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PRODUCED: 1997 – 2000 approx
TYPE: Double cutaway semi-hollow body, passive 4-string
BODY: Bound laminated maple with two f-holes
NECK: Maple set-neck, 21 jumbo frets
SCALE LENGTH: 781mm (30.75-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Rosewood, bound with dot inlays
HARDWARE: Chrome, stylised Bridge/tailpiece with individually adjustable saddles, Schaller sealed gear tuners
PICKUPS: Pair of DeArmond 2B Dual-coil humbuckers made in USA
CONTROLS: Volume & Tone for each pickup, 3-way pickup selector switch
FEATURES: Semi-hollow body, short scale length
FINISHES: Crimson Red Transparent, Black & Antique Burst
COMMENTS: The full designation for this bass is ‘DeArmond by Guild’ and represents a budget priced reintroduction of the Guild Starfire Bass following the Fender buyout of the company in 1995. The Guild original ran from 1964 to 1977, when it failed to inspire the new generation of super bass players.
This DeArmond version revived the interest however, being very well constructed with a solid core to the body and set neck. It offers a vintage vibe when playing, with a surprisingly full sound although somewhat brighter than the early version, mainly due to the simplified circuitry and DeArmond USA pickups rather than the original Guild units.
What makes it important and collectable is that it sparked enough appeal for Fender to follow up with a new Starfire II bass under the Guild banner in 1998. What’s also curious about this model is that it was never for sale in the USA although even there the interest in these budget-priced instruments was undeniable.