Used 2005 Starfire IV vs New Starfire VI

jiagap

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Hi all, any thoughts on the new Starfire VI

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StarFireVITN--guild-starfire-vi-with-guild-vibrato-blonde

It looks tempting with the vibrato. I also have an opportunity for a used 2005 Starfire IV with no vibrato.

I have a Gibson ES335 LC I want to get rid of cuz the neck is too thin. I played the 2005 Starfire and loved the feel and the neck and the tone. But wondering, at the same money, getting the new VI with Vibrato.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

Thanks
 

GAD

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Corona Guild every time for me. The NS guitars are nice but the US made Guilds are a crazy good value.

The pickups are a big difference though, so be aware of that.
 

Mark WW

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I prefer the Mini Hums over the later model (Fender Humbies) Coronas. But that is just me. Oh and my semis gotta have a Bigsby but that can be added and if you don't like drilling (B7/B70) holes in the top there is always a Towner bar which works great!
 

vastier

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Hi jiagap. I have no experience with that Starfire IV, but I did have the VI for about 18 months. To me it's one of the best looking guitars out there. I liked the workmanship, the attention to detail was admirable, all joints were perfect. It also was the first Bigsby I owned and I like that a lot. I liked the neck.

However, I sold it. I couldn't get used to heavy weight in the lower bout which I think was due to the combination of the center block and the Bigsby together. I play mostly sitting down and the neck kept rising due to that weight and I was struggling. It felt off balance all the time and I couldn't get used to the feel of it. I'm thinking of trying a III instead.

The sound was impressive though.

Very much a personal preference thing, I know. Just didn't work for me.
 

GAD

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I should also point out that you’ll never get your money back on a NS Guild if you pay for a new one. Hell I’ve struggled to get my $500 back on NS guitars with street prices of $1200 new.

Keep a Corona Guild in good shape after paying $1200 for it and you’ll likely get that money back if you ever sell.
 

shihan

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Corona, no doubt. You can add a Guildsby if you want.
 
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dbirchett

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I'm of the opinion that every guitar ought to have some sort of vibrato on it but I too would go with the older Corona model here. The VI will be nice but the IV will be a superlative instrument that will hold its value (being the price you pay for the used model). As for the pickups, some like them and they aren't that bad. You may think they are fine.
 

GSFV

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This will be a little long winded.

What will this guitar’s purpose be? To me that is the deciding factor.

The American will be nicer. Better craftsmanship. Better “investment” as it will hold value better. Better sound, better playing. But in my opinion all of those “betters” are marginal. Not huge. They definitely exist. If you’re playing at home, or in a studio primarily then definitely go American.

If you are looking for a giggling guitar, I’d personally choose the NS. If the worst happens, you won’t be heart broken because a prized guitar was damaged or ruined completely. I ADORE my NS Starfire V. It was my go to for about 18 months, before my strat took over for 4 months. But the starfire is back to number one. It’s an incredible guitar, and finding a used one on eBay is a great value! Some of the ones listed as B stock have blemishes so small they don’t show up in pictures. Great value!

Don’t let the lack of vibrato be a deciding factor. Vibromate makes an adapter that is completely reversible and non invasive to add a guildsby. No problemo.

For me? I went NS and have no regrets. I wish I’d bought B stock instead of brand new, but adore the guitar. I am of the mindset that those nuances get lost in a band setting, or on people who don’t know what they’re listening for.

But in all honesty? They’re both excellent guitars! I’m not sure you can make a wrong choice.
 

txbumper57

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There were some issues with the production of the Newark Street SFVI models where the headstock logo was severely off centered as well as some pickup issues with the bridge pickup being rather weak, There were a few instances where the necks were cut off centered so the center strip on the back of the 3 piece neck was off centered by 1/2 inch to 1 inch. These were discussed here on the forum so if you search for Newark Street SFVI you may be able to pull up the old threads. If I recall correctly a member here went through 2 or 3 new ones before returning them all due to factory defects or improper construction. The SFVI's can be had New but "Open Box" on Ebay for anywhere from $550-$700 on a regular basis so I definitely would not pay $1200 for one listed as new when you can get the same thing for much cheaper. The Newark Street SFVI I played had a really skinny neck when compared to my Corona and Late Westerly made Guild Starfires so you may want to inspect that before purchasing, especially if you already like the feel of the Corona SFIV. Also the LB1 pickups are smaller than a standard sized humbucker so if you decide to do a pickup swap to counter the weak bridge pickup you will have to re-route the guitar and make serious mods that are not reversible.

The Corona SFIV's are awesome guitars. The Fender made HB1's are actually standard sized humbuckers so if you decide you want different pickups it will be a direct swap with any Seymour Duncan/Dimarzio/ or any other standard sized humbucker pickup with no mods needed to be made to the guitar and the process is completely reversible should you later decide to sell it. Yes they are made in the USA and that does mean a lot when it comes to retaining it's value as well as demand for that particular model. The craftsmanship is at a really high level on Late Westerly and Corona models and I have never had an issue with anything on the ones I have owned.

Bottom line is if I were to find a Newark Street SFVI for $600 in new condition I would still rather spend the $1200 on the Corona made SFIV because of the quality of guitar I am getting even at that price. That is regardless of what I plan on using it for whether it be studio or gigging. There are many folks including myself who put the quality of the Late Westerly and Corona Made Starfires on par or even better than that of a comparable Gibson Model costing 2-3 times as much.

