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Amp for Fender Mustang Bass 1977

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by robertblythin, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Hello,

    I've had a Fender USA Mustang Bass 1977 in original case for a while now, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertblythin/

    I havn't used it much yet as I've been busy with other things (like researching valve reel to reel recorders). However I will be using it soon & would like some advice. I've sorted the intonation & it's got a nice action now. I've put some Fender 5250xl short scale bass strings on it to.

    I'm an admirer of vintage/tube equipment & would like some advice on a speaker/amp match up or combo that would suit my needs- playing in small rooms, in pubs... up to quite big halls...At most I'll be competing with a PA running vocals & acoustic guitar & a small un-miced drum kit. I think I may have to opt for vintage equipment from the used market.


    Any advice on a top quality lead?

    Whats the deal with flatwound strings, is it easier to just damp strings with hand? Or do they make a big difference?

    And regarding the electronics in this bass...Where do I start with testing that its all running nice? What sort of testing is done? I'm considering some different pickups/shielding etc. If the electronics aren't up to scratch. I have played the bass quite a bit :bassist: & have no reason to believe so but I'd like to know how to test such things.

    Thanks for your time & thanks in advance for any help you can give me,

  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    First of all, NICE BASS! That looks uber-clean... I don't recall every seeing a maple-boarded 'stang...

    As for amps, your requirements are open to a lot of speculation... I have two amps, circa 1971 that may fit either criteria...

    The first is a Fender Musicmaster... 12 watts, all tube, that I have used in coffee houses exactly as described... Acoustic guitars, vocals, completely sane drummer... At those volumes, it sounds fine... Won't handle much of anything larger as a combo, but running the lead from the head into a fairly efficient cab surprised me with a decent amount of volume. Again, the sanity/cooperation of your bandmates is necessary. It also doubles as a guitar/harp amp for medium volume situations...

    Next is an Ampeg V4 into a variety of cabinets... Easily handles rooms up to 150-200 people without PA support, (in my band at least)... Pretty heavy, but it just makes everything that I plug into it sound good... I have a '78 Musicmaster that sounds great through either of these setups...

    Both of these were reasonably priced several years ago when I purchased them, though I see prices climbing lately, (go figure!)... Basically, your options are only limited by your bank account...

    As for the testing of the electronics, the best tools are your ears, of course... I'm of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset... If your Mustang is giving you what you need, appreciate it for what it is! Before replacing pickups, (choices are limited for your bass, btw), do yourself a favor and try wiring them straight to the output jack and have a listen... Often, the pickups are fine and the sound issues are with the controls themselves, (my '78 Musicmaster was definitely in this category!!)...

    As for strings, I don't know that flatwounds are for everybody, but they certainly sound like 'bass' to me... I try rounds from time to time but usually swap back to flats at the next string-changing cycle... It used to be the other way completely! It's all subjective... For me, the string of choice is D'Addario Chromes, (you'd want Medium length for your Mustang if it's through-body strung)... Someone else will have a totally different opinion shortly :D

  3. whyseye


    Mar 3, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Beautiful bass - I wish I had the black PG on my 76...I also have the natural body and maple board.
    Congrats - and subscribed...:cool:
  4. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
  5. Thanks for the replies folks,
    The chromes looks nice & yeah it's through-body strung. Would the short scale not be better, as are my current Fender ones?
    I'll look into the amps mentioned in a bit - bear in mind I'm based in Manchester, UK though so anything from USA is probably going to be a no no...Even though I did buy the bass from NY!
    Thanks again,
  6. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    You could certainly try the Chromes in short, but the through-body may leave some of the silk winding across the nut... I have shorts on my Musicmaster. It's bridge-strung and the silk is about 15mm past the nut.


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