The dual pickup Guild B-302 bass, and its single pickup sibling the Guild B-301, were two very original new bass designs from Guild, ending a period in the early 1970s in which the company was at its least innovative. The all mahogany B-302 first appeared on Guild price lists in late 1976, with the ash/maple version listed just under a year later. The totally original body design was shared with a companion six string guitar model, the very highly regarded Guild S-300. These were great basses; very light, very playable, and consequently in great demand amongst players and collectors alike.
Guild's first solid body guitar designs in the 1960s were fascinating and original instruments. Unfortunately the public didn't buy them sufficiently, and by the seventies Guild were making very similar instruments to rivals Gibson. The JS-1 and JS-2 basses took heavily from the Gibson EB0 and EB3, in look, parts, finish and construction
In the latter half of the seventies the SG shape was beginning to look old, and the fuller humbucker bass sound less desirable too. Guild came out with an original, innovative, and economic design. Stylistically, a mix of Fender and Rickenbacker with the set-neck mahogany build of a Gibson. And at the same time very much itself. The new DP-8 single coil pickups and controls were mounted on the scratchplate allowing them to be pre-assembled before attaching to the body. New for Guild, but a technique employed by Fender from the beginning, and used increasingly ever since the the globalisation of guitar manufacture in the late 60s and 70s.
The new pickups were single coil units in black covers with two pole pieces per string - so eight pole pieces, hence the DP-8 name. The B-300s were the first models to use them, but they appeared on numerous newer Guild basses (Guild X-701 and X-702, Guild SB-202 and the Guild SB-203 ) which replaced them in the early 1980s
The 1978 Guild electrics catalog dedicates one internal page and the back cover to the B-301 and B-302. The B301/B302 were described as follows:
The B-301 was the first in Guild's new generation of solid body guitars and basses - so successful, we followed it with our double pick-up B-302.
Both have the long 34" (86.4cm) scale, wide frets and curved fingerboard that rock bassists are using. Plus a new bass pick-up. And a new solid brass bridge/tailpiece that gives you perfect intonation.
Electric bass advertisements originally published from 1978 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Guild advertisements
Guild B-302 - Guild B-302. Makes You Glad You're A Bass Player (1978)
The greatest bass we've ever built, with everything you want for the way you play today! Long-scale curved fingerboard. Wide frets. New solid brass bridge/tailpiece for perfect intonation. New doub...
Guild B-302 - David "Rook" Goldflies - the Allman Brothers Band / Guild B-302 (1980)
David plays a hard-driving, progressive style. "I like the feel of the B-302AF," he says. "The maple neck is well-proportioned, the balance is very good. and the weight is right. It's comfortable t...
Guild B-302 - Derek Holt. Climax Blues Band / Guild B-302 (1981)
Derek Holt has been the solid, hard-driving bass player of the Climax Blues band since its early days. "My B-302 can take everything i give it", he says. "The neck and fingerboard are what I was lo...
The B-302 wiring loom, attached to the scratchplate.
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