1976 Guild M-85 

The development of Guild’s M-85 bass closely mirrored that of the M-75 guitar in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Originally introduced in 1968 as a hollowbody bass, it became a solidbody instrument in the early 1970s and switched from various Hagstrom pickups to Guild’s own humbuckers at about the same time. It obtained a “deep” switch and master volume control about 1971; although described in catalogs, the picture was apparently not updated to show these controls.

While Gibson’s Les Paul Triumph bass was similar visually, its counterpart at Guild was considerably simpler to operate. The M-85 was considerably lighter in weight, too, though both instruments featured a short scale. The two instruments sounded quite different as well; Guild’s pickups produced a compressed sound, heavy on mid-range with fairly high output. Strangely, there is not much difference in tone between the neck and bridge pickups. The “deep” switch engages a resistor in place of the usual tone capacitor on the neck pickup, introducing a low-pass filter that rattles windows in neighboring states.

This is one of the last M-85s built; the serial dates to 1976, the year it was discontinued. It is all original and in excellent condition.