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zulu
12-15-2008, 03:12 AM
Hello, nice to find a Guildheads site. I found this bass in a pawn shop over 10 years ago. A previous owner(s) installed a guitar pickup in between the stock ones (? whatever dude!), altered the electronics, and cut an access panel into the back of the bass. ouch. Anyway it was still a cool bass so I bought it and have enjoyed it very much. a couple of years ago I decided to go fretless with it. I do not regret it.
I never could figure out the electronics as it has two three way switches that interact with each other in bizarre ways. I just fool with them until it stops sounding like crap.
I think its time to finally fix the mess. I'm hoping somebody here might have a suggestion about:

what to do about the hole when I remove the guitar pickup

which pickups are these and could they be improved? ( I am fond of the neck pickup)

what would the stock pickup/ switching setup be? (I believe this is a 1970 SF II, not sure)

Thanks for reading my post...I tend to ramble

I don't know alot about this bass or how original the parts on it are. Any info you gurus might know would sure be awesome.


Thanks again,

Zulu the newbie.


http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/DSCF0833.jpg


http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/DSCF0835.jpg

Default
12-15-2008, 04:15 AM
Top and bottom are original to the bass, WTH he put a humbucker in there I'll never understand. :P I'm not a bass player, but I don't think you could improve on the original pups. The top is commonly referred to as a darkstar and is universally loved by our bassoholics here.

Cool bass!

zulu
12-15-2008, 04:44 AM
thanks!

Default
12-15-2008, 05:33 AM
Back in the early 80's I played a fretless Starfire with tapewounds in the Trading Post in Pennsauken Mart. If I could have scraped together $600, I would have less strings to worry about today!

mellowgerman
12-15-2008, 11:18 AM
nice bass. it looks like the neck pickup is an original hagstrom bisonic. i believe the bridge pickup is a hagstrom humbucker commonly found on guilds from the transitional time (70-71) when they went from all bisonics to all humbuckers. so you're stock pickups are the same as the M-85 pictured below. After you remove the guitar pickup, I would move the humbucker in the bridge position to the middle and get either another original hagstrom bisonic (like your neck pickup, if you can find it) or a new darkstar (reproduction model of the bisonic). The darkstar would be higher output than the original bisonic though, so they won't do much humcanceling when selected together. If that doesn't bother you, you're golden, but if it does you could always just get a set of darkstars. Check out fred hammon's dark star site at basspickup.com
As for your controls, the 2 vol, 2 tone, 1 master vol, 3-way selector, and "tone-suck"/"bass-boost" button are all original. The previous owner probably added the extra mini-toggle to incorporate the guitar humbucker... I'm curious as to how it's wired though.
Anyway, hope all this mumbojumbo helps!
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e242/12stringrainbow/197020guild20m8520large.jpg

mellowgerman
12-15-2008, 11:22 AM
Of course you could always go the way of phil lesh ;)
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e242/12stringrainbow/4179.jpg

zulu
12-15-2008, 05:04 PM
great info, thanks mellowgerman. That's a great idea about moving the bridge pup to the center. Better than just pulling the guitar pup and leaving a hole.
I guess Phil Lesh must have kept a schematic on stage to run that thing!
:lol:

the extra toggle is goofed up. depending on the relative position of the two toggles, there are positions where no pups are selected=no output.

heres a tune that has the Starfire along with my '87 Nightbird.

http://www.vsplanet.com/mp3s/l/ludwigan ... MyWall.mp3 (http://www.vsplanet.com/mp3s/l/ludwigandfriendsLudwigandFriends-OffMyWall.mp3)

thanks again

fronobulax
12-15-2008, 05:09 PM
Welcome.

Pretty soon, someone's going to come along and ask about the amp in the background.
As noted by others, the neck pickup looks to be the original Hagstrom Bi-sonic. The bridge pickup also appears original. It is also Hagstrom, but I have never heard one and defer to others who say it is a humbucker. That pickup configuration has been spotted on Starfires, M-85's and JS basses from a short time in '70 and perhaps '71. In the '71 timeframe Guild switched to the Guild humbuckers on all basses.

The only control that has obviously been added is the switch on the upper bout that is closest to the f-hole. The other controls are consistent with the factory installation. How they are wired with the new PU is anyone's guess.

The bridge and saddles appear original.

It's undated but the Starfire Bass II wiring diagram here (http://www.guildguitars.com/resources/guild_wiring_diagrams.php) might be helpful. I can find the hand drawn schematic of my '71 JS II if that would be useful although I seem to recall that it was the same as the SF except I don't have a master volume on the JS.

I'd guess it has been refinished but that is a guess. Is the label there and legible? Sometimes that indicates the factory finish if it was non-standard, i.e. Red.

No suggestions as to how to repair the hole that will be there once you remove the extra PU. If you like the neck PU then the obvious thing to do would be consider Dark Stars which are a "modern" PU that recreates the Hagstrom sound. That said, I'm not sure that mixing an original bi-sonic and a DarkStar are going to make you happy, if only because of the level differences.

mellowgerman
12-15-2008, 05:39 PM
I guess Phil Lesh must have kept a schematic on stage to run that thing!
nope he just put sticky labels on for each :lol:
p.s. what's the story with that little guild amp? :D
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e242/12stringrainbow/29219.jpg

hieronymous
12-15-2008, 05:58 PM
If it were me I would take out the guitar pup in the middle and cover it with some kind of plate, maybe made out of wood? It could almost work as a thumb rest. Then you could rewire it to as close as original as possible, leaving the knobs to look cool. Or how about sticking a preamp in there?

jp
12-15-2008, 05:59 PM
Nice acquisition Zulu. I really like older axes that have been messed with because it allows one to modify, guilt-free. I always feel bad messing around with a dead original guitar. :oops:


Welcome to the forum!

