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FDP Forum / All Other Fender Guitars and Instruments / Thoughts on the Starcaster Semi Hollow

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swampyankee
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Sep 16th, 2015 12:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have my '90's Epi Dot in the shop getting SD 59's installed. If I still don't dig the tone I'm thinking I'll sell the Dot and pick up a Starcaster. They're just cool and different, and don't even try to be a 335 clone.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Sep 16th, 2015 12:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Far different guitars. Casino is a real hollowbody and won't sound or respond like a Starcaster.

Depends on what you want it to do.

I love my 339 and my Casino, but they're two radically different instruments.

Same applies to Starcasters and the like - Casino is more akin to the archtop jazzboxes than the bucker-equipped semis.

69tele

Gibraltar

Thou Shalt Gas !
Oct 14th, 2015 08:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Dont want to put anyone off but I tried one when they first came out and I wasnt impressed at all by the feel, build quality or play-ability. it felt cheaply made.


Try one first if possible., agree they do look cool though !

swampyankee
Contributing Member
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Oct 21st, 2015 12:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've been GAS'ing for a Starcaster for a while now. Not even sure why but they sound like they have some useable tones for a Fender guy like me.

Like 69, I'd like to try one out before I buy it though, and I'm finding it difficult to find one in my area. I called GC to see if any local stores have one in stock and the guitar specialist said she could tell by the item number it's not something any store would normally stock.

Looks like the only option is to buy one at GC and it shipped in to a local store, go try it out and if it's not to my liking, return it for a refund.

Black Gibson
Contributing Member
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Idaho, USA

Acoustics Rock! Well, sort of...
Oct 21st, 2015 01:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

About two months ago I tripped over a used one and bought it. I was buying a used Les Paul standard so he made me a great deal on the two of them. The build quality on mine is really good, everything is clean and tight. At first I didn't like the stop tailpiece, I thought it looked wrong and I almost put a bigsby on it. Glad I didn't, it's a totally different animal, and I dig it. the pickups are great and it sounds good thru all my amps... It is heavier than I thought it would be, but not bad. I have two issues with it, the headstock is big, really big. It doesn't bother me anymore, but that took a while. Second, no one is making a case for it yet! I would love to play it out and see what it'll do, but I've got no case. to be fair, I like oddball guitars, the stuff not everyone is playing. If I had a case I'd be playing shows with it.

swampyankee
Contributing Member
********

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Oct 23rd, 2015 05:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wouldn't hold out for a factory case. I have a feeling the Starcaster MP won't be around for long enough for Fender to bother making a case.

I'm told that a Starcaster will fit in a Dot/335 case pretty well, with maybe an extra bolster to fill in the offset lower bout. I'm going to sell my Dot to buy a Starcaster one of these days. I'll probably get the 'caster before I sell the Dot and if my Dot case fits, I'll keep it when I sell the Dot.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Chain Smokin'

Gas Station Attendant
Oct 23rd, 2015 06:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Years ago I had one of the originals. It played fine and sounded good, but is was sort of clunky feeling because of the slightly larger and thicker body. The bridge on it was a poor design (not one of Fender's shining moments). There's a reason they never really caught on--the Gibson 335 is larger, but it has a slimmer, sleeker feel about it.

The reissue Starcaster has the stop tailpiece and TOM bridge, which is probably an improvement over the original design.

I played a few when they first came out a while back, and they seemed to be heavier than they need to be; they still have that clunky feel about them.

swampyankee
Contributing Member
********

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Oct 23rd, 2015 12:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

On Sweetwater's site you can find descriptions of the actual guitars in stock, with pics and weight listed. It looks like the weight varies from 8 to 9 lbs. 5 oz.
Quite a variation. Maybe it depends on how much glue and poly they used that particular day.

Peegoo
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Chain Smokin'

Gas Station Attendant
Oct 24th, 2015 07:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mineral content in the wood is what causes the weight variation.

You can have two pieces of mahogany (same species and same dimensions) and one can be a lot heavier than the other.

swampyankee
Contributing Member
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Oct 27th, 2015 07:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I could see that in a solid body, but I would think for molded ply like the Starcaster, et al, The glues would be a larger factor.

