GUILD
Guitar Player|July 2021
BT-258E Deluxe 8-string Baritone
JIMMY LESLIE
GUILD DROPPED BIG news at NAMM’s Believe in Music Week in the form of two baritones: the BT-240E and a fascinating eight-string model, the BT-258 on review here. Built on Guild’s bodacious jumbo body platform, they occupy a sonic range right between a bass and a standard acoustic. The BT-258 is especially interesting because it features octave string pairs in the third and fourth slots. In the virtual landscape of BIMW, where it was impossible to lay hands on the merchandise, its unique appeal prompted a request for a test sample. Was it really as cool as it seemed on the screen?

The BT-258 arrived in a box that appeared a bit small for a jumbo, and the reason became apparent upon opening it. (The almost-too-nice price started to make a bit more sense as well.) In addition to being built in China for the affordable Westerly Collection, the guitar comes with neither case nor gig bag. UPS had not been particularly careful, and there was a small ding in the natural gloss polyurethane top finish. If you’re interested in one of these new baritones, I highly recommend that you check out the jumbo cases Guild has on offer. It’s worth protecting such a lovely solid Sitka-spruce top, as well as Deluxe features including laminated rosewood sides, an arched rosewood back, a bound neck and body, and a Fishman GT-1 pickup system.

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