The first Guild workshop was located in Manhattan, New York, where Dronge (who soon took over full ownership) focused on archtop jazz guitars, both electric and acoustic. The advent of the folk music craze in the early '60s had shifted the company into production of an important line of acoustic folk and blues guitars, including a dreadnought series (D-40, D-50 and, later, D-55) that competed successfully with Martin's D-18 and D-28 models, and jumbo and Grand Concert "F" models that were particularly popular with blues guitarists like Dave Van Ronk.
Rapid expansion forced the company to move to much larger quarters, on Newark St. Notable also was the Guild 12-string guitar, which used a Jumbo "F" body and dual truss rods in the neck to produce a workhorse instrument with a deep, rich tone distinctive from the chimier twelve-strings put out by Martin.
Guild also successfully manufactured the first dreadnought acoustic guitar which incorporates a "cut-away" in the lower shoulder of the instrument, known as the Guild D40-C.
These guitars have high-end features, but differences in ornamentation and instrument finish options make them more affordable.
Standard Series models include the F-30, F-30R, F-50, D-40, D-50, and the return of the F-212XL 12-string model.
The company continued to expand, and was sold to the Avnet Corporation, which moved production to Westerly, Rhode Island, in 1966.
As the folk scene quieted, a new generation of folk-rockers took Guild guitars on stage.
Acoustic-Electric versions of these models are also available.
Starting with 2012 models, all US-built Guild Traditional Series guitars were available in right- and left-handed configurations.Also, hard shell case material has been upgraded to a high-end, faux alligator skin material with crushed velvet interior padding.In late 2010, Guild released its Standard Series acoustic guitars, which are US-built guitars (still manufactured in the New Hartford, Connecticut facility) that are based on models from their top-end Traditional Series.The rare S-200 Thunderbird solid body electric was used by Muddy Waters and The Lovin' Spoonful's Zal Yanovsky.Inspired by seeing Muddy Waters, Australian guitarist Ross Hannaford also acquired a Thunderbird, which he used extensively in the period that he played in popular Australian 1970s band Daddy Cool.Today, Guild continues to manufacture the D-40C, and now, virtually every guitar manufacturer in the world incorporates this cut-away on their acoustic dreadnought guitars.