The Guild Starfire bass changed a little throughout the 1960s, but this is a typical 1968 one-pickup model. The pickup is a Hagstrom Bi-Sonic single coil; a well regarded unit, and is situated at the neck. Earlier one-pickup Starfire basses 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, this Starfire bass has a maple body and short-scale (30 1/2") mahogany neck. Although available in custom colors, the Sunburst finish on this bass was available as standard (along with Cherry red, although Cherry models usually had a mahogany veneer, for a deeper colour). Note the model name on the truss-rod cover, and Chesterfield inlay with three-black stripes; a typical 1960s feature. The finger rests are offset in this example - though numerous Guild Starfires had these level with each other.
At this time, the price of a single-pickup Guild Starfire-I bass was $350 (November 1967), which was actually less than the equivalent Gibson EB2 at $395 (September 1967). With high-end features such as the Chesterfield inlay and front and back body binding, the Guild must have given serious competition to the better known Gibson, although by this time hollow-body basses in general were losing ground to solid body models. Actually the Starfire bass was tonally quite distinct from the Gibson equivalent models; its single coil Bi-Sonic pickup being a lot less boomy than the heavily-wound humbuckers fitted to the Gibson EB2 / Epiphone Rivoli.
The Guild Starfire bass was described as follows in the 1968 Guild catalog
...the famous Starfire Bass! All the acoustical advantages of a hollow body, plus Starfire quality known to guitarists all over the world. Perfect balance, exceptional resonance and a fast-moving fingerboard - the ultimate in a bass for your group!
With a 30 1/2" scale on its rosewood finger-board, this bass has a long, slender Starfire neck made of Peruvian mahogany reinforced by an adjustable steel neck rod. Its extra-thin ivoroid-bound body is 16 3/8" wide, 20 1/4" long and 2" deep.
Guild's Anti-Hum Pick-Ups were especially adapted for this instrument. Other features include separate tone and volume controls (master volume control and pick-up selector switch on Starfire Bass II), and of course fine Guild Strings. Hand rests on single pick-up model.
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