NAMM 2021 Reimagined Starfire Bass

mavuser

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go ahead and call me crazier than a bag of nuts in a nut free facility... but those pickups sound like Bisonics/Dark Stars, like a Newark Street pickup at least, to my ears. The player is quite good.
 
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Fender uses the term "vintage" to describe those narrow frets. I think they were used on the original Mustang Basses and for sure on some of the later re-issues thereof. That's where I picked it up.

I didn't include the original, 60s/70s Guild frets in my comments because I don't have first-hand experience with those basses (not that I wouldn't like to) so am not familiar with the frets typically installed by the factory back then.

Bottom line is: I don't care for narrow frets or, at least, much prefer wider ones.
 

fronobulax

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Fender uses the term "vintage" to describe those narrow frets. I think they were used on the original Mustang Basses and for sure on some of the later re-issues thereof. That's where I picked it up.
This is NOT Let's Talk Fender so no wonder I am confused.

Hypothesis - the fret size on '60's, 70's, 90's and Newark Street Starfire basses are all the same and that size may be larger than what is on the New Kid In Town.
 
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When I first started to seriously work at learning to play bass after decades of being focused on guitar, my first bass was a Mustang re-issue. Later, I bought an NS SF-1 and discovered the True Path...;)
 

lungimsam

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Mustangs don’t have great access over the 12th fret. Starfires do!!
 
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Have always loved ES-335 style guitar bodies, so the Starfire Bass was a natural fit, ergonomically.

Not sure why that didn't occur to me right out of the gate.
 

mellowgerman

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My 1970 has "jumbo" frets and I really dig them (figuratively speaking). I honestly never took note of the fret size on it until I got the sunburst 1967 SFB-I last year and realized the thin "vintage" frets on it. May have been a matter of what-I'm-used-to but I realized I greatly prefer the jumbos.
Anybody know what would have been stock in 1970? Maybe mine was refretted along the way, but if so, I'm glad it was. Fret size, like fretboard radius, was just never something I paid mind to. I dont think any common radius or fretsize would make an instrument uncomfortable for me, but I've realized I do have slight preferences
 

fronobulax

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My 1970 has "jumbo" frets and I really dig them (figuratively speaking). I honestly never took note of the fret size on it until I got the sunburst 1967 SFB-I last year and realized the thin "vintage" frets on it. May have been a matter of what-I'm-used-to but I realized I greatly prefer the jumbos.
Anybody know what would have been stock in 1970? Maybe mine was refretted along the way, but if so, I'm glad it was. Fret size, like fretboard radius, was just never something I paid mind to. I dont think any common radius or fretsize would make an instrument uncomfortable for me, but I've realized I do have slight preferences

I note an apparent contradiction between what I have said about fret size on my '67 and @mellowgerman says about his. Perhaps someone should start a thread about Starfire bass fret size and start out with some definitions and measurements? That might be me but since I seem to be insensitive to subtle differences, someone else might do a better job.
 

hieronymous

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My early-'70s M-85 II has virtual frets (and strings in this case)



Sorry, I couldn't resist! Though I have to admit, I have owned a played a bunch of basses over the past 20 years of various scale lengths and number of strings, and I have never noticed fret size. There's plenty I'm still ignorant of though, even after 35+ years of playing...
 

lungimsam

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Only thing I heard was skinnier frets give more accurate intonation. But I don’t think I ever noticed diffs in feel.
 

mellowgerman

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Only thing I heard was skinnier frets give more accurate intonation. But I don’t think I ever noticed diffs in feel.
I have heard this too, but I've never had intonation issues with my jumbo frets. I did have to move my harp bridge forward slightly to get the E string intonated properly, but that's the classic harp bridge issue, due to the design itself. Ever since though, spot on intonation(y)
 
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Only thing I heard was skinnier frets give more accurate intonation. But I don’t think I ever noticed diffs in feel.
My preference for wide frets probably stems from years of guitar playing where wide frets are nice for string bending. Though I don't do much string bending on bass (mine are all string with pretty stiff flats), the wide frets still just "feel right" to me.

"I like big frets and I cannot lie"
---Sir Bass-a-Lot
 
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fronobulax

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What's with the slots in the pick-up covers? They don't allow adjustment so what is their purpose? They look like crap!
Slots?


I might see screw slots instead of holes for the mounting screws. I can imagine that would allow for some kind of left-right adjustment in other installations but on this bass it looks like things are already at opposite extremes.

Evidence that the PUs will appear in other instruments eventually?
 

lungimsam

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The cover certainly does not look like it was made for only one pickup type since it has the big block cutout for the pole pieces instead of total coverage with just individual pole piece holes. And the face of the pickup doesn't contact the inside of the covers evenly. Makes me think it is springs on the adjustment screws and not foam in there.
I don't think the covers detract from the looks of the instrument any. Sure, a pole piece matched cover would be nicer but it is a "budget" priced instrument I think. So I can see them using what's on hand and just works.
 
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SFIV1967

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...since it has the big block cutout for the pole pieces instead of total coverage with just individual pole piece holes.
Many pickups are like that.

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Also as mentioned the Guild Mickey Mouse pickup:

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The long holes also make no sense to me. I guess what is left here is some plastic foil probably from a protection foil over the pickups. That photographer was pretty careless. (see the picture with the sloppy wiring I had postd earlier)

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Ralf
 
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