Does it matter whether a company was founded about 70 years ago or it has just a decade-long history? If we look at it objectively, we might say that both might be capable of producing legendary instruments. But if we’re subjective and pay a lot of attention to the history, then we’ll definitely say that the older the manufacturer, the better the guitar. I, personally, have a hard time making up my mind about this subject, and you know why? – because I shift from one point of view to another as I encounter various guitars. When I look at models, such as D-140 from Guild, I can’t help but acknowledge how extensive expertise this brand has.
They have been around since 1953 and their unique pieces have been played by prominent musicians, including Slash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimi Hendrix just to name a few. This information stuns me not because these big names are associated with the brand, but because their guitars were so good that they deserved to see the light of huge stages and concert halls. Add the experience of countless guitarists on top and you have a build-up trust on your hands. Let’s discuss all the specifics of the D-140 – one of the best acoustic guitars under 1000.
If it were just the expertise and history of the brands that make guitars worth including in our lists, we’d never be able to select the best models. I don’t want you to think that D-140 made it to one of the best guitars under 1000 just because it’s manufactured by Guild. It did so due to its impeccable quality and the performance that mesmerizes professionals and amateurs equally. This bad boy is a part of the Westerly Collection series, so don’t mix it up with the previous ones that are now discontinued.
One of the features that set it apart from the crowd is the build quality that is truly worth every penny. It comes with a solid Sitka spruce top, which adds clarity and special character to its sound. Solid African mahogany back and sides add a tinge of warmth and, as a result, we have a powerful beast. You’ll often hear me say that laminates aren’t bad at all, but you should always understand that they aren’t better than solid wood. That’s why we usually see the latter in more expensive guitars.
D-140 has a dreadnought shape, which features scalloped X-bracing made from Sitka spruce. You’ll see this model in two finishes: natural and antique sunburst. Both look astonishing, it’s simply up to your taste (I personally prefer the sunburst). It’s also worth noting that it has a tortoiseshell pickguard, which will protect the woods and finish from scratches and accidental damages.
What’s more, this puppy has a smooth C-shape mahogany neck with Pau Ferro or Rosewood fretboard. The material of the latter depends on the production date, so check that carefully before making your purchase. The scale length is 25 ½”, which is a common measure for such guitars. As we have seen so far, D-140 shines with its quality through and through. Unless you’re really picky about the wood types, I don’t think you’ll dislike anything here.
It goes without saying that the guitar of this ilk requires top-notch hardware. If that’s not the case, even the best woods won’t be able to reveal their potential. After all, every detail matters in the construction of guitars and we can never skip any part while discussing various models. Nobody wants to get a decent body if the rest is complete crap, am I right?
Luckily, you won’t experience anything negative with D-140. It has a bone nut with a width of 1 ¾”. The bridge is made from Pau Ferro or Rosewood (it differs just like the fretboard, according to the production date). Either of these woods is a perfect choice for bridges, so don’t worry about that. It’s topped with a bone saddle to make sure the strings run smoothly. The truss rod is a single-action type, which means the neck can only be bent backward. Lastly, this fella has Guild Die-Cast Closed-Gear tuning machines that hold the tuning pretty darn well.
Guild D140 Sound
Once you are mature enough to get picky about guitars, you’ll start your journey into the world of diverse models and options. You’ll start going to local stores to try them out and then order the chosen one, for a better price even. What you’ll learn on that journey is that many guitars sound good, but not all of them speak to your soul.
Guild D-140 might not exactly awaken your inner musician (just because it’s subjective and I can’t guarantee that), but it will surely touch you in a very different way, especially if you haven’t played a high-end guitar before. Its sound is so alive that you’ll think nature itself decided to play for you. It’s as if it’s a living creature that breathes and experiences each note with you. Though instruments are never dead for me, this particular model will force you to look at life in a different way.
D-140 has an expressive high-end that’s balanced out with the perfect amount of mid-range and basses. Its tone is effortless, i.e. you don’t have to do sophisticated things for it to sound good. You can play the simplest chords and riffs and still be so pleased you won’t have the desire to put the guitar down. Do you know what that means? That means that this guitar is a true badass!
All in all, Guild D-140 from Westerly Collection Series is one of the best acoustic guitars you can get for the price. You’ve already seen why it’s good so I won’t repeat myself. I will just tell you that you won’t be able to look at other guitars the same way you did before. There’s something in this model that changes you and you can find out what that is yourself. I hope you’ll let it age and reveal its fullest character as time passes by. Good luck!