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Vintage Guild Starfire Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TemplesOfSyrinx, Dec 19, 2018.


  1. TemplesOfSyrinx

    TemplesOfSyrinx Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    Florida
    Played a vintage Guild Starfire today. Wow. It just oozed vintage vibe. Trying to find information about it.

    The serial number inside dates to 1964 from what I find online, but I hear that the first year for Starfire Bass guitars was 1965.

    Anyone out there know about these beauties?
    IMG_20181219_134612.jpg
     
  2. 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
    I had a '66 or '67 back in the '67 to '73 era. Sold it long ago, and regretted it ever since.
    Fortunately, they have been reissued, and the Chris Hillman model is about as close as you can get to the old one I had.
    The pickup is great, as is the fit and finish.


    Those reissues are no longer available (mine is not for sale), but do look for one. They are really perfect recreations of the Starfire you have in the above picture. My pictures make the color look a bit over-baked, but in reality it is mellower and exactly like the original, IMHO. Ok, there is an inlay of "Byrds" in psychedelic script at the 12th fret, but I can live with that. Nice bass, whether it is the vintage one or an RI. Guild has something similar on offer as the Starfire II, which has, of course, 2 pickups. photo-9.JPG


    photo-7.JPG photo-8.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
    giacomobass, JIO and Shawn Luckman like this.
  3. 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
    Mine was purchased from Rhode Island Music Pawtucket, RI, in 1967. Looks like the one you played is an early one, and is even sporting Fender flats.
     
  4. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Guild dates the first year for Starfire basses as 1965 with serial numbers BA101 to BA177. I still have my 1966 Starfire I, serial number BA324, that has the pre-humbucker Guild "Mickey Mouse" pickup. 1964 seems unlikely to me for that bass based both both Guild dating and the pickup.
     
  5. TemplesOfSyrinx

    TemplesOfSyrinx Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    Florida
    I found this dating system for Guild guitars. Before 1965, they seemed not to differentiate between bass guitars and regular guitars. The serial number on the one I played falls right into the late 1964 build time.
    View attachment 3253765
    Guild dating.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. TemplesOfSyrinx

    TemplesOfSyrinx Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    Florida
    IMG_20181220_134107.jpg
     
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  7. JIO

    JIO shaken - not stirred Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Are these basses fully hollow-body? And what scale? I have a few basses with BS/DS pu's (both Guild and Novak) and they all sound great! That one is a real beauty! (and with a form-fitting leather gig-bag...) :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  8. TemplesOfSyrinx

    TemplesOfSyrinx Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    Florida
    Semi-hollow body and 30½ inch scale. It sounds amazing.
     
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  9. JIO

    JIO shaken - not stirred Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Is this at a pawn shop? What was their asking price? (if you are considering buying it - no need to quote the price)
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  10. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    Who cares when this was made, full or semi-hollow, blah, blah. Just buy that thing!!!!!!!
     
    TemplesOfSyrinx likes this.
  11. Great looking & sounding bass! Had one as a pup in the 80's and let a music store rat take it from me on trade for $50 ("sorry son I can't offer more, that's a very _old_ bass there")
     
  12. That thing is in awesome condition! (Especially for a gig bag!)

    Here's my '66.

    rt128.jpg

    The OP bass has the "Sweetspot" pick-up location.
     
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  13. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    That (OP's) appears to be in exceptionally good shape for its age (as does Flashback Bass's).

    I would snap it up without hesitation.

    I generally prefer SF-IIs, but far as the SF-Is go, would personally find having the single pup in that position more desirable than having it in the neck position.
     
  14. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    how would you rate the difference, and would you prefer the mid PU position over yours?
     
  15. JIO

    JIO shaken - not stirred Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Beauty! :thumbsup: The Darkstar pu poles are about as close to the base of the neck as it gets so I imagine it having a very bass-y voice. My '68 Custom Kraft fully hollow-body (no block) has 2 pu's and the mid-centric neck pu really helps keep it focused tonally. It sounds good with only the neck pu also, but playing it live I favor the bridge pu.

    fullsizeoutput_1190.jpeg
     
  16. I've never heard a bass with the "Sweetspot" pick-up location but seeing how mine with the neck location is pretty thumpy I would think the "Sweetspot" model would be easier to dial in a wider range of tones.
     
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  17. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Interesting how Guild places the Bi-Sonics in a slightly different spot when a second (neck) PUP is on board. Both of basses in the PIC below are MIK "Newark Street" Starfires. Note that the bridge PUP on the SF-I, about like the PUP on OP's MIA SF-I, is slightly further away from the bridge than the bridge PUP on the SF-II.

    At first glance, the PUP on OP's looks to be slightly further away from the bridge, but I think that's an optical illusion created by the different shape of the older, Hagstrom-style bridge plate. If you visually align the edge of the PUP frames with the wide-point of the F-holes of both bases (OP's & SF-I below), they appear to be pretty much in the same spot.
    aql7ecw.jpg
     
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  18. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    I just bought a 1967 Starfire from Reverb.com. It has the cherry finish and the single p/u version (neck location). It looks to be in very good condition. Would that make it a SF I (one)?
    I am a hardcore P-bass guy, and my number one is a 1952 Precision and my backup is a 1963 P. I am looking for something different and a bit lighter so maybe I can play it all night long on a 3 set gig. Outlaw country, classic country, swampy rock and some blues.
    I had actually ordered a new SFII from Sweetwater, but they called me yesterday and said that Guild discontinued the Cherry finish, so I cancelled the order. I jumped onto Reverb.com and I bought the single p/u ‘67.
     
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  19. John M Ewers

    John M Ewers Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2018
    Forsyth, IL
    0D97C5A1-8DD8-4D77-93B8-D599B809C52B.jpeg

    I no longer have this one, and I sure do miss her!
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 27, 2021

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