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Thread: Guild Humbucker in Starfire to replace a Bisonic?

  1. #1

    Guild Humbucker in Starfire to replace a Bisonic?

    Will a Guild humbucker fit in an NS Starfire?

    Are there any other hum buckers for Guild Starfires besides the Novak BSDS and Guildbucker?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    Will a Guild humbucker fit in an NS Starfire?

    Are there any other hum buckers for Guild Starfires besides the Novak BSDS and Guildbucker?
    Seriously? :-)

    First I don't think the Novak BSDS is a humbucker. My recollection is that you could get a pair of Hammon DarkStars and install them so the combination cancelled hum but I don't think any "bisonic emulation" pickup is a humbucker. There are enough definitions in those statements that I could reconsider my opinion if we are defining things differently.

    The 70's Starfires came with the humbucker as stock and there are examples of a 60's bass with a neck position Bisonic replaced with a 70's humbucker. I'd expect things to work in a NS but I don't know for a fact.

    I suppose your question is really, would the swap be reversible?
    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.

  3. #3
    The mounting screw holes don't align, so more holes will have to be drilled, at minimum.

    This might conceivably be avoided by fabricated a custom mounting base that attaches via the stock, Bi-Sonic mounting holes and drilling Guild-Bucker mounting holes into that (instead of into the body, itself).

  4. #4
    Novak actually has made a humbucking/coil-split-able version of the Bisonic. I don't think he's added them to his website yet but I'm sure he'd be happy to make you one if you email him. They have the same look and physical dimensions of a standard Bisonic from overhead but may need the cavity to be enlarged a bit to accommodate the extra coil. Haven't heard it yet, but I'm sure it sounds great, going by his regular Bisonic options which I've logged plenty of time on and love.

    With the Guildbucker I think you would have to make the cavity larger to accommodate the height adjustment screw tabs on either side. As others have noted, you'd either have to drill new mounting screw holes or make a new mounting ring to use the original ones.

    Another direction to explore is one of the following (none of which have screw holes that line up perfectly to Bisonics):

    -Dimarzio Model One pickup, which I am a big fan of for the big tone and their commendable flexibility (4-lead pickup for single/humbucker/series/parallel/phase wiring and switching options). I like them best in the neck position, but they do work in the middle and bridge positions as well. Originally manufactured as a less-muddy, more flexible drop-in alternative to the Gibson Mudbucker. Should normally drop right into a Starfire cavity, though they are encased in a big ol glob of epoxy which can vary a bit in girth and shape.

    -Schaller and Dimarzio bass humbuckers in the regular guitar-humbucker-sized format. Both of these are practically identical in their specs and appearance and do have the correct string spacing. I like them a lot too. Similar tone to the Model One humbucker (maybe a little more mid presence and slightly less low end) and they have all the same 4-lead wiring options. Have height adjustment screws on either side which MIGHT require some widening of the pickup cavity.

    -The rare Shadow humbucker that has the correct spacing and is most similar in tone to the Shaller/Dimarzio guitar-sized ones, though the physical foot-print is closer to the Dimarzio Model One. Also has height adjustment screws which will likely require a widened cavity.

    -Vintage style Thunderbird pickups like the Novak offering are often surface-mountable humbuckers that you wouldn't need to use any cavity for. Curtis recently showed off a Mustang bass on his social media that had one in the bridge position and supposedly required no routing. Look really great in all chrome, with no visible pole pieces.

    A few more (though I have had no experience with them):

    You could also explore the Gretsch and Rickenbacker style humbucker options out there. I would expect them all to be smaller than a Bisonic so a custom trim ring or mounting ring may have to be fashioned for them.

    Bartolini made a Guild-size humbucker that I believe was designed to replace Guildbuckers. There has been some discussion here on the board about them. They also make Rickenbacker sized options.

    Then there are also a few guitar-humbucker sized bass humbucker options from EMG.
    Last edited by mellowgerman; 07-25-2019 at 07:12 PM.

  5. #5
    DiMarzio makes some great pups. I've used DP-123 and DP-127 in "J" and "P" style basses.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the info, you guys.
    Lots of options here.
    For 360$ Novak will wind a bisonic like a humbucker for you. I have been trying to get him on the phone to no avail. Maybe he is away. Have a couple questions before buying.

    I have used the Ricky HB1 Humbacker. They are fantastic and only 100$ I think. But I think I would like something that drops right in for now.
    But thanks for all the other options in case I have to explore them later.

    My bass is now silent at home but still get a/c at church. So I figured I would throw a humbucker in.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellowgerman View Post
    Novak actually has made a humbucking/coil-split-able version of the Bisonic.
    I remember that but I remembered it as not quite a Bisonic. Specifically if you only used one coil it was not intended to sound like a Bisonic. I stand corrected.
    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.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post
    I remember that but I remembered it as not quite a Bisonic. Specifically if you only used one coil it was not intended to sound like a Bisonic. I stand corrected.
    Hmm, I thought I remembered it being intended to be as Bisonicesque as possible. I could be wrong too though! As I said, I've yet to hear them, so I know not

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