“Just the ticket for those aspiring to recreate the monstrous riffs from across Thayil’s remarkable discography”: Guild Polara Kim Thayil review

It took three decades, but the wait is finally over, the Soundgarden icon has got his name on a Polara. Was it worth it? You bet

Guild Kim Thayil Polara
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

It’s a given that this beautiful guitar can nail Kim’s unmistakable tones, but the sheer versatility of the Polara should most definitely not be outshined by the name on the headstock.


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    Classy design with nice Soundgarden flourishes.

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    HB-1 humbuckers are well-balanced and have a phase switch.

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    Excellent upper-fret access.


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    Case sold separately.

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    No left-handed models.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Kim Thayil is not just grunge royalty, he’s one of the most influential guitarists of his generation. While Thayil may not be spoken about in the same breath as Eddie Van Halen or Jimmy Page, the Soundgarden great has had a huge effect on alternative rock. 

His masterfully crafted riffs and beautifully chaotic lead work would go on in part to define the Seattle sound and, in turn, inspire everyone from Alice In Chains to Nirvana, creating a sonic shockwave that is still felt to this day. 

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Daryl Robertson
Senior Deals Writer

Daryl is a Senior Deals Writer at Guitar World, where he creates and maintains our 200+ buyer's guides, finds the best deals on guitar products, and tests the latest gear. His reviews have been featured in prominent publications like Total Guitar, Future Music magazine, and MusicRadar.com.

During his career, he has been lucky enough to talk to many of his musical heroes, having interviewed Slash and members of Sum 41, Foo Fighters, Feeder, Thrice, and more. In a past life, Daryl worked in music retail. For a little under a decade, he advised everyone from absolute beginners to seasoned pros on the right gear for their needs. 

Daryl is also a fully qualified sound engineer, holding a first-class Bachelor's degree in Creative Sound Production from the University of Abertay.