Naked 72 Musicmaster bass refin...opinions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DavidEdenAria, Jul 22, 2017.


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  1. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    What i mean by "naked" is i am seriously considering leaving the pickguard off completely (ala Eddie Van Halens Frankenstein) and installing the short chrome piece for the volume and tone control as on my 65 Musicmaster II guitar.

    This bass was stripped, i am putting it back black and its been a slow and tedious process getting the body in shape for gloss black.

    The original electronics are intact but the pickguard was painted over (sloppily) plus it has the typical broken end piece where the output jack is.

    I WILL leave the pickguard body holes in place.......my reasoning for leaving the pickguard off partially, is i could easily try some different pickups and i really like the small chrome metal control piece as on my 65 Musicmaster II guitar....its very strong and easily removed....a great design by Leo imo and it looks cool as well.

    Sorry MM bass lovers but the original 72 MM pickup is going into one of my 6 string Fenders!!

    Any comments or suggestions are appreciated....thought i would share my project and i will post pics eventually.

    Dont be afraid to be objectionable either LOL!! Thanks for looking at my plans and i will post pics.
     
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  2. BeauZooka

    BeauZooka

    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    I like the MM pickguards personally, but whatever floats your boat.
    Good call on using the original pup in a gtr instead. I put an Aero pup in my MM bass and it's ok. I'll probably try a Novak next. Good luck :)
     
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  3. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I think it will look cool and I wanna see pics.
     
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  4. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    The black MM basses with black pickguard look particularly cool.....i can always install a pickguard later but that would likely come after i decide on a pickup so i can make it fit the pickguard.

    I have searched quite a bit for replacement pickups in these MM basses.....not a lot of info out there but the stock single coil is a clean sort of twangy low wind Strat type which i will likely use in the middle position of a Strat type.
     
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  5. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Thanks! I think the routing looks very cool on these MM basses....plus the availability of the metal control plate such as the one on my 65 MM II guitar makes it viable not to mention it will be much stronger than the plastic MM bass type designed in the early 70's.

    Gold anodized metal pickguard is another possibility if i went full stock pickguard size fwiw.....should be much stronger and would look cool on the black body.
     
  6. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Sentell and Aero both do Musicmaster specific pickups. I am currently playing a restored Musicmaster that I did for a friend. It has a DiMarzio PAF bass pickup which is stellar!! Please do post pics!

    -robert
     
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  7. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    I have 2 Music Master basses that I have refinished. bass24.jpg DSC_02751.jpg These the only vintage Fender worth doing a total refinish job on.

    There are several people selling after market pick guards.

    I would definitely recommend a better pickup.

    The bass on the right has hundreds of dollars of radiance mixed into the paint. The photo just does not show how amazing this sparkly paint job looks. I had a friend who does high end auto body work paint these for me. He used left over pain from cars he worked on. The paint probably costs more than the basses are worth. There could easly be 10 layers of paint on these basses. With an upgraded bridge and pickups these basses sound amazing. They play great too.

    Take your time and do a good job of finishing your bass. These things really are hidden gems.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  8. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Very ccol pair of basses! What bridge and pickups?

    Ive owned several MM basses and played several more and this 72 is the lightest and most resonant and does sound decent with the stock pickup....there is a distinct woodiness to the tone and clarity but a bit twangy and lacking punch.

    I personally think much of the tone comes from the neck......this 72 MM was covered in thick clear and still was a resonant woody sounding bass......thick finishes i don't think hurt the body nearly as much as some think.
     
  9. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Its a Dimarzio PAF bass pickup? Is it shaped like a humbucker or single coil?

    I have read about the Sentell and Aero.....i have several single coils i am going to try (some noiseless) and may try to shoehorn in a P-90 as well.
     
  10. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    IMG_2227.JPG

    @DavidEdenAria - DiMarzio PAF... basically a hot humbucker. When I got the bass to restore, the pickup was laying in the cavity, barely hanging on by the wires. Bass was already heavily modified and in sad shape. Now it's an excellent player!

    -robert
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  11. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    One of my music master basses has a Bad ass bridge with an old p-bass DiMarzio. It sounds awesome. No telling what the bridge is on the second but it has a Seymour-Duncan pickup in it. It also sounds dam good. Never underestimate what a short scale bass can do.
     
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  12. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Well....i still contend some guitars in general are more woody and resonant.....no matter what brand or design, even if its the same design.

    I have heard plenty of short scale basses that fit into a band mix perfectly fine despite what many bassists will say.....i am NOT after a P bass sound at all, though if that is what the bass turns out to be (doubtful) so be it....not gonna route it either if i can help it.

    I still think, thru the years of studying and gathering info, that the neck is a big part of the tone, given the same body wood.......many tend to think its mainly the body itself that gives most of the tone.

    Anyhow, i plan on leaving the stock bridge.....i thought this 72 MM bass sounded decent stock but lacking some punch and a bit too scooped.....it will be fun and interesting to see where the pickup swaps take me, plus, i have several sets of strings including some broken in flats...should be fun!
     
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  13. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Another thing you may wanna try before giving up on the pickup altogether is bypassing the controls and wiring it straight to the output jack... you may find that the little stock pickup roars with nothing in the way!! I've had great luck with that on my last '78 that I stupidly sold. Thing totally rocked!!

    -robert
     
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  14. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    I totally agree with what you are thinking.

    I do feel the bridge has a minimal effect on the tone, providing its a decent enough bridge. And there seems to be some magic coming from those old fender necks.

    To get the best from this bass a better pickup will be a must. It's amazing the different tone my 2 Musicmaster basses have. But that said my wife can't tell the difference. I'm defiantly more attracted to a more jazz bass tone rather than a traditional P-bass sound.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you end up building.
     
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  15. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Folks, i got the bass painted with high performance Rustoleum black enamel....i went enamel because this enamel is very tough but easy to rescuff and reshoot down the line.

    Considering how dinged and beat the body was, i am very happy....it took hours of filling, sanding priming, resanding but it looks really decent... however there are flaws, so i will likely reassemble the bass soon (after the paint cures some more) and resand and shoot the bass again maybe in 6 months or a year.

    It takes a while for paint and filler to shrink......next time i will scuff with 320 and 400 grit and reshoot.....but thats many months from now at least

    Now, i will slowly start to reassemble the bass, not that its that difficult, but i am eliminatng a pickguard for now and need to figure out how to mount an output jack without being onvasive.

    Thanks for following!
     
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  16. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Lemme know if you need a pick guard... I made the tort one on the restored bass above and still have the pattern. Could crank one out without a pickup cutout as well...

    -robert
     
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  17. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Thanks for the offer! Are we positive all the pickguards are identical on MM basses?

    Soo...i pulled the chrome pot/jack plate off of my 65 Musicmaster II and believe it or not, 2 of the screw holes align on the 72 MM bass body!

    No doubt it was cost saving to make the pickguard all one piece on the MM basses rather than the separate metal pot and jack plate.....but the stock MM bass guard looks cool and tort would look great on a black MM bass body

    I do love tort guards on Fenders....amazing how they seem to go with most any color..... same with the faded mint green look, though some vintage Fenders the pickguard can look more like sort of a very pale grayish mint green....the modern mint green guards are sometimes a bit much.
     
  18. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    If you're still thinking along the line of using a PG, I have one from WD Custom Pickguards (made in America) shown as SKU:MMB6007 in Red White and Red still new in the unopened bag. It was part of the bundle on the MM that I got last December. Looks like they sell for about $40. I can do a pic if you want. I didn't use it on my redo since I also had the original guard.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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