Manchester Music Mill’s Rare Guitar Series Part II

Guild S-200 Thunderbird

The Guild S-200, or Thunderbird, is one of those strange enigmas – it happens to be one of the more recognizable Guild solid bodies, while at the same time is one of the most rare! You might recognize the Muddy Waters / Thunderbird pair, and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys also rocks one.

The Thunderbird was introduced in 1963 and lasted until about 1969. It featured a mahogany body and neck with rosewood fretboard and a 24.75″ scale. It also features a great tremolo system in a Hagstrom style, likely designed by Burns. The body cut outs are very unique and distinctive, making it almost instantly recognizable, even if you aren’t sure exactly what to call it!

Early models were loaded with cream cover single coils but soon after Guild HB-1 humbuckers were standard up until the guitar was discontinued in 1969. The Thunderbird has a pretty unique sound – the low output humbuckers provide lots of beautiful chime and clarity but they also dirty up pretty nice and pump out some great lo-fi, garage rock tones!

Of course we can’t forget the best feature of the Thunderbird – it has a “kick stand” built into the back of the guitar! It was a simple long metal bar that was fitted flush into a carved out strip on the back. While a very cool idea, it is generally not recommended to use it if you have a quality guitar stand – it is more of a unique little widget than a functional apparatus.

Check it out!




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