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June 2017 Giveaway

Guild Starfire IV - Cherry Red Reviews

5.0 stars based on 18 customer reviews
Questions about the Guild Starfire IV - Cherry Red?

Questions about the Guild Starfire IV - Cherry Red?

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  • from California June 18, 2017Music Background:

    Absolutely Gorgeous

    I received my Starfire IV just a few days ago and I can't put it down. I think I played it for more than three hours straight and forgot to eat dinner. Sweetwater set it up perfectly and it plays like a dream. It arrived in perfect condition in a very high quality 5-latch case. This guitar maintains a beautiful timbre throughout a change from a clean and deep ethereal reverb/delay tone all the way through a nice rock and roll crunch. The fingerboard's playability is perfection. The guitar is more like a work of art when you first hold it and I guarantee you'll wipe it down, polish it and baby it like no other guitar in your collection. I am a very happy customer right now.

  • from USA April 7, 2017


    First of all, kudos to Dan Robinson of Sweetwater for his valuable input and help. I remember when I was very young (a long time ago!), before I knew anything at all about guitars, I would see Chet Atkins playing his Gretches, a few others playing Gibsons, and several playing Guilds. For some reason, I got warm fuzzies about the Guilds more than any other. Maybe it was the name, I don't know. It would be years before I got into guitars and started leaning about them.

    I'm so glad Guild is back making guitars under their own moniker. I just can't say enough about this guitar! It arrived to me flawless. It really must be seen to be appreciated. It is a joy just to look at! With the intonation right on and the action set to the way I like it, this baby is such a joy to play, making the sounds that only a semi-hollow or hollow body can make! The P/U's are fantastic, the dirty sings, and the clean is creme! The double-cut is gorgeous and I love the 9 1/2" radius neck so much more than the flatter radius' on so many guitars these days.

    Trust me, the ES-335's have nothing on this guitar, and at a third of the price! I did contemplate on spending this much on a guitar, but now I'm so glad I bit the bullet and did it! It will now be added to my PRS and Strat guitars to make a full arsenal of sounds and playing enjoyment! If you're thinking about a semi-hollow body guitar, you really owe it to yourself to include this baby in your selection list... you will not be disappointed!

  • from Randolph, NJ March 5, 2017

    Made to be played and more !

    WOW and more ! Now I understand why so may of this guitars previous reviews rate it so highly. Count me in. Love the tone, feel, look, tone...oh wait I said that already. When Guild says their guitars are made to be played, they're not kidding. I had a hard time putting it down just to write this review. Well, back to more playing. Wow what great tone and playability !

  • from 01887 December 4, 2016

    Starfire IV

    Just bought my brand new Starfire IV! Extremely excited about this guitar, the tone and workmanship is fantastic and sounds great! Looking forward to playing this for a long time!

  • from Nevada November 21, 2016

    Starfire IV

    Absolutely thrilled with my purchase and withe all the help and follow-up from Ike at Sweetwater!
    Looking forward to a great relationship in the future.

  • from Salt Lake City, UT July 29, 2016Music Background:
    Guitarist/Song-writer (20 years)

    Sets the Stars Ablaze!

    In full disclosure, I'm a Gibson man, and a semi-hollow body electric was to be the next purchase for my collection of Gibsons. Naturally, one would conclude that a ES-335 would soon be in my repertoire. Alas, it was not to be. Gibson has made a crucial error with its fan base by "pricing out" many customers from owning their guitars. The Studio models just won't suffice for a dedicated guitar player who demands good quality nor will the standard models (or, God forbid, Custom models) from a price perspective. This leaves (normally dedicated) Gibson customers in a lurch. Where to look? The Guild Starfire IV maintains the quality of highest end semi-hollow models but offers reasonable pricing. Its construction, look, play-ability, and tone are unrivaled at its price point. It is worlds above Epiphone Dot, Casino, or ES-335 Studios, and as good as the higher end Gibson Models. This is the guitar that will reverse Gibson's trend towards higher pricing... Get ready to lose some market share, Gibson.

  • from February 19, 2016

    Amazing hollow body guitar

    This guitar is incredible, the finish and construction are top notch, I fell in love with the pickups so no modifications there, feels and plays outstanding. Grab one you won't be disappointed.

