the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu

Guild Unveils Chris Hillman Byrd Bass and Starfire Bass II

Guild Guitars is introducing two new basses this summer with the Chris Hillman Signature Byrds Bass and the Starfire Bass II. The company revealed the instruments at the 2015 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tennessee.

Chris Hillman anchored the Byrds during the mid-1960’s and used a Guild Starfire to record the songs “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Eight Miles High,” and “The Times They Are A-Changing”. Guild is honoring that legacy with a signature bass featuring a semi-hollow all-maple body, a rosewood fingerboard, and a three-piece mahogany neck. The bass is also fitted with a single BS-1 BiSonic pickup. “I didn’t think you needed two pickups for what I did, [and] I never thought you needed more than four strings,” Hillman said at Guild Headquarters. Other features include flatwound strings, a Byrds logo inlaid at the 12th fret, and Hillman’s signature on the truss rod cover. Each bass includes a hardshell case and a numbered certificate of authenticity personally signed by Chris Hillman.

Guild’s second offering is a new take on their Starfire Bass II, which originally debuted in 1967. The semi-hollow model is defined by a dual pickup configuration with a pair of Guild BS-1 BiSonic pickups. Guild says the addition of the neck pickup gives a “warmer, smooth sound for added tonal flexibility.” Each pickup has individual tone and volume controls with a master volume and pickup selector for overall tonal shaping. It’s built with an arched laminate mahogany top and back, mahogany sides, and a three-piece mahogany neck.

The Guild Guitars Chris Hillman Signature Byrds Bass and Starfire Bass II will be available soon with street prices of $1,500 and $1,300, respectively.

Guild Guitars Chris Hillman Signature Byrd Bass Specs:

Scale Length:30 3/4″ (781 mm)
Body Construction:Semi-Hollowbody
Body Top and Back:Arched Laminated Maple
Body Sides:Laminated Maple
Finish:Gloss Polyurethane
Guitar Weight:8.5 lbs
Body Binding:Ivory White with Black/White Purfling
Purfling:Black/Ivory White
Neck Material:3-Piece Mahogany/Maple/Mahogany
Neck Shape:Vintage Soft “U”
Neck Finish:Gloss Polyurethane
Nut Width:1 1/2″ (38.1 mm)
Nut Material:Bone
Fingerboard Material:Indian Rosewood
Fingerboard Radius:12″ (305 mm)
Fingerboard Inlays:Pearloid Dot with Byrds 12th fret inlay
Frets:21
Fret Size:Narrow Jumbo
Tuning Machines:Grover Vintage 142 Series
Bridge:Guild Adjustable Bass Bridge with Rosewood Saddles
Strings:D’Addario ECB81 Flat Wound Bass, Light, 45-100
Case:TKL Deluxe Hardshell
Pickup:Guild BS-1 BiSonic Bass
Controls:Master Volume, Master Tone
Strap Buttons:Vintage-Style

Guild Guitars Starfire Bass II Specs:

Scale Length:30 3/4″ (781 mm)
Body Construction:Semi-Hollowbody
Body Top and Back:Arched Laminated Mahogany
Body Sides:Laminated Mahogany
Finish:Gloss Polyurethane
Guitar Weight:8 lbs 8 oz
Body Binding:Ivory White with Black/White Purfling
Purfling:Black/Ivory White
Neck Material:3-Piece Mahogany/Maple/Mahogany
Neck Shape:Vintage Soft “U”
Neck Finish:Gloss Polyurethane
Nut Width:1 1/2″ (38.1 mm)
Nut Material:Bone
Fingerboard Material:Indian Rosewood
Fingerboard Radius:12″ (305 mm)
Fingerboard Inlays:Pearloid Dot
Frets:21
Fret Size:Narrow Jumbo
Tuning Machines:Grover Vintage 142 Series
Bridge:Guild Adjustable Bass Bridge with Rosewood Saddles
Strings:D’Addario EXL165 Nickel Wound Bass, Custom Light, (.045-.105 Gauges)
Case:TKL Deluxe Hardshell
Pickups:Guild BS-1 BiSonic Bass
Controls:Individual Volume & Tone, Master Volume, 3-wayToggle Pickup Selector
Strap Buttons:Vintage-Style

For more information:
Guild