Guild Starfire III - Anyone Tell Me Anything?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Andy Summers, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    There is a beautiful black one on sale (used) at my local GC! Anyone know anything about these or have any experience with them. Can you “rock out” with them? Is the bridge pinned?

    Yes I can use Google, and I will, but I always like conversating” with my friends here.
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    69,533
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I like em’.
    Is the Starfire in the ad newer?
    The new ones are fairly cheap secondhand.
    Anyways, older, MIA III’s rarely have pinned bridges.
    The pickups, both the big and smaller humbuckers sound great!
     
  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,124
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Great design. Beautiful guitars. I love my '68 T-100D (same thing, but with single coils). But the new ones don't hold a candle to the U.S.A. ones in terms of build quality, and the old ones aren't expensive. If that new one is a few hundred bucks, then sure. If over $500, just save up for an old one.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  4. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Thanks for replying brookdalebill

    Hmmm! I’m not sure. Here’s a couple pics. No go for me if the bridge isn’t pinned. Had a Gretsch like that and it drove me nuts...

    As you can see they want 750 w/ case and supposedly “excellent” condition. Of course, The buyer will be the judge of that



    D75F62AA-F707-4EA4-909A-ECDE331B46DD.png 10817AA5-2B94-4371-ABC3-6E64B4C4A70A.png
     
    BorderRadio and brookdalebill like this.
  5. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Wow! Really? They are asking 750 here. Way too much I suppose? I’m surprised. Looks like the go new for around 1100 or so. Thanks for the info EsquireOK!
     
  6. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,124
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    I've never had any problems with a loose bridge.

    That said, it's easy enough to set it up, drill two tiny holes, and slip two brads in.

    $750 seems high for an import. I got my '68 T-100D for $730 shipped with a hard case from Sam Ash New York city. Of course, Starfires are worth more because everyone wants the humbuckers, and the vibrato versions worth even more yet. But still, I think you could get a beautiful vintage example, which will never depreciate, for only twice what they want for that import one, which was never build great from the start, and will only become less and less valuable.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  7. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Hmmm. Ok. I’ll give it a look at least..leaning toward a no go already though..haha
     
  8. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    1,524
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Location:
    North of Boston
    There were a lot of Starfire IIIs issued over the years. The original Guild Starfire III was a fully hollow body guitar. No pinned bridge. The bridge was a compensated Bigsby bridge. Guild produced them until the mid-late '70s. They came with a Guild designed humbucker and a Bigsby. Think ES-135. The Starfire IV had a center block-much like a ES-335. I have a Starfire III from the mid '90s made in Westerly, RI. As near as I can tell that except for the pick ups are very close to the originals. The current Guild branded electrics are imports and I have no experience with those.
     
    BorderRadio and Andy Summers like this.
  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,124
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    $500 is a "great price" for a new one, if it is clean. My point was that I would only go for one of the new ones IF it was for a great price. That would cause me to overlook the things that make them inferior to the old ones.

    Again, with real vintage examples not being out of reach for the common working man, there isn't a lot of reason to value the new ones highly.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  10. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Awesome info Bob M! Thanks for taking the time to reply :)
     
  11. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Great wisdom EsquireOK!! Thank you :)
    Definitely leaving away from this one I think.
     
    EsquireOK likes this.
  12. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,204
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Horn Lake, MS
    The bridge on my avatar guitar wasn't pinned. I dabbed a small spot of superglue on each side. Works great and no holes.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,204
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Horn Lake, MS
    The pickups look like Goldtops, if it is, grab it.
     
    Andy Summers likes this.
  14. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    CT
    Sweet guitar!! Good idea too! Thanks Zepfan!!
     
  15. Teleka

    Teleka TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    83
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    I have an older model ('61) and the bridge is not pinned. Haven't had a problem with it so far.
    It looks beautiful in black!!!
     
  16. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,852
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    I have a newer (MIK) Starfire II (similar, but w/o the poop knife) and to me, that one looks the same in terms of the pickups (minis), but it’s tough to tell from the low-quality pic. FYI, I got mine off reverb recently for about $466, so to me the price is a bit on the high side, unless it’s an older MIA version.

    FWIW, I really, really like mine. It’s light, the neck feels great, and I can get some sweet and rude tones from the minibuckers.
     
  17. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,413
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    Recent Starfire II are $300 less (new) than the III. Actual used sales prices on III, in good condition, with case, are in line with $750. If you can get one for $650, even better.

    They are well made and noticeably nicer than the Gretsch line that sells for 799-899 range.

    Pickup are oddly unbalanced, with the bridge the same spec as the neck--bridge is usually hotter. Some people prefer to change them out, or the bridge at least.

    All of the current Starfire range have the same LB1 humbuckers, so no diff between models there.

    If money is no issue, I'd pay the $1500 it might take to get a Westerly one.
     
  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,548
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    That looks like a Newark St. (MIK), with the mini humbuckers and die-cast Bigsby. The older Westerlys had a MIA sand-cast 'Guildsby' IIRC. If so, I'd shoot for 650 in excellent condition, but I'm not really that aware of IIIs. Great build quality, from what I've seen in the MIK versions, a little better than upper end Gretsch Electromatics.

    My SF-V had a "secured" bridge, which is slightly different than pinned, but basically the same concept: it won't move on you. Pinning a bridge is not difficult either, so I wouldn't have that stop me on any guitar. I keep a bunch of my bridges floating, not big deal when you use some double-sided tape or bow rosin.

    The pickups are a little weird. I can balance them fine, but I ended up swapping the bridge to the neck position, and vice versa for the neck. I also swapped blades around on the pickup. Much clearer now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    Andy Summers likes this.
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.