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Guild JS-II Bass

Check our friend Derek J looking very Jack Cassidy with his Guild JS-II Bass, which Guild made to compete with the Gibson EB-3.

According to Derek:

“In 1969, Guild came with one or two Bisonic (Hagstrom) single coil pickups. During 1970 they changed to Guild humbuckers which weren’t anywhere near as good.

Jack Casady switched over to the Starfire because of the Bisonics. Those Starfires were then modified by the early Alembic guys. And Phil Lesh played a EB-3 which had Bisonics installed to replace the standard Gibby pickups. They later migrated on to Alembics.

Those Bisonics were sort of a cult favorite for many years subsequent. (One was used on the Allmans’s “Tractor Bass”) Sometime around 2007-2008, as I recall, a gent out in LA, Fred Hammond, started making close copies of them, called Darkstars. They are highly sought after especially since he stopped production about a year ago. But there is talk from some folks who know him that he will be starting back up. A guy in France is making something similar and a guy in New Jersey is apparently about to launch a line of “similars” as well.

What makes it relevant is that the bass in the photo came with the humbuckers but I installed the Darkstar copies. There are wonderful sounding and very sensitive to your touch. I also have a Guild M-85 hollowbody with the original Bisonics, but it fell off of the strap some weeks back and is in the shop.”

THANKS Derek for the great insights! Rock on!

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