2015 Starfire IV ST Review

Cnivek61

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This review is for the 2015 mahogany-bodied Starfire IV ST in Cherry Red, which was discontinued by Guild and does not appear in the 2016 Guild catalog. So, if you want a Starfire IV with a mahogany body, you have to go with the floating bridge/Guild harp tailpiece design. If you want the stoptail setup, you have to go with the maple-bodied Starfire IV ST.

As newer player, my criteria are simple: playability, tonal range and stunning good looks. This guitar sits perfectly (I play seated, mostly) and the neck fits my longer fingers very well. I wanted a step up from my smaller Epi ES-339 (which is very playable in its own right) and this guitar is perfect. Given the factory standard 11s, I thought I would have to change to a lighter gauge, but with the narrow jumbo frets and rosewood fingerboard, the setup works very well for me.

The range of tones available from the LB-1 humbuckers and separate volume and tone controls is very broad and serves all my musical moods (so far). The transparent red finish reveals the beauty of the mahogany below and is drop-dead gorgeous! Fit and finish are refined and beautiful.

This guitar will serve me for a very long time – I was fortunate to catch an amazing closeout deal on this model and I am thrilled!

Post Script: About 2 weeks after delivery, I noticed cracks in the gloss poly finish from the edge of the left f hole to the edge of the lower bout, continuing along the binding about half an inch. I am currently working with the retailer and Guild support to determine the cause and resolution.

Post Post Script: please take a look at the finish cracks in the image below. Guild and the retailer agree the damage was likely caused during shipping, as evidenced by damage to the shipping box. Does anyone have experience with repairing the polyurethane gloss finish on a newer Guild? Does it look like there may be structural damage as well? Thanks in advance for your opinions. The retailer will take it back, but Guild doesn't have any more of the same model to replace it, and I really like the way it plays and sounds.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7GKcG0tTdOeT1dkRzJJQlYtc00/view?usp=sharing
 
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hagmeat

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Welcome to LTG Cnivek61. Nice review mate. Glad to hear that you like your 2015 Starfire.
Sorry to hear about the finish problems, I hope you get a good resolution quickly.
Please keep us posted on the outcome. Good luck !
Cheers
 

Cnivek61

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Thanks for the welcome, hagmeat. Yes, I am bummed by the finish issues, but Guild and the retailer are working with me. They concluded the most likely scenario was impact during shipping, as evidenced by some box damage, which took a few weeks of playing and humidity adjustment to appear. My options are to exchange for the only remaining unit that Guild has, which was a display model at the Winter NAMM show a few weeks ago with some buckle scratches on the back, or to pursue an expert evaluation to rule out hidden damage and then have the finish repaired. I could also exchange for one of the maple-bodied Starfire IV STs, but I doubt they would agree to that given the closeout price on the one I bought. I will add some photos to solicit opinions of LTG members on the repairability of the finish.
Best regards,
 

hagmeat

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Thanks for the welcome, hagmeat. Yes, I am bummed by the finish issues, but Guild and the retailer are working with me. They concluded the most likely scenario was impact during shipping, as evidenced by some box damage, which took a few weeks of playing and humidity adjustment to appear. My options are to exchange for the only remaining unit that Guild has, which was a display model at the Winter NAMM show a few weeks ago with some buckle scratches on the back, or to pursue an expert evaluation to rule out hidden damage and then have the finish repaired. I could also exchange for one of the maple-bodied Starfire IV STs, but I doubt they would agree to that given the closeout price on the one I bought. I will add some photos to solicit opinions of LTG members on the repairability of the finish.
Best regards,
O.K you have some good choices there. There are a couple of forum members who are authorised to do Guild repairs. Where are you located ?

Also, you should start a thread in the Archtops/Hollowbody section so more members will see it and you`ll get some more opinions.
 

Cnivek61

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Very good. I'm in the US in Michigan. Good suggestion on posting under Archtops as well - just did that.
 
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