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June 2017 Giveaway

Guild Starfire III with Guild Vibrato - Cherry Red Reviews

4.5 stars based on 11 customer reviews
Questions about the Guild Starfire III with Guild Vibrato - Cherry Red?

Questions about the Guild Starfire III with Guild Vibrato - Cherry Red?

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  • from April 27, 2017

    Couldn't be happier

    This really is a fantastic guitar - I'm in love :) really nice build, beautiful finish, and comes with a hard case. The variety of tones that you can get out of her is amazing - i figured that the clean tones were going to be good, my only concern was that i might need to travel with a second guitar for some of my gigs/sessions that require distortion (wasn't sure how the hollow body would handle it) but this guitar actually handles heavy driven sounds much better than i thought it would - i haven't had any issues at all. Granted i don't play in a metal band, but i can't find anything bad to say about it - came beautifully set up and you really can't beat Sweetwater's service. Kevin is amazing. Kept in touch with me throughout the process (i had a short time frame where i was in the US), organised the shipping perfectly for me - really pleasant experience.

  • from March 2, 2017

    Awesome guitar - Amazing service

    Ok, i like to get any negatives out straight away - there aren't really any, the only thing i'd say straight up is that this guitar isn't for metal, but i can't imagine anyone going for a hollowbody expecting to sound like Slayer so really i think that's expected and negligible.
    Now, to the good stuff - this guitar sounds fantastic, you can get a great range of sounds from the different pickup selections, the vibrato works like a charm and i haven't had any tuning issues and although as i mentioned before, it's probably not gonna suit a metal setup, i am pleasantly suprised with the amount of overdrive you can push this too with no real feedback issues. Mine came set up beautifully, works really well for the types of music i play and it comes with a really nice solid hardcase (which is a big deal for me because i gig quite a lot and hard cases are a must for me in some of the locations i gig at - i live on a small Caribbean island and many of my gigs involve drunk tourists who end up coming up on the stage to dance and inevitably something is gonna get spilled on my gear at some point). One other thing that's kinda nice is that you can actually practice without an amp - my brother actually asked me if it was an acoustic as well as an electric. Sure, an amp is prefferable, but if u just need to get in a lil practice session and for some reason don't have any amplification to hand, you'll definitely be able to hear the guitar at a decent level.
    Add to that the fantastic service (Kevin dealt with my order and really accomodated me - never had a bad experience with Sweetwater) and you've got yourself a pretty sweet deal.

  • from November 29, 2016

    Great Guitar - blues, jazz, rock!!

    Great Guitar!

    Takes me back to the 60's blues & rock tones I grew up with! Excellent playability, first class finish, lightweight, great classic sound - after switching out the strings for some pure nickels, all the fat tones from the golden years of rock & blues were at my fingertips. I play mostly clean with natural tube breakup and the Starfire III shines. Occasionally, I venture into some jazz (great mellow tones). Surf sounds (with appropriate amplifier reverb effects) are also quite plausible. Probably not gonna be a great metal axe however. For me, this fits my playing style perfectly. I have loved the '335 types, owned a few, but the weight always made me yearn for something lighter. Make no mistake, the Starfire does not sound exactly like a '335 - nothing really does - it has it's own unique tone enabling it to stand out from the crowd in a sweet, hollowbody way! . . . or get nasty as the music directs. This is my first Bigsby equipped guitar, played a few stratocasters over the years, the Bigsby is quite different - haven't mastered the positioning yet, but the Bigsby effect is awesome. I use it lightly.

    This is not a "value guitar" - one that has a "good for the money" reputation.
    This is an excellent guitar . . . period.

    If a hollow or semi-hollow body tone is what you are looking for, you could spend thousands more and not do any better!

    As usual, the service from Sweetwater was excellent - fast shipping, excellent packing, great set-up - take it out of box and you are ready to play.

    First class guitar, first class service!

  • from Arizona March 31, 2016

    Return of the Starfire III

    I had previously received a Starfire III as a gift from my parents back in 1967. It was my first “real guitar”. Many years later, life priorities changed and I sold the guitar. I always regretted selling it. When Guild introduced the Newark Street Starfire III, I realized now is the time to replace my old Starfire III. The new guitar has flawless fit and finish and sounds as good as the old one, as best that I can remember. The Tune-O-Matic bridge is different from the 1967 model, but I considerate an upgrade, as intonation can be adjusted more accurately. Working with Sweetwater was a good experience and delivery was timely.

  • from Tennessee USA March 21, 2016Music Background:
    Weekend gigs, semi-pro guitar builder

    Teenage Dream comes true after 50 years!

