$325 US at Guitar Center, Albany NY USA,
without bag, strap, or etc. I was just
looking for some cables but I got this
instead. They didn't have the cables.
It's a 30" Fender base with the easy to
play friendly feeling fender neck, not
too slim not too thick. These are also
very easy to hot rod, and their value
as "vintage Fender" is so minimal that
hotrodding is fiscally painless.
I enjoy its simplicity, it emanates an
"anti-gearhead" vibe [if you're a real
serious gearhead, it might attack you].
Output is modest, bottom is far from huge
[but it's not a twangy ax, just has sort
of a narrow sound spectrum].
Access to the few high frets is not great.
Unlike most 30" basses, it doesn't fit in
most guitar-sized bags or cases.
Output jack on the pickguard is the best
way to avoid damage to the pickguard [P-
bass arrangement, very commonly seen].
It's 30 yrs old. Pots work cleanly, stays
in tune, neck is good, few tiny hints of
finish checking. Bridge not so shiny any
more, 3-ply pickguard holding up well, an
overall very durable ax.
Rosewood fretboard on maple neck [no skunk
stripe] with rod access at the body. Four
bolt joint with plate. Opaque finish over
Mystery Forest Product body, about medium
weight for its size.
Big-eared old-style Fender tuners with fat
pegs. Stamped bridge with two adjustable
saddles [each carries 2 strings].
Two control knobs, neither of which has
much effect [I play it through an outboard
The essense of this ax is its simplicity
and its easy-playing 30" scale. It's for
rather bassic bassmanship. Don't play it
to show off. Play it to discipline your
work on bassics. Tone is classic but not
huge, so enhancement may be needed for
most performance situations. I also play
an MIJ Mustang re-issue, essentially very
similar but a bit better than these old
Musicmasters. However the Musicmaster is
cheaper to buy and has more "character".
I also play a hotrodded Musicmaster and I
highly recommend that route as well.
Adirondack Strings, Albany NY, $280 with
molded hard case. I had been checking out a few other Musicmasters, looking for a
good shortscale bass but others were all
$375 to $475, mediocre condition, no case.
This one is in great shape, but cheaper
because of non-Fender components. One of
those components is a BadAss II, which I
would have surely installed anyway, so it
saved me an extra $60. The other is a
[Dimarzio?] Jazz PU which I probably would not have added due to the extra expense of
routing the body to fit it [Musicmasters
normally have a very small single coil].
It's solid, not flyweight but easy on the
shoulder. The 30" scale neck is very
comfortable and easy to play. Sounds great
too, but that just says it's a suitable chassis for hotrodding [since it's not all
"vintage" original.] It has no neck-dive.
It's also more compact than a big Fender
and has a "chunky" body shape that says
"Generic retro-look" more than it says
"Fender classic". I like that.
I also enjoy the refreshing simplicity of two-knob, single PU 4-string.
The E-string peg is so close to the nut
that even with 30" scale strings, some of
the main winding will wrap onto the peg.
The pegs are skinny, not typical Fender
fat pegs which would minimize the problem.
I added a custom-made tailpiece behind the
bridge and now the winding doesn't even
get near the peg.
Only 19 frets !!!
Even though it's a short scale bass, it's
an inch or two too long to fit in a guitar
gigbag [most other shorties fit just fine].
Tuners are weird, pegs riding [and wearing] directly against the holes in the wood [no
metal collars]. The original bridge for this model is pretty trashy. However the
original PU [in the 3 examples I played but
never bought] sounds very good and the body
and neck seem well made. The finish is nothing fancy but it has lasted on mine
[other examples were less well-kept]. It
has no annoying fret-ends along the edge of
neck. It's front-routed and the neck rod
adjusts at the body. I had to put 3 small washers under the rod nut to reduce excess
relief but the neck isn't twisted or humped.
Since mine is hot-rodded, I can only say
that it's comfortable and easy to play,
looks retro-cool, and is a good foundation
for hot-rodding. From the "vintage" ones
I've never bought, I can tell you that some
examples are overpriced, and that some will
sound better than others. Generally the
older ones will sound better. I think it's because the bodies are thicker [I've seen
and played them side-by-side]. The basic
voice of every Musicmaster I've played is
is deep bass, no "piano tones", but with
a pleasant tone to the upper midrange too.
I'm rating it a "4" because, for all it's
shortcomings, it's a reliable, easy to play
ax that sounds just right.
Made in the USA in 1971, bridge and hardware "roots" Fender short scale neck, stratocaster type microphone (yes, really!), Volume and tone.
The neck is perfect, right, fine, very enjoyable to play. It is a lightweight and well balanced as well. The sound is very similar to a Precision Bass good roots.
I mounted flat nets and I use a pop-rock project for which she seems to have been invented. As stated above, we get a sound close to a PB but with the short scale neck and lightweight which makes it easier to play than its big sister. I play plugged into a combo markbass cmd121, or, and there is a pure happiness in an amplifier 320 and its Acoustic Acoustic baffle 408. For lovers of vintage sounds, this coupling and enjoyable!
I've had almost a year, I like the handle, ergonomics and sound. I paid a bit expensive (1000EUR) but it is a model of 1971, completely original, in very good condition with an ultra limited color: blue sequin. Only 1000 copies were produced in summers that color!