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Thread: 1980s Starfire IV features

  1. #1

    1980s Starfire IV features

    Can anyone confirm if these dates sound about right for these features?

    Strap button moved from neck heel to body - very early 1980

    Block markers changed to dot markers - 1981

    Rosewood fingerboard changed to ebony - 1981

    No pickguard - 1981 to 1986

    Pickup selector switch on bass horn - very late 1981 to 1986

    The most difficult feature to pin down is the change from harp tail to stop tail because both were fitted on SF-4's from 1981 to early 1984. From mid-1984 onward, I think it's all stop tails.

    Thanks!

    GG

  2. #2
    Senior Member SFIV1967's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGJaguar View Post
    Rosewood fingerboard changed to ebony - 1981
    Pickup selector switch on bass horn - very late 1981 to 1986
    I thought the ebony fingerboard with dots only happened around 1983, same for the pickup selector switch on the bass side due to the added master volume on the treble side. Also a 3 piece maple neck started around 1983 I believe.
    Ralf
    Last edited by SFIV1967; 06-12-2019 at 09:45 PM.

  3. #3
    I think the change from 5-piece maple to 3-piece maple neck happened in 1979 (it was a transitional year with overlap).

  4. #4
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    My attempts to date Starfire and JS basses by date of feature introduction circa 1965-1977 failed miserably. The big problems were that it was not always true that the higher serial number left the factory (or was a completed instrument) before the lower numbers and sometimes a feature would appear and disappear and reappear, suggesting that Guild was more concerned with using parts on hand than meeting "catalog" specs. Since you are working in a later decade, maybe you won't run into these things or won't be as frustrated as I was by making a statement then adding exceptions.

    Edit: As noted below, I should have said "lower number left before the higher". Probably confused even myself with the negative. The basic assumption, that instruments were completed in serial number order is not correct for all of Westerl'y production.
    Last edited by fronobulax; 06-13-2019 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Duh
    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post
    The big problems were that it was not always true that the higher serial number left the factory (or was a completed instrument) before the lower numbers
    Strictly to assist readers with less intimate knowledge of how that occurred, I think you meant it the other way 'round:
    "...it was not always true that the lower serial number left the factory (or was a completed instrument) before the higher numbers"
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post
    and sometimes a feature would appear and disappear and reappear, suggesting that Guild was more concerned with using parts on hand than meeting "catalog" specs. Since you are working in a later decade, maybe you won't run into these things or won't be as frustrated as I was by making a statement then adding exceptions.
    Couple that with the fact that it looks to me like most (if not all?) spec changes were running changes and not specific start/stop date changes, and that they weren't even necessarily completed in s/n order, and that'd tend to "amplify" the issue you describe about anachronistic specs appearing on a given piece.
    But after seeing his site I suspect GG's well aware of those issues and looking to at least nail down a pretty good idea of "start" dates (maybe call 'em "announcement" dates?) for those specifics he mentions.
    Stop/harp tails?
    Maybe both were offered at buyer's (dealer's) discretion until they finally ran out of harps or just decided to drop 'em?
    We had a member who was a dealer at the time, John Evans, "JTE" I think his handle was.
    Haven't seen him post in ages but maybe he'd answer a PM?
    Last edited by adorshki; 06-13-2019 at 12:27 AM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  6. #6
    i've just had a look at two 1981s and one is stop tail and one is harp.
    1957 X175 (ex)
    1960 Starfire III (ex)
    1962 X175
    1966 Starfire III (ex)
    1966 Duane Eddy DE-400
    2002 Starfire III-90

  7. #7
    Senior Member SFIV1967's Avatar
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    Again, Hans second book is missing to help clarifying all of this! Hope at some point we will finally hold the second book in our hands!

    Ralf

  8. #8
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFIV1967 View Post
    Again, Hans second book is missing to help clarifying all of this! Hope at some point we will finally hold the second book in our hands!

    Ralf
    It just occurred to me Drumbob might recall some details too, at least about something like the stoptail/harp; having been involved with artist endorsement pieces?
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

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