NBD - Project 1973 Musicmaster Bass - opinions welcome

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassistjoe93, Feb 16, 2022.

  1. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Bought a 1973 Musicmaster Body and Neck from a friend of mine for $100. Needs a ton of work but I love a good long term project. It needs everything - tuners (1 is missing the paddle head, the others are fine, but good luck finding one replacement tuner that isnt a ton of money), pickup, bridge, a refin (thinking shell pink).

    I have some questions I guess for people who are interested in this type of thing. Im thinking of making it a copy of Nick Campbell's musicmaster bass. He has a Gold Foil guitar pickup in the neck. Its a really cool sound. Curtis Novak makes a similar pickup, as do many people, so I guess im looking for a few things things,

    1) opinions on the pickup?
    2) opinions on where to find parts like the tuners?
    3) opinions on a refin color? Or leave it beat like it is?

    IMG_6953.jpg IMG_6810.PNG
    Gold Foil: GT-V
    blacktocomm and Murch like this.
  2. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Cool Project. Really liking the pickup combination in Campbells bass, the GoldFoil with what looks like a Jazzmaster pup at the bridge. I like the idea of leaving it be, myself, but you can never go wrong with shell pink. I think there is a Musicmaster group somewhere in the forum here. I'd seek that out and see if anyone can help you out on some spare parts.
  3. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    WI Short Scaler likes this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    You have good taste my friend, Campbells bass sounds awesome!
    bassistjoe93 likes this.
  5. Cool price at $100, gotta start with that. I'd give you $101 for it :laugh:

    Love my Musicmaster bass even if the thicker neck needed to be swapped for something thinner to accommodate arthritis in my old hands.

    I believe that on these original MM basses the tuners were the same as used on the full size Fenders so maybe that will open up search possibilities for tuners, but much more likely they'd be the clover shape than the paddle type you have there. And I put a Squier MM bridge on my Fender and love the string through approach. Also a tough find though. I had a Hipshot on a Bronco body and that was nice though. Reverb has been my spot for finding parts lately and with the world's shipping issues these days used is probably faster. You may even find a vintage wire harness but if not Wainwright guitars on Reverb will do about any configuration you need/want at a good price, I've gotten a couple from them.

    As for the pickup, no experience here with the gold foil. But if you're talking something similar to the one pictured with the 2nd pickup than I'd be of no help. I put a Sentell bass pickup in my MM body, overwound to 8.6k and same style magnets as the original Vista Tone pickup in my Squier Musicmaster, around $90. No body routing needed and I love the sound. If you look around you'll see many people singing the praises of those VT pickups.

    As for a refin, my vote is yes. Going against Keith Richards' statement that "your guitar shouldn't look like your mom just bought it for you that morning" I like shiny and bright. Shell pink would not be my choice but if it's yours it would be an improvement over what's there now.

    I've had luck with both WD Pickguards and Pickguard Planet for pickguards. Though between those two P planet has many more color options.

    There is a Musicmaster club, link below, with lots of folks who are smarter than me. I can only weigh in on what I've found with my MM basses. Best of luck :thumbsup:

    Th Official Fender Musicmaster Bass Club
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2022
  6. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Thank you for the response!! I’ve been checking reverb for parts, but they’re hard to find or expensive. The tuners are problematic - the posts are extremely thin. They moved to the clover tuners in the late 70’s but the holes for the paddle tuners are so thin that replacements are difficult to find. I really only need one tuner so I guess I’m hoping one comes up for sale somewhere lol
    WI Short Scaler likes this.
  7. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Wanted to update this thread. I came to a stopping point! Bought a bronco guard, a Curtis Novak Goldfoil and found an old musicmaster bridge on reverb. I also found some old Hipshot ultralights in a drawer that ended up working well. Sounds really cool.

    I might refinish this later when I don’t live in an apartment, but I really love this worn out/faded blue-green.