I've wanted a Les Paul for a long while, but wanted something not-Gibson and maybe a bit off the beaten path. I looked at old Burnys, Edwards, Tokais, and others for years, but nothing really grabbed me in a reasonable price range.
Back in high school, when I was starting to get into guitar, I had a shiny new 2002 Fender Frontline catalog. I spent a lot of time thumbing through it, learning about obscure and weird models. There was a whole Guild section at the front, and one of these on the cover, but I forgot about them until I came across this one randomly on Reverb. Guess the catalog marketing worked; 18 years later I brought home a Guild Bluesbird.
I've actually had this for months, but life has been so crazy I'm just now getting around to posting it. It's '98, which means that it was built in a particular factory that Guild fans like? I'm not so familiar with the brand's history but I do know this thing was built in the U.S. by Guild, a company with a reputation for quality acoustics, that had just been bought by Fender.
It is very fun to play, despite being a bit of a handful all around. It's definitely a bit quirky and seems a bit like an "acoustic guitar player's electric guitar." It feels very precisely built, like a piece of old furniture, with everything (inlays, binding, nut) cut and shaped perfectly, but it's kind of lovably clunky: extra-large full thickness body and carved top; pretty big neck with a wide fingerboard; and really beefy neck joint with a heel that definitely doesn't help upper fret access.
I really like it. Despite it's, uh, plus-sized dimensions, big neck, and full-depth body, it's chambered so it is lighter than most real Les Pauls. That's probably part of why it's so loud unplugged. It's also a big slab of one-piece mahogany, which is getting less common these days. I think the pickups are dual '59s; whatever they are, they do that "vintage Gibson" thing really well.
It's one of those guitars that I wouldn't expect to like on paper, but find it very hard to put down.