Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 32

Thread: Scale Length for Late '90s DeArmond Starfire Bass

  1. #11
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    14,238
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesota Flats View Post
    Thanks, ukulelelab.

    While you're at it, could you measure the DeArmond SF's scale length? Let's put that confusion to rest once and for all (at least in THIS thread). Thanks
    But please report how you measured it and use units, not short, medium or long :-)

    Others may disagree with me but I was taught that the best way to measure the scale length was to measure the distance from the edge of the nut to the center of the 12th fret and multiply that measurement by two. This should be the same regardless of which string used and how the instrument is intonation.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  2. #12
    Both are 15.1/4" from the edge of the nut to the center of the 12th fret
    65 Jetstar Bass
    90's Starfire Bass II

  3. #13
    My DA starfire definitely had an extra millimeter or two from string to string at the bridge. I know this for sure because I installed a set of DS-1 darkstars on mine (identical pole spacing to vintage bisonics) and though the neck position was okay, the bridge pickup spacing did not match the string spacing on that end, though it didn't produce any audible issues soundwise.
    Never measured the spacing at the nut though

  4. #14
    "Both are 15.1/4" from the edge of the nut to the center of the 12th fret "

    There we have it: definitely NOT a 32" (medium-scale) bass.

  5. #15
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    14,238
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesota Flats View Post
    "Both are 15.1/4" from the edge of the nut to the center of the 12th fret "

    There we have it: definitely NOT a 32" (medium-scale) bass.
    The part of me that likes taxonomies and consistency and people playing by MY rules gets very frustrated with the terms long, short and so on describing bass scales. Scale length is important - it effects playing and tone and most bass makers are pretty consistent.


    • Extra Long - 35" or greater
    • Long - 34"
    • Medium - 32"
    • Short - 30"


    But because of bridge geometry a string with one label may not fit a bass with the same label. In the Guild world there are Short scale strings that are too short for a Starfire bass, Short scale strings that fit just fine, Medium scale strings that are too long and Mediums that fit just fine.

    In My Day we bought bass strings once every 20 years or so because knowing which brands fit was hard before the internet and it was uphill, both ways, to the music store.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  6. #16
    So, here's another question: I'm looking at one of these in a pawn shop, not a guitar dealer, so I'm a bit cautious about condition and disclosures. Are there any known issues with this model that I should ask about? I'm probably overanalyzing at this point, but thought I would ask the experts.
    2015 Guild Starfire IV ST
    Epiphone ES-339 PRO
    Seagull S6 Original

  7. #17
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    14,238
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Cnivek61 View Post
    So, here's another question: I'm looking at one of these in a pawn shop, not a guitar dealer, so I'm a bit cautious about condition and disclosures. Are there any known issues with this model that I should ask about? I'm probably overanalyzing at this point, but thought I would ask the experts.
    I don't recall anyone ever mentioning things to watch out for but then again I don't remember too many specific comments about the D'Armonds. I suspect you are over analyzing things, a trait I share.

    I do have two comments. Is the price low enough that you can afford to make a mistake? How many dinners out would you have to give up if you bought it and it was a total loss? Is it high enough that it would not be much more to aim for a used Newark Street Starfire (~$700) instead?
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  8. #18
    Given that the DeArmond has 2 pickups, I would miss having a master volume (which the Guild SFII does and the DeArmond does not, unless one has been added). Other than that, I would evaluate its condition as I would that of any other prospective bass purchase.

  9. #19
    Grab a Newark street bass, the pickups have some nice growl

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post
    I don't recall anyone ever mentioning things to watch out for but then again I don't remember too many specific comments about the D'Armonds. I suspect you are over analyzing things, a trait I share.

    I do have two comments. Is the price low enough that you can afford to make a mistake? How many dinners out would you have to give up if you bought it and it was a total loss? Is it high enough that it would not be much more to aim for a used Newark Street Starfire (~$700) instead?
    Good thoughts, fronobulax. I'm starting to learn the bass after a few years learning guitar. This DeArmond bass is attractive for reasons of the classic Guild design, semi-hollow construction, and DA reputation for high quality builds out of Korea in this period.


    The asking price is $650 plus shipping, described as excellent condition with controls working as intended, and includes the DA HSC. The seller is out of state, so it would be a leap of faith based on his condition description, and a gamble that I would end up with a classic bass in excellent condition.


    I confirmed a transaction on Reverb for an almost identical guitar and case for $550 plus shipping two years ago, so that sets my benchmark. It would injure my pride more than my finances if I had to have remedial work done or re-sell as a museum piece. I set the budget for my first bass at $500, but am considering the Starfire for the reasons mentioned above. Otherwise, I'll probably end up with an Ibanez, G&L, Schecter, or PRS that falls in my original budget (and maybe save up for a Newark Street Starfire II).


    I appreciate all the good input, I just need to make up my mind!
    Last edited by Cnivek61; 07-17-2017 at 07:25 PM. Reason: fixing typos
    2015 Guild Starfire IV ST
    Epiphone ES-339 PRO
    Seagull S6 Original

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •