2013 Guild Starfire Bass (Newark St. Collection) 

These fantastic new reissues of the venerable Guild Starfire I Bass were unveiled at NAMM this past January, but with a tentative April ship date. Well, this one just came in - the first one I've seen ANYWHERE on the internet. COOL. So, here's a video detailing the awesome tone of this bass, via the Bi-Sonic (esque) pickup. Three of my favorite bassists are represented - Bruce Thomas, James Jamerson, Bruce Foxton. The bass was recorded direct, using an Apogee Duet, Logic 8, and Amplitube 3 (The Ampeg SVT Classic setting, with minimal EQ'ing, no compression or other effects).

It's too early into the honeymoon period to decide if this is a keeper, but initially, I am very impressed with the neck and tone. It is also pretty well constructed, and comes shipped in a very nice TKL hardshell case.

UPDATE: Well, I decided to return the bass. After spending a few days with it, I found that I was having some trouble getting it set up quite the way I wanted it, and couldn't seem to shake a nasty buzz on the E string, which in my estimation was due to the really big frets (harder to get low action) and a slight hump on the E/A side of the neck. The truss rod was also very tight & difficult to adjust, and the bridge wasn't much fun to adjust either. Rather than risk getting saddled with it and eventually (most likely) lose money, returning it seemed to be the best option.

Boy, it does sound great though, doesn't it? Looks totally cool too. I'll be on the lookout for a moderately-priced vintage or 90's reissue Starfire. I'm not ready to give up on these yet!

(Photos © John Biscuti, April 2013)