  • from Asheville, NC January 6, 2016Music Background:
    Weekly Gig (church guitar and bass)

    Best Guitar that starts with

    I now own a Starfire IV - ES-335 killer, for sure!. I was fortunate to find Guilds in High School when I wanted something other than the other popular brands. Since then I have been fortunate enough to collect Guilds to fit almost every genre. If you include the imports; I have Jazz, Strat, SuperStrat, SG, LP, 335, Dreadnaught, Classical, Acoustic/Electric, 12-String, P-Bass, J-Bass, and EB Bass bases covered. What other brand has so many styles covered with excellent workmanship, style and quality. Now, I just need a CrossRoads - I am a Guild Man, greatest guitars!

  • from Meridian, Idaho. January 11, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Starfire 4

    What a great instrument for the money. It has excellent intonation great sound and the fit and finish is perfect. . Thanks Sweetwater.

  • from Tampa Bay, FL December 23, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician

    Simply, a GREAT guitar!!!

    Where to start? Flawless construction and finish, great setup out of the box (only a slight tweak needed for my style), and what sound!!!

    First, the neck-it's cut about halfway between a Gibby slim taper and "baseball bat" neck profile, very comfortable and still meaty. I have average size hands, and it fits perfectly, with very little shoulder. "U" shape is pretty accurate in this case. Fretwork is as good as I've seen anywhere-literally flawless up and down the neck. Didn't need to adjust the truss rod at all, even after shipping-VERY stable, and solid feeling! Tuners are open-gear Grovers, and work nicely. I'm in no rush to replace them...

    If you like 335s or jazz boxes, the size will be very comfortable to you. I personally like this size, even though I'm not a tall person-it just feels right to me. The guitar is a bit neck light, and wants to point upwards slightly more than most guitars when on a strap. Acoustically, this guitar is very loud and resonant even for a semi-solid, with good sustain, a recipe for great tone...

    Plugged in, it's a bit brighter on the neck than your standard 'bucker, but still very full. Bridge pickup is also quite a bit brighter, but not harsh like a telecaster-think more of a P-90 tone without buzz and hum. Volume and tone controls work great (full-size pots!) and allow you to go from a very jazzy sound to classic country.

    One thing to be aware about-the bridge on this guitar is a floating bridge like you would see on an ES-175-it WILL move if you play roughly (violin rosin or double sided tape usually cures this problem). The plus of this style bridge is the tone and feel you get, which is much more like a hollow-body than a solid body-there's a certain "snap" and feel to the strings that's not there on other guitars.

    I wanted to originally buy a big-body jazz guitar, but also wanted to have something that's giggable for blues and rock gigs-this guitar can do it all, with style! I've played 5 gigs with this guitar in the last month (everything from a restaurant to bars to a festival!) and it's performed flawlessly. Even better, the tone is starting to open up, like a great guitar should... I'm glad I bought this guitar!!!

  • from Upstate New York December 22, 2013Music Background:
    Blues and Rock

    More than I could have hoped for

    I waited a couple months to review the guitar to see if my initial impressions changed. If anything, they got even better! It's an amazing guitar in every sense. The workmanship is flawless and the feel of the guitar is just perfect. Not too light, and not heavy. It's balanced perfectly and the neck plays like butter. The frets are a bit higher than I'm used to, but that is only something that I notice on slides. I'm blown away by the sound and the range of the pickups. These will never be changed. In fact, nothing about this guitar will ever be changed. It's perfect as is. Finally, my experience with Sweetwater, and Aaron in particular, was a joy from start to finish. I'd never again consider any other online source for my musical needs.

  • from Tulsa, Ok December 16, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist and collector


    I've always wanted a Guild Starfire, I'm glad that Fender is finally making them again. One of the most underrated guitars in the business, the quality, and sound are great. Don't let the "made in Korea" turn you off, very high quality instruments. I've owned some Gibson 335's but these are better qualtiy and sound much better. Buy one and you'll agree.

  • from Tulsa, OK November 24, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbist and been playing since I was 8 years old (55+ yrs)

    Music man of Tulsa

    I've always wanted a Starfire by Guild. I'm glad that Fender is now making these great instruments again. The one I just received was in perfect shape no gliches. I did have the 11-51 guage strings replaced with 9-47 gauge strings and had my Luthier adjust the trust rods in the neck. Besides that it plays great the pickups in this guitar are great and the sustain is wonder. Buy one one of mose underrated guitars made, they are really instruments. People in the buisness of music that own a Guild regardless on what type, seem to never get rid of them. Good investment and well worth the money.

