Guild D-240E Westerly Archback Review – Unpopular guitar that deserves the spotlight

Guild guitars are probably unknown to you since it is not common to see this brand used by your favorite artists. Because you are reading this article right now, you must be curious on how this guitar company can compete against many great competitors.

Today, we will take a look on one of their guitars which is the Guild D-240E. I suggest that you give this guitar a chance despite not having too much popularity like other bang-for-the-buck guitar makers. You won’t regret reading this in-depth review of Guild D-240E Westerly Archback because this guitar is a beast.

Features of Guild D-240E Westerly Archback

My Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Place to Buy: Amazon


  • Lightweight because of the arched back
  • Well-balanced sound that is good for any playstyle
  • It has a superb built even if it is a Chinese built guitar
  • Bone nut and saddle
  • Comes with a high quality gig bag
  • Very Comfortable neck


  • Action is high out of factory
  • Preamp system is not the best

The iconic Arched Back has returned

Guild guitars are known for its arched back a lot of years ago. They had made a come back and used their iconic arched back in the Westerly Series which is Guild D-240E is part of. There are two purposes of having an arched back.

  1. It reduces the weight because the need for ladder bracing is eliminated
  2. It increases the live projection which means a louder volume

If you are wondering, most of Acoustic guitars have arched backs, but the Guild’s arched back design is quite different. Honestly, I can’t give you proofs why there design is great (except for the two reasons above) but many guitarists in a lot of forums that I have read praised the Guild’s arched back guitars.

Let’s take a look of its body materials

Guild D-240E Westerly archback is a Dreadnought guitar which uses a Solid Sitka Spruce Top and a Laminated Mahogany on back and sides. If you look at its specs, there is no indication that the back and sides are solid or laminated. But I am sure that it is laminated because if it is a solid wood, they will surely put it because that is the best quality you can ever have.

Fretboard and Bridge are either Rosewood or Pau Ferro. The newer models uses Pau Ferro but when you try buying used ones, you might end up having the one with rosewood. I don’t think that Guild is still using rosewood so expect the new ones are all Pau Ferro. One clear difference of these two woods is that Pau Ferro is slightly brighter than the Rosewood but the warm and sweet tone is still there. For more info, you can check here.

Sound is comparable to high end guitars

The sound quality of Guild D-240E Westerly Archback is great for its value. There are only slight difference towards guitars that are priced 3x higher. I am not exaggerating here and this is really a beast.

Sound is warm and sweet despite having a Sitka Spruce top. It has focused midrange, and the low end tones are deep enough. The high end tones are smooth and not too much. It is a well-balanced guitar and really sounds great even if it is a Chinese-built guitar. ( I don’t have anything against Chinese guitar. It is just that many guitarist tend to dislike guitars that are made in China)

Preamp System

This guitar is using a Guild Fishman-designed preamp which is the AP-1. It has no on-board controls. The volume control and tone control are both located inside the sound hole. In their previous design, the battery is also located inside the sound hole which is a bad idea, in my opinion, because you have to loosen the strings first in order to change the battery.

Fortunately, on the newer models, there is now a battery box that is located near the output jack. It was also worth mentioning that there is no built-in tuner so you have to bring a portable tuner. But you don’t have to worry that much in being out of tune since this guitar can hold its tune for a really long time.

Plugged in sound is decent

The sound is okay and nothing is extravagant. It doesn’t get that natural acoustic sound and it sounds a little bit mettalic which is common for a piezo-electric pickup. But knowing its price, I don’t really expect great preamp at this price point. As long as it is working, then that’s good to go.

This is the Guild D-240E Westerly Archback bundle with capo, tuner, picks, strap and a gig bag

Guild D-240E Westerly Archback Bundle

Playability is easy

Guild D-240E has a comfortable neck profile. Its nut width is 1 11/16 inches and it is a common width for acoustic guitar necks. It is suitable for strumming, flatpicking, and even fingerstyle. The neck has enough space and your fingers won’t feel so cramped or uncomfortable.

Action is quite high out of factory so you might consider lowering its action by adjusting the truss rod or bringing it to a professional. I suggest that you study how to adjust the truss rod because it is handy. It is easy as long as you don’t put too much force in it.

Some things worth mentioning

The saddle and nut are both bone materials which is already a great material. Less things to upgrade because bone provides great sustain and clarity in tone. Using other materials can alter the tone and it can be either be a good or bad thing depending on your preference

There is no strap pin on the front but you can put one if you like. You also have the option to tie your strap in the headstock. If you decide to screw one on the front, be careful not to damage the wood. The tuners are also open back, maybe to decrease the weight since the body has less weight because of the arched back and the neck might get too heavy for the body.

This guitar also comes with a high quality gig bag.

Variations of this guitar

There is one limited variation of this guitar that is popular to guitar players. The flamed Mahogany is just the same as the one with natural finish. The only difference is that it has a exotic flamed Mahogany back and sides. Same features, same sound, but with a better design.

Should you buy this guitar?

Well, if you have some cash sitting right now and you want to try a new guitar, then this guitar is a good choice. It is also a great guitar for beginners. If you will use it for stage performance, then I suggest that you try it first since the preamp is not the best. But it can be upgraded.

If you are looking for a bang-for-the-buck guitar, you should include this guitar in your list. You can also check similar guitars here that are also great for the value.

Final Thoughts

Guild guitars are not popular compared to some guitar makers but it doesn’t mean that you should avoid them. This guitar, the Guild D-240E Westerly Archback is a great guitar that can compete head on to some high end guitars. Try it and you won’t regret it.

If you have any questions about this guitar, please leave one on the comment box.

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Guild D-240E Westerly Archback Review - Unpopular guitar that deserves the spotlight

Guild D-240E Westerly Archback is a great guitar that can compete head-on to other high end guitars. Check this in-depth review and see for yourself.

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