The Guild Starfire was one of the most respected basses of the 1960s, and gained recognition by its high profile users of the mid sixties such as Jack Cassidy of Jefferson Airplane, and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead.
The Starfire pickups of the 1960s (Hagstrom bisonic) were very highly regarded, and the Starfire bass stood up well against hollowbody rivals such as the Epiphone Rivoli, Gibson EB2 and Fender Coranado bass. The Hagstrom units were replaced with Guild humbuckers in 1970, and although good quality pickups, instruments fitted with these are not as desired by collectors or players today.
The earliest single pickup Starfire basses had the pickup in the bridge position, later moving (1966) to the neck position (see a 1968 Stafire Bass I, also left). The Starfire's bridge was also made by Hagstrom, and consisted of a metal baseplate with rosewood saddles. It remained a feature of the Starfire throughout it's production run, with only a slight shape change in 1968.
The main features of the Starfire bass are summarised in the table below.
|Model||Starfire SF-I||Starfire SF-II|
|Pickups||Hagstrom bisonic pickups, replaced by Guild humbuckers in 1970|
|Width at nut||1 1/2"|
|Body||Bound Maple (Sunburst and Flonde finishes) or Mahogany (all other finishes). Width 16 3/8", 1 7/8" thin, length 20 1/4" (1968) 18" (1975). Overall length 46 3/4"|
|Neck||Initially one-piece (later three piece) Peruvian Mahogany, rosewood fingerboard|
|Hardware||Hagstrom bridge, Guild tuners, volume and tone control, hand rests||Hagstrom bridge, Guild tuners, 2 volume and 2 tone controls, master volume, pickup selector. Push-button bass boost, replaced by a tone switch in 1970|
|Finishes||Sunburst, Cherry, Emerald Green, Ebony Grain, Amber, Brown, Black, Walnut, Blonde, Natural Mahogany|
|Options||Fretless||Fretless and or stereo circuitry|