NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

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Bert Camenbert
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NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Bert Camenbert » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:16 am

I've changed the pickups on one of my hollow-body guitars. I have two of them, both US made Guild Starfires, one is red, the other is natural maple. The red one has a set of great sounding P90s in it, but the maple one had generic sounding humbuckers that I didn't like. Great playing guitar, but hampered by meh pickups. I switched the humbuckers for a set of TV Jones HT pickups, which are a reproduction of a Gretsch Hilotron, that is, a single-coil pickup from the late 50s that people have described as a single-coiled Filtertron. I'm quite happy about them: not a lot of output, but very clear and pretty. They sound great with a bit of overdrive and they twang a lot if you pick close to the bridge. They're a bit noisy, the 60-cycle hum is quite strong when I'm playing it in front of my laptop, but it's about the same as typical P90 noise. Anyway, they're hum-cancelling in the middle position.

They were insanely hard to instal! I like to tinker, and I know how to use a soldering iron, so I've changed pickups on most of my guitars, it's something I have done often. Even after carefully watching tutorials on how to do it, and carefully thinking things through, it took me almost an entire afternoon to pull it off. I also had to buy a number of parts from TV Jones so I could install the Gretsch-sized pups in humbucker-sized cavities.

But I did it! I'm very proud of myself and I feel the need to brag.

Image

Here's a close up of the motherfuckers. Note that I had to install four black washers to raise the pickup ring closer to the strings.

Image


And, just for kicks and because I'm feeling vain, here is my red Starfire with P90s.

Image

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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Maggieo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:58 am

Damn, those are nice!
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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Bert Camenbert » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:04 am

They were both made in Corona, which apparently makes them less desirable amongst Guild connoisseurs, which means I got them relatively cheap. I think they're were a great bang-for-the-buck, and comparable in every way, if not better, to much more expensive Gretsch and Gibson guitars.

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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Maggieo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:37 am

Bert Camenbert wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:04 am
They were both made in Corona, which apparently makes them less desirable amongst Guild connoisseurs, which means I got them relatively cheap. I think they're were a great bang-for-the-buck, and comparable in every way, if not better, to much more expensive Gretsch and Gibson guitars.
Sounds like cork sniffing to me.

Hell, I'd take a 90's DeArmond version of the Starfire!

Image

I reckon yours are twice as nice.
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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Bert Camenbert » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:26 am

Well, to be honest, the cork sniffers may have point: most Corona-made Starfires have Fender humbuckers (those with Seymour Duncan P90s and humbuckers are relatively rare). The fender humbuckers are ok, but a bit generic and really not as good as the old Guild humbuckers or the Seymour Duncan pickups typically found in Starfires made in Westerly during the 90s. I think that's the main reason why Corona Guilds have a lesser rep than other US-made Guilds.

I used to think the lesser rep of Corona guitars was due to snobbery, I mean, pickups can be changed, right? But after struggling with replacing the pickups in my Starfire, lets say that I have become a bit more empathetic. :w00t:
Last edited by Bert Camenbert on Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Bert Camenbert » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:33 am

I've never played one of those Korean DeArmonds. Is that one yours? Seems nice, but I think it's a different kind of bird: correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to have a centre block, right?

The newer Korean-made Newark street models are quite good. But a new one will cost as much as a used US-made Starfire. However, a used Newark street Starfire is a bargain and, in my opinion, totally worth the money.

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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by mulesing » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:51 am

Both look very cool! Having different pickup options with a familiar guitar must be awesome. You upgraded the bridge on each of them too?

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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Maggieo » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:55 am

Bert Camenbert wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:33 am
I've never played one of those Korean DeArmonds. Is that one yours? Seems nice, but I think it's a different kind of bird: correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to have a centre block, right?

The newer Korean-made Newark street models are quite good. But a new one will cost as much as a used US-made Starfire. However, a used Newark street Starfire is a bargain and, in my opinion, totally worth the money.
Nope, not mine. I don't remember if they have a center block or not. I played one back in the 90s, and it was really good, but there was also a Tele-Sonic with the same pickups and I went with it.

Image
Fender Tele-Sonic In Tiny Amp Town, December, 2009 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr
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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Bert Camenbert » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:07 am

mulesing wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:51 am
Both look very cool! Having different pickup options with a familiar guitar must be awesome. You upgraded the bridge on each of them too?
Nope. They still have the stock bridges. The stock bridges are aluminum, they look quite simple and seem a bit crude, but they work flawlessly as long as I use normal gauge strings, so I won't bother upgrading them.
Last edited by Bert Camenbert on Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Bert Camenbert » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:08 am

Maggieo wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:55 am
Bert Camenbert wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:33 am
I've never played one of those Korean DeArmonds. Is that one yours? Seems nice, but I think it's a different kind of bird: correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to have a centre block, right?

The newer Korean-made Newark street models are quite good. But a new one will cost as much as a used US-made Starfire. However, a used Newark street Starfire is a bargain and, in my opinion, totally worth the money.
Nope, not mine. I don't remember if they have a center block or not. I played one back in the 90s, and it was really good, but there was also a Tele-Sonic with the same pickups and I went with it.

Image
Fender Tele-Sonic In Tiny Amp Town, December, 2009 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr
That guitar looks dope. Is it semi-hollow?

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Re: NPD (new pickups day) - Guild Starfire with new TV-HTs.

Post by Maggieo » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:19 am

Bert Camenbert wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:08 am
Maggieo wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:55 am
Bert Camenbert wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:33 am
I've never played one of those Korean DeArmonds. Is that one yours? Seems nice, but I think it's a different kind of bird: correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to have a centre block, right?

The newer Korean-made Newark street models are quite good. But a new one will cost as much as a used US-made Starfire. However, a used Newark street Starfire is a bargain and, in my opinion, totally worth the money.
Nope, not mine. I don't remember if they have a center block or not. I played one back in the 90s, and it was really good, but there was also a Tele-Sonic with the same pickups and I went with it.

Image
Fender Tele-Sonic In Tiny Amp Town, December, 2009 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr
That guitar looks dope. Is it semi-hollow?
Yep! It's fantastic.
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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