The Guilds of Grot
12-15-2008, 06:40 PM
p.s. what's the story with that little guild amp? :D

Guild sold a series of small transistor amps imported from Japan.

I believe they were made by Aria.

See the whole line here! (http://guildsofgrot.com/amps.html) (Page down about half way)

zulu
12-15-2008, 06:55 PM
More terrific Ideas. Any further suggestions on that preamp idea? Anybody have a preamp on-board

And thanks for the warm welcome.

The little amp is another pawn shop find. $40. It has a scratchy volume pot, but is usable. I believe it's a model four.

Mr Grot. I have expended much drool due to your website. Thanks for sharing

I am a certified Guild fanatic, my collection isn't much, but who else has a chesterfield tattoo?

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/DSCF0839.jpg


heres a picture of the nightbird just for kicks:

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/DSCF0837.jpg

hieronymous
12-15-2008, 08:29 PM
One preamp that a few people seem to like is by ACG/East - they make the J-Retro for Fender Jazz Basses but here's a different one: http://www.bestbassgear.com/acg-eq-02-two-pu.htm

This one is filter-based, kind of like the Alembic style. So instead of simple bass or treble boosts, you get low-pass filters for each pickup. Some people prefer the traditional active systems, but I like the range of tones that the Alembic system provides (I haven't used the ACG/East preamp myself)

There's a guy named Edwin that used to play in a band called Shockra - you can see a pic of his Starfire a little down the page here at the Alembic forum (http://alembic.com/club/messages/393/58191.html).

The Guilds of Grot
12-15-2008, 09:24 PM
Nice Tat!

I think that's a first here at LTG!

Default
12-15-2008, 09:47 PM
The tune's pretty fabulous, too!

capnjuan
12-15-2008, 10:17 PM
the extra toggle is goofed up. depending on the relative position of the two toggles, there are positions where no pups are selected=no output. Hi Zulu; aren't those the switch positions for Millie Vanillie covers ....? fine-looking instrument ... even with the spare pup! CJ

danerectal
12-15-2008, 11:42 PM
Nice Tat!

I think that's a first here at LTG!
I think Dreamlander has a skeleton dancing, holding a D-55. I haven't seen it (or him) for a while. :roll:

The Guilds of Grot
12-16-2008, 03:14 AM
Nice Tat!

I think that's a first here at LTG!
I think Dreamlander has a skeleton dancing, holding a D-55. I haven't seen it (or him) for a while. :roll:
Yes, but has he ever posted a picture? :wink:

BTW, I was always let to believe you two were a band together? No?

zulu
12-16-2008, 03:51 AM
what a friendly and informative group! And with exquisite taste in guitars :D

hieronymous I read the link on that preamp with the filter controls. neat idea I'll consider it. I had an Ibanez bass with what I describe as a parametric eq on a double stacked pot. Admittedly I never really used it except I could pluck an open string with my left hand and work the knob with my right hand for that wah wah effect. Aside from that impressive display I left it alone.


Hi Zulu; aren't those the switch positions for Millie Vanillie covers ....?

:lol:
CJ, first I thought you were joking, but then I researched and I found this pic. :shock: YOU'RE RIGHT!!!


http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/millivanilli.jpg



ha ha! thanks again guys

mellowgerman
12-16-2008, 03:52 AM
:lol:
CJ, first I thought you were joking, but then I researched and I found this pic. :shock: YOU'RE RIGHT!!!


http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/millivanilli.jpg



ha ha! thanks again guys


haha that is excellent. you'll fit right in:D

zulu
12-16-2008, 04:04 AM
:D

The Guilds of Grot
12-16-2008, 02:11 PM
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/millivanilli.jpg
Looks like somebody's going to give Graham a run for his money! :mrgreen:

capnjuan
12-16-2008, 02:24 PM
CJ, first I thought you were joking, but then I researched and I found this pic. :shock: YOU'RE RIGHT!!! They're also good for Tuesday night karaoke at the VFW ... nice tat! CJ

Walter Broes
12-16-2008, 02:45 PM
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/DSCF0839.jpg
:shock: :shock: Welcome to the forum!!

danerectal
12-17-2008, 01:19 AM
Yes, but has he ever posted a picture? :wink:

BTW, I was always let to believe you two were a band together? No?
Yes but he works 350 miles away and doesn't get back every week. Tonight we're supposed to get together to piss off the neighbors.

BluesDan
12-17-2008, 02:50 AM
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/zalwig/millivanilli.jpg
Looks like somebody's going to give Graham a run for his money! :mrgreen:

Graham will be right back......he's out getting his G Shield logo tattoo!!!

zulu
12-17-2008, 03:46 AM
I beg your pardon the little amp is a model six, not four. I've played tons of gigs with it. Not.

I like you guys.

Guildmark
12-18-2008, 03:05 AM
Graham will be right back......he's out getting his G Shield logo tattoo!!!
I hope it's someplace where he can show us! :shock: This IS a family show.