1975 Guild JS-2 Nature Boy

I've written about Guild before a few times here and there's plenty of info on the history of this great company online, so, I won't go there to save you the time. Let's just look at this AMAZING JS-2 I took to the shop recently.

The JS-2 was the 2 pickup bass version of the S-100 in Guild's thin, SG shape. It was introduced in '72 after the guitar version was introduced a couple of years previous. The JS-2 (changed from JS II in '73) was a solid mahogany body with a three piece mahogany/maple laminated neck with rosewood fretboard. They were available in fretted and fretless versions. Listed in documentation as being available in both 30 3/4 and 34" scales.

 

The body is thin like a Gibson SG and this one is a medium light and feels great.

The neck however, is .... amazing. This neck is SO thin yet comfortable. At the nut end it's getting like an early seventies SG but, maybe even thinner. The neck very smoothly progresses into a thin but slightly rounder feel as it heads towards being set into the body with a really nice organic neck joint. No square ends or blocky joints like some Gibson SG's here.

 

The pickups have been switched out for Guild Starfire bass pickups and sound HUGE. These were released with Hagstrom made bridges and pickups which were hugely overwound humbuckers with heaps of punch, but not a lot of frequency response. These Starfire humbuckers are lower output and have great freq response with plenty of output. They're smooth and round and the neck position get's you most of the way there on it's own with the middle position with the bridge wound down slightly tightens things up just nicely..IYou do see a few JS Is and IIs with these pickups in them now.

This one had been modified slightly to take a different neck pickup at some stage with just VERY slight routing of the pocket walls. It's just slivers off to fit a Mudbucker (?) and the Guild pickup surrounds completely cover the routs. There's no structural interference either as it was just the sides not the neck end/tenon. 

 

The small wooden thumb rest has been added above the neck pickup as well. I've never understood the thumb rest myself but it does suit the bass and look great.

 

Everything else is original including the timber saddle Hagstrom bridge which is a great design and all the electrics and knobs. The control cavity plate has the serial/model number sticker still firmly attached inside. The tuners are the original Guild ones on that HUGE headstock with everything intact. The headstock laminates on Guilds are well known to shrink and start coming off but this one is still very solid.

The carved versions were introduced in '74 and finished when the bass and guitar versions were discontinued in '77. While personally I'm not a huge fan of the acorn "Nature Boy" carved bodies I have friends who LOVE them. There were a few manufacturers carving bodies in the seventies and while this is all hand done and beautifully executed, I'd prefer the plane slab mahogany body myself.

 

This is a GREAT bass and plays so well. That neck (did I mention how great the neck is?) is SO nice to play and the pickups sound great. It comes with it's original hardcase in good condition as well. It's a great vintage, solid mahogany, US made bass in VERY good condition with no breaks or repairs and, like most Guilds, is much cheaper than the equivalent Gibson of the period, for no good reason whatsoever. 

May 23 2018 Written By: Tim Brennan