1961 Guild M-20


by Derek See

1961 Guild M-20

Guild guitars were incredibly popular during the folk boom of the late '50s and early '60s, played by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Paul Simon, Tim Buckley, Judy Collins, and Tommy Smothers. While Guild is known for its jumbos and 12-strings, the lovely little all-mahogany-body M-20 (which was sold for $89.50 in 1961) was undoubtedly inspired by the mahogany-body Martin 0-15.

Built in Guild’s factory in Hoboken, New Jersey, the M-20 seen here was built in the final year of Guild using its original Gibson-inspired, headstock shape; the more familiar center raised design was introduced 1962. The guitar has a slim 1 5/8-inch nut width and a shallow, low-profile neck shape. The fingerboard and bridge are made of Brazilian rosewood. The Guild M-20 has taken on an aura of legend thanks to its appearance on the cover of groundbreaking British folkie Nick Drake’s 1970 album Bryter Layter.

Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar 240, December 2012

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