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Guild SB-202: Anything Special??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pilgrim, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. While traveling, I happened into a local guitar store that has a Guild SB-202 on the wall priced at $449.

    Finish isn't bad, although it has its share of chips and dings. Pickguard and frets are OK, although the frets do show wear. It has been used and played often.

    Action is quite high, but the neck has a slight forward bow and the three-point bridge is elevated slightly, so I think that would adjust out. I wouldn't buy it unless the store could adjust it and confirm that it can be corrected.

    I haven't played it as it was close to closing and I didn't want to waste their time and mine unless I got more serious.

    The Internet research I've done hasn't told me much more than the bass was built in 1982 or 83. Anyone know much about them?

  2. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I recently had an '82 202. It was a great sounding bass, and was alot of fun to play. Neck was P like about 1-5/8 and thin front-to-back, and the dual pickups gave it a Jazz like growly sound.

    The SB's were only built for a couple years, so yeah, info on them is hard to come by.
    449 is pretty cheap. There are a few SB201's and a 202 out there in shops, the 201's priced about 600-700 and the 202 (in very nice condition) is 850.
  3. HeebeeJB


    Jun 5, 2007
    Washington UK
    I used to borrow one of these way back when...they were Pretty cool...
  4. Flashback, thanks for the images.

    This one is identical to the bass I'm looking at - although the one here has three small switches added in a vertical row on the PG between the knobs and the pickups, probably to switch various pickup options dreamed up by a previous owner...
  5. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    This is a pic of the SB-202 I had. The switches on it were original. (the SB-203's had 3 mini toggle switches)
    The pickup location came in two variations; either back by the bridge or up by the neck.

  6. That's cool. The one I'm checking out has three mini-toggles, so evidently two were added to the existing one...unless there was a 3-mini toggle model on a two-pickup bass. Also, the one I'm seeing has the neck pickup much closer to the neck.
  7. atrapp


    Dec 4, 2006
    Taichung, Taiwan
    I like Guilds quite a lot and have 4. An aeb "B4CE," a SB201 (the single pup version of the SB202) and 2 X702's. I have TI flats on my SB201 and it is awesome, great old school tone; super easy and fast to play - light too at just a little over 8 lbs. The bridges are a pain to adjust - so patience is required there.

    Templar and woodyng2 like this.
  8. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Atrapp's SB201 is what made me fall in love with them. I spent a couple minutes with that bass, and man, it is killer!
    woodyng2 likes this.
  9. I'm kind of partial to Guild basses myself! Here's mine;

    electracoyote, Tanner5382 and Shortie like this.
  10. Dirk McQuickley

    Dirk McQuickley

    Oct 13, 2008
    Is that a Guild B-402 in the upper right corner?

    Dirk McQuickley
  11. Dirk McQuickley

    Dirk McQuickley

    Oct 13, 2008
    It may be tough to adjust the action to make it "low" on the SB-202. The BT-4 bridge does not have the ability to match the crown of the fretboard so what often happens is the A and D strings can get low but the E and G strings will be moderate in height.

    The real reason to get this bass is the set neck design plus those single-coil pickups. Those single-coil pickups are some of the best ever made by any manufacturer; right behind the Hagstrom Bisonics and Dark Star pickups. The new Lakland Chisonics may beat these Guild pickups but Guilds basses are such a steal.

    Dirk McQuickley
    woodyng2 likes this.
  12. Dark Star

    Dark Star

    Jun 18, 2008
    CT, RI, NC
    Anyone have any sound clips of one..or an idea of what one sounds like? I'm a little curious about these Guild's as well.
  13. Peepaleep

    Peepaleep Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    It killed me to see that Candy Apple Red one come up on ebay. Payday for me was after it ended so I was definitely out of the running. It looked exactly like the one I sold almost three years ago (pictured above), and really wished I never let go. :crying:
    Such an odd combination of the pickups stacked toward the rear and custom color, hard to believe there was two identicle ones. mine had a different serial#.
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Your old bass is featured in the October '15 issue of Vintage Guitar!
    woodyng2, Ryan6491 and Caca de Kick like this.
  16. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Wow, I have the same candy apple red Guild SB-202. I bought it February 1987 from a guitar shop in RI for $400 brand new. The shop owner said it was leftover from the factory stock in Westerly, like the very last SB model. I've modified it quite a bit, and in '94 the paint dings and dents bothered me so much I decided to strip and refinish as a dark stain. Admittedly, I did a terrible job refinishing it and became impatient with how many layers of finish there were, I remember seeing a gold color base coat under the red....it used to show through the dents and dings.

    EMG-P added in '87, EMG-EXB/pre-amp added in '90 on the original pickups with on/off switch. Adding the preamp balanced the output between the original pickups and the EMG. The original phase switch is down by the input jack and the other switch kills the output signal. There's a 9-volt under the pickguard that barely fits and I have to change that every 2-3 years. Brass nut was installed in '88. In theory I should still be able to get the same tone as an original SB-202, although I loved the EMG/EXB at the time. I almost always full original pickups w/ EXB on, EMG-P off.

    Sorry to wake up an old thread -- I'd love to get an original candy apple red Guild SB-202 as pictured! 20160702_200418.
    So who's got it now?
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  17. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Hmmm I've having a tough time finding any SB-202's with the bridge position pickup. And the SB-203 are damn rare too. I've heard people say they had a maghogany SB-202 but I'm fairly sure they are all ash. I stripped mine as shown. No leads on that nice candy apple red with black pickguard, I guess people have discovered these great basses and keep them hidden! Mine was a red, only trace of it now is in the stamped serial numbers.

    20160712_180055. 20160712_180128. 20160712_180205.
    woodyng2 likes this.
  18. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I sold it to someone in Australia. Yeah the ones with bridge position pickup are impossible to find.
    woodyng2 likes this.
  19. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    You let it out of the country!? Yeah I've only seen one other picture, was this one yours as well? I messaged another TB'er who linked to it, but he says not his bass.

    woodyng2 likes this.

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