Fender Musicmaster Bass – USA 1978

by Fender

$1,695.00 20087

The Fender Musicmaster Bass was produced by Fender between 1971 and 1981.

As with its six-string counterpart, which was a stripped-down version of the Fender Mustang, the Musicmaster Bass is a simpler version of the Mustang Bass. It features a short 30” (762 mm) scale. All of the Musicmaster's electronics are mounted onto a single piece plastic pickguard.

Like many of Fender's other budget-priced guitars, the Musicmaster Bass used many surplus parts from other Fender models. The bodies were leftover Fender Mustang Bass bodies, while the pickups were six-pole guitar pickups, rather than four-pole bass pickups.

The Musicmaster Bass was discontinued along with all of Fender's budget-priced models in 1981, with the introduction of the Squier brand. 

This short-scale classic is simple as can be with one pickup, one volume knob & one tone knob.

One piece maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays, 19 frets, original tuning keys. This short-scale model has a scale length of 30.25” and the nut width is 1 9/16”.

Chrome hardware shows some expected mild tarnishing, but everything works as it should. Original tuning keys, original chrome bridge. This instrument still has the original logo and “MUSICMASTER BASS” sticker, which is sometimes worn off. Also present is the often missing thumb-rest.

This bass plays just fine – the action is medium low & the neck plays evenly in all positions.

Weight: 9.15 lbs.

Originally labelled a student guitar due to their short scale length and compact body, in recent time these basses have enjoyed renewed popularity. Today, vintage Musicmaster basses are becoming very desirable as a practical, easy playing instrument that has that vintage mojo, without the price tag of many comparable vintage Fender models. 

This Musicmaster is finished in the classic Fender custom colour of Olympic White and it looks like it has had some touch ups in places, although they are very hard to see.

The offset double cutaway ash body shows some wear here and there but nothing offensive.  The neck is super clean front and back and the maple displays some lovely birds eye figuring in places. The original frets show no wear.

This is not a bass with a big and ballsy sound. There’s a reason for that - Musicmaster basses were built with guitar pickups. Kinda hard to know this because the six pole pieces are hidden under their plastic cover. It's the same pickup used in Duo-sonic and Mustang guitars.

But it’s still a good bass sound – punchy and bright, with a nice midrange that pokes through on stage and in recordings. For many, including high profile players such as Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads), Jim O'Rourke and Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) and Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), it’s a bass sound that’s just right.

The 30" scale is handy for guitarists who occasionally need to cover on bass. And of course, it’s the perfect instrument for female bass compatriots who don’t wanna tangle with the rather larger dimensions of a Fender P or J Bass.

This one comes as is - no case.


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