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  • Writer's pictureJohn Barton


Ever wonder what sort of guitar Luke Skywalker would play? My bet would be, without hesitation, the Guild Sky Hawk X-79. The Sky Hawk is truly a guitar of the 70s, even though it did not make the scene until 1981.

The Guild company was established by Alfred Dronge in 1952 in New York City. At that time their primary interest was in building jazz guitars and they built some outstanding acoustic and electric instruments with the aid of a number of former Epiphone employees who chose not to relocate when that company moved to Pennsylvania. Guild went on to add folk guitars and classical guitars to their catalog and later added solid body electrics in 1963. These guitars were well made, but never became very popular. The Thunderbird was probably the most unsightly electric guitar they ever created, but it is not without fierce competition for that distinction.

By the late 1970s, the Gibson Flying “V” and Explorer were classics and their once radical designs were already twenty years old. The world of Rock was ready for new directions and the time was right for B.C. Rich and Dean to bring some fresh excitement to the guitar scene. Dean took Gibson’s original angular designs and dressed them up a little with flashy woods and finishes as well as huge distinctive headstocks. B.C. Rich went to sculptural bodies with great curves. They often sported sophisticated electronics as well as luxurious finishes while retaining traditional guitar headstocks. All of these guitars were pretty weighty.

In 1981 the Guild Sky Hawk  X-79 emerged weighing in at less than six and a half pounds. Wow! And these feather weight, all mahogany guitars really sing! The first instruments came with traditional Guild headstocks, but they soon morphed into this version, which nicely replicates the lines of the body. This guitar is very comfortable to play sitting or standing and in terms of tone it has been compared to the Les Paul Special and Junior, but I think it sounds more like an SG. The originals all came with two humbucking pickups, and a 24 ¾ scale length with a 24 fret ebony board. Coil taps were a factory option. In an effort to revive sagging sales, a three single coil version (X 79-3) was later introduced. It could be argued that X-79 sales had always sagged as only 172 of them were ever constructed during their entire five years of production. That means this photo contains 2.3% of all the Guild X-79s ever built!

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