Guild Westerly M240-E review

Plucky performance from a diminutive body

  • £359
  • €399
  • $399

MusicRadar Verdict

A versatile electro with enough clout to hold its own on stage.


  • +

    Good midrange punch.


  • -

    A lower action out of the box would be welcome.

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The smaller-bodied acoustic has seen a resurgence in recent years, and when we sit down with this concert shape, there's an instant intimacy to the playing experience due to the body's closeness to your own.

This kind of experience shouldn't be overlooked because for some it will provide the vital connection that will make them reconsider their default taste for the larger dreadnoughts and keep them coming back for just one more strum.

The M240 certainly has that effect on us. The look is clean and classic; the right side of minimal to be timeless with Guild's open-gear tuners bringing a vintage touch.

There's no disappointing surprises as we play either - this is a guitar with a midrange punch that's boxy in all the right ways and a real flatpicking bluegrassers delight.

Fingerpicked notes are defined with a sustain that suggests the Archback design really does make a difference. The medium action here certainly doesn't get in the way of that, and in truth we'd prefer a lower action out of the box but it does encourage us to tune down for some DADGAD.

In all the excitement of playing it's easy to forget this is also an electro. The M240-E doesn't exactly scream out the 'E' part of it's name. And that's a good thing because the subtle controls inside the soundhole for Guild's own AP-1 piezo system don't get in the way of the guitar's acoustic aesthetic.

Powered by an active nine-volt battery, the bass and volume controls are simple but player- friendly, and you'll really want that bass to retain the low end presence to balance this model's sound.

A versatile electro with enough clout to hold its own on stage.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.