Fender History Buffs - what can you tell me about this Musicmaster?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bibby, Dec 23, 2013.


  1. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    So, I picked up this old Musicmaster in a trade right here on these forums. It is a little gem of a bass and I am becoming more smitten with it as time goes on!

    It appears to be an early one, but with all the expert eyes in this place I hope to glean a little more about it for fun. It does have some unique features.

    Most sources say the Musicmaster was release in 1970 or 1971, but this one seems a little earlier.

    The neck plate serial # is 278593 = 1969, 1970

    The finish appears to be originally blue, likely sonic blue, that has faded to green over time which I guess is quite normal for finishes at that time. The back has faded more than the front. Here is a Fender color chart from 1970. The bottom left "Musicmaster Only" Blue looks to be right:

    The finish looks original to me, and you can see what looks the be the original color peeking through on the bottom front right of the bass, but I am no expert. What do you guys think - does it look original?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    The tuners are definitely early. The knobs seem period correct.

    Most interesting is the bottom of the pick guard - it is pearloid.

    If you scroll down on about half way on this interesting site about dating old Fenders there is a picture of a strat with the same pearloid bottom and it says that 1968 and 1969 strats commonly had this feature:

    http://home.provide.net/~cfh/fender.html

    Also, the stamping on the 6 pole pickup (correct - these shipped with a strat / mustang guitar pickup) matches those of the 68/69 stamping. A few pics:
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    The pot code # is 1376642
    Volume - 032367

    The pot code dates to the 42nd week of 1966. Again, not uncommon with instruments from this era. The volume pot has an odd code, but it does seem original. To my untrained eye all the soldering looks original and nothing appears to have been removed or replaced:
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    Here are some more pics showing the bass in various states of undress:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    No date on the neck or in the pocket:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    So, I think this is a nice, very early example of a Fender Musicmaster bass. Probably released in 1970 with some unique 60's features. The neck is super comfy and has quite a bit of flame in it so it is pretty as well!

    What do you guys see that I may have missed? does anything not look quite right that I should be aware of?

    Not that it matters - this one is a keeper regardless!

    Here is a link to the photo album of the member I traded with:

    http://s664.photobucket.com/user/rennroxx/library/stuff4sale/vintage_musicmaster?sort=3&page=1
     

    Attached Files:

  8. st0n3

    st0n3

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Europe
    Volume pots code is part code not date code. Every pot has part AND date code.

    This bass looks nice and is all original. However this is not something like rare 60's model or anything like that. This is early 70's bass - manufactured in early 70's using many old parts. Unfortunately the exact year can't be known.
     
  9. bass_case

    bass_case Used Register Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Regarding the pearloid material on the underside of the pick guard, my 69 tele bass, #260062, has this too.
     
  10. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    Yeah, I know it isn't a rare or valuable piece or anything. I just thought it had some unique features and was possibly an early model. From what I have read these basses were created in order to use up excess parts they had laying around from Mustang basses and guitars. That makes sense that they were pulling parts out of bins that could have been years old.

    I was originally going to replace the pickup with a more bass specific model, but the burpy honk is growing on me. Now that it seems it hasn't been modded and the solder joints look original I don't think I will be messing with it. It may never be valuable, but it has made it 40+ years without being messed with so I might as well keep the streak alive!
     
  11. st0n3

    st0n3

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Europe
    Was there a neck date?
     
  12. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    Nope, no neck date. That would have made things too easy! :)
     
  13. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    This is my first foray into short scale....and I am digging it!

    This scale just feels so comfortable....my (much more expensive) long scale basses have been getting a break.

    Have others gone short scale and never looked back?
     
  14. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,719
    Location:
    Blimp City USA
    It's the real deal...cool color too. I had a 73', same tuners guts and all. Mine started out as a Oly white and faded or changed to a yellow nicotine finish. Whatever paint they used then really changed thru the years.

    Mine had bad pots so I swapped out the whole harness for a 78' P bass harness. It really brought the bass around and got rid of the dual cap which bleeds of treble from the pup stuff.

    It became almost like a mini P bass and anybody who heard it loved the tone. Saddly never got played enough and went off in a trade for another bass.
     
  15. Bibby

    Bibby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    145
    I think a tort guard would look awesome on this bass, but like I mentioned I don't want to mess with the original electronics.

    I didn't think of changing out the whole harness - everything is attached to the pickguard. So feasibly I could attach a whole new setup to a tort guard, use a proper bass pickup, and only have to detach the ground wire.....

    hmmmm......that may be an experiment to do down the line. Thanks for sparking the idea!
     

Share This Page