The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Guild Starfire III Reissue Thinline Archtop Electric Cherry Red, 2017


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The Guild Starfire III Reissue brings back one of the popular, professional grade guitars from the 1960’s that was not built by Fender or Gibson.

Guild Guitars launched in 1952 in New York City by Alfred Dronge in partnership with George Mann, who had until then been VP at Epiphone. At that moment, Epiphone was facing significant challenges due to clashes between management and workers. This discord resulted in a move from Manhattan to Philadelphia to prevent unionization. However, many workers refused to move and instead became Guild employees. By 1957, Epiphone management sold their assets and interests to Gibson, who then moved production to the Kalamazoo Gibson lines. By 1967 Epiphone production was moved out of the USA and it became a lower-quality line.

Guild kept growing and producing high quality steel string acoustic and electric guitars. Many of the electric models were based on traditional archtop and thinline designs and were picked up by a number of prominent Blues artists.

The Starfire line was a popular alternative to Gibson’s ES-3xx models. There are photos of Jerry Garcia performing with a Starfire III, used from 1965 to 1967 with the Warlocks and on the first Grateful Dead album.

Solidbodies started to appear around 1963 with the S-200 Thunderbird, which I remember from the front cover of the 1968 ‘Electric Mud’ album by Muddy Waters.

Alfred Dronge died in a plane crash in 1970 and Guild moved production several times over the years. In 1995 it became a subsidiary of Fender. In 2014, the Cordoba Group purchased the brand, and Master Luthier Ren Ferguson, who had been running the Gibson Acoustic division in Bozeman was hired to re-develop the guitar line.

Here’s a trivia point: Alfred Dronge always wanted to have a line of strings. The DR Strings brand is named for Mark Dronge, Alfred Dronge’s son, and Dr. Benzion Rapoport.

Here we’re looking at a Guild Starfire III Reissue built during 2017 by SPG for the Cordoba Group. SPG is located in Incheon, Korea and was formed by employees who purchased a plant that Samick was exiting. Construction quality is very good, and one of the most noticeable differences from a vintage Starfire III is the poly finish, vs the Nitrocellulose Lacquer on the original.

Like the original, the Guild Starfire III Reissue features a laminate Mahogany body, solid Mahogany neck and Indian Rosewood for the fingerboard and floating bridge base. Grover Sta-Tite tuners are at the head, and a single-roller Guild branded Bigsby is paired with a tune-o-matic style bridge. Electronics include modern, reissued LB1 humbuckers through a standard two-volume, two tone setup with a pickup selector switch.   The LB1, ‘Little Bucker’,  was used throughout the 1960’s on Guilds and replaced deArmond single coils.   In the 1970’s, a larger version was introduced, the HB1.   The HB1 pickup was ultimately used by other builders, and notably appeared on early B C Rich guitars until they adopted diMarzio products.  

This is a very nice guitar, well built, light weight comfortable and responsive.

The original hard shell case is included.

Here’s the builder on the Guild Starfire III Reissue:  

“Guild’s Starfire III is equipped with features of extra advantage to the rock ‘n’ roll guitarist who seeks a combination of flashy appearance and extraordinary tonal possibilities. Stellar features are all here, including the extra-thin hollow body, graceful single Florentine cutaway and brilliant Cherry Red finish. The welcome return of a rocking early-’60s favorite with a personality all its own.”

Price: $1,200.00 CAD
  • Model: Starfire III
  • Year: 2017
  • Finish Gloss Cherry Red
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: KSG1705589, built during 2017 by SPG in Incheon, Korea
  • Country of Origin: Korea
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 16/06/2021

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Instrument Weight: 6.468lbs 2.94kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.665in 42.30mm
Guild Website

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