production number.

PPYYMMxx (2 letters 6 digits)   PP = Production location.

GY = China. YY = Year.(20YY) MM = Month. xx = Production number.

PPYxxxxxx (2 letters 7 digits)   PP = Production location.

KC = Korea Cort.   IC = Indonesia Cort. Y = Year.(199Y)
xxxxxx = Production number.

PPYYxxxxxx (2 letters 8 digits)   PP = Production location.

KC = Korea Cort. Y = Year.(20YY)   xxxxxx = Production number.

PPPYYxxxxx (3 letters 7 digits)   PPP = Production location.

KWM = Korea World Musical.   KSG = Korea SPG. YY = Year.(20YY)   xxxxx = Production number.

PMMxxxxxx (3 letters 6 digits)   P = Production location.

C = Corona, California. MM = Model. (example: UV = F50, PM = D25 )   xxxxxx = Production number.