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Starfire alternate pickup options

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hellboy, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. hellboy

    hellboy

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    Nov 5, 2002
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    I'm looking at pickup options for Guild Starfire basses and so far I'm aware of the following:

    1. The original Hagstrom Bisonic (and direct modifications thereof)
    2. The 70's Guild humbucker which replaced it (and also appeared in other Guild basses of the era, I'm guessing?)
    3. The 90's Guild reissue humbuckers
    4. The 90's DeArmond GoldTone humbuckers
    5. The boutique Bisonic revivals (Hammon Dark Stars, Novak BS-DS, I believe a winder in France, etc)
    6. The new Guild Newark Street Bisonic reissue

    Am I missing anything?

    These pickups are all more or less the same size (I know the Bisonics mount a little differently from the humbuckers, but they don't require a different routing), approximately 3" x 1.875". This is an unsual size for a bass pickup and as far as I can tell there aren't any aftermarket replacements available other than the above mentioned "boutique Bisonics". Musicman and Thunderbird pickups are longer (but might still fit, maybe), EMG HB's are shorter, Jazz and Precision pickups are completely different... anyone know of any pickups that fit a Starfire without requiring routing or other non-reversible mods? Anyone ever see a non-standard pickup successfully mounted in a Starfire?
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

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    Oct 22, 2013
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    Depends on your definition of 'successfully'.
    [​IMG]
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    The mickey mouse with wood plate adapter? Here is Jxbass's beauty:


  4. hellboy

    hellboy

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    lz4005: Haha, yeah, should've thought of that. I guess there's a tradition of modding the hell out of Starfires.

    Jim: Thanks, that's a good way to do it.

    What I'm ultimately hoping to do is to put in a P-bass pickup or soundalike. EMG makes some P-type pickups in humbucker or TB shells, but they're active, and ideally it would be passive (mainly so I don't have to cut a battery compartment into the bass - though I wonder if a clip inside the f-hole would suffice).
  5. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    Oct 29, 2013
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    There was a fad for it back in the day. Alembic cut their teeth modding Starfires for famous bassists. Some Grateful Dead fans also had their Starfires modded by Alembic. There is an Alembic collectors' forum that has some on, and I think some posters here have some as well.
  6. RDagBasses

    RDagBasses

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    Sep 10, 2009
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    the winder in France : (pickups internally are like real bisonic, and "I guaranty the sound"
    [​IMG]
  7. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Hey Jim, you beat me to it, posting my '66 Mickey Mouse :) From what I understand the MM was the original, just for a short while. So while I always wished I had received the later version Hagstrom, I'm grateful that mine isn't so "ordinary" :smug:

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