Our Guild Starfire V Review
The Guild Starfire V semi-hollow body electric guitar is a full-size double-cutaway that’s fully loaded with features that enhance each player’s individual playing style. The Starfire V sports a graceful 16-3/8 in thin line body with twin Guild LB-1 ‘Little Bucker’ pickups, making it the go-to choice for blues, roots rock, and more. When it comes to appearances, the Starfire V semi-hollow body electric guitar does not disappoint. Featuring dual f-holes and a center-block construction all neatly packaged in ivory white body binding, the Starfire V is a looker that sounds good too.
Who Is This Guitar Suited For?
The Guild Starfire IV and V have remained hidden gems in the guitar world, loved by many who had the pleasure of owning and playing them. Those who were expecting the same classic charm are going to be thoroughly pleased.
The Guild Newark St. Collection marks the return of classic Guild electric guitars from the 60s. This is the distinct styling that changed the face of music forever, which is why it’s been brought back with the Guild Starfire V to give you that old school sound. The Slim Jim T-100 was the first ever thin line hollow body that was available in both single and double pickup versions.
The Guild style makes the Starfire V look more retro as compared to others such as the Gibson ES-335. This guitar feels like a classic, especially since its neck joins the body at the 18th fret, which is a change that took place in guitar design during the late 60s.
The Starfire V is for those have an appreciation for classic design and love Guild Starfire guitars. What’s great about the Starfire V is that while it looks like a handful, it’s actually very easy to play. The sound from this guitar is clean as a bell, but it snarls like a beast once you crank it up.
When it comes to the style of this guitar, it is suited best for rock, classic, and modern. However, its unique and biting tone makes it particularly well-suited for playing post-rock, indie, or blues. That being said, it’s not to be mistaken for a jazz box.
What’s Included With The Starfire V?
- Arched Laminated Mahogany Top and Back, Laminated Mahogany Sides
- 3 Piece Neck (mahogany/maple/mahogany) with Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
- Guild Tune-O-Matic Bridge with Rosewood Base and Guild Vibrato Tailpiece
- Guild LB-1 "Little Bucker" Neck and Bridge Pickups
- Includes TKL Deluxe Hardshell Case
The following is a breakdown of the specs:
- Body shape: Double cutaway (Semi-hollow or chambered body)
- Number of strings: 6-string
- Orientation: Right-handed
- Neck Shape: Vintage soft U
- Scale length: 24.75 in.
- Number of frets: 22
- Pickups Configuration: HH (Neck: LB-1, Bridge: LB-1)
- Active or passive pickups: Passive
- Series or parallel: Series
- Piezo: No
- Active EQ: No
- Special Electronics: None
- Control layout: Volume 1, volume 2, tone 1, tone 2
- Pickup switch: 3-way
- Coil tap or split: No
- Kill switch: No
- Bridge type: Tremolo/Vibrato (Tune-o-Matic)
One would expect that with a classic like the Guild Starfire V, you’d be getting a number of accessories, but sadly that’s not the case this time. Those who are expecting accessories with this guitar are going to be disappointed since there are none. However, it does include a plush-lined hard-shell case to keep is safe when not in use.
Overview of the Features Of The Starfire V
The Guild Starfire V semi-hollow body electric guitar plays like a dream and has a lot going for it. Some of the premium features that have been included in the Starfire V include the three-piece neck with a very vintage soft-U profile. The 9-1/2 in., radius, 22-fret fingerboard has been crafted from rosewood to give it a premium look. It also features Pearloid block inlays, individual volume, a three-way pickup selector switch along with tone controls, and a master volume.
The Guild Starfire V semi-hollow body electric guitar boasts of a classic feel and tone. It has a clean sound along with a low-end definition and a light treble pickup with a decent sustain. Even more importantly, those who play this guitar are going to appreciate the respectable feedback threshold. Overall, the Starfire V offers you great value for money as compared to others such as the Gibson or Epiphone.
Guild humbuckers have traditionally fallen between vintage style PAF humbucker and FilterTron. So, calling it a mini humbucker is incorrect. Furthermore, it’s rich and complex and a far cry from being twangy as FilterTron pickups.
The Guild Starfire V is in no way a “poor man’s 335.” In fact, it’s on a league of its own. The build quality of the Guild Starfire V is particularly impressive. Not only is the material quality used in its design top-notch, but there’s a lot of thought that’s gone into the design of this guitar, which is easily visible from the amount of detailing on the guitar. For instance, you will notice not one or two but several small details ranging from gold pins on the volume and tone knobs the high-quality Grover tuners, gloss on the rosewood fretboard, and the mahogany archtop, which is no longer maple ply.
Apart from the slight fret buzz, one flaw that some guitar players may find with the Starfire V is the tune-o-matic styled bridge. A solid bar Style Bridge would have been a better choice. But, it’s common practice nowadays for players to replace the tune-o-matic bridge with Compton bar bridges for archtops.
Another cramp that some players have with the Guild Starfire 5 is that the nut slots are too narrow for the unwound strings. This leads to slight pinging whenever the tuner’s tightened. However, this is certainly not going to be a deal breaker.
Conclusion – Is The Guild Starfire 5 The Right Guitar For You?
The Guild Starfire 5 semi-hollow body electric guitar is a welcome addition to the Guild series. While this guitar style might have found it hard to stand out back in the day, in a post-rock era in which we live in, the non-mainstream Guild style could easily stand out from the rest thanks to its pure vintage design and clean as a bell sound. One of the reasons why the Guild Starfire 5 semi-hollow body electric guitar has been getting rave reviews. One thing is for sure, the Guild Starfire 5 is its own guitar and not some wannabe copy of the much-loved 335.
We hope our Guild Starfire V review has been helpful to you. You might want to check out our list of the best electric guitars for church.