Up for sale, a 1965 Guild S-100 Polara in excellent condition and in perfect working order, 100% original save for a professional refret and carved bone nut. Introduced in ‘63 and marketed to the “modern technician,” these weird and wonderful guitars were produced in the USA at Guild's Hoboken, NJ factory. With its unconventional contours, Hagstrom-made hardware, and built-in kickstand, this unique instrument could only have been birthed in the 1960s.
Featuring mahogany body and neck construction with a rosewood fingerboard, this Polara channels the natural warmth and smooth growl of these tonewoods via the pair of "Todd" single coil pickups. One of Guild's lesser known single coils and a pickup quite recently identified, Todd Electric produced these coils which were then assembled in-house at Guild. The plugged-in tone is bright and aggressive while retaining a strong midrange presence and tight low end. The bridge position is clear and snappy, while the neck is very dynamically responsive to picking dynamics, easily transitioning from round and warm to hot and bright. Both pickups really open up when distorted, producing monstrous, fuzzed-out bliss. Weighing 7lbs 12oz, we’ve had this Polara professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with fresh 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The mahogany “Fast Action” neck has a moderately chunky C-shaped profile carve with lightly rolled fretboard edges and round shoulders in every register, measuring .865” deep at the 1st fret and .925” at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard has been professionally refretted with flawless tall slender fretwire, playing cleanly up the 24 3/4” scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The upgraded hand-carved bone nut measures 1.650” in width. On the headstock, the Guild logo and crown inlay are present, with one small chip on the corner of the plastic headstock veneer. The original Grover open-gear tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.
The electronics work as intended, with the “Frequency-Tested” (as the '65 Guild catalog purports) Todd Electric pups wired to the original harness with untouched solder joints and CTS pots that date to the 3rd week of '65. Hardware includes the Hagstrom "Adjusto-Matic" bridge and corresponding vibrato tailpiece, along with the Pat. Pending kickstand, all of which have gleaming chrome plating. The vibrato has a smooth, deliberate response, perfect for quick expressive warbles and moderately deep dives. Plastics include the near mint quartet of top hat-style knobs with G shield graphics on their caps, along with the four-ply black pickguard which displays some light requisite pick scuffing and has a small repair on the treble-side edge of the bridge pickup route.
The gloss Cherry Red nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, exhibiting very tight, faint checking across the body. There is a small spot of light buckle rash between the belly contour and kick stand, some light wear through the gloss on the bass-side body edge, and various small nicks and scuffs consistent with honest, careful use. The neck profile shows some palm wear through the gloss on the profile carve, particularly favoring the treble-side shoulder.