There's a newer, better Ashbory Bass Resource

Large Sound is the largest Ashbory Bass resource on the Internet. There's a Ashbory User's Guide, some documents, a message board, and Ashbory summary.

Go visit Large Sound!

I'm keeping this page up for reference. It has remained largely (or entirely) unchanged since 1999 other than the addition of this message box.


Ashbory Internet Resource

Welcome to AIR, the Ashbory Internet Resource. Although a poor excuse for a resource as of now, it will soon be expanded into a more comprehensive resource. The new, larger AIR is currently under development.
The Ashbory has returned! Fender/Guild has sort of reissued the Ashbory under the DeArmond name. I've played one. Here's the skinny:
  1. It has real tuners. The are open backed and smaller than I had anticipated. However, they are a mega upgrade from the originals. They will don't look like they'll retrofit readily to a Guild Ashbory, however.
  2. No active/passive switch on them. Hope your battery stays hot!
  3. Some small cosmetic changes from the original (different knobs, different name on the body, no pickup cover).
  4. The word is that the pickups from Ashworth electronics, the same people who brought you the original Ashbory pickups. Confirmation anyone? I can tell you that they are differently shaped than my pickup on my Guild. However, they have the small bumps on the side for a pickup cover which they don't have.
Here's my observations on the new instrument:
  1. Better overall operation thanks to tuners that don't require a dime(or a screwdriver) to operate.
  2. The foreign-made body's inferiority to the American Made Guild original results in only a negligable sound difference in comparison to an original with the upgrade pickup. I'm convinced that the new strings made up most of the difference in sound. The new strings are "mushy" in comparison to the ones on my Guild, in sound and feel.
  3. The tuners and strap buttons seem cheap, but sufficient.
There's a picture and a press release on Harmony Central at I'm excited about this because it's a decent, available and affordable Ashbory that will introduce more players to this instrument. It will (at least in the short run) knock the prices down on Guild Ashborys to player values and away from collector values, and best of all it will provide a new supply of reasonably priced strings. Unless you were speculating in the collector's market, planning to sell your Guild Ashbory sometime soon, or hoping to be the only person you ever knew with an Ashbory, this is great news!

A little about the Guild Ashbory:

  1. It is a small instrument, as is obvious from the picture above. It has an 18 inch scale neck.
  2. It is fretless. The fret lines are just lines.
  3. It has a solid body.
  4. It sounds somewhat like an upright bass.
  5. Has active/passive electronics.
  6. Most notibly, the strings are made of solid latex/rubber.
A closer look at the Ashbory:
Ashbory!Make it Ashbory, Ashbory again

Hopefully, this site will grow to have a more conclusive FAQ of this unique and wonderful instrument.

Q: When were the Guild Ashborys made?
A: According to, they were made from 1986 to 1988. I remember seeing one new in Wichita, Kansas around 1987 (about 3 years before I began playing). I was fascinated by it. There were also some non-Guild Ashborys made in the 90's that were sold primarily in England. Production on DeArmond Ashborys should start this year.

Q: How many were Guild Ashborys were made?
A: 1235.

Q: How much is one worth?
A: I don't know. I've seen them on the internet for between $500 to $1000. I have $300 in mine. It had a bad pickup in it when I got it for $200. Prices should drop on that "collector" market if they haven't already thanks to the DeArmond models.

Q: Where do I get strings? How much are they?
A: From my memory, they were $15 from US Music (Guild) around 1994. According to a report I just received "Finally, the long-promised Ashbory strings are available from DeArmond. I spoke to a Fender representative yesterday (Feb. 24, 00) and was told that the strings are about to be shipped to dealers. The DeArmond part number is 3509520000, and the list price is $24.95." At retail, they should be reasonably priced.

White 1987 modelQ: What colors were made?
A: Known colors are Black, Red, White and Blue. Yellow may exist as well.

Q: Are there any non-Guild Ashborys?
A: Yes, there were some available through The Bass Centre in London in the 90's. They were longer scale than the Guild model. They are no longer being made. DeArmond (the Guild import line) has introduced a new DeArmond Ashbory which is styled like the originals. More info will be posted here as it is available. For more Ashbory history information, be sure to visit the "Official Story" site mentioned towards the bottom of this page.

Q: What case options were available with the Ashbory?
A: I have a gig bag with a red liner and a small pouch on the outside. At least two gig bags out there have light blue liners.

Ashbory: The Official Story- This is definately the best historical overview of the instruments. Pictures of various Ashborys over the years, including the Mark II models, the prototype Fender and Steinberger styled versions, and the original, plus much more.
Alun Jones's Ashworth web site- Ashworth Electronics is responsible for a lot of the design of the Ashbory.
Guild serial number lookup- Determine the age of your Ashbory.
Ashbory Bass Page!- This site is excellent! Pictures, info, links. Wanting an eight-string bass? Check this site out. Yes, I'm signed up!

I play my Ashbory more than I conduct research on it! Any info contributions would be greatly appreciated.
This site will hopefully evolve into a more indepth FAQ and resource, as well as a possible discussion area since the ranks will be growing with the new Ashborys on the way. I also hope to add some audio clips when I have the time.