fender music master

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tomstoats, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. how do these bass's play what kinda reputation do they have? ive never seen or played one or even heard that much about them so a much information on how they play is what im after
  2. big evil robot

    big evil robot

    Feb 27, 2005
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Innovations Music - Retailer
    like any other short scale bass?
    i dunno, i have a 68 - 70 model, its ok. the neck is really comfortable to play on. its just... you know, a little-er p-bass i guess.
  3. mine was cool I guess, nothing real special. They play pretty good. I can't really describe the sound good,but there was not a whole lot of punch
  4. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    They play like an "ok" Fender if they're in good shape. Just what you'd expect. The pickup is a single-coil, which will hum like crazy since there's not another one to pair it with (like on a J), and is fairly thin sounding.
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I'll jump in with my take... They can be great with a little care in the setup, and maybe some slight 'unseen' modifications...

    Some history... My original Musicmaster was a '78 that did the same paint whitening and checking that Classic Rocker's showed in his 'For Sale' thread... Definitely a batch of them left the factory with that as I've seen several in the same condition... I never really dug my first one while I had it, ("C'mon... It's a student bass" :rolleyes: )... After it was stolen in the early eighties, I missed it terribly... Ya never know what you had 'til it's gone!

    Fast forward to 2002... I buy another '78 off the bay... The sound is okay, if a bit choked... The original wiring on these things is kind of piggish... Kind of sucks the tone. As an experiment, I wired the pickup straight to the output jack, and Whoa Nelly!! The mouse that roared! That pickup has a ton of mojo hidden in it... Gigged with it that way for a year or so, then wired up a Raven Labs P-RetroFit unit, which was another huge leap in both tone and flexibility. I had to make a new pickguard, but that wasn't too bad... Made the bass sound absolutely HUGE with depth and bite at the same time!! That's the configuration you see in the picture below...

    A couple of weeks ago, I replaced the stock pickup with a Lace Sensor that I had laying around, just to see what would happen... Sounds even better, though I wouldn't have believed it... I played it that night at a gig with my roots-rock-blues band and it pumped all night long!! Granted, I modded the electronics significantly, but it was a giggable axe originally... just moreso now...

    Playability-wise, for me and my style, I have it setup nicely... I'm a 'Mile-High-Action-Guy' so I have a 1/16" shim under the bridge to boost it a bit. I use D'Addario EXL Nickel Rounds, (Short Scale), and they are well suited to the bass... The neck on mine is exceptionally nice, and it plays very well in all positions. I've also sheilded with conductive paint, and it's pretty quiet, moreso with the Lace Sensor.

    I love having this bass around for when my shoulder or back are acting up and I don't feel up to the P or Jazz V at rehearsal... It's a great 'Third Set' axe to take a break from the heavier basses during a long night... Either the Musicmaster or the Danelectro Longhorn are always my backups at gigs, (and oftentimes main basses), because they're light and really put out the tone!

    Just my, (somewhat differing), opinion... YMMV... Do try wiring a bypass before passing judgement on the pickup though. I was very surprised!


  6. xbradx


    Oct 25, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    i've got a vintage one that i got from an old bandmate that had at some point been routed for a p-bass pickup, but didn't have one installed. neither of us knew about the extra routing until there was some problem with the wiring and upon taking off the pg, we then saw that the pickup route in the body had been modified, so i took a spare MIM p-bass pickup i had in the toolbox and slapped it in there. made a HUGE difference in the sound! now it obviously sounds like a P, but plays so much easier than a P and suprisingly, the weight doesn't seem much lighter than the MIM-P the pickup came from, lol.
  7. I still have my very first bass, a 72' Musicmaster. Think it cost me $100.00 back in 73'. Only mod I made was replacing the stock bridge with a P bridge, which allows individual string height. Action is super-low and plays like butter. This bass stays on a stand in our music room and gets played often. It appears to be bullet proof. Definitely not a modern tone machine, but I'll never get rid of it.
  8. big evil robot

    big evil robot

    Feb 27, 2005
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Innovations Music - Retailer
    i'm gonna have to try those wiring mods. I'd been considering jumping the tone pot anyways since mine is scratchy as hell.
    I find the current tone to be very surf rock.

    I really like the feel of the neck on these basses, its really hard to figure out what it is about it.