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FDP Forum / Guild/DeArmond/Tacoma Guitars / Amazed newcomer to the DeArmond club

Contributing Member


Washington, DC
Jan 13th, 2009 05:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Today I paid $260 for a "DeArmond by Guild" X-155 hollowbody off craigs. It's a set neck, Korean made, 2000 model.

It was dusty, with rusty strings, and I only tested it before purchase through a mini amp.

But after a polish, new strings, and attachment to my Fender Blues Jr ... Wow! Deep, commanding tones, yet with a softer edge than my only comparable guitar, a Gibson ES-137.

My initial conclusion is that only cosmetically is the Gibson superior (better grain pattern, better looking knobs & pearloid). I feel pretty lucky to have found it.

Tell me, DeArmond owners, are these widely available so cheap? Have you replaced the Goldtone pups or made other changes?

One more things: Mine is missing the screw-on pup switch tip. Would a Guild or Gibson replacement fit the threads? And what color is the tip supposed to be: gold? brown? white? My tone/vol knobs are clear with gold paint.


Edited to add: My comparison with the Gibson, above, was based on A/B'ing neck pickup. I do think the bridge pup of the DeArmond is weaker and thinner-sounding than the Gibson's.

(This message was last edited by tiller2 at 06:18 PM, Jan 13th, 2009)

Contributing Member

US--Downeast (NC)

Call me "Paunchy Slim"
Jan 14th, 2009 01:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You got a great deal. I own a '99 Starfire Special w/DeArmond 2000's. I had let a couple of cheaper DeArmonds slip by (M65's with bolt-on necks) but was attracted to a M75 with the DeArmond pickups. Unfortunately it was gone when I came back with the money. The Korean-made
models were made by Cort.

I would try one of those generic switch tips as I suspect that the thread is metric.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

These pretzels are making me thirsty!
Jan 14th, 2009 04:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

DeArmonds are great guitars....even the Indonesian ones are superior to other import guitars from the same period. I've owned 4 DeArmond basses but eventually thinned it down to my Starfire Bass and my M65-C. Both great instruments.

(This message was last edited by jlee562 at 04:49 PM, Jan 14th, 2009)

Contributing Member


Jan 15th, 2009 05:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Love my 155 but I did eventually swap the Goldtone in the neck for a SD Jazz. I just couldn't get the brittle out of the highs without losing them completely. The SD Jazz sounds great. I also experimented with rosewood and ebony bridges in place of the stock TOM but went back to the stock bridge - it just felt better. Try a set of Thomastik-Infeld flatwound strings. I've tried the rest and they're the best, by far.



Jan 15th, 2009 06:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought an M75-T off our local CL a few weeks before Christmas for $225. It's a wonderful instrument, plays great, looks great, sounds great. This has the DeArmond 2k single coil pickups which are truly outstanding. This guitar was one of the best guitar values I've ever scored...

A couple years ago there was an x155 for sale at a local shop for like 250. Saw it, went away and thought about it, came back to buy and it was gone. I've been mad at myself ever since.

Contributing Member


"Dyin' ain't much of a livin' "
Jan 19th, 2009 08:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I owned a Tennessee Orange T-400 that I never should have sold. INCREDIBLY good guitars regardless of price!


Contributing Member


Washington, DC
Jan 22nd, 2009 08:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey, all. I've been tied up with family/work stuff and am just checking back. Thanks for your reponses.

Twang, I've ordered a Gibson switch tip, which hopefully will fit.

Timb, good to know about the SD Jazz. These pickups are a bit imbalanced, by themselves and compared to each other. I adjusted the pole pieces by ear and fiddled with the height of the bridge pup, but I might break down and get it professionally set up. If so, I'd get a bone nut and at least think about a bridge replacement, though I wouldn't do it without a strong argument.

My Gibson has T-I strings, which are very loud and smooth. The Gibson vintage .10s, on the X-155 now, are decent.

Swamp & 6L6 - I don't know those models, but apparently DeArmond has become a craigslist sleeper, so I'll be on the lookout.

Frank Hudson
Contributing Member


Tone is stuck on my fingers
Jan 27th, 2009 04:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I like my DeArmond X155, which I've owned since the "blowout" when the line was discontinued. Mine came stock with a wooden bridge. Like yours I too find the bridge PU a little weak, but I rarely use it (for some reason I'm not much of a bridge humbucker guy with any guitar and whatever the style).

There was some discussion here and elswhere about the brightness of the X155 what with in the maple back, spruce top and the Goldtones (which are not dark sounding pickups). With some amps I noticed that at first too. I went to half-rounds and then to the TI flatwounds and over the years the guitar and I have come to some kind of agreement, and I no longer feel it's overly bright played into any amp I own.

Contributing Member

Youngstown, Ohio

tuned in/dropping out
Jan 28th, 2009 11:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Amazed newcomer to the DeArmond club"

You would have loved the blowout days!!

The Guild/DeArmond forum was kickin' butt back then ;^)


Just about 8 years ago...

Frank Hudson
Contributing Member


Tone is stuck on my fingers
Jan 29th, 2009 01:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm falling back in love with my DeArmond M72 these days. I picked mine from a half dozen sitting out on stands at a Guitar Center during the blowout. The one I selected was much lighter than any of the others and it's a pleasure to play.

Back in the blowout days there was some talk of "collectors item" status. Well no, these guitars are never going to be the new 59 Les Paul or Pre-CBS Strat. But their look and feel was unique and there's nothing that sounds and feels quite like them available new today.

"Unique" is what killed them I think. A lot of the market wants something that sounds and/or looks just like something they already know.

Contributing Member


Washington, DC
Jan 29th, 2009 08:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Dennis - I'd heard of the blowout, but to read the buzz at the time is a laugh riot.

Frank - I might get a pro setup to make sure mine X155 is at its best, maybe the bridge volume/tone can be improved.

And my Gibson switch tip is too big; someone suggested it should be metric. Anyone know the right stye/size/source?




Feb 5th, 2009 06:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just left this message on the DeArmond I.D. board but this forum seems more active...
Ok this is it...I have a Dearmond hollow body x-155??? It has two chrome covered pups [not the gold tones]but only one volume and one tone control, has dot inlay instead of block inlays,no model name/number on truss cover, serial number does not start with KC it has just numbers, the binding is not white but more of a cream/ivory color and the neck is not bound. There is no label inside the guitar. If this guitar was modified it was done by a top notch pro, there are NO tell tale signs of any changes. I have seen a pic of a x-135 which has the dot inlays and the single control knobs but I never saw any other details. By the way this is a really nice guitar one of the better ones I have ever picked up. I have no pic at this time. Any thoughts out there?

Contributing Member


Washington, DC
Feb 10th, 2009 03:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I am a DeArmond newbie, but maybe someone else will be able to help.

FDP Forum / Guild/DeArmond/Tacoma Guitars / Amazed newcomer to the DeArmond club

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