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moonliner
01-22-2009, 09:22 AM
Hello All,

Just joined the club. I've lusted after a Starfire for a long time and hope to get one soon.
I have a question or two.... What kind of wood are the DeArmonds made out of? Mahogany by any chance?
I'm a fan of Phil Lesh's godfather and would like to one day play around with making something like it. . I would never bastardize an original early model, so that's why I'm asking about the DeArmonds.
I would also love an original or reissue (which I would not mess with) but they don't seem to come up very often.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Keith

krysh
01-22-2009, 10:52 AM
welcome to ltg keith,
sorry no infos from me.

capnjuan
01-22-2009, 12:06 PM
Hi Keith and welcome but can't answer your questions either :( :wink: CJ

fronobulax
01-22-2009, 01:24 PM
Hello All,

Just joined the club. I've lusted after a Starfire for a long time and hope to get one soon.
I have a question or two.... What kind of wood are the DeArmonds made out of? Mahogany by any chance?
I'm a fan of Phil Lesh's godfather and would like to one day play around with making something like it. . I would never bastardize an original early model, so that's why I'm asking about the DeArmonds.
I would also love an original or reissue (which I would not mess with) but they don't seem to come up very often.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Keith

Welcome.
I can't tell you anything about the DeArmonds or the 90's reissues because I have not played one. I think the handful of SF players here cite Jack Casady as an influence more often than Phil Lesh but you definitely want to pay attention to posts from mgod. He's a working professional bassist and has a wonderful story about being given a bass by Phil Lesh when he (mgod) was a young bassist. mgod is also a friend of Fred "Dark Star Pickups" Hammon and I have a vague recollection that one or both of them posted personal experiences with "The Godfather" on the now defunct Dude Pit.

As for availability the Starfires are out there. You probably wanted to say that ones you can afford don't come up too often :-) Chicago Music Exchange has a couple with prices north of $3500. There is an early 70's SF II in green that has been on eBay for almost a year at something over $3000. I think there's a '69 there now which I expect to go for over $2000. Bottom line is that if you give me $3500 you can have your choice of vintage Starfire basses tomorrow. Give me $1000 and I'll return your money. In between, have patience and watch eBay.

Happy Face
01-22-2009, 07:30 PM
Or, you pay $500-600 for a stock D'A Starfire and install Darkstars, costing around $400. Now & then you see Darkstarred D'As for sale for around $900-1000. There may be one of each for sale on Talkbass now.

I had a D'A Starfire with Darkstars. Sold it as i found it a bit cumbersome for a small guy, but the sound was phenomenal. Don't know the wood, but is was really a solid bass. Heavier than you would think. It did not feel fragile like some older semi-hollowbodies. The D'A comes with a newer type bridge than the Guilds (the famed/notorious trapeze) which is easier to intonate in my humble opinion.

hieronymous
01-23-2009, 04:36 AM
You could ask over at the Alembic club (http://alembic.com/cgi-bin/alembic-club/discus.cgi) too - Phil's early basses were "Alembicized" or outright Alembics, and there's a wealth of information about Phil's gear over there. (Sorry I can't answer the question about the woods though!)

moonliner
01-23-2009, 05:05 AM
Thanks for the response everyone.
I'm very familiar with the Alembic club. You're right, it has a wealth of info about Phil's bass.
I guess I was mostly checking to see if anyone has stripped a DeArmond and knew what kind of wood it was. I love the look of the stripped mahogany SF's.

thanks again.

R D Maynard
01-23-2009, 05:34 AM
Get an Epi EB-0. Put 2 Darkstars in it. Get a Fender Showman with a pre-amp out or an Alembic F1-X or F2-B and a decent amplifier, like a Mac 2300, and run it all through some JBL D-140's: at least four of them. Use a Fender heavy pick and TI strings, unless you can find Pyramids. That's as close to Phil, circa 1971, as you're gonna get.

hieronymous
01-23-2009, 05:58 AM
I was just listening to the recent Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings (http://www.deadnetstore.com/winterland-1973-box.aspx) - Phil's bass (whichever one it is) sounds GREAT!!!

moonliner
02-10-2009, 12:42 AM
Thanks again for all the helpful replies.

