An advertisement from Fender Magazine from 1977 refers to Starcaster as a ‘hard-charging, sharp-toothed’ guitar, created in 1975, but most references do not show it on the market until 1977 After several years of poor sales, Starcaster seems to have been dropped from Fender line around 1982. Although Fender has a history of releasing older, discontinued models, Starcaster has not yet received this honor. Warning The Fender Guitar Company recently introduced the Starcaster family of instruments, which include a Starcaster Strat and Starcaster Colt electric guitars. This line also includes drums, acoustic guitars and a range of accessories under the Starcaster name. names Starcaster reused by Fender, Starcaster Strat and Starcaster Colt are not the same as the original Starcaster and should not be confused with 1970s guitars.
The Fender Starcaster offered several unique features that set it apart from other Fender guitars. It offered a curved headboard with a painted bottom curve that matched the color of the guitar body. The asymmetrical or offset body design, the maple board and a bolt on the neck were also unique to a semi-hollow body guitar. Additional features included a volume and tone control for each recording, master volume control and Fender’s signature on six-on-side tunnels.
While Starcaster was not considered a quality guitar during production days, its popularity and value seem to have grown with age. Considered a rare guitar to find, a search on 9/29/2009 showed some lists, some prices up to $ 6,000. As almost all of these lists mention some of the well known guitarists who have been discovered playing on Starcaster recently, this one increase be the result of the celebrity association, rather than the real value of the guitar itself.
As with many vintage or unique guitar models, Starcaster has found a place alongside the Fender Mustang, Gibson Firebird and most Rickenbacker models as the ‘cool old guitar’ in the hands of many popular guitarists. Starcaster has been seen on stage with many famous musicians, such as Jonny Greenwood of Radio Sammy James Jr. of Mooney Suzuki, Jesse Tobias Morrissey, Steve Mazur of Our Lady Peace, Dave Keuning of The Killers and Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead. Introduced during the CBS acquisition years, the Fender Starcaster was designed to compete with the popular Gibson ES 335 guitars. Starcaster represents a unique look for the electric guitar market with an offset, semi-hollowbody design, a bolt neck and separate volume and tone control for each pickup. Unfortunately, Starcaster sales suffered due to the low quality standards in place in the 1970s and Fender’s reputation as a guitar company with a solid body.