Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde Review & Prices

Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde Review
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  • From Guild's 2023 Newark St. Collection series
  • Made in South Korea
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 9.449" Fretboard Radius
  • Flamed Maple body
  • Maple with Walnut Center Strip neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Guild LB-1 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Guild LB-1 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Guild Tune-O-Matic with Ebony Base bridge
  • Vintage Soft "U" Set neck
  • 22 Jumbo frets
  • Grover Sta-Tite Open-Gear 18:1 tuners
  • Weight between 7.375lbs (3.3kgs) and 7.5lbs (3.4kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 78
Sound 66
Build quality 69
Value for money 66
Overall Score 71
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in South Korea
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1200, which means that the Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde costs around 46% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Bigsby Tremolo bridge that are made in South Korea.

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Videos

Guild Starfire VI
Guild Newark St. Starfire VI Demo
Winter NAMM 2016: Guild Starfire VI
Guild Starfire VI Blonde Demo
Demo Guild Starfire VI
NEW/Guild STARFIRE Ⅵ BLD@guitarshoptantan
NAMM '16 - Guild Starfire II ST & Starfire VI Demos
1965 Guild Starfire VI Demo Featuring Berlin
2018 Guild "Starfire VI" (Korea)
Guitar Tone Tuesday: Ep 136 - Guild Starfire V; Not Gretsch or Gibson But The Best Of Both Worlds!?
More Videos

Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners
  • Easy-to-use bridge

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde weighs between 7.375lbs (3.3kgs) and 7.5lbs (3.4kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde Scale Length Comparison
Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale length used in most Gibson guitars. If you like the playability of a Gibson, this guitar will feel pretty similar. It's a lot shorter than the typical Stratocaster (25.5'')

As you can see from the picture above, a shorter scale length also means shorter separation between frets. If you got really small hands, you probably will feel more comfortable playing this guitar than a Fender Stratocaster.

This scale length also allows for easier bends and vibratos because the strings will have lower tension due to the shorter scale.

Finally, another thing affected by scale length is tone. A shorter scale will give less room for the harmonics, thus resulting in a warmer, more 'bassy' tone.

Still, remember that you string gauge plays an important part in all of this. A lighter gauge will make it easier to perform bends, vibratos and will also give you a brighter tone.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde Neck Profile
Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's neck thickness is approximately 0.787'' (20mm) at the first fret, and 0.945'' (24mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Guild website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a U type neck. This shape usually has more 'shoulders' than a C neck. It's great for guitarists who love the feel of a vintage neck. Most of them are thick, which makes it better for people with big hands. However, some of them can be thin like a C neck but with more mass to the sides for a better grip.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde has a 9.449" fingerboard radius.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

24.75'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.687'' Nut Width
9.449'' Fretboard Radius
27'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
14'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde Nut Width
Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde Nut Width

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde has a nut width of 42.8mm (1.687''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde Fret Size Comparison
Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 95
Solo Playability 60
Playability 78

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Flame Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Flame Maple Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Flame Maple Body: This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

22 Frets
Bigsby Tremolo Bridge
Guild LB-1 Bridge Pickup
Guild LB-1 Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Bigsby Tremolo Bridge
Guild LB-1 Bridge Pickup
Guild LB-1 Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Guild LB-1 Bridge Pickup
Guild LB-1 Neck Pickup
20 Frets
Bigsby Tremolo Bridge
Guild LB-1 Bridge Pickup
Guild LB-1 Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Guild LB-1 Bridge Pickup
Guild LB-1 Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Semi-Hollow guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Jazz or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 60
Sustain 80
Versatility 58
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 66

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde is made in South Korea. Guitars made here are well-built and tend to have good quality control, even though they focus on mass production. This used to be the most premium option just below Japan or the US, but other countries like Indonesia are becoming great competitors because of even cheaper labor without sacrificing quality.

Bridge

Guild Tune-O-Matic with Ebony Base: This is a classy bridge that will make any guitar look vintage. It's a subtle tremolo, so it won't change the pitch of the strings too much and is very friendly with classic Jazz and other retro genres. The big disadvantage is that it's difficult to change the strings and setup correctly.

Also, if it's not well done, this type of bridge can cause your guitar to get out of tune often. For this reason, it's often better paired with roller saddles.

More with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 60
Quality Control 80
Build Quality 69

All Specs

Guild Starfire VI Flamed Maple Blonde
General
Brand: Guild
Year: 2023
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: South Korea
Series: Newark St. Collection
Colors: Yellow
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Semi-Hollow
Body Material: Flamed Maple
Bridge: Guild Tune-O-Matic with Ebony Base
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Grover Sta-Tite Open-Gear 18:1
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Maple with Walnut Center Strip
Decoration: V-Blocks - Mother-Of-Pearl and Abalone
Scale Size: 24.75"
Shape: Vintage Soft "U"
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.945'' (24mm)
Frets: 22 Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 9.449"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 42.8mm (1.687'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Bell
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Guild LB-1 (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Guild LB-1 (Humbucker / Passive)

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