There's one on Reverb I'm interested in. I contacted them and asked for a weight. At 8.6# it's on the lighter side. Still on the fence about it, but I have time since I still have to get approval for purchase.. :0


Black Gibson
Contributing Member
***

Idaho, USA

Acoustics Rock! Well, sort of...
Oct 27th, 2015 04:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I agree with Peegoo, it's a bit clunky feeling... especially around the neck joint. There is a lot of body and not too much neck right there. I also notice that big ol headstock every time I move. That said, clunky guitars are my stock and trade! Jumbo Acoustics, Gretsch hollow bodies, firebirds... but let's be honest, compared to a strat, everything else is sorta clunky.

swampyankee
Contributing Member
********

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Oct 28th, 2015 08:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

More clunky than a Dot? My old Dot has a certain clunky feel to it, more so than my Gretsch 3140. Not sure why. I remember the older, cheap hollow bodies like the original Coronado and Harmony Rockets seemed to have a clunky, less solid feel to them. Is the Starcaster anything like that?

DragonFire

Jersey Shore

Nov 4th, 2015 09:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought the Starcaster when they first came out. I love offset Fenders. Indeed ,I have 10 Toronados, and a Jag. I do not agree on the cheaply built theme. I thought it was a solid build and the finish on mine was flawless. Perhaps it has too much finish on it that makes it so damn heavy. Just my opinion but the Epiphones actually seemed cheaply made to me. I thought the mahogany(?)ply grain that printed through the solid color body Epi's spoke cheap to me! I do not like the lower volume cleans on the Starcaster but really got into it when they were driven. I did drop down to 9's on this whereas I would normally play 10's. Thought I worked too hard with the 10's. The headstock is probably the biggest draw for me as it was in the mid 70's. This is so radically different from Fender yet seems to comfortably fit in the Fender headstock lineage. It can't be all bad when I see Fano copy the headstock on some of their custom builts and the Bilt Volare is a complete steal from the Starcaster (with a Jaguar trem). Even Warmoth jumped on the wagon with their "Mooncaster" replacement bodies.
I will say that if this or my Ibanez AS93 w SD 59's had to go, it would be a tough choice but it would be the Fender here.

(This message was last edited by DragonFire at 11:50 AM, Nov 4th, 2015)

swampyankee
Contributing Member
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Nov 6th, 2015 05:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great review, Dragonfire. So are you saying, if given a choice you would let the Starcaster go before the AS93?


edited to correct typo: i.e; "Starfire"

(This message was last edited by swampyankee at 09:44 AM, Nov 9th, 2015)

DragonFire

Jersey Shore

Nov 7th, 2015 06:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

yeah but don't get confused with a Starfire...that's a Guild and I am certain that was a typo. I like the Starcaster and it suits me well and I am not parting with the Starcaster. Just saying if I was up a creek without a paddle but had those two guitars, the Starcaster is my padddle....and probably works well as an anchor too :)

swampyankee
Contributing Member
********

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Dec 1st, 2015 01:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Dragonfire, another question for you:
I still haven't found a Starcaster to play locally, but I'm curious if the offset body is more comfortable than your typical Dot/335 shape. I found a side-by-side pic of the Starcaster and a Dot and it looks like the bridge is mounted further back on the Starcaster, which would mean less bulk of the body is under-arm, making the guitar feel smaller or at least more comfortable than the bulky bottom bout of your typical 335 guitar. Is this true in reality?

DragonFire

Jersey Shore

Jan 6th, 2016 07:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

add Pure Salem guitars to the list of those copying the headstock of the Starcaster

swampyankee
Contributing Member
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Jan 30th, 2017 05:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Just to follow up for posterity if nothing else.
I picked up a brand new Starcaster from Russo on a best offer of $400 via Reverb. Mine is a bit on the lighter side, and with natural finish. Much lighter than my Epi Dot or Gretsch Thinline semi, and the Offset shape and bridge mounted closer to the bottom of the lower bout makes it more comfortable and balanced to play sitting down.
The WRHBs work for this old single-coil dude, with enough fat for jazzy stuff, but bright enough to still sound Fendery.
I also like the more familiar neck and long scale.
I havent gigged with it yet, and I really wish they made a case for it.

I like it well enough that I no longer needed my Epi Dot, so I sold it.

(This message was last edited by swampyankee at 07:34 PM, Jan 30th, 2017)

DragonFire

Jersey Shore

Feb 3rd, 2017 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Fender does make a softcase "Metro"
for the Starcaster.

swampyankee
Contributing Member
**********
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Feb 16th, 2017 06:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I see they also offered a case that fit both the Starcaster and Coronado. Alas, it has been discontinued. Still, some aftermarket es335 cases allegedly will fit the 'caster.
Still, a case that followed the Offset shape would be pretty cool...

(This message was last edited by swampyankee at 08:08 PM, Feb 16th, 2017)

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / All Other Fender Guitars and Instruments / Thoughts on the Starcaster Semi Hollow




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