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Fender Musicmaster Modification Suggestions Needed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HelpImaRock, May 24, 2017.


  1. I bought a '77 SF Music Master Bass amp last year for apartment playing. It's been pretty great with the standard issues of a crispy high and and no low end. My tone knob helps with the crispy high end, but I've been thinking of doing the Hasserl mods to the volume and tone to open up the low end of the amp. I'm also thinking of replacing the speaker.

    Are there bass specific mods for the MMB? The Hasserl mods are primarily for guitar. As for the speaker, I'm thinking of the Eminence BassLite, but I could be swayed.

    Your suggestions (including to shut up and leave the damn thing alone) are greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. i would sell the cab and speaker and re-house the amp in a small head case and pair it with whatever cabs you have. second i would put in a better Output Transformer to get more low end from it. That will probably get you the most for the cheapest amount spent. You should be able to get an OT for around $50 and another 50 to have it installed.
     
  3. That's one idea, but it's a bit out of my budget. Thanks though.
     
  4. what are you looking to do with it? bedroom practice amp? cool cranked gain distorted bass tone head?
     
  5. It's a practice amp. It doesn't need to be any louder, it just needs some better bass response. I have a Markbass/GK rig for anything that requires actual power.
     
  6. My first question is how comfortable are you going inside a tube amp? They’re dangerous!
     
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  7. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I played through a few of these amps back when I was a beginner, so, I have some familiarity. I don't think they are very useful even as a practice amp for bass. In addition to the speaker and cabinet being useless for bass, the tone stack, as mentioned in the OP, isn't very good for bass. In addition to building a new speaker cabinet, you would likely need to run a 7 band+ graphic EQ to get usable bass sounds out of it.

    Having that said, I would sell it as-is and use the money to get something more suitable like an Ampeg PF-20T. I hear that the musicmaster amp have a following among guitarists and can sell for a decent price.
     
  8. Waste of money/time IMO, for a practice amp. You'd be far better served saving the coin from not doing mods for a better amp for practice.
     
    BassmanPaul likes this.
  9. I have an EQ and play guitar too. :)
     
  10. its an open back 12" speaker cab that and the OT are the weak points. I would recommend finding a small cheap bass cab and use the amp with that.
     
  11. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Cool. Then keep it and use it as your guitar amp. It should do well.

    With a 7 band+ graphic EQ, you might be able to squeeze out enough lows and low mids to use it as a practice amp for bass. But I think the best you could hope for is a mediocre sound. That might be enough for your needs. I'm too lazy to look up a schematic, but based on the tone I remember (SERIOUS lack of low end) from these amps, I wouldn't be surprised if the amp has a high pass filter in the tone stack. If the amp has a high pass filter, I would consider modding it with a switch to bypass the hpf.

    I wouldn't go through the trouble of building a new speaker cabinet when you already have another bass rig should you need to get louder.
     
  12. The big change to the tone of the amp will be in the cap mod. The cost of the parts is like $3 and the suggestions are guitar specific. I figured if there was a better value to use for bass I would do that and then use the EQ to cut the lows for guitar instead. I was going to swap the speaker anyway. So I think you and I are in agreement.
     
  13. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I looked up that cap mod. Interesting. As I suspected, Fender did put a hpf in the amp--probably to stop people from blowing the crappy speaker. Yes, I would do that cap mod. I still suspect you will need a graphic EQ or a bass with active EQ to get any usable bass tones.

    Since I consider it primarily a guitar amp, I would replace the speaker with a good quality guitar speaker, not a bass speaker. That's just me.
     
  14. That was my original plan, so I guess I'll stick with it. :thumbsup:
     

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