Guild Starfire II Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1961)

Guild  Starfire II Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1961)

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Item # 8163
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Guild Starfire II Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1961), made in Hoboken, NJ, serial # 15529, cherry lacquer finish, laminated mahogany body and neck with rosewood fingerboard, Period hard shell case.

This is a nice example of an early Guild Starfire II from the first part of 1961, well-played but not abused. These first Starfires were fitted with white-topped DeArmond Dynasonic pickups (the same as Gretsch employed on their 1950s classics, with a different color faceplate), which were discontinued after the first couple of years. This guitar has a rich dark cherry finish, less bright-hued than later examples with an almost burgundy tint. The body is triple-bound on the front with the early pattern unbound back (like a T-100), and the dot-inlaid rosewood fingerboard is single-bound.

Other features include the early style "open book" headstock shape with an inlaid plastic faceplate; a rounded-edge, back-painted acrylic pickguard with Guild logo and chevron emblem; amber "G-logo" tone and volume knobs; the Guild "harp" tailpiece; and the original Hagstrom-made "Adjust-O-Matic" bridge. This is a sharp-looking guitar with a tone you could describe as a 1950s Gretsch crossed with a Gibson ES-330, with additional high-end "snap" and clarity.

The Starfire series has been Guild's most consistently successful electric guitar line since its inception in 1960, and these often under-appreciated 1960s guitars have in recent times become much better respected. This guitar dates to 1961 and would be one of the first full production year Starfires. These early models equipped with DeArmond pickups are far less common than the 1963 and later versions carrying Guild's own humbuckers, and are often considered the best-playing and sounding of all Starfires. This is a very classy and versatile thin-body electric; one of Guild's absolutely classic designs, and compared to many similar period Gibson or Gretsch models still rather undervalued.
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 in. (5.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar is all original, and shows a lot of use with a decent amount of solid play wear but no damage, repairs, or alterations. There are dings and dents overall, especially to edges on the back and the bottom edge near the endpin where it looks like the guitar was repeatedly put down on some abrasive surface. Overall the top is fairly clean with some finish rubbed off in the typical armwear spot and some scratched and small worn areas. The finish is entirely gone from the back of the neck, rubbed away, and then the remainder sanded off by the look of it.

The fingerboard shows some light divoting in the lower positions but the frets -- which appear to be original -- are in surprisingly good shape after a recent G+P. Well-gigged but well-cared for, this is a very good-playing guitar with a spectacular sound, and is housed in a very nice blue-lined tweed-finished HSC from the period that looks to have been with it since new. Very Good + Condition.