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What to look for in a Fender Musicmaster

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Din Of Win, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Hello everyone!

    While i've recently been mentioning how i haven't bought a new bass in over a year (which is my longest streak in about 15 years)... GAS has, yet again, reared it's head.

    I've owned plenty'a short scale over the years... but i recently have been bit by a want for a Fender Musicmaster.

    However, i seem to recall some (possibly false) information about how some years/colors denoted a lesser quality than others. Is this true?

    Also, what's a good price-point? Deals happen, sure... but even the e-bay rates have a huge gap... from $800-$1300...

    Finally... i AM fairly tempted to look into the new Fender Pawn Shop Mustang. Knowing that those are $800, and would come with a warranty, would that be a better buy?

    I love the mini-split P Mustangs, but it's not what i want right now...

  2. bassdog


    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    I've had a few and gave my son an all orig. '73 about 9 yrs ago. No way are those $800-1300. More like $500-to 800 maybe. They are collectible but not particularly valuable. I bought the '73 for $350 and would try to get maybe $600 now but that might be a stretch. Mustangs are better basses all around.

  3. Yes. The Sunburst/Rosewood I find particularly attractive:


    I own 2 Musicmasters, 6 pole guitar pickups, noisy electronics, poor fit and finish (about what you would expect from a low-end/economy bass built from excess parts). If you want a Musicmaster just get a Bronco, way less money and likely a better sounding and manufactured instrument.
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have a 74' the shop wanted $500.00 for it but we worked out a deal and some trades and I own her now. It was olympic white but is now nic yellow. It is a very cool bass with deep tone that allot of Musicmasters lacked but not mine.

    I played it at my last show and it thumped all night long.
  5. The Mustang, whether Pawn Shop or Squier, is a far better value IMO. You gotta remember that those 70s MMs were the low end of Fender's low end.

    If you're really hard for a MM, the Squier Vista Series blew the Fenders out of the water by all measures. Again, IMO.
  6. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004

    I have to agree ..I had a 70s fender mmaster and it was not impressive at all. Great to learn on but that's about it.
  7. What to look for in a Fender Musicmaster? The exit!
  8. droskobass


    Oct 8, 2007
    Montreal, Canada
    Former Part-Time, Non-Commission Employee MOOG Audio
    Made from 71 to 81 originally available in blue and white eventually black
    have a single strat style guitar pickup. the earlier ones had tiny tuning pegs, later went to lager ones (that can accommodate regular gage strings)

    The street on these should be 450-659. any more and your in the Mustang territory which is considered a better bass all 'round.

    neither is very collectable but a mint condition 66 racing stripe Mustang can fetch 1500-1800. late 60's to 70's 'stangs 800-1200.

    just my 2 cents
  9. I second that. You can get a Squier Musicmaster Vista for $150-$300 and if you don't like it you shouldn't have any trouble selling it for the same price. The problem is finding one. They only made them for one year.

  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Oh come on man they are fun and cool lil basses. Mine sets up very well and plays and sounds great. I also own a surf green 97' Squier Vista MM which really rocks but both are great.

    OK I will argee the new Squier and Fender models are a better way to go if you can't find a 90's Vista but the older 70's MM are cool...really!
  11. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Los Angeles California
    Phew alot of MM haters.

    I think there awesome basses , when you find a good one. Just like fenders of the 70's they have some lemons, but a good MM is a fun bass and frankly I think they sound more "tubby" then a P bass and have a unique tone.

    As others have said there prices for one in decent shape rnage from $500-$800. The difference between buying one of these and a new mustang ias as soon as you get the mustang it drops in resell value. If you buy a MM for a good price you can always resell it for that, or possibly more money as thye have really went up in value lately.
  12. Hey Gang!

    Thanks for the replies! I'm actually a huge fan of Broncos and Vista Musicmasters. While i sold my Vista a few years back (dumb!), i still use my modded Bronco:


    My thing is... lame as it may be... i want a "FENDER" short scale. As i said, i don't really like the mini-split P... so, i'm weighing my options between a Musicmaster and a Pawn Shop Mustang! This one, in particular:

  13. Nice looking Mustang, whatever you finally choose enjoy!
  14. On Fleabay, they're not going for less than $250 if they're in any kind of reasonable condition. Still, an awesome shorty.

    Not lame! Fender shorties just have that kind of vibe. Resistance is futile.
  15. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Tubby is a good way to describe the Fender MM tone. I have short scale chromes on mine and it has a very deep bass tone kind of like a P....."tubby" and fat.

    The old pots were shot in mine and I put in a 78' P bass wiring harness with one cap. The original circuit had two caps the extra to bleed off more treble from the guitar pup.

    A little while back I played this bass at a cool hip club and the bartender who was also a bass player asked me if the 74' was all original and was it a stock pup. When I told him the pup was stock he was surprised and said it was very full sounding for a MM.
  16. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA

    I love my Squier MM Vista, almost as much as my CIJ Mustang RI.
  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    The Vista neck feels more like a P bass neck and it is made very well. The pup is a monster, very loud for a small bass.
  18. As i said, i am still kicking myself for off-ing mine.
  19. I'm glad you can empathize!

    I've owned many'a shorty... Squier, Ibanez, Danelectro, Teisco, Gretsch, Univox, and Eastwood...

    But i just want that Fender mojo that sincerely exists, and that i absolutely can not explain.