1997 Starfire lll opinions?

cupric

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I've been contemplating whether to change my Starfire lll to a standard bridge, or whether I should just forego the modification and sell it. I've never been a vibrato user, always blocking my strays etc. But this guitar looks really great with the Guildsby on it. I bought the guitar because it is so beautiful. But I've enjoyed playing my previous non vibrato guitars more. I've had vintage T100D, Slim Jims. They were great, but without the striking looks of this guitar.
So, your opinion(s), modify or sell?
s-l1600.jpg
 

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walrus

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Well, I would have already taken the Guildsby off! Like you, I would probably never use it, and for me personally, I would rather take the extra weight off the guitar. The '97 SFII Sunburst I had actually looked a lot like yours, I really loved the look of the standard bridge and the tailpiece.

Good luck deciding!

walrus
 

Shakeylee

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That guitar does look great,but, it would still look great with a G harp tailpiece.
If you can afford one, that would be my route. And hold the guildsby for a return to stock.
If money is tight, sell the guildsby and buy a regular tailpiece.
Great guitar!!
 

freddyfingers

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I’ve spent a lot of time looking, playing gretsch. Discussing a gretsch without a bigsby to other gretsch heads just gives you this look of deer in headlight. I have wanted to take the bigsby off of a lot of them. Even considered taking it off my new Stratford. Might reduce the weight a tad and help a little with sustain. So I am in favor of modding it the way you see fit. That being said, sounds like there was not as much bonding overall, with or with out the trem. I can tell you that after I have removed it because i didn’t think I would use it on a certain guitar, my hand reaches over there regardless, and just grabs air. Go figure.
 

GAD

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I wouldn’t mod that. It’s too perfect!

Maybe learn some songs that use the Guildsby? Nothing beats them for subtle chord warble.
 

GGJaguar

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Sell, don't mod. Just fold the arm out of the way and pretend it's a hardtail. :)
 

SFIV1967

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It will be harder to find a similar Starfire II. They are out there but harder to find. Guitarpoint in Germany had a similar beautiful 1997 Starfire II (in a 1966 Guild case!):

1616286184560.png


So if the Starfire III is perfect otherwise but the Guildby is in the way and I would not plan selling her I would see no problem to swap the Guildsby for a harp tail piece. Even with the different screw holes...(EDIT: Maybe not, see Default's message below). But you still would not have a wooden bridge...which also makes a difference.

Ralf
 
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cupric

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Thank you all! The guitar plays and sounds fantastic. It's in perfect shape. I'll let you know. I pretty much agree that it is too perfect to modify.
Thank you all!
Ray
 

parker_knoll

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It will be harder to find a similar Starfire II. They are out there but harder to find. Guitarpoint in Germany had a similar beautiful 1997 Starfire II (in a 1966 Guild case!):

View attachment 16826

So if the Starfire III is perfect otherwise but the Guildby is in the way and I would not plan selling her I would see no problem to swap the Guildsby for a harp tail piece. Even with the different screw holes...(EDIT: Maybe not, see Default's message below). But you still would not have a wooden bridge...which also makes a difference.

Ralf
I was looking at another very nice late '90s sunburst SFII in Germany that went for only about €1000 at the end of last year. I think I posted it in the ebay section of the forum.
 

bobouz

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Well, you can probably guess what I would say, since I have the exact same model, a '97 Starfire III, modified with a harp tailpiece. Okay, I'll just say it: You'd be crazy to sell it - Get rid of the Guildsby! And here's exactly what it will look like:

IMGP3202.JPG
 

cupric

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Well, you can probably guess what I would say, since I have the exact same model, a '97 Starfire III, modified with a harp tailpiece. Okay, I'll just say it: You'd be crazy to sell it - Get rid of the Guildsby! And here's exactly what it will look like:

View attachment 17173
Looks awesome! My guitar looks, and plays like a million dollar s!
 

Dylan McGee Jones

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Swap it for the harp tailpiece, and get a floating bridge with a wooden base and tune-o-matic top with adjustable saddles. There is no point to keep that rocker bridge on there because the intonation isn’t as accurate as a tune-o-matic, it’s meant for a wound G string, and it’s literally only on there because it is paired with the Guildsby and needs to move with the strings. Or sell it as is, it’s beautiful!
 

cupric

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I have played it a few times over the last days. It sounds great. I think it may have the finest tone of any electric I've ever owned. It's not a subtle guitar. It has a huge voice and presence. The pickup settings are very sensitive also. It is not ordinary in any way. My vintage ES335 was muffled in comparison.
 

Default

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Swap it for the harp tailpiece, and get a floating bridge with a wooden base and tune-o-matic top with adjustable saddles. There is no point to keep that rocker bridge on there because the intonation isn’t as accurate as a tune-o-matic, it’s meant for a wound G string, and it’s literally only on there because it is paired with the Guildsby and needs to move with the strings. Or sell it as is, it’s beautiful!
Fwiw, my SFlll Bigsby bridge is for a plain g.
 
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