Orchestral Maneuvers: Guild AO-3CE Arcos Series Acoustic

Last month, I had the privilege of visiting Fender’s manufacturing plant in Ensenada, Mexico, where, in addition to cranking out some of the EVH, Jackson and Fender lines of instruments and amplifiers, they produce the Arcos Series of acoustic guitars for Guild.

The AO-3CE is a small-body, orchestra-style acoustic with a cutaway and Fishman electronics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top along with laminated mahogany sides and Guild’s unique arched-back body design that delivers plenty of volume. Other features include bone nut and saddle, koa roseete, pearl inlays and an included lightweight polyfoam case.

The mahogany neck is slim with a satin finish, and the extra string spacing on its 1 ¾” nut makes it ideal for fingerstyle players. The Fishman Presys Plus electronics comes equipped with an onboard tuner and anti-feedback control. The AO-3CE is an affordable and easy guitar to play; it’s loud and well-balanced, making it an excellent choice for live performance. If you’ve never played a Guild before, the AO-3CE is a great place to start if you’re in the market to find a mid-priced acoustic.

List Price: $999
Guild Guitars, guildguitars.com

I try very hard to remain under the radar despite being on camera as gear editor, but in this age of social media it was only a matter of time before it had to come to this. So with that, I will make my blog painless and a quick and easy read so you can get on to more important things like practicing guitar and sweep picking, or if you’re like me, obsessing how to race the Tour De France and trying to be Kristen Stewart’s next mistake. I will use this blog to inform you of things I find cool; like new gear I’m playing through and what I’m watching, reading or listening to at any given moment. So feel free to ask me anything that’s gear related — or if you have a problem with your girlfriend, you know, life lesson stuff, I’m pretty good at that too — and I’ll do my best to answer or address it here.

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.