Full 24¾” scale, with a 13¾” body width, (“concert size”), this guitar is just so incredibly playable! You will buy this fantastic acoustic machine with every intention of just noodling around the house on it, but before long you’ll be taking it with you everywhere you go – the studio, on stage, on tour… Listen to our soundfile and hear just how delicious it sounds.
Mississippi Fred McDowell
With a production run beginning in the mid-fifties, the F-20 Troubadour remained one of Guild’s most popular models for more than thirty years. These days they are extraordinarily hard to come by, as, once people get hold of them, they don’t part with them. One of the most famous F-20 players was blues singer Mississippi Fred McDowell. (We couldn’t find a useable photo of McDowell with his F-20, but did find a nice shot of him with an adoring young Bonnie Raitt, taken at a folk festival in the same year this guitar was built – see pic # 6)
A thing of wonder
The timbers have aged beautifully since the guitar was crafted almost forty-five years ago, (in November of 1972), with a crystalline ring to the highs, clearly defined mids and a bottom end that is not at all intrusive. And the string-to-string definition is a thing of wonder. Oh, that many of the acoustics that hang on the walls of music stores these days could sound this good!
Super easy to play
Described in Guild catalogues as a “small body, narrow waist” model, this is a guitar that is super easy to play. As noted above, it’s a full scale instrument, (24¾” scale), with a 14/20-fret Rosewood board, (with mini pearl dot inlays), on a Peruvian Mahogany neck. Mahogany back & sides, solid Spruce top, and a bridge of what must have been some of the last of the original Brazilian Rosewood.
Catalogues list the finish as ‘Mahogany Stain’, but here it’s somewhere between Mahogany and Rosewood – very attractive. The F-20 usually featured a black painted headstock and this is only the second we’ve ever seen in the natural Mahogany of the neck. We don’t know if it was possibly a custom order, but we think it looks nicer than the black.
A great picking guitar
The fingerboard radius is slightly compound, from a moderately flat 14” at the nut, then flattening out slightly more to be 15” by the twelfth fret – in other words, this is a great picking guitar! (Listen to the soundfile)
Straight off the workbench with a new set of Red Brand strings – our favorite acoustic string – the F-20 Troubadour is 100% ready to become your instant go-to acoustic. It is fitted with an under-saddle pickup/endpin jack system of unknown origin, which means you can take it out of its original Guild hard shell case and plug straight in at your next gig.
Other than the added pickup, the only other change is a set of Schaller tuners, replacing the original Waverly-style ‘3-on-a-plate’ units. The screw-holes from the strip tuners have been plugged – see pic # 5.
Original Guild hard case
All original F-20 Troubadours currently sell in America in the US$1800 - $2200 range, making our fine example here an absolute bargain at just AU$1750. As mentioned above, it comes complete with its original Guild hard case and, as with all Just Guitars instruments, it also comes with FREE COURIER DELIVERY to any address in Australia. ($100 airfreight to New Zealand, $175 to the US, Canada, UK and mainstream European countries. International freight added at checkout)
Once again, listen to the soundfile… fall in love.