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DeArmond M75T by Guild
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Review of DeArmond M75T by Guild
By Emory Ball (of the bellbats)

I was really jazzed to be asked to review this guitar as I have been looking forward to their sales release state side for some time. I first saw the DeArmonds while I was in Scotland in the summer of 98 and had been looking for one on this side of the pond for awhile. What really first drew me to this instrument was it's looks. I have been wanting a Grestch Silver Jet for a long time but can never come up with the scratch, and this guitar has the same looks with out the prohibitive price tag.

The model I took home to review was in fact not a silver jet but a sparkle blue instrument who's finish reminded me and my band mates of a 70's GTO color, way cool. It came out fitted with a Bigsby style vibrato bar and two DeArmond pickups. However it does not come with a case and when I got it home I discovered that it would not fit into my Les Paul case, so plan on ordering a fitted case if you buy one. On the good side the low price should leave ample funds for a nice case and then some.

Next was the set up and finish. As I have already mentioned the finish looked beautiful and I saw no flaws in it, the set up was another story. The guitar required a bit of attention as the nut has some catches in the nut making tuning a bit difficult, nothing major, just a slight flaw and easily fixed.

For the tone test I plugged into my re-issue Fender Vibrolux with no effects. Overall the guitar had a pleasant well rounded tone, the DeArmond pickups had a real vintage quality to them. The guitar was clear and chiming when strummed or picked and had a good range of harmonics. When I really dug into the strings the sound beefed up nicely. I did have some trouble finding a point on my amp where the sound seemed constant in all pick-up configuration, i.e. what sounded great on neck only and neck/bridge did not sound quite right on bridge only, so it might take some tweaking to get everything just right. Next I plugged into my Marshall 50 watt master volume and dialed up some good tube crunch. The guitar sounded great cranked up and seemed very reactive to my picking in how the pickups drove the amp. I still ran into some problems getting a balance for all three pick-up configurations, but this might not bother some one else who was looking for radically different sounds out of each setting.

Over all I found the guitar to be an excellent buy for the price, the sounds were good, the playability good (most likely excellent with a good set up), the construction solid, and the finish great. My main concern with this guitar would having to change amp settings for the DeArmond, not a problem in the studio but possibly annoying on stage as I like all my guitars to be able to function on the same amp settings. However this would make an Excellent all around guitar with a great price.

-Emory
Emory Ball is a well respected guitarist/ bassist in the NC Triangle area.

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Date Added: 09/05/2001
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