Personally there is no question for me, Corona made SFIV all the way. Best of luck in your decision and hope this info helps a bit.

TX
 
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GAD

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Yeah, what he said.
 

adorshki

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"FWIW":
There's no such thing as a 2005 Starfire.
Corona was already shut down by late '04 and Tacoma started production in '05 (and they didn't make electrics there).
So suggest vetting the source to confirm it's just an understandable dating error.
If you can see a Corona label inside with a matching headstock stamp, that's probably good enough, but it can't possibly be later than an '04.
"Just sayin' "
 
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parker_knoll

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"FWIW":
There's no such thing as a 2005 Starfire.
Corona was already shut down by late '04 and Tacoma started production in '05.
So suggest vetting the source to confirm it's just an understandable dating error.
If you can see a Corona label inside with a matching headstock stamp, that's probably good enough, but it can't possibly be later than an '04.
"Just sayin' "
Nice point.

My Corona SFIII-90 is super high quality. I would buy another Corona Guild in a heartbeat.

Interestingly, I've recently been dabbling in Rics again and Rics of that era are poor.
 

GSFV

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Admittedly, I have a sample size of one. And it’s a V, not a VI. It’s always possible NS are inconsistent and I got lucky. It may also be that the issues with the VI don’t translate over to the V, I’m unsure. I think I remember that thread TX mentioned about a member trying 2-3 times. It’s a shame really! It just shouldn’t happen regardless of manufacture origin. If you charge $1200, it should be made correctly. Simple as that in my opinion. Especially if you factor in that the distributor should have caught those mistakes during the X number of inspection points they advertise.
 

fronobulax

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Especially if you factor in that the distributor should have caught those mistakes during the X number of inspection points they advertise.
Not sure what distribution advertising you have seen. I was told the NS bass I got from a brick and mortar store came to the shop in a box that had not been opened since it left the factory. They opened it in my presence but did not let me touch it until it had passed their inspection. I've been told that many online retailers never open the box so the consumer is the first person to see it since the factory. Most of the NS "problems" reported here seem to be because the factory inspection was inadequate and no one else checked. But yeah, there is something wrong if the first person who notices a problem is the consumer and that happens within the first five minutes.
 

dbirchett

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There were some issues with the production of the Newark Street SFVI models where the headstock logo was severely off centered as well as some pickup issues with the bridge pickup being rather weak, There were a few instances where the necks were cut off centered so the center strip on the back of the 3 piece neck was off centered by 1/2 inch to 1 inch. These were discussed here on the forum so if you search for Newark Street SFVI you may be able to pull up the old threads. If I recall correctly a member here went through 2 or 3 new ones before returning them all due to factory defects or improper construction. The SFVI's can be had New but "Open Box" on Ebay for anywhere from $550-$700 on a regular basis so I definitely would not pay $1200 for one listed as new when you can get the same thing for much cheaper. The Newark Street SFVI I played had a really skinny neck when compared to my Corona and Late Westerly made Guild Starfires so you may want to inspect that before purchasing, especially if you already like the feel of the Corona SFIV. Also the LB1 pickups are smaller than a standard sized humbucker so if you decide to do a pickup swap to counter the weak bridge pickup you will have to re-route the guitar and make serious mods that are not reversible.

The Corona SFIV's are awesome guitars. The Fender made HB1's are actually standard sized humbuckers so if you decide you want different pickups it will be a direct swap with any Seymour Duncan/Dimarzio/ or any other standard sized humbucker pickup with no mods needed to be made to the guitar and the process is completely reversible should you later decide to sell it. Yes they are made in the USA and that does mean a lot when it comes to retaining it's value as well as demand for that particular model. The craftsmanship is at a really high level on Late Westerly and Corona models and I have never had an issue with anything on the ones I have owned.

Bottom line is if I were to find a Newark Street SFVI for $600 in new condition I would still rather spend the $1200 on the Corona made SFIV because of the quality of guitar I am getting even at that price. That is regardless of what I plan on using it for whether it be studio or gigging. There are many folks including myself who put the quality of the Late Westerly and Corona Made Starfires on par or even better than that of a comparable Gibson Model costing 2-3 times as much.

Personally there is no question for me, Corona made SFIV all the way. Best of luck in your decision and hope this info helps a bit.

TX
TX Bumper put it as well as anyone could. But let me approach it from a different direction, based upon what you have indicated:

Good: Buy a NS Starfire VI (or V)

Better: Buy a Westerly/Corona Starfire IV

Best: Buy a Westerly Starfire V



 

jiagap

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Wowzers, thanks for all the responses. I hope to go check out the 2005 IV on Friday. It has been on consignment for probably a year or more at $1400 at the store I first saw it at. I love the action, feel, and tone through a Peavey 50 blues classic 115 at low volume that this small shop has to play it through. I will get the serial number and post here to make sure it is what it is. The store owner said to make an offer, the worst the owner could do is say no. It is a beautiful sunburst in very good shape. I was surprised when he told me it was still available.
 

GAD

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In great condition with the original case my magic number is $1200. I consider anything below that to be a good deal. If it’s been therr for a year I’d start negotiations at $900, but with consignment they’re at the mercy of what the owner thinks it’s worth.

I happen to have a Corona sunburst SF4 here if you’d like to know any details about them.
 
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