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Old 05-05-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
bigmarky
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Fender MusicMaster Bass

what is the story on these, any good?
they are pretty old like 20yrs ago

what is a good price range, fleabay says 800 but thers no way ppl pay 800 for em
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:28 PM   #2
Din of Win
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I love all basses short scale.

I've played quite a few Musicmasters.


Real talk:

-I wouldn't pay more than $600 USD for one in really good condition.
-They neck dive pretty badly.
-They sound like a thumpy P bass.
-They have a really nice bridge.
-Direct musicmaster pickup replacements are hella expensive (lookin at YOU Aero pickups).
-A lot of really good indie-pop/twee/shoegaze bassists used them in the 80's and 90's, so they have a LOT of 'cool' points.


-In the early 90's Squire had a line called the Vista series. One of the basses they made was a Squire Musicmaster... and it ABSOLOUTELY slays the older Fender version... string through bridge, better balance, AWESOME pickup, better color options. These are saught after... but dumb sellers just see 'Squire' and they can go for as low as $100... but once put on ebay they can get up to $700.


-A brand new $150 Squire Bronco is a better balanced bass. With a pickup swap, it's a better sounding bass, with one of THEE best short scale necks on the market. Here's me and mine ($70 bass + $70 in a new pickup/pots/knobs)




So, unless you can get the Musicmaster in the much more doable $400-$500 range, it's not worth it unless you're a collector. For $800, you're better off with a Mustang RI, or an 80's short scale Bullet Bass.

Hope it helps some!
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Last edited by Din of Win : 05-05-2011 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
bigmarky
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thanks for the info, wasn't expecting that much good info =D
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:10 PM   #4
c.supanova
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Whats the main differences between a Musicmaster and a Mustang?
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.supanova
Whats the main differences between a Musicmaster and a Mustang?

Different pickguard/control plate, different bridge, IIRC different tuning pegs, and a different pickup. Fender introduced the Musicmaster as a cheap student model, made with surplus Mustang bodies and Stratocaster pickups.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:08 AM   #7
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i see.. I thought Mustang's were also student tier guitars? Or were both Muscimasters and Mustang's in the same level amongst students? I tried to find a Musicmaster but it's impossible to buy a one without a hefty price tag. Ended up with a Mustang lol
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
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I really want a bronco, and I do have a mustang MIJ, very thumpy bass, I cannot get it to sound aggressive without fuzz, maybe a string change will change that (got the strings it came with used still on there after a year). That said I agree with din, short scales are great, but the old music masters are just cheap student models, in the end you are paying top dollar for some of Leo's leftovers. a bronco used, is a bass begging for mods.

on the subject anyone know if the short scale sound is in the scale or the pickups being used? would a regular p bass pickup or j pickups make a short scale sound more aggressive?
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:19 AM   #9
c.supanova
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askere, you make some fair points. I have a MIJ Mustang bass too. While I'm not a bass expert, i've been told the Mustang has a similar tone to a P-bass, just slightly less defined.

As for short scale pickups, I think there's hardly any option to upgrade/replace the stock pickups, as far as Mustang's go - which is a shame for such a great bass. I've read Musicmasters are customizable in this regard.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.supanova
i see.. I thought Mustang's were also student tier guitars? Or were both Muscimasters and Mustang's in the same level amongst students? I tried to find a Musicmaster but it's impossible to buy a one without a hefty price tag. Ended up with a Mustang lol

The Musicmaster guitar was first introduced as a student model, along with the Duo Sonic (IIRC in '56 but I could be wrong on that), and the Mustang guitar joined '64 when the whole student line got updated. The Mustang bass came around in '66, and then they started making the Musicmaster bass in the early '70s as a budget bass. Basically the Mustang bass was the companion for the Mustang guitar, which was the fanciest of the cheaper short scale models. Then they started making the Musicmaster bass out of leftover parts as a budget version, since they didn't have anything like Squier yet.
/history lesson

I see old ones crop up for like $400 or so. I'd really like to get my hands on one, or a Mustang RI, but my budget is pointing more in the direction of a Bronco in the future.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #11
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The new squire VM short-scale Jag looks lush...with a p and a j pickup config to boot
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:28 PM   #12
askrere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.supanova
askere, you make some fair points. I have a MIJ Mustang bass too. While I'm not a bass expert, i've been told the Mustang has a similar tone to a P-bass, just slightly less defined.

As for short scale pickups, I think there's hardly any option to upgrade/replace the stock pickups, as far as Mustang's go - which is a shame for such a great bass. I've read Musicmasters are customizable in this regard.


Yea, I'd say less defined P bass might be a perfect description thump! vs thuhmp?. While effects, tube amp over drive, strings, and style can do a lot to tone, through my solid state amp my p bass and Jazz could on their own provide if need be an aggressive tone. My mustang cannot or will not.

Mustang reissues have a seymour duncan pickup, their site sells a mustang type, but I do not know if they are the same, also aero sells one, but mine suits me fine. Musicmasters due to lucky cheapness have a strat sized hole in them. so with zero invasive modification, you can put a rail pickup or lipstick pickup or expensive direct replacements as Din mentioned. Also, you can convert them into mustangs, or if invasive is ok by you, skies the limit.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:36 PM   #13
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I just came in possession of one... it is really thumpy. That or the strings are really dead (actually they are). They have medium/full length strings in it, though I dunno if that has anything to do with a muted sounding E/A string or the dead notes on the 13th fret of the A and D string?

A few hours later...

Ok good thing I save my old strings. The originals were more dead than disco. It seemed to help the really buzzy 13th fret area as mentioned before... I used my Ernie Ball Super Slinky .40-.95s and it sounds great (though the E strings was hard as hell to get on, since I had to obviously clip the strings really short).

All in all, I feel really happy with the bass now.
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