    In December 1966 my hometown music store in Germany blew my mind with an awesome display of American icons like Fender, Gibson, VOX and Guild electrics. The one guitar that really left a huge impression was a semi-hollow, sunburst Guild Starfire with a single cutaway: I had heard Dave Davies of the Kinks on the radio, and this punchy guitar tone “Really Got Me”.

    Fast Forward to 2016 and the reason for writing this review:
    At the ripe age of 65, I own several nice guitars, including a fine Gretsch Chet Atkins (from Sweetwater)and seven Teles. Now, I finally own a Starfire III with a cherry red, laminated Mahogany top, sides and body, as well as a very comfortable Mahogany neck plus a Guild-branded Bigsby tremolo bar. The Guild Newark Street line of instruments also features the small peculiar Guild humbuckers, with a tone somewhere between a PAF and a P-90. This special humbucker can evoke ES-335 jazzy tones plus has the fresh dirt of the raunchy bridge pickup. The in-between setting (both pickups active) is a no-compromise combination of both tones.

    My Starfire III came set up, tuned and intonated perfectly from Sweetwater, thanks to sales engineer Tom Koch’s immediate attention to my order. Photos arrived the next day as usual, making the short wait more bearable. The Starfire in its protective case was on the road barely a couple of days –not even long enough for the strings to be detuned!

    The quality workmanship shows everywhere on this gorgeous guitar, although mine had a tiny clear-coat flaw inside the upper F-hole. I already detected this tiny flaw on the Sweetwater site photos and my sales engineer Tom Koch agreed right away to sell it at a slight discount. The guitar is a truly professional instrument and plays like a dream. It is easy on your shoulder, but is sturdy and still sounds like a bigger instrument despite its thin hollow body. A little controlled feedback always makes my eyes water, but let me stress here that this instrument is not exactly “feedback prone” –you’re always in control and can make feedback happen if it fits your style. Even though this Guild is brand new, it comes with tons of Mojo straight from the factory in Korea:

    A distinct “Peter Green”-flavored woody Blues tone (neck pickup) and of course the Kinks growl (from the bridge) are my rewards for waiting 50 years to finally own this guitar. The Guild-branded Bigsby tremolo is a pleasure to use apart from its awesome vintage appearance. When listening to these tones coming out of my amps (Fender Bassman LTD Reissue, Fender Twin Reverb Custom 15 and VOX AC30 + VOX AC15), I can truly say that this Starfire III is a classy axe. This guitar finally “Really Got Me”, after 50 years.

  • from frankfort, KY February 23, 2016

    I love this guitar!

    I was a bit nervous ordering a guitar since i've always played them first, but it was set up perfectly! This guitar is the most beautiful sounding guitar I have played! There are so many nuances I find myself slowing down and savoring every note! Thank you Guild for such a perfect guitar!

  • from Northeast Georgia May 22, 2015Music Background:
    Beginning Intermediate

    Great Guitar at a Great Price Point

    I was sitting on the fence between a Starfire III and IV when I made this purchase. I live in a rural area without the benefit of a large music store. Because of that I had to rely on my salesperson heavily. Over a two year period he has come to know my style of music and make recommendations on that. He brought the II and the IV over from the warehouse and played and examined both for me. When he said that he had not seen a fit and finish this good (both guitars) on any recent competitors guitars costing thousands more I asked for a model recommendation. He recommended the III because it is a true hollowbody and does not require and amp. Therefore, I can practice anywhere without having to carry an amp. The guitar arrived quickly. It is a work of art. I showed it to a friend who has been professionally playing high end guitars for 40+ years. His words were, "I want one." The guitar is perfect for my style of music (Blues) and plays like a dream. Thank you Sweetwater and Guild for an excellent product.

  • from SPRING HILL FLORIDA November 8, 2013Music Background:



  • from Greenville,SC August 28, 2013Music Background:
    novice and collector and hobbyist

    My new Guild Starfire III

    I was looking for a guitar with a Bigsby. Saw the demos of this online and became intrigued. I really like the sound of the demos so after looking at a couple of different brands..I decided to pull the string and order one. Let me say this..after I got it I was blown away by the appearance of it. It looks way better in your hands than it does in the pictures. The fit and finish is great. Not one single flaw to be found. It is very comfortable to play. It just fits, kind of like a Les Paul in width but way lighter. Good balance. Good sound. I like the pickups and won't even think about changing them out. As far as staying in tune. I was amazed that when I received the guitar, it was still in tune from the two days of shipping. You can play many different styles on this guitar, it isn't just a jazz guitar. An added bonus is the hard case that comes with it. That pretty much sealed the deal for me.
    I got mine here at Sweetwater. Joe James and company really did a great job getting this to me in a timely manner and set up perfectly. A great price and candy and a case to boot. What is not to like. Thanks again guys, I love this guitar. It has garnered a bunch of playing time and I don't see picking up one of my others for awhile. Only problem I had was getting the little foam stuff off from around the bridge. It also has me considering the Starfire IV.
    I am no guitar expert but you can consider me one happy camper.

