1968 Guild Starfire bass I
|Short scale strings for the Guild Starfire bass|
The Guild Starfire bass changed a little throughout the 1960s, but this is a typical 1968 one-pickup model. The pickup is a Hagstrom bisonic single coil; a very highly regarded unit, and is situated at the neck. Earlier one-pickup versions had it in the bridge position, but this changed at some point in 1966. Hagstrom built guitars in Sweden during the 1950s-1970s, under their own, and other brand names, also providing components for other manufacturers. Another Hagstrom part on this bass is the bridge. Again slightly changed (in shape only) from earlier Starfires, this bridge stayed in use into the 1970s.
Like many hollow-body guitars of the period, the Starfire has a maple body and short-scale (30 1/2") mahogany neck. Although available in custom colours, the Sunburst finish on this bass was available as standard (along with Cherry red, although Cherry models usually had a mahogany veneer). Note the model name on the truss-rod cover, and Chesterfield inlay with three-black stripes; a typical 1960s feature.
At this time, the price of a single-pickup Guild Starfire-I was $350 (Nov. '67), which was actually less than the equivalent Gibson EB2 at $395 (Sept. '67). With high-end features such as the Chesterfield inlay and front and back binding, the Guild must have given serious competition to the better known Gibson, although by this time hollow-body basses were losing ground to solid body models.