Best Westerly Decade for Starfire IV's?

tomvwash

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I'm looking on Reverb for 60's-90's Starfire IV's and wondering if there is any difference in build quality, oversight, etc...among one decade to the next, especially from the time Fender stepped in during the....90's (?) In other words, would anyone definitely opt for one era over another, or is the difference minimal. Thank you for any insight.

Tom
 

Default

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Quality, no.
What matters is the shape of the neck, the pickups used and such. There was never a Norlin or CBS period to Guild.
 

AcornHouse

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The biggest difference is between the Hoboken Starfires of the ‘60 and the late Westerly Starfires. (I don’t have personal experience with the 70s Westerly Starfire’s, so I won’t comment on them; leave that for others.)
The 60s ‘Fires have a lighter, woodier sound and feel, with much skinnier (hurrah!) necks (for the most part. There are always variations with Guild.) The later versions are heavier, with more of a pickup focus like a solid body. A big part is the beefier construction and the switch from a harp tailpiece to a stop tailpiece.

Its all a matter of which you prefer.
 

GAD

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All Westerly Guilds are good guitars. As Default says, the neck shape is important and changes based on the era. Note also that the depth of the body changes, too.

Lots of info here: gads-guilds

I tend to much favor Guilds from the mid-90s to the early 00s, even though the early 00s were Corona-made. The only downside of the Coronas is the pickups. This is all just based on feel and personal preferences. I *love* the early '70s Starfires but the necks tend to be tiny so I don't own any.
 

dapmdave

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Personally, I like the late Westerly guitars the best. 1998-2001 or so.
 

tomvwash

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Personally, I like the late Westerly guitars the best. 1998-2001 or so.

That is good to hear. Thank you. This is what I am seeing on Reverb more than anything else. And thank you everyone else for your insight.

Tom
 

mavuser

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late 70s-80s, if u can find one...snag it!
 

tomvwash

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All Westerly Guilds are good guitars. As Default says, the neck shape is important and changes based on the era. Note also that the depth of the body changes, too.

Lots of info here: gads-guilds

I tend to much favor Guilds from the mid-90s to the early 00s, even though the early 00s were Corona-made. The only downside of the Coronas is the pickups. This is all just based on feel and personal preferences. I *love* the early '70s Starfires but the necks tend to be tiny so I don't own any.
I'm looking at what I'm assuming is a 2000, but haven't found a serial # to date PDF yet: SN: AG001683. The stamp reads Westerly, but all SN charts I am looking at stop at '99. I'm not interested in a Corona manufacture.
 

matsickma

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If I recall the early 80's SF4 is still thin but comes without a pickguard which looks pretty cool with the hardtail stop.
Some have HB1 and some have black open bobbin XR pups.

I like every era. I mentioned this variant cause I never held or played one and don't think this version was around to long.

M
 

AcornHouse

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I'm looking at what I'm assuming is a 2000, but haven't found a serial # to date PDF yet: SN: AG001683. The stamp reads Westerly, but all SN charts I am looking at stop at '99. I'm not interested in a Corona manufacture.
The very late Westerly period is pretty much not on the serial number charts. The only way to check the date (and location) is to contact Hans Moust through his website (if he doesn’t answer here), guitarchives.nl
 

GAD

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I'm looking at what I'm assuming is a 2000, but haven't found a serial # to date PDF yet: SN: AG001683. The stamp reads Westerly, but all SN charts I am looking at stop at '99. I'm not interested in a Corona manufacture.
What does it say on the label?
 

GAD

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If I recall the early 80's SF4 is still thin but comes without a pickguard which looks pretty cool with the hardtail stop.
Some have HB1 and some have black open bobbin XR pups.

I like every era. I mentioned this variant cause I never held or played one and don't think this version was around to long.

M
Yup - ebony fretboards, too! I don't see them very often,

 

SFIV1967

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I'm looking at what I'm assuming is a 2000, but haven't found a serial # to date PDF yet: SN: AG001683. The stamp reads Westerly, but all SN charts I am looking at stop at '99.
AG001683 was produced in Westerly in year 2001.


Yup - ebony fretboards, too!
Ebony fretboards with dots were used roughly 1983 to 1986 as far as I know. This was also the same periode when mostly XR7 pickups were used. Necks were maple in those years instead of mahogany. The thinner 1 5/8" body (instead 2") started around 1981 already.

Ralf
 
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GAD

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AG001683 was produced in Westerly in year 2001.


Ebony fretboards with dots were used roughly 1983 to 1986 as far as I know. This was also the same periode when mostly XR7 pickups were used. Necks were maple in those years instead of mahogany. The thinner 1 5/8" body (instead 2") started around 1981 already.

Ralf
I Want to say mine is an '81, but I'm 3000 miles away and can't confirm
 

fronobulax

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I Want to say mine is an '81, but I'm 3000 miles away and can't confirm
Are you saying as an experienced traveler you don't know how to safely fly with your guitar or you saying that as an experienced traveler you are too smart to fly with your guitar? ;-)
 

GAD

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I would never travel with a guitar. I see many people do it, but there’s no way I would. Maybe if I bought it a seat, but I would also never do that. :)
 

fronobulax

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I would never travel with a guitar. I see many people do it, but there’s no way I would. Maybe if I bought it a seat, but I would also never do that. :)
Buy it a seat. Take it out of the case and rest the naked headstock on the headrest of the seat in front and leave the uncovered lower bout on the seat for all to see.

Safe travels.
 

adorshki

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I'm looking at what I'm assuming is a 2000, but haven't found a serial # to date PDF yet: SN: AG001683. The stamp reads Westerly, but all SN charts I am looking at stop at '99. I'm not interested in a Corona manufacture.
Hi Tom, welcome aboard!
It looks like you may have your ideal guitar selected, but in case it becomes useful to know:
If you think quality suffered in Corona, rest assured it did not although there was a very minor change in dimensions IIRC.
Also, IIRC, the Fender HB-1's were already being used in very late Westerly production so even those have their "weak point".
(Some folks prefer the Guild HB-1's)
If you've been misled by endless internet listings proclaiming Fender ruined Guild, be aware Fender actually purchased 'em in '95 so all those highly regarded late Westerly instruments were built under Fender ownership, but there's a persistent misconception that Fender didn't own 'em until Corona which started production in '02 and the guitars will have Corona labels.
I direct your attention to a recent thread in which a new member inquired about the desirability of a Corona vs one of the Newark street re-issues, note he also had a problem properly ID'ing year of make.
I bring your attention to post #11 in particular from a member who's had a whole lot of guitars go through his hands and paid his dues as a working musician for years, so his opinion is highly credible:
"The Corona SFIV's are awesome guitars".
GAD also knows 'em better than most.
http://letstalkguild.com/ltg/showthread.php?199412-Used-2005-Starfire-IV-vs-New-Starfire-VI/page2
He eventually bought the Corona and was entirely satisfied, post #28.

So trust us, the people who know better than most and who aren't trying to justify an inflated asking price for a pre-Corona guitar have absolutely no problems with Coronas from a quality standpoint.
:friendly_wink:
 
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