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1960 Guild Starfire III First-Year Vintage Electric Guitar Cherry Red w/ Maple Top, Case


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Up for sale, a 1960 Guild Starfire III hollowbody electric guitar in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. A first-year example of the Starfire III model, this instrument has numerous features unique to its practically prototypical nature including a maple top, non-Guild-branded Bigsby B6 vibrato tailpiece, chevron pickguard logo, and distinctive truss rod cover.

Marketed to the “young artist with a flair for showmanship,“ this genuine vintage USA-made Guild was crafted at the company’s Hoboken, NJ factory, loaded with its original pair of DeArmond Dynasonic “white-face” single coil pickups. The fully-hollow thinline body pairs a rare maple top with mahogany back and rims. A mahogany set neck and bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard round out the essential tonewoods, and this Guild has a broad, deep natural acoustic resonance with a rich lower-midrange character and excellent treble definition. When plugged in, the DeArmond Dynasonic pickups deliver full, fat single coil tones with plenty of sparkle and a harmonically complex midrange presence. They’re remarkably clear and articulate pickups, responding very well to overdrive, with a creamy, thick breakup. This Guild is featherweight at 6lbs 7oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The mahogany neck has a chunky C-shaped profile carve with lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .880” deep at the 1st fret and .975” at the 9th. The bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard has a 7 1/4” radius and retains the stock slender fretwire. The frets are in great shape, with well-rounded crowns and only light, uniform wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-5, extending even more faintly beneath the plain strings until fret 7. This Guild plays cleanly up the 24 3/4” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The stock bone nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The headstock veneer is inlaid with Guild’s Chesterfield logo, and the original nickel-plated open-gear Grover tuners with butterbean buttons turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

All of the electronics work as intended, with the DeArmond Dynasonic pickups governed by a three-way selector switch and individual Volume and Tone controls. The original and notably rare Bigsby B6 vibrato accentuates smoothly and bounces back quickly, perfect for shimmering warbles. The Bigsby-built Adjusto-matic intonated aluminum bridge rounds out the hardware, with room for adjustment at both bridge thumbwheels. The neck has been recently professionally reset, meeting the body at an ideal and ensuring optimal playability for decades to come. Action currently measures 7/64” on the bass side at the 12th fret and 6/64” on the treble side. Plastics comprise the original quartet of transparent DeArmond reflector cap knobs and the one-ply black pickguard, notable for its early chevron graphic. The pickguard displays some requisite scuffing along the pick path.The original serialized Hoboken Guild label is visible through the F hole, dating the guitar to 1960.

The original gloss Cherry-Red nitro lacquer finish is vibrant and notably well-kept, with faint and tight vertical lacquer checking. There are some light finish scratches central to the lower bout on the back, modest wear on the outside edge of the cutaway, and a few additional minor marks, mostly relegated to the back and rims. The neck retains its smooth nitro gloss, exhibiting wear down to the bare mahogany central to the carve behind fret 9, and a few additional minor marks on the profile length.

The original hardshell case is included with a smooth brown exterior, functional latches, and the original leather handle.