Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Review & Prices

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Review
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  • From Guild's 2020 Guild Usa series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.625"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • Arched Flamed Maple back
  • Flamed Maple sides
  • Mahogany with Walnut Center Strip neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: LR Baggs Anthem with Volume, Mix, and Phase Controls (Preamp/Active)
  • Ebony bridge
  • Acoustic Guild Usa Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Gotoh SE700 Open-Gear in Gold tuners
  • Weight between 5.188lbs (2.4kgs) and 5.375lbs (2.4kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 85
Build quality 90
Value for money 68
Overall Score 83
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Electronics
  • Bone Saddle
  • Solid Top Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $3500, which means that the Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst costs around 29% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

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Videos

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst weighs between 5.188lbs (2.4kgs) and 5.375lbs (2.4kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst's 25.625" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Scale Length Comparison
Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This scale is close to the popular 25.50" length but longer, which allows you to tune your strings lower while keeping the action low without causing fret buzz. This is useful for lower tunings, 7-string, or even classical guitars.

You want to avoid such a long scale if you don't plan to play in low tunings since the longer scale also means the frets are more separated, making it harder to play fast, especially for small hands. It's also harder to bend the strings.

Neck Profile

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Neck Profile
Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.625'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Nut Width
Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Nut Width

The Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst Fret Size Comparison
Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Flame Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Flame Maple Back, Sides
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Flame Maple Back and Sides: This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.

Mahogany Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: LR Baggs. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

Sound Score

Sustain 85
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 85

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Bridge

Ebony: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 86
Features 85
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 90

All Specs

Guild F-55E Maple Antique Burst
General
Brand: Guild
Year: 2020
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: Guild Usa
Colors: Natural, Burst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Solid Sitka Spruce
Bridge: Ebony
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Gotoh SE700 Open-Gear in Gold
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany with Walnut Center Strip
Decoration: V-Blocks - Mother-Of-Pearl and Abalone
Scale Size: 25.625"
Shape: Acoustic Guild Usa
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: LR Baggs Anthem with Volume, Mix, and Phase Controls (Preamp / Active)

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