The Starcaster was a short lived semi-hollow guitar made in the mid-1970s and early 1980s as competition to Gibsonâ€™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 Fenderâ€™s trademark bolt-on neck.Â
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 Fenderâ€™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 itâ€™s hard to pinpoint prices, but on Ebay they are in the Â£1200-1500 region.