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The rare S-200 Thunderbird solid body electric was used by Muddy Waters and The Lovin' Spoonful's Zal Yanovsky.Inspired by seeing Muddy Waters, Australian guitarist Ross Hannaford also acquired a Thunderbird, which he used extensively in the period that he played in popular Australian 1970s band Daddy Cool.The Guild Guitar Company is a United States-based guitar manufacturer founded in 1952 by Alfred Dronge, a guitarist and music-store owner, and George Mann, a former executive with the Epiphone Guitar Company.The brand name currently exists as a brand under Córdoba Music Group.A number of early West-Coast psychedelic bands used these instruments, notably guitarists Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia and bassist Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, as well as Jefferson Airplane's bassist Jack Casady.Alembic started their transition from sound and recording work to instrument building by modifying Lesh & Casady's Starfire basses.From the jangle of the Byrds to the psychedelia of Jefferson Airplane to countless other acts, many sounds of the '60s were underpinned by the deep and indispensable sound of the Starfire Bass, and players can now enjoy that rich sound and feel once again.Guild's new Starfire Bass has it all-the extra-thin semi-hollow body, the elegant double-cutaway design, a single powerful Bi-Sonic pickup, the classic Cherry Red finish and a great deal more.
The first Guild workshop was located in Manhattan, New York, where Dronge (who soon took over full ownership) focused on archtop jazz guitars, both electric and acoustic. The advent of the folk music craze in the early '60s had shifted the company into production of an important line of acoustic folk and blues guitars, including a dreadnought series (D-40, D-50 and, later, D-55) that competed successfully with Martin's D-18 and D-28 models, and jumbo and Grand Concert "F" models that were particularly popular with blues guitarists like Dave Van Ronk.
Rapid expansion forced the company to move to much larger quarters, on Newark St. Notable also was the Guild 12-string guitar, which used a Jumbo "F" body and dual truss rods in the neck to produce a workhorse instrument with a deep, rich tone distinctive from the chimier twelve-strings put out by Martin.