Guild Doyle Dykes Maple worth every penny
For the record I need to state that I purchased the Maple, not the Rosewood version, and I'd like to give an up-front shout-out to Sweetwater's customer service, which exceeded my expectations.
Concerning the DD-6's appearance, I know this is more bling than some people care for, but the big-leaf quilted maple back and sides are nothing short of spectacular, and the abalone inlays, while extensive, are well-done and blend surprisingly well with the sitka top. Up close the guitar is visually much more elegant and refined than I had expected from the online photos. Overall it's one of the most beautiful guitars I've ever seen.
As for the sound, Guild's claims of a quick response from the narrow body, clean well-articulated bass, great balance and large dynamic range are all spot-on. The action was perfect right out of the box. I play a mixture of finger-style and strumming and did not need to even consider a trip to a luthier for additional set-up work. I don't own an amplifier, so I can't review the on-board electronics, but plenty of other people have reviewed that, and the general consensus seems to be that plugged into an amp this is one of the best-sounding acoustic guitars on the market. I'm certainly looking forward to trying that at some point. The only reason I didn't give this guitar a 5-star rating is that compared with the only other guitar I've ever owned, a 1968 Guild F-412, the DD-6 has a distinctly young and slightly stiff sound. Yes, comparing a brand new guitar to one that's 48 years old and complaining that the new one sounds "young" might well be totally unfair, so I'd like to reserve the right to come back in, say, 5 or 6 years and upgrade my rating to 5.0 if this guitar begins to mellow and open up like my F-412 -- as I fully expect that it will.
I bought this guitar for the beauty of the quilted maple and for the fact that I think this might well become one of very few Guild's to be sought out as a true collector's item. As such I had planned to play it very sparingly and keep it in mint condition, but every time I take it out of its case for a short playing session the notion of just holding onto it as a potential investment becomes less and less compelling. I'm very much looking forward to listening to this guitar as it ages. Based on my impressions so far I'm also considering buying a rosewood version if I can find one at a good price in good condition, so if Sweetwater ever gets one of those in stock you should probably buy it ASAP -- before I do.