  • from Fort Smith, AR October 11, 2013Music Background:
    Live music


    Plays everything like I wanted it to be. Tone sounds huge with very nice sustain and plays like a dream

  • from toronto May 11, 2013Music Background:
    playing guitar for 15 years

    top quality guitar

    I have always had an obsession with the guild starfire iv. I think it looks great and is a nice alternative for a 335. When I heard that Guild is starting the model again, I was excited, but hesitant.

    Like many, I was unsure of the quality, since it is made in Korea (not that these guitars are bad, but quality is usually more variable than American made guitars). I was also not a big fan of how Fender was handling the Guild company. But once this guitar is in your hands, and you strike your first string, all that goes away.

    As soon as I held the guitar it just felt good. Chunkier neck but very playable (and my hands are average size), all appointments spot on. I couldn't find a single imperfection in the build.

    My biggest hesitation before buying this guitar was the pickups. Guild starfire pickups are not easy to swap out, as not many makers make these pickups. But luckily I didn't even want to swap them out when I played it. The pickups are so clear and articulate. The neck is clear and warm. The middle position is very usable and quacky. The bridge is very well balanced with the neck position. Honestly, I am so delightfully surprised by how good these pickups are.

    If you have always wanted a guild starfire iv, but are hesitant about the quality of this run of guitars, don't be. You won't be disappointed.

  • from Louisville, KY October 16, 2013Music Background:

    Very Nice Guitar!!

    I once owned an original 60's model Guild Starfire IV made in the original factory. I believe I'm qualified to make a comparison.

    First of all, this guitar is not exactly like an original Starfire IV. The neck joins the body at the 18th fret and not the 19th as on the original, or on a Gibson 335. The neck is set more like a deeper body archtop, but still very, very playable. Don't let this concern you too much, as fret access is still good since this is a double cutaway bodied guitar, but I felt that this should be stated because I was not told about and I did not notice it in the online photos.

    The cherry finish is exactly the same color of my original, as I recall it. It's more of a wine red color, IMO. Similar mahogany grain as my first one. The finish is poly, but it is done perfectly. No flaws that I could find and not sprayed too thick as with some poly finish guitars. My original had nitro. My original had an ebony board but this has rosewood. This can be better because ebony can shrink over time, and that's not particularly good if your guitar has neck binding. I am perfectly content with rosewood, and many players prefer it.

    If the neck is a "U" it is a very soft "U." The neck is just perfect for me, in width, thickness and radius. With the harp tailpiece this guitar plays like a guitar with 10's and it comes with 11's. Years ago I played Gibson 12s with a wound G and they felt like bailing wire, and were tough on frets, not to mention how they were tough on a fingerboard. I think I'll stay with the 11s. I have other semi-hollows and use 10's on those.

    This guitar has a very woody unplugged tone, and quite loud too, for a guitar with a solid block. The combination of the mahogany body, mahogany neck and the smaller aperture pickups provide a more solid midrange tone. I think this is a good thing. Many semi-hollow guitars which are primarily maple sound too bright. The guitar sounds great through my Burriss Royal Bluesman. Also, I like the tune-o-matic bridge with the rosewood base. This also contributes to the tone in a positive way. The tuners are not like the originals, which were closed gear Klusons, but this guitar has Grover open gear Sta-tites. I like them. They are smooth and stable. A gripe is the pickup switch. I wish they had spent a nickel more and used a better switch as this one is loud as it toggles between pickups. The wiring harness on this guitar is first rate and the tone/volume pots are smooth and effective.

    If you are looking at semi-hollow guitars, do yourself a favor and look at this one. This is an over-used expression but this guitar just blows most of the others right out of the water. This guitar is well worth the money and I wish I could say which guitar brands I'd not even look at again after playing this one. (Think of the chorus to "Old McDonald Had a Farm" and you'll know the first letters for two of them.)

    I did buy this guitar and expect to receive many years of enjoyment from playing it.

  • from August 12, 2016

    Starfire review

    Absolutely wonderful guitar, only hitch is the G string being slightly off. Need to take it in to get the intonation adjusted.

  • from August 3, 2015


    I have had this guitar for over a year now the finish is great and it was nicely set up but the floating bridge was constantly moving when I played it so it was going out of tune a lot which could have been me being heavy handed.i took it to a local luthier who shaped the bridge to the contour of the body better which helped but didn't totally fix the problem so I ended up double sided taping it to the guitar now the problem is solved although the luthier for various reasons didn't recommend doing that.the neck pickup sounds good , the neck and bridge together sound good but the bridge on its own is far too thin or sharp sounding for my taste so I am going to replace it with something a little warmer sounding after that is taken care of I'll be more than happy with this guitar.

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