I just got back from a visit at the Alembic shop in Santa Rosa and really want to get this bass going.
So no one here has stripped a DeArmond Starfire? I need to bass to be made of mahogany.

thanks again.

keith

h60
02-23-2009, 07:31 PM
the DeArmonds are Maple. Then again so are the Guild sunburst Starfires (and a few other colors). I've owned both. Unfortunately I sold both. I loved them both too, and miss them, so I just bought another DeArmond Starfire bass which will get Dark Stars and possibly a few other mods.

mellowgerman
02-24-2009, 12:11 AM
the DeArmonds are Maple. Then again so are the Guild sunburst Starfires (and a few other colors). I've owned both. Unfortunately I sold both. I loved them both too, and miss them, so I just bought another DeArmond Starfire bass which will get Dark Stars and possibly a few other mods.

your avatar barks :wink:

h60
02-24-2009, 06:10 PM
your avatar barks :wink:

Thanks. Like yours 2. I often have to as myself that very question. What Would Jack Do?

fronobulax
02-24-2009, 08:34 PM
What Would Jack Do?
Wonder who else they were talking about here (http://www.letstalkguild.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11700)?

:wink:

mellowgerman
02-24-2009, 11:34 PM
I often have to as myself that very question. What Would Jack Do?

Yup, it's best only to apply it to music though... anywhere beyond that it'll probably lead to risky behavior :lol:

fronobulax
02-25-2009, 02:25 AM
Yup, it's best only to apply it to music though... anywhere beyond that it'll probably lead to risky behavior :lol:

Actually,you could do worse. Spencer Dryden died of "natural" causes and the rest of the band is still alive today. Stones? Doors? Dead? Zeppelin? Who? Allman Brothers? Hendrix? etc.

Besides wearing all black with white socks today he looks like someone's kindly grandfather with neat eyebrows.

h60
02-25-2009, 02:05 PM
Besides wearing all black with white socks today he looks like someone's kindly grandfather with neat eyebrows.

Kindly Grandfather with a great tone and endorsement deals. :D

mellowgerman
02-25-2009, 05:55 PM
Actually,you could do worse. Spencer Dryden died of "natural" causes and the rest of the band is still alive today. Stones? Doors? Dead? Zeppelin? Who? Allman Brothers? Hendrix? etc.

Besides wearing all black with white socks today he looks like someone's kindly grandfather with neat eyebrows.

well, with the exception of jim morrison (who was probably the worst role model ever, when looking beyond his music), I think casady was just luckier than all the other guys.
"but lather still finds it a nice thing to do to lie about nude in the sand, drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps...."
you do know the story behind that line, right? :lol:

fronobulax
02-25-2009, 06:19 PM
I think casady was just luckier than all the other guys.
"but lather still finds it a nice thing to do to lie about nude in the sand, drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps...."
you do know the story behind that line, right? :lol:

Grace wrote "Lather" while she was "with" Spencer, right?

As for Mr. C., I understand he was no saint but I believe he matured and learned from the lessons of others so luck was only a small factor. Maybe I'm using too much hindsight :wink:

mellowgerman
02-28-2009, 07:06 AM
I think casady was just luckier than all the other guys.
"but lather still finds it a nice thing to do to lie about nude in the sand, drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps...."
you do know the story behind that line, right? :lol:

Grace wrote "Lather" while she was "with" Spencer, right?


she did, but that particular line was about an instance when jack agreed to be the guinea pig for a new drug (can't recall the name of the drug at the moment), which turned out to be something like 25x more powerful than intended. he was picked up by the police for laying naked (either at the beach or in a park; i've heard both versions) "drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps"

i believe the entire scenario is elaborated on more in the Jefferson Airplane book "Got A Revolution." I'll get a direct quote once I get my copy back from a friend who is doing a research paper on them.

fronobulax
02-28-2009, 03:10 PM
Thanks. It's "comin' back to me".