  • from Leonard, Michigan April 20, 2015Music Background:
    A guitarist with 44 years of experience.

    Guild Starfire III w/Guild Vibrato

    The guitar sounds and plays great. The action is sharp and very responsive. And it's got that George Thorogood thump when you lay into it. The overall craftmanship and quality of the guitar is everything I've come to expect from a Guild. The only issues I had with it was the set up at Sweetwater and the lower bridge. The tech at Sweetwater did not remove the protective foam shipping pad from under the floating bridge when he did the set up for me. I had to take the guitar to my tech to have the foam pad removed and to do another set up. At that time he discoved that the underside of the bridge did not have a good match to the top of the guitar and would move around when played. He had to re-shape the bridge to fit correctly. Long story short I had to pay to have 2 set ups done, extra set of strings and to have the lower bridge fitted to the guitar. An extra $160.00 out of my pocket over the purchase price of the guitar. The bridge is now seated correctly, doesn't float around now and absolutely rocks the house. If not for the bridge and set up issue I would given this guitar purchase a 5 Star rating all day long rather than a 3 star. I don't expect these kind of issues on a guitar of this caliber.

  • from Biloxi, Mississippi June 13, 2017Music Background:
    Composer using synths and mainly acoustic guitars


    1. My Sweetwater sales tech was superb. I cannot fault him at all. I told him I wanted a Guild electric. But I did not know which one would be best for my music. He actually took the time to listen to one of my music videos. Then he told me a Starfire III would be best. He was right. He was fantastic. He went the extra mile for me. He was the reason I rated this transaction a 1.5 and not lower.

    2. Unfortunately, my tale takes a turn for the worse. I compose with synths and acoustic guitars. So I have an acoustic guitar background. I knew very little about electric guitars. I had been using my big Jazzbox w/a floating humbucker for my recordings when I needed an electric guitar track. When the Starfire III ar arrived from Sweetwater, some of the frets were buzzing like crazy. That is intolerable for an acoustic guitar. On my new SF III, the buzzing sound was not amplified when I plugged in. Plugged in - the guitar sounded great. The sales tech was right. It had the sound that best fit my music. The frets buzzed . But fortunately the buzzing was not amplified.

    3. The narrative gets even worse now. Not only did the frets buzz like crazy -- the Tune-o-Matic poles were already extended nearly to the maximum. That is how SW shipped this guitar to me - with no room to adjust the Tune-o-Matic poles higher. So I could not raise the action to eliminate the annoying buzzing. It was strung w/.11's by Sweetwater. The action was fine. But I could not tolerate the buzzing. I don't know if stringing it w/.12's would solve the problem. I did not try that. I doubt it would have made much difference.

    4. The Rosewood bridge on the SF III and other Guild Semi-hollow body electrics IMO, is not high enough. I suspect this is a design defect by Guild. I am surprised there have not been other reports of this problem. Anyway, I did not send it back, as I was living overseas when I purchased it. I didn't even unbox the guitar for several months. But note - that delay is irrelevant since the ToM bridge was already maxed out. That is how Sweetwater sent the guitar.

    5. The warranty does not matter to me though. Sweetwater shipped me an electric guitar with a serious fret buzzing problem. Not only that - it shipped me a guitar where the Tune-o-Amatic poles were already raised almost to the max. So there was nothing I could do to stop the buzzing. Sweetwater's vaunted 55 point inspection apparently did not involve playing my guitar to see if the frets buzzed. It did not apparently involve checking to see if I had any room to adjust the ToM bridge.

    My SF III should never have been shipped like that. No guitar should be shipped like that - w/ one bridge not tall enough and the one bridge already adjusted to the max. I will fix the problem myself by purchasing a hand-made Rosewood bridge that is thicker than the stock Guild bridge. I'm having two wooden bridges made of differing heights. I suspect a lot of these Guild electric guitars will have the same problem. Two guitar techs have looked at mine easily diagnosed the problem. The stock Rosewood is not high enough. This is unacceptable. SW's 55 point check list failed in my case. Either it was not performed at all or it did not include checking for those two important problems.

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