“Natural” Starfire bass finish. What color is it really?

lungimsam

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
295
Reaction score
0
“Natural” Starfire bass finish. What color is it really?

Some pics make them look red, tan, or light brown.
For you owners out there, what color is it really?
Would you please post a pic of what the finish color looks like to the naked eye?
 

hansmoust

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
7,768
Reaction score
38
“Natural” Starfire bass finish. What color is it really? Some pics make them look red, tan, or light brown.
For you owners out there, what color is it really?
Would you please post a pic of what the finish color looks like to the naked eye?
Hello lungimsan,

That would depend on the period and the actual color of the mahogany that was used. What period are you looking to get info on?

Sincerely,

Hans Moust
www.guitarsgalore.nl
 

lungimsam

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
295
Reaction score
0
Oops...didn’t think of that.
Post Cordoba buy out (2014 and later), current NS production.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
395
Reaction score
1
I'm sure they vary, but based on the ones I've seen, the color is a little bit darker brown a shade than what's in that link. Doesn't look red or blonde.

This is a pretty accurate shot of a "natural" NS SF-II:



And this shows the contrast between a red NS SF-I and a natural NS SF-II:

 
Last edited:

hansmoust

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
7,768
Reaction score
38
I'm sure they vary, but based on the ones I've seen, the color is a little bit darker brown a shade than what's in that link.

This is a pretty accurate shot of a "natural" NS SF-II:

Well, I guess Guild can call that a 'Natural' finish if they want to, but as far as I'm concerned there's nothing 'natural' about that finish/color.
In the 'old' days that would have been called an 'Amber' finish, although the finish of the bass in the link I posted has a bit of 'amber' in it as well.

Sincerely,

Hans Moust
www.guitarsgalore.nl
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
395
Reaction score
1
"the finish of the bass in the link I posted has a bit of 'amber' in it as well"

I'm thinking that that may a result of some sort of a tinted top coat, because the binding on the NS basses has a slightly yellowed or "aged" look to it (as opposed to a bright, knock-your-eyes-out "white" look). If that's the case, it probably pushes the appearance of the "natural" mahogany in that direction as well.
 

lungimsam

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
295
Reaction score
0
I was hoping it was really a light, light brown.
But that looks like a lighter shade of cherry to me. Wonder why they bothered.
The reverb pics look browner. But the pics posted in this thread look like cherry to me.

Guess that means I will still be waiting for a non-sig maple sunburst.
 
Last edited:

fronobulax

Backup bassist, Frono and the Mod Squad
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
16,975
Reaction score
144
I would keep hope until one was actually examined in person (or by proxy - which indeed was the genesis of the thread). When you have a photograph displayed on a computer screen in a room with lighting there are many opportunities for colors to appear different that the resulting judgement will almost always be off in some way. Even holding the object in room lighting is going to give different impressions depending upon the lighting. But in that case the Mark I eyeball combined with advanced organic signal processing can usually come to some correct conclusions based upon observing other objects and colors in the same light.

That said, I find it difficult to imagine that the "natural" as pictured from Sweetwater was intended for a product line that already included the cherry red. I winder if there was an error in production and they decided they could use it anyway.

"natural" suggests to me a finish with no pigment so the dominant color is that of the underlying wood. For no particular reason I think of maple as the most common underlying wood.

Since Oxnard continues the Guild tradition of model numbers that lack consistency, perhaps, since there are so few bass models, they are continuing the tradition with finish names and offerings?
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
395
Reaction score
1
R.e.:"Newark Street" Starfire basses: the "natural" ones look brown. The "red" ones look wine burgundy-ish red. They don't look identical or even all that close, to my eye. But the "natural" ones look darker brown than they otherwise would with a completely clear finish because the finish has a slight amber tint in it.

That's the best way I can describe it verbally, having seen both "in the flesh".

Wish they would issue a maple blonde or 3-color 'burst NS M85. Even a mahogany red. Don't understand why they went with only black.
 

lungimsam

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
295
Reaction score
0
This review video has a cool sequence where it shows the bass color progressing from cherry to natural to emerald so one can see the diffs in color appearance. I like the natural, if it really looks that way in real life.
BTW, yesterday Guild support said no Sunburst plans thru 2020 they know of.

Here is the video. Color morphing at 1:56 and nice tone at 1:39
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niU72sFeY2Q
 

mavuser

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
5,196
Reaction score
0
R.e.:"Newark Street" Starfire basses: the "natural" ones look brown. The "red" ones look wine burgundy-ish red. They don't look identical or even all that close, to my eye. But the "natural" ones look darker brown than they otherwise would with a completely clear finish because the finish has a slight amber tint in it.

That's the best way I can describe it verbally, having seen both "in the flesh".

Wish they would issue a maple blonde or 3-color 'burst NS M85. Even a mahogany red. Don't understand why they went with only black.
i believe Mgod on this forum has a maple/blonde (originally green) SF-I bass early Hoboken he was looking to sell not so long ago. hit him up!

also side note I have found that the mahogany wood itself has variations in hue, so the same finish on 2 different pieces may look different
 

bassman10096

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
62
Reaction score
0
Mahogany does vary from lighter to darker. It also has a natural brown (though not usually red) hue when the finish hits it. A few darker pieces I’ve finished with untinted clear coat have been almost as dark as the pix (and my own NS SF). But the picture, my own bass and others I’ve seen at Chicago Music Exchange all have an amber tint. Definitely not plain clear coat, if that defines a “natural” finish (I think it does). The older, maple tops look like the lighter maple was finished with plain clear.
 

adorshki

Reverential Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
28,532
Reaction score
40
Mahogany does vary from lighter to darker. It also has a natural brown (though not usually red) hue when the finish hits it
I've even seen it cited as ranging to "pinkish" which could affect the final result.
. A few darker pieces I’ve finished with untinted clear coat have been almost as dark as the pix (and my own NS SF). But the picture, my own bass and others I’ve seen at Chicago Music Exchange all have an amber tint. Definitely not plain clear coat, if that defines a “natural” finish (I think it does). The older, maple tops look like the lighter maple was finished with plain clear.
I think that may also be a reason for the disagreement with the finish color name:
Traditionally with Guild "Natural" did mean "NO tint"; especially common for flat-tops.
Don't know if that was pretty standard for other makers as well, but I get why folks object to Guild doing it in this case.
Reminds me of paper makers using a variety of color names to describe paper that's not "perfectly white", and "natural" is one of 'em.
I'd think "Amber" would make more sense too, though.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
395
Reaction score
1
To my eye, the binding looks "light amber" but the body looks "brown". But as I and others have suggested, the darkness may vary across a spectrum from one instrument to another, depending on the original (unfinished) color of the individual top ply of the Mahogany. used
 
Top