A number of early West-Coast psychedelic bands used these instruments, notably guitarists Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia and bassist Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, as well as Jefferson Airplane's bassist Jack Casady.Alembic started their transition from sound and recording work to instrument building by modifying Lesh & Casady's Starfire basses.
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.
In 1972, under Guild's new president Leon Tell, noteworthy guitarist/designer Richard "Rick" Excellente conceptualized and initiated the first dreadnought guitar with a "cut-away".
The cut-away feature enables a player to have a more usable higher fret range.
The Guild Guitar Company is a United States-based guitar manufacturer founded in 1952 by Alfred Dronge, a guitarist and music-store owner, and George Mann, a former executive with the Epiphone Guitar Company.
The brand name currently exists as a brand under Córdoba Music Group.
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.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.The most notable Guild performance of that era was on the D-40 that Richie Havens played when he opened the Woodstock Festival in 1969.During the 1960s, Guild moved aggressively into the electric guitar market, successfully promoting the Starfire line of semi-acoustic (Starfire I, II & III) and semi-solid (Starfire IV, V & VI) guitars and basses.