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SOLD 1964 Guild Starfire I Bass (w/Dark Star, OHSC)

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by BassManPatsFan, Aug 23, 2012.

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  1. As much it pains me to do this, I am putting my beloved 1964 Guild Starfire I bass up for sale. It is currently listed here and on www.letstalkguild.com.

    Starfires came on the market in 1965, but the serial number (38169) dates this one to 1964. It was likely built in '64, but not sold to the public until '65.

    First of all, I have to say that this bass is in phenomenal condition. It plays beautifully, sounds amazing and looks great--cosmetically, it's in incredible shape for a 48 year old bass. A few months ago I brought it to the renowned Jim Mouradian in the Boston area for a set-up and some fret work. There were a few upper-register frets that were buzzing, so he and his son leveled them in such a way that they no longer do that. They also adjusted the bridge saddles and the nut so that it intonates nearly perfectly and stays in tune extremely well.

    The tuning machines are original except for one screw and washer set. The bridge is not original to this bass--I swapped it for a later Guild/Hagstrom harp bridge so that I had more room for the saddles to travel (front to back and side to side). This bridge is from the late 60's I would imagine. The pick up is not original of course, but it is a Dark Star and those are nearly impossible to find these days. The pickup was installed and the electronics were rewired at Rock n Roll Vintage Guitars in Chicago nearly a year ago. The small switch was installed when a humbucker was on this instrument previously and so it no longer does anything. The nut is brass.

    The finish is a beautiful caramel-orange color, which you'll probably never see on another Guild bass. There has been debate on Guild forums if it's original or not, but no one seems to have an answer. Guild was known to do some bizarre things, especially in the earlier years, so it's very possible that they put a one-off finish on this bass.

    Unlike most Starfires, the fingerboard on this puppy is made out of wenge. I first noticed that it had a different grain to it when I bought the bass and I've had two different luthiers/repair men confirm that it is in fact wenge. Why? Who knows. Again, Guild did some odd things. Either way, it's quite gorgeous (but hard to capture in photos). The body and neck are both mahogany. The neck is an early one piece model, with two extra mahogany wings in the headstock.

    The scale is 30.75" and the string spacing at the bridge is around 16.75mm. The neck is very thin front to back, which makes it extremely easy to play and fast. The action is set to be medium-low.

    There are absolutely zero structural issues on this bass. There are a few cosmetic things--scratches here and there, which I tried to document in photographs, and the headstock overlay is coming slightly unattached in one corner, which is typical of vintage Guilds. You can also see that there's a small bit of finish that's worn off right under the treble-side hand rest.

    In short, this bass looks beautiful, plays like butter and sounds amazing. I will be sad to see it go, but I'm sure it will find its way to a good home soon.

    It comes with the original HSC. It’s currently strung with Medium Scale D’addario Round Wounds, but I can ship it with a slightly used set of Chromes as well if you like. I will pack it securely, insure it fully and ship with any major US carrier.

    SOLD! $2500 or best offer. Shipping will be extra. No trades please.











  2. Bassbwithu

    Bassbwithu Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    McKinney, TX
    Ok. I want this. A 1969 all original fender jazz is about to go on the boards for $2500.
  3. Damn.
  4. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
    WOW! GLWS.
  5. mc_muench


    Sep 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
  6. This will likely be going up on ebay in a few days, but I wanted you guys to have a crack at it first.

    Also, here's a clip of a different Starfire that's a little bit younger than this one:

    Not me playing and that bass has a neck position pickup, but it gives you a bit of an idea of the sonic capabilities of these basses.
  7. You left out the D and G
  8. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Ben at Rock n Roll Vintage does nice work.
  9. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    Nice. Jim Mouradian did some work on my Starfire as well. He routed for a second pickup and did a great job. Interesting serial number. Both of my Starfires have a different format (BA 1319 and BA 1413). Are you sure that the 38 isn't actually BA?

    Fascinating about the fingerboard. I'd never heard of wenge until Warwick got going. It's cool that Guild was so knowledgable about these things. I figured that fingerboards were all pretty much rosewood, ebony or maple until the 80s. Guild sure did a lot of cool stuff back in the day. My BA 1413 has an amazingly figured rosewood fingerboard. I've never seen another like it.

    Good luck on this sale, I'm sure it's hard to let it go.
  10. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    the 67 SF II I owned had the prettiest rosewood FB I ever saw, looked like chocolate swirl, absolutley gorgeous
  11. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    Any pics?
  12. I'm somewhat positive about the SN, but I'll check it again tonight just to be sure.

    The wenge certainly is very interesting. I don't know of any other instrument builder that was using it in the 1960's. The figuring on this board is outstanding--I wish I could capture it in photographs. It has beautiful streaks that run through it and sort of shimmer if you look at it in the right light.
  13. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    I just looked up my Guild Serial number database and the number does fit for a '64, which was right before they split out the numbers for the different models.
  14. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    I have a couple photos of the bass but none of the detail of the rosewood grain, I really wished I had.

    Good luck with the sale BTW.
  15. Bump.

    Btw, the serial number is confirmed to be 38169.

    edit: The bass is now on ebay here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330786058063#ht_514wt_1344

    Talkbass offers still take precedence over ebay. I included a clause in my ebay description stating that I reserve the right to cancel the ebay auction if someone on here or on letstalkguild buys the bass first.
  16. A year later, it resurfaces to taunt me again.. good luck with the sale. She's a beauty and deserves to see the world from a well-lit stage.
  17. dubbyb


    Aug 29, 2012
    Hi! Brand new to TalkBass, and thrilled to be here! Would love to buy your beautiful Starfire! My apologies, but I'm not sure how to best proceed formally/technically... Can you please advise? I'm a sincere and eager buyer. (Also happen to be a huge New England sports fan "trapped" in NYC). Thanks!
  18. dubbyb


    Aug 29, 2012
    Figured out how to send you a PM moments ago! I look forward to your reply.... Thanks!
  19. Deal pending, ladies and gentlemen.
  20. Sold.

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