A proper Guild archtop for a grand? We take a closer look...


Famed for their archtops without ever quite threatening Gibson, Guild have re-introduced some of their older designs, and this is the X-175B 'Manhattan'.

Naturally for this price it is not made in the USA (it's Korean) but it's certainly fantastic value for money. You get a lovely laminated Spruce arched top paired with maple back and sides, two P90 pickups packed full of vintage tone and a Guild Bigsby too!

Overall it looks the part and would compete with more expensive archtops.


It is totally hollow inside, with a floating bridge so harks back to the classic jazzboxes of the 50s/60s, but the P90 pickups have great sustain and match nicely with the body. Tonewise it is surprisingly versatile. As you can hear in the video below, it can do rich woody jazz tones, right through to choppy rhythm and even funk.



The frets are slightly higher and more pronounced than you usually get on an archtop in this price bracket, which is satisfying to play as you can dig in without too much of that archtop 'clack'. For this reason the Manhattan could actually make a really cool blues guitar.


Our verdict:

Overall this is an excellent value for money archtop, with a surprisingly wide range of tones. It's nicely designed and looks great - a professional level instrument. Sure, it's made in Korea, but do you want to spend 1k, or 3?