I guess at some point the recent years say more about character than youthful indiscretion :wink:

mellowgerman
02-28-2009, 05:15 PM
regardless, jack certainly has grown up. I wonder how cool it would be have had a chance to have a conversation with him in '68 and then again in '08
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e242/12stringrainbow/ZZZ002258-VX.jpg

h60
03-04-2009, 09:04 PM
I love that pic. This one too

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f383/h60tweet/casady.jpg

I'm (slowly) modding a DeArmond Starfire into some thing inspired by Casady's Starfires. The next project might have to be a zebrawood and purple heart tribute to Alembic #1. Don't know about those sliding pickups though.

mgod
03-07-2009, 03:25 PM
regardless, jack certainly has grown up. I wonder how cool it would be have had a chance to have a conversation with him in '68 and then again in '08
I had a long talk with him in January 71, and in the last 20 years quite a few times. He called last week from a tour van with Moonalice.

So speaking from experience ...its pretty cool.

DS

mellowgerman
03-07-2009, 04:43 PM
regardless, jack certainly has grown up. I wonder how cool it would be have had a chance to have a conversation with him in '68 and then again in '08
I had a long talk with him in January 71, and in the last 20 years quite a few times. He called last week from a tour van with Moonalice.

So speaking from experience ...its pretty cool.

DS

mgod,
it seems that everytime you post i become really jealous... either it's about your billion guild basses or your friendship with jack... you are one lucky guy. :wink:

fronobulax
03-07-2009, 08:28 PM
you are one lucky guy. :wink:
Just another bassist from NJ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Another_Band_from_L.A.) and glad you're willing to hang around.

mgod
03-09-2009, 05:17 PM
mgod,
it seems that everytime you post i become really jealous... either it's about your billion guild basses or your friendship with jack... you are one lucky guy. :wink:
So as not to feel completely odd here I'm going to say a couple things about myself. I met Jack when I was 14 by hanging out outside a stage exit at the Academy of Music in Philly in the middle of a freezing night. I waited a long time (made my friends wait too), but I was determined to learn some things from the greatest. Met Phil in a somewhat similar way a few years later, by being determined to learn. Its not that I wasn't intimidated by approaching them, its that I wasn't going to let my fear of that stop me from what I had to know. They had the info, I was going to learn it.

Everything I do has been determined by staying very focused on something often to the detriment of other more reasonable things, but many of those have happened anyway. The old "life is what happens while you're making other plans" thing. Jack pursued what he wanted, who was I to do any different? Its not luck, its determination, focus and learning. It seems easy to fold, but then you have to live with that. Jack's Mrs., Diana, told me that she sees him open up to anyone who really wants to know. That was my experience.

DS

mellowgerman
03-09-2009, 05:41 PM
mgod,
it seems that everytime you post i become really jealous... either it's about your billion guild basses or your friendship with jack... you are one lucky guy. :wink:
So as not to feel completely odd here I'm going to say a couple things about myself. I met Jack when I was 14 by hanging out outside a stage exit at the Academy of Music in Philly in the middle of a freezing night. I waited a long time (made my friends wait too), but I was determined to learn some things from the greatest. Met Phil in a somewhat similar way a few years later, by being determined to learn. Its not that I wasn't intimidated by approaching them, its that I wasn't going to let my fear of that stop me from what I had to know. They had the info, I was going to learn it.

Everything I do has been determined by staying very focused on something often to the detriment of other more reasonable things, but many of those have happened anyway. The old "life is what happens while you're making other plans" thing. Jack pursued what he wanted, who was I to do any different? Its not luck, its determination, focus and learning. It seems easy to fold, but then you have to live with that. Jack's Mrs., Diana, told me that she sees him open up to anyone who really wants to know. That was my experience.

DS

well i can certainly dig that.
i feel like i share the same determination (and have for the past 4 years).
i did get to meet jack but it was in a crowded lobby after a moonalice gig last april. i shook his hand and he signed my crown of creation album but there was no chance i was going to be able to start any conversation with him then. It was just too crowded, and late. Everyone wanted to meet him and tell him what big fans they were. Also, you could tell he was pretty tired by this point (understandably so).
It's just tough being on the east coast (with little money for travel) when a lot of his time is out in the west. I'm just hopeful that someday I'll get a chance

h60
03-10-2009, 12:36 AM
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f383/h60tweet/DASF.jpg

Showed up while I was in NC for work. Memories of my '76 Guild and '90 black DeArmond Starfire came rushing back as soon as I picked it up and started playing. :D

h60
03-28-2009, 12:30 AM
Spotted these today:

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/msg/1081633098.html