FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Musician's Friend

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Apex Tube Matching


WD Music

Amplified Parts

Guitar Center

Antique Electronics Supply

Advertise here

Jensen Loudspeakers


* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Guild/DeArmond/Tacoma Guitars / Dearmond/Guild - clarification required

Tony McG


Jun 1st, 2008 08:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic


I've been thinking about buying one of these guitars second hand, (maybe a Starfire, maybe x-155) but I'm a little unclear about the brand issue.

My understanding is that the Dearmond brand was bought out by Fender, who then relaunched it under the name 'Dearmond by Guild', but that the Fender re-issues were of lower quality than the Dearmond originals, which were of Korean manufacture.

So - is this correct?

And if this is correct, how can I tell whether I'm buying a 'quality' Korean original or a lower-quality Fender re-issue?

Or am I talking through my Leopardskin Pillbox Hat?

Would very much appreciate your input!


Dr. Mark
Contributing Member

In England's dreamin

In his mid- forties and still unusual.
Jun 1st, 2008 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

De Armond never made guitars, only pickups, volume pedals etc. They were bought out by Guild.

When Fender bought Guild, and with it the De Armond name, they decided to launch a budget range of Guild guitars using the name De Armond (by Guild). The intention was to have an equivalent to the Guild line, as the Squier guitars were to Fenders' range.

Nearly all the high end De Armond's were made in Korea, by factories (including Cort) that were making guitars for Fender themselves. These guitars were made to a VERY high standard, and are exceptionally good instruments.

The cheapest of the De Armond range - the bolt on neck versions were made in Indonesia, and are OK but not anything like as good as the Korean guitars.

Rest assured, the models that you are looking at are made in Korea, and are very high quality guitars, with fantastic De Armond pickups.

Hope this helps.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

really, you can call me Jared
Jun 1st, 2008 02:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Dr. Mark has it correct, though I must say that I have owned three Indonesian made DeArmonds (an M65-C, and Pilot Bass, and Pilot Plus bass) and all three were quality instruments.

Korean made DeArmonds have a KC serial number, and AFAIK, all the X-55s and Starfires were made in Korea.

But there were no "lower quality" Fender "RIs" of DeArmond guitars. All DeArmond guitars were made under the auspices of FMIC.

Frank Hudson
Contributing Member


Tone is stuck on my fingers
Jun 2nd, 2008 01:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

In addition to the information above, I'll add:

After Fender discontinued the DeArmond line, a few former DeArmond models were continued under the Fender Squier brand, but with different pickups and some other minor changes. The DeArmond X155 was one of them. I forget the model name used for the Squiers, but it was basically the same instrument except for the pickups.

The pickups are a big part of what makes these guitars special, and I'm thinking that might be the change that had lead you to hear about "lower quality" Fender re-issues.



Jun 2nd, 2008 01:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

the best thing about thee guitars is that they were dumped on the market at ridiculous prices,2-300 dollars typically. starfires used now go for at least $450. the M75s are very heavy, using agathis. i still have an s73 that's in dire need of a set up. it had the goldtone pups, which sound better in solid bodies. i would recommend the hollow or semi-hollow dearmonds with the 2k pups, particularly the white pups.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

really, you can call me Jared
Jun 2nd, 2008 01:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Per Frank's post, the DeArmonds were resurrected for a short time as the Squier Series 24 (24 for the scale length of 24.75")

The model number was the same, ie, it was still called the X-55

Edit: Though I should add, that the Squiers, IIRC, were not built in the same factory.

Here's an archived press release on Series 24

(This message was last edited by jlee562 at 01:45 PM, Jun 2nd, 2008)

Contributing Member

US--Downeast (NC)

Soylent Green is *GASP* baby boomers!
Jun 4th, 2008 06:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My Squier M-75 was made by Cort in Korea. The build quality got me interested in getting my DeArmond Starfire Special. The Duncan Designs on the Squier were hot and sounded surprisingly good, but they sure weren't DeArmond single coils.



Feb 26th, 2009 09:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Frank, earlier this month you suggested that my x-155 might be a Squier. I said no way. Now I read the description from the link posted by jlee562 and it descibes my guitar more closely. My x-155 has ivory bindings two pick-ups but only a single control for each volume and tone. I was fooled by the dot inlay, thinking it was a x-135 modified.Question is did the Squier have the dearmond name on it? Also my serial number is not preceded by KC it just has a number. I have to post a pick if I can fiqure out how to do that. Any other thoughts out there?

Frank Hudson
Contributing Member


Tone is stuck on my fingers
Feb 26th, 2009 02:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oh I'm still mystified. I can't imagine someone taking a Squire or DeArmond X155 and taking out and then filling in the shaft holes for two of the controls. And I assume you see no evidence of filled in holes in the top where the second half of the quartet of controls were.

As to position markers or pickguards or binding styles, I could imagine some differences model to model that just aren't well known. I'm no DeArmond expert, but at least truss-rod covers and pickguards changed on some models as running changes.

Becuase DeArmond was a modern import line that will probably always be an anquired taste, there'll never be a coffee table book detailing every model variance (grin).

Pictures might help of course.



Feb 27th, 2009 06:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

PICS are coming. It's like a good mystery trying to fiqure this out. Being a little obsessed helps.

Contributing Member

El Californio

Feb 27th, 2009 01:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

FYI - As point of interest, DeArmond's guitar site remains up with pics and brief descriptions of most models.




Mar 13th, 2009 09:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I own 2 M75's, an M70, and a Jetstar, and I love 'em! They're totally funky and hot-sounding! They look cool, too and all play really well. The tuners can be be a little loose, but honestly, i have just as much trouble keeping my American Standard Strat, my Gibson Les Paul, and my Gibson Firebird in tune. The Goldtone pickups on the DeArmonds have a unique voice. They tend to get a little muddy when you lower the volume, but that can be fixed with a simple home-done modification. I DO believe the Korean-made models look and sound better, but not by a lot.


Costa Mesa, CA

Out of Style Innocent
Apr 10th, 2009 10:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Over the years I have owned 3 M75s, 2 M72s, a Sevenstar (which is a somewhat rare, 7-string, set-neck Jetstar), and an S73. It probably goes without saying, but I was quite the DeArmond fan! The one thing I can say about DeArmonds is thaty while they may not be as nice as a Guild, Guilds are certainly not 3X's better than DeArmonds as their prices would indicate.

FDP Forum / Guild/DeArmond/Tacoma Guitars / Dearmond/Guild - clarification required

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2018 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved