Any love for Guild Newark Street Starfire IV?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by swampyankee, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. swampyankee

    swampyankee Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    705
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Southeastern MA
    Always on the lookout for a semi-hollow with that '60's British Invasion vibe, I've been seeing the current crop of import Starfire IV's with interest. I had a '64 Starfire IV 20 years ago and liked it well enough but traded it for a Tele and never looked back. I had a Dot but I could never warm up to the Gibson style Humbuckers. I picked up a Modern Player Starcaster just because it was cheap and quirky, and I actually dig the pickups. And my other semi is a Historic Series Gretsch G3140 which I put the darker Dearmond 2K's in.
    But I really dig the Starfire IV with its Little Bucker pickups. It would seem to fill that '60' Brit Invasion tone with it's more jangly pickups. On paper anyway.

    Any thoughts or experience?
     
  2. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,668
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    I had one of those, and it is pretty much like you say. In the event, I ended up trading it off and getting one of the Starfire IIs, because I just like the full-hollow tones a bit more. The build and finish quality of the NS Guilds are impeccable. Whether or not you'll bond with the mini-hums is pretty individual. I like them.
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    59,510
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I bought one, but did not bond.
    I liked the sound, but couldn’t use the Bigsby without tuning hassles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  4. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    595
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I have a SF-V, which is a SF-IV with the addition of a Bigsby.

    Ups: It's gorgeous. Build quality and finish are top-notch. It plays well and sounds decent unplugged. Pickups are jangly, although I wish they were a little more Gretchy (personal preference).

    Downs: One of the pickups had its tabs mis-attached and is cocked at a slight angle along the strings. I dropped Guild a line about it with photos; they offered to replace it under warranty. Haven't taken them up on it yet because of time constraints, but they said they'd honor it later since there's a record of it. The nut on mine was cut a little tight, but not so tight that a spot of lube didn't help. I am starting to have trouble with the switch and one of the pots being noisy, so I may ask them to do the work of pulling the harness and taking care of it. There's no reason the electrical parts should be getting noisy after a year.

    Gary Donahue has some good insight into the current pickups (and all else Guild), specifically that the LB-1 bridge isn't wound to the same resistance as the classic versions, which makes it weak. I agree with his conclusion and have toyed with the idea of having them rewound to match the 1960s versions.
     
  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,290
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Horn Lake, MS
    My avatar guitar is a 60's MIJ ES330 clone(hollow body). I removed the large single coils and put a GFS A5 Fat Minibucker in the bridge and it has a Firebird in the neck. I love this guitar, the Firebird is awesome and the minibucker is great. I wouldn't want anything else except maybe a Firebird for the bridge, but it's good for now.
     
  6. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    38
    Posts:
    339
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2017
    Location:
    Washington
    I bought a Starfire V and liked it so much I bought it again after I sold it. Sold that one and was ready to jump on a Starfire VI but someone bought it the day before I went to pick it up. Great guitars and can be had for a steal if you buy used.
     
  7. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    719
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I have a 67 Starfire, killer guitar. Actually traded it for a Nash tele, outright. You can still find the originals for only slightly more than the MIJ reissues. That's what direction I'd look.
     
  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    7,806
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have a Newark SF-V I love, fills that semi-hollow thing out perfectly, and it plays perfect too. I want a little more high end sparkle from the neck pickup, but that's because I'm conditioned to bright Fenders and Gretsch guitars. I flipped the Newark mini-humbucker pickups, bridge to neck position, and neck to bridge, then I flipped the pickups around. Seemed to do the trick :)

    I also put a MIA Guildsby on it, the B6 variety with no tension bar, and a ABM roller bridge.
     
    brookdalebill likes this.
  9. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,977
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I haven't played the Starfire yet, but I own the Jetstar and can vouch for the Newark Street line's quality of build, pickups, etc. I wasn't expecting the world for a $600 Chinese guitar and I'm pretty blown away by the guitar I received. I'm not making any price point qualifiers: it's a good guitar.
     
    Zepfan likes this.
  10. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    1,411
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Location:
    North of Boston
    I have a Starfire III and Starfire IV that were made by Fender in Westerly RI. They didn't make a lot of these but they are really well made and can be had and pretty good prices. Especially when the build quality is considered.
     
  11. umasstele

    umasstele Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,512
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    I got one as a 30th birthday gift from my mom and dad- excellent!
    It is a really nicely finished, and produced guitar. The sound is not quite single coils, not quite humbucker. To me- kind of mini humbucker. Sounds great with my DRRI and Twin Reverb.

    Only thing I've done to it, is have a master volume professionally added, where the master volume knob is on a Starfire V. I was playing it a lot with my band when I got it, and that addition (to me) made it the perfect guitar.
    Good quality control, comfortable neck.

    Think I'll go play it now that you've got me talking about it...
     
  12. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    266
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Location:
    somewhere between Asbury Park and Atlantic City
    Can't speak to a IV but I played a Starfire V (not mine, a friend's) years ago and as I recall it was a very nice guitar. So much so that I would not hesitate to pick up a used one today for the right price.
     
  13. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    595
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    The master volume is a nice feature.
     
  14. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,484
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    I love anything with Guild on the headstock.
     
    mad dog likes this.
  15. swampyankee

    swampyankee Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    705
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Southeastern MA
    At this point I'm putting my Gretsch on the block and if it sells, I'll go for a Starfire in green. From what ive read, swapping the lower output bridge pickup for another neck pickup improves the thin sound that seems to be a common complaint.
    I like my Gretsch well enough - its pretty much my number 2 guitar - and if i could just keep it i would but I'm in a self-imposed moratorium right now...

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.