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Thread: 1974 m85 sii ch

  1. #1

    1974 m85 sii ch

    What does the "S" stand for in this model number?

    Assuming "CH" means Cherry.

    I have my eye on one...Is this bass worth much...I want to buy it because I like the bass and heard good things about tone.

    Condition is VG.

    Open back gear tuners on this...Is this original for '74?

    Thanks for any information in advance!

  2. #2
    I could be dead wrong, but my guess is that what looks to be an "S" is most likely a sloppy dash?
    I have never heard of an "S" being spliced in that way on any Guild bass, though I believe it should normally be M85-II CH or SFB-II CH... or would it be M-85 II CH? I've owned several vintage Starfires but never an M85 so I'm by no means an expert on these basses. Do you have a photo of the label by chance?
    Last edited by mellowgerman; 07-11-2018 at 01:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Welcome. Never heard of a M85 with any kind of "S" in the model. My guess is sloppy handwriting but if you can get a picture of the label, host it elsewhere and link to it here we can confirm that or add to our knowledge.

    The earliest M85's were hollow bodies. Circa 1972 or 73 they were re-imagined as a solid body instrument so if your date is 1974 then it should be a solid body and probably looks a lot like (LTG member) guildsofgrot's below.

    To the extent that you can compare a solid M85 II with Guild humbuckers to a Guild JS II with humbuckers, I would say that the tone is distinctive, good for some styles but not all. But my opinion is definitely colored by a personal preference for vintage Bisonics.

    I have not been following the market. When searching there are three different price ranges. The cheapest will be the Newark Street M85's which are hollow and made within the past few years. Next will be the M85 solid (and I don't recall whether it is solid or chambered but the difference does not matter for this post) which will be circa 1971 through the 1970's. I recall prices from $1500 to $3000 depending upon condition and whether the seller is trying to invoke Sheryl Crow to get a higher price. Finally there are the hollow bodies which predate 1971. Those go for $2500 to $3500 and sometimes higher. It helps to know what you are looking at because sellers who did not do enough research have priced 21st century M85s as if they were vintage and vintage solids as if they were vintage hollows. (note this is a sweeping generalization and I can think of several specific instruments that are exceptions but this covers 80-90% of the market).

    My intuition says that a price of $1000 or lower, with case, is either a screaming hot deal or VG condition does not mean what we think it does and there is probably a major repair. Upwards of $2000 and you are either getting outstanding condition or are a committed Sheryl Crow fan.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '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.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    hello, and welcome to the forum.

    the "S" could mean "stereo." there would be an extra switch on the top that says stereo/mono if so. you can just play it in mono. not sure how useful the stereo feature is, most of the time. but maybe you have a purpose for it!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mavuser View Post
    hello, and welcome to the forum.

    the "S" could mean "stereo." there would be an extra switch on the top that says stereo/mono if so. you can just play it in mono. not sure how useful the stereo feature is, most of the time. but maybe you have a purpose for it!
    Good call on the stereo - I feel like I have seen one or two like that - will dig through the pics on my computer at home later.

    The stock humbuckers are probably the Guild ones - they are often viewed as inferior to the pre-1971 Hagstrom Bi-Sonics but there are people that are fans of the Guild ones - extremely high output pickups, depends on what you are going for I guess. Any pictures?

  7. #7
    I have a 1973 M-85 II myself. I still look at others, I think because I got a bum deal on mine. The market seems to have cooled down since I bought mine last summer. The solid bodies seem to be in the $1,500~ range now. Beware of headstock and neck breaks, along with truss rod issues. Not that they will all have those.

    The open backed tuners are original. On mine, they turn the opposite way of modern ones. So itís left to raise the pitch and right to lower it. You can tell if the one youíre looking at is like that by checking the worm gear.
    Itís a nice bass. Very much a sound of its own. The thin neck and short scale make it easier for me to play. Good luck! Also, Iíll add to the calls for pictures.
    Last edited by katthestar; 07-12-2018 at 09:23 AM. Reason: Misspelled a word

  8. #8

    Thank You!

    Thanks for all of you information!

    I appreciate it!

    Thank You ALL again!

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