The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Guild Starfire VI Thinline Electric Blonde, 1974

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The top of the line Guild Starfire VI is one of the less commonly seen versions of the Guild semi-hollow models, and can be a spectacular alternative to other brands.

Seen here is a beautifully figured Flame Maple (blonde) Guild Starfire VI built near Newark, New Jersey around October of 1974. it is in overall rather good condition with a natural wear spot to the back finish, where the body would rest against the player’s belt. The hardware is gold plated, with Guild-branded Schaller tuners at the head (Grover Roto-Matics had been more commonly used), and Guild’s spacing-adjustable roller bridge. This example does not have the Guild branded Bigsby that most VI’s did; instead it has the gold-plated Deluxe Harp tailpiece as used on many of Guild’s jazz boxes. The frets are original and are in fully usable condition with light to moderate wear. As is typical of many older instruments, there are small breaks in the binding; on this example, those are mostly on the bass side of the fingerboard at the side-dots.

Typical of the time, the fingerboards on these early 1970’s models are relatively narrow. This example has a nut width of 1.636 inches or 41.55mm; many modern equivalents are near 1.7 inch or 43.2mm. It’s a noticeable difference!

The original hard shell case is included. Its ‘Guild’ branding logo is gone, but its location is still visible.

Built from 1964 to 1979, the Guild Starfire VI was the highest of three versions (IV, V and VI) of an updated Starfire with double cutaways and a solid center block, rather like the ground-breaking Gibson ES-335. The body is Maple or Mahogany laminate with a Mahogany center block, a matching Maple or Mahogany neck with a Walnut center strip, and Ebony for the fingerboard, which had V-block position markers, a center V of Abalone with Mother of Pearl boundaries. The IV and V models had Rosewood fingerboards. On the VI, the body, F-holes, fingerboard and headstock are bound; on the V, the F-holes are not, and the IV did not have headstock binding. The bridges ‘floated’ on a wooden base until 1972 with a change to bridge posts sunk through the top into the center block.

The Guild Starfire VI and V, and some IV’s were wired with two humbucking pickups, individual volume and tone controls. The pickup selector and a master volume were placed on the lower horn. The pickguard is a a black ‘Stairstep’ type with a Guild logo screened on its top.

Interestingly, these 1970’s Guild HB-1 pickups were used on the earliest B.C. Rich models, until DiMarzio introduced the Super Distortion.

Originally introduced in 1960, the Starfire line started out with a thin, semi hollow single cutaway laminate Mahogany or Maple body. As the version designation rose (I, II, and III), so did the appointment level. The Starfire I was fairly plain with a single deArmond DynaSonic pickup, the Starfire II added a second pickup and the III had an available Guild branded Bigsby in place of Guild’s harp tailpiece.

These early models used an ‘Open Book’ headstock design, visually similar to Gibson’s. This was discontinued between 1962 and 1963, replaced by the center-hump headstock seen here. Perhaps interestingly, Gibson formally filed suit against Elger Guitars and their Hoshino-made brand Ibanez over their use of the open-book headstock in 1977. However, Elger was aware of this impending suit and before the filing date or settlement, had ceased use of the Gibson open-book design and instead adopted use of the Guild center-hump design. Modern Ibanez models use a more original headstock shape.


Price: $5,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Starfire VI
  • Year: 1974
  • Finish Natural Blonde
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 111130 dated to later October 1974 at Newark, NJ
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 07/02/2024

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.844lbs 4.02kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.636in 41.55mm
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