I just finished putting this gorgeous little bass together. I love the Fender Musicmaster Bass and actually use a red 1974 example with flatwounds live with my band. I purchased this one as a project about a year and a half ago, intending to use it with round-wounds for a more snarly sound.
This is a very early example of a Musicmaster Bass - probably one of the first handful produced, with a June 1971 neck date - and a VERY RARE pearl pickguard. By late 1971, all the Musicmaster Basses had switched to a 3-ply white guard. I have seen pictures of two other Musicmaster Basses with the pearlguards, and from the way its shaped, aged and the markings on the back, its obvious this is the original guard.
The neckplate is original, with the serial number being #311340, which is correct for 1971.
The body was in rough shape when I got it - poorly done spray can finish in medium blue, but after careful sanding, I got most of the multitude of refins off the wood and found traces of the original Daphne Blue finish in the neck pocket.
I refinished the body using Daphne Blue nitrocellulose, without any clearcoat, as the Musicmasters I have had skipped this step (they were entry-level instruments). The color will yellow and darken slightly over the years, but it won't turn green like on a 1960's Daphne Blue P-bass or Strat.
The body had some foolishness around the pickup route - its visible in the picture below. A little bit of a mystery since the original pickup was in the bass when I got it. Who knows?
The bass also had one non-original tuner - from a Rickenbacker 4001 apparently ? - I found a proper replacement tuner in my parts drawer, but had to dowel and redrill the hole for the A-string tuner, which unfortunately is visible since there are no tuner ferrules on this instrument. That being said, the neck is in excellent condition with the original frets and what appears to be the original nut.
The only replaced parts on the instrument are:
- tone and volume pots and the capacitor
- output jack
- one knob appears to be a replacement
- screws holding down the pickguard
- the screws holding on the neck are replacements as the originals were stripped and one was bent
Everything else - bridge, pickup, neckplate, guard, strap buttons, etc. - is original.
The bass sounds and feels great - sometimes I think these little basses are louder than my P-bass - but without of the sorta out-of-control loudness of a Mustang Bass. Total weight on this bass is roughly 7 1/2 lbs.
No case is included, though I believe I have a gig bag for it somewhere.