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Thread: Pilot - DeArmond Sound vs Guild

  1. #1

    Pilot - DeArmond Sound vs Guild

    I just picked up a reasonable priced DeArmond (circa 2000)but had been looking primarily for the Guild (1987).
    Wondering how much better sounding the Guild would be?
    Anyone have experience playing both? Debating if I need to continue pursuing the real deal for the extra dollars.

    Thanks,
    JayT

  2. #2
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Welcome. No idea. Most folks with a stock DeArmond Starfire either swap the pickups or upgrade to a Guild Starfire. Maybe that applies?

    I might suggest you live with the DeArmond for a while. Unless you need a particular brand on the headstock it makes more sense to have a list of areas where the sound could be improved than to keep searching for something that might be "better".
    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
    Not so sure about that. I think the DeArmond Starfire sounds great with it's stock (US made) pickups, and round wound strings. I've never tried mine with flats, but I like it a lot with a set of D'Addario rounds. Of course, it's a completely different beast than the Pilot, and I'm not sure exactly what you're asking in the OP. Are you looking for a comparison of the DA Starfire and a Pilot?

    Oh, and welcome to LTG BTW!
    Sandy

    '59 X175AB, '61 Mark VI, '68 SFII Bass (Green), '73 D50NT, '82 Mark V, '86 Pilot 602P, '87 Pilot SB602M, '88 Pilot SB602MF, '99 DeArmond Starfire Bass, '10 F512NT
    '11 F50ce Std (Sunburst), '12 F50 Std (Sunburst), '13 R30S (Resonator), '13 B54ce Std Bass, '13 Orpheum Jumbo Prototype, '13 Orpheum OM Mahogany, '13 GSR M85II Bass

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by twocorgis View Post
    Not so sure about that. I think the DeArmond Starfire sounds great with it's stock (US made) pickups, and round wound strings. I've never tried mine with flats, but I like it a lot with a set of D'Addario rounds. Of course, it's a completely different beast than the Pilot, and I'm not sure exactly what you're asking in the OP. Are you looking for a comparison of the DA Starfire and a Pilot?

    Oh, and welcome to LTG BTW!
    Thanks,
    Glad to find this community! Yeah I was asking specifically about the Pilot, not sure how Starfire entered the mix. In seeing a few more threads about DeArmond Pilot I ended up canceling the purchase in favor of putting the cost towards the Guild. One of favorite bass players- the late great Gary King, I heard playing what looks like a B-604 back in 1985, but I never knew what bass it was until recently. He played with Bob James and Tom Scott back then.
    Andy Irvine on YouTube has a few videos with his upgraded preamp 5 string that sounds amazing. Looking forward to adding one of these babies to my collection.

    JayT

  5. #5
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocorgis View Post
    Not so sure about that. I think the DeArmond Starfire sounds great with it's stock (US made) pickups, and round wound strings. I've never tried mine with flats, but I like it a lot with a set of D'Addario rounds. Of course, it's a completely different beast than the Pilot, and I'm not sure exactly what you're asking in the OP. Are you looking for a comparison of the DA Starfire and a Pilot?

    Oh, and welcome to LTG BTW!
    Yep, welcome Jay!
    I get that he got a D'A Pilot to get a bird in the hand and is wondering if a US- built Pilot will sound significantly better.
    I think both you and Frono are pointing him in the right direction, to live with it for a bit and define if there even are any shortcomings, and don't assume it's gonna be inferior just 'cause it's a D'A.
    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
    if u are patient u can get a nice Guild Pilot bass cheap, they pop up often enough!

    I would think a Dearmond Pilot bass to come around much less often than a Guild Pilot, also.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sirfishalot View Post
    Thanks,
    Glad to find this community! Yeah I was asking specifically about the Pilot, not sure how Starfire entered the mix.

    JayT
    OK, I get it now. I had forgotten that there was a DeArmond Pilot!

    Quote Originally Posted by mavuser View Post
    if u are patient u can get a nice Guild Pilot bass cheap, they pop up often enough!
    As mavuser pointed out, Pilot basses come up for sale often enough, and are criminally undervalued really. That's how I ended up with three of them! I might even be persuaded to part with one of mine.
    Sandy

    '59 X175AB, '61 Mark VI, '68 SFII Bass (Green), '73 D50NT, '82 Mark V, '86 Pilot 602P, '87 Pilot SB602M, '88 Pilot SB602MF, '99 DeArmond Starfire Bass, '10 F512NT
    '11 F50ce Std (Sunburst), '12 F50 Std (Sunburst), '13 R30S (Resonator), '13 B54ce Std Bass, '13 Orpheum Jumbo Prototype, '13 Orpheum OM Mahogany, '13 GSR M85II Bass

  8. #8
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    For those who remember the SAT, I was made the comment in case the following was true enough to be useful:

    D'Armond Starfire:Guild Starfire::D'Armond Pilot:Guild Pilot

    The only person I know who actually gigs with a D'Armond Starfire swapped the pickups so I am either guilty of misremembering the bass or extrapolating from a sample size that turned out to be one.

    This Andy Irvine?



    If so you might be amused by my Betts bass, which is a couple years older but was inspired by a Pilot.



    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.

  9. #9
    this guy is selling a blue Guild Pilot w Fender hard case for $350

    https://syracuse.craigslist.org/msg/...995528118.html

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