George Barnes was a talented and very well known American swing jazz guitarist, particularly successful in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Guild produced two guitars bearing his name, the Guild George Barnes Acousti-Lectric (later given model code GBAE) - a very fine carved-top electric acoustic, without soundholes - and the alto Guitar in F. The lack of f-holes naturally reduced feedback and higher volumes, with the acoustic sound of the guitar emanating from gaps around the pickup! Both of these instruments were first manufactured in 1962 before appearing in Guild literature in 1963. Production continued throughout the decade, with the Guild GBAE listed for the last time in the 1972 Guild price list.
The Guild George Barnes Acousti-Lectric was described as follows in the 1968 Guild catalog
A completely revolutionary idea! A fine electric guitar and an artist quality rhythm guitar all in one instrument—with a freely vibrating acoustic top that eliminates feed-back! Designed by George Barnes for himself and other recording players desirous of carrying only one guitar without sacrificing musical quality.
Strung as a standard guitar, the George Barnes Acousti-Lectric® has the full size 17" by 21" body and is 3 1/8" deep for more powerful rhythm projection, but construction is other-wise similar to the George Barnes Guitar in "F".
To permit unhampered vibration, the instrument is built with a carved spruce top like that of the traditional acoustic guitar, but without f-holes. Its pick-ups, "floating" above the carved top, are secured to a precision-fitted internal brace-bar which runs longitudinally through the guitar. These innovations completely eliminate undesirable harmonics or feed-back.
The instrument is fitted with 2 adjustable Guild Anti-Hum Pick-Ups with 2 tone and 2 volume controls, plus toggle switch for pick-up selection. Engineered on the hum-bucking principle, Guild's Anti-Hum Pick-Ups are hypersensitive to every string vibration, yet filter out all hum and other interference.
This guitar has Guild's fast-action 3-piece hard maple neck with adjustable steel neck rod. Ivoroid bound fingerboard is of finest ebony, with 8 mother-of-pearl position markers. Back and sides are of highly figured curly maple, bound with 5-ply black and white ivoroid. Top is finest selected carved spruce. Factory-fitted with Guild EA-610 Strings.
Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1967 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Guild advertisements
Guild AcoustiLectric - Les Spann - Warm (1967)
Les Spann playing an AcoustiLectric