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Guild Starfire II No Low End

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Krikcet, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Krikcet

    Krikcet Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2016
    Auburn, NY
    Hi guys! I've got a Guild Starfire II reissue and I absolutely love it. However, there is a pretty distinct lack of real low end compared to my long scale solidbody ltd f4e. I just can't really drop any bombs with the bottom end of my E string. I read somewhere that Jack Casady (and the folks at Alembic) had a similar issue, so he decided to add windings to his pickups. Do you guys think that would help me as well?
  2. It's a shortscale with a toploader bridge, I would start with using a thicker E-string, that will help substantially.
    jim nolte likes this.
  3. mp40smg


    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    Pyramids are really the secret to a lot of the Casady/ Lesh sound.

    Darkstar/ Alembic electronics are another.

    As for Bombs..

    That is completely Lesh's right hand dynamics, and running everything wide open enough to have that much power when you hit it hard.

    Or having BEAR/ Healey at your sound board to open it up at the right time. Turning up the mics on your 2*18cabs and flooding the place.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
  4. Krikcet

    Krikcet Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2016
    Auburn, NY
    I'll be grabbing some pyramids around Christmas hopefully. As for the right hand dynamics, I've been working on that as well as experimenting with different picks to facilitate a little more dynamic range. I play in a pretty Dead oriented band, so those bombs are crucial.
  5. mp40smg


    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    I did the dead thing on and off for 20yrs.
    The "bombs" are really a function of your sound man. This is the most viable way to go. and it give the sound man a chance to play and have some fun. They get a chance to open it up when they feel it would be cool and not throw the whole band off being distracted.

    The only other option is to have something like a HUGE rig with immense headroom running pretty much wide open and then a vol pedal to dial it up on command. And IF you go that route (IME) everybody instantly turns up and the band dynamics generally go out the window.

    That said. your right hand dynamics still need to be there in that kind of band. As you should ALWAYS in/ out/ behind and in front of everyone else. As they should all also be doing. The dynamics of the band is what makes the magic.
  6. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    Couple of questions
    How are you setting your controls
    What Guage strings are you using
    Is it less low end all over the neck you're missing or just the big E string bomb drop?
  7. Krikcet

    Krikcet Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2016
    Auburn, NY
    I definitely have the capability to give myself a lot of headroom, and I've been slowly turning up and up as I get better with my dynamics. Phil has a seriously fine tuned approach, and it's so much fun moving around in the space he made.

    Just from about the Bb and downward on the E string. It's almost like it's being compressed, but that most certainly is not the case. I'm currently using D'Addario EXL165 Nickel Wound (.045-.105 Gauges) strings that came stock from Sweetwater. I'll be switching to flatwounds hopefully in a couple weeks. As far as controls, I assume you mean my tone settings on my amp. I have an Alembic F1x rack preamp going through a Carvin DCM3000 power amp, then parallel to an Orange OBC115 stacked on an Ampeg 410he. The Alembic tone circuits are very different than the average eq. I don't really know a lot about circuits and whatnot but I've read that it's closer to a "Fender Circuit", meaning that setting the bass, mid, and treble to 12 o'clock, respectively, doesn't equal a flat response. That being said, I've got my lows pretty opened up, my mids very slightly under flat, and my treble very low(almost zeroed).


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    This may sound counter intuitive but try opening up the treble, especially after switching to flats.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    The two cabinets may have conflicting EQ needs in the frequency range where you need more meat.

    Seems to me you need more low midrange. Find out how to set the Alembic flat, and then use the EQ to cut what you don't want as you boost overall gain. Keep both pickups wide open. I am assuming you gave two bionics—is that correct? The last thing to cut is anything on the instrument, though that should be tried as a final step.

    If you are going DI into your PA, it it POST or PRE the Alembic?
  10. jim nolte

    jim nolte

    Oct 26, 2006
    Welcome to short scale land! Casady said that was the only reason he had a active pre installed in his Starfire, to make up for the lack of lows on the E string compared to his long scale Jazz Bass. Maybe an Aguilar out board pre or other such animal? His Gibson Les Paul Bass was long scale.
    Ductapeman likes this.
  11. Just a thought but make sure your two cabinets are in phase. If they aren't that would explain it.
  12. Ductapeman

    Ductapeman Ringmaster and Resident Geriatric Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2016
    The West Pole
    I am not a crook
    Mr Casady was known for adding pieces of bar magnet to the underside of the Guild pickups, which would have more dramatic effect than just increasing the turns-- contact Curtis Novak, he can make you some clones that will peel the paint off your bedroom walls-- tell him you want the Full Casady job lol
    jim nolte likes this.

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