Guild have been around since 1953 and their instruments have been donned by players in a range of styles, from jazz to rock to blues and pop. Acoustics, solid bodies, archtops and the odd funky in between guitar have also seen Guild run the gamut of models, specs and shapes. While their vintage instruments still very much revered, their newer models continue the original tones and aesthetics that have made them such a sought after builder. One popular model has been the Starfire.
YOU’RE A STAR
At first glance the Starfire V is reminiscent of a particularly classic double cut with the horns and body having a little more edge and slightly less rounded feel. Mahogany has been used for the top, back and sides with a 3 piece Mahogany, Maple, Mahogany combo for the neck. With Indian rosewood for the fretboard and Grover die cast tuners up top, this example came in a cherry red – most appropriate indeed with the logos, block inlays and bigsby styled ‘Guild’ Vibrato arm adding to the overall retro vibe of the Starfire V.
Semi hollow archtops can be super flexible guitars, and the Starfire V keeps the theory alive. Warm and round with humbuckers on the neck pickup can do round and clear tones, or flick to the bridge for that extra snap and bite. Individual tone and volume controls mean you can set some variation and switch back and forth as needed. The overall Master Volume is an interesting addition too! That hollow body space adds body and woodiness to your tone but the guitar still has nice attack and dynamics to boot. The guitar looks very much like a rock vintage guitar, but tonally it can do a great deal more.
Whilst the Starfire has always seemed to be around in some shape or form, and pops up now and then with various players, for the most it often runs slightly under the radar. With the current feel, tone and price it definitely deserves a little more exposure as it can cover a heap of styles with ease. Definitely worth a look as far as mid priced semi hollow guitars go, it’s up there with some of bigger, more expensive, competitors.
Hits and Misses
Looks and feel
Flexible across a range of styles
Slightly extra ‘retro-ness’ may not suit more traditional semi hollow players
Top: Arched Laminated Mahogany
Back: Arched Laminated Mahogany
Sides: Laminated Mahogany
Neck: 3-Piece Mahogany/Maple/Mahogany
Width at Nut: 43mm
Pickups: LB-1, LB-1