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Collectable Guitars pt 26 – Fender Starcaster



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The Starcaster was a short lived semi-hollow guitar made in the mid-1970s and early 1980s as competition to Gibson’s ES335 model. It is uncertain whether it was made from 1976 to 1977 or 1980 to 1982.

The guitar featured the Gibson traditional semi-hollow body and humbuckers, but with a new 6-on-1-side headstock and Fender’s trademark bolt-on neck. 

Fender Starcaster guitar

It also had a maple fretboard and an offset twin-cutaway body, somewhere between a Gibson ES-335 and a Fender Stratocaster. The pickups were Fender’s own Wide Range humbuckers, designed by Seth Lover, known for working with Gibson on their original PAF humbuckers, and allegedly naming their iconic Flying V guitar.

The Wide Range pickups were also used on 1970s Telecaster Custom models. This guitar was therefore a bit of a weird compromise between the two major guitar brands at the time.

Because of this fact, the Starcaster was never really accepted by fans of either of the big names. It found few takers, and was discontinued soon after its launch.

However, it has become collectible as a curiosity guitar, and has been used by Dave Keuning of the Killers and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. Starcasters rarely come up for sale, so it’s hard to pinpoint prices, but on Ebay they are in the £1200-1500 region.

5 Comments

  1. [...] post:  Collectable Guitars pt 26 – Fender Starcaster Social Bookmarking Tags: also-had, Gibson, lover, maple-fretboard, pickups-were, range, [...]

  2. christopher says:

    hi… i’m looking for specs on the vintage starcasters, width, depth, all the various dimensions. would you be able to assist? i’m scouring the web, and i can’t find anything.

    thanks!

    -c.

  3. geoff says:

    hi chris, I have a 1976 starcaster same as the one in above pic ive had it since new in 1976 i dont play anymore but keep it for sentimental reasons but if your still looking for specs let me nkow im glad to help

  4. harrysong says:

    Hi Geoff, and Chris.

    I too would love to get the specs on the original starcaster. I have drooled over these guitars since they first came out, but could never afford one then (or now). Information is very scarce – I think only a few of us have really fallen for this unique creation.

    Harry

  5. A.J. says:

    I to would love to get these dimensions! I am going to have USACG make me a custom recreation of this awesome instrument! Thanks so much!

    -A.J.

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