NGD: Pre-CBS Fender Musicmaster Partscaster (partly made from vintage parts)

Urban

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Well, the new guitar day was two days ago actually, but I wanted to do a video which took me some time. Anyway, I was thinking what's the most affordable option to own a genuine pre-CBS Fender guitar and I started to look for a Musicmaster and Duo Sonic models which can still be quite expensive, so I decided to get some vintage parts and combine it with some modern parts as I wanted a players guitar and I could live if parts like pickguard and knobs aren't vintage.

So I tracked down a 1963 Musicmaster neck locally as I remembered a few years ago my guitar tech made a full scale replacement neck for a costumer that couldn't get used to the short scale. After contacting the costumer he said he's willing to sell it as it's been sitting in the corner since the replacement. It has original tuners, nut, string tree and probably even the frets. I initially wanted a maple neck, but I don't mind the veneer rosewood.

The biggest expense was a 1959/60 Musicmaster/Duo Sonic body, that I couldn't get locally and the sellers in EU weren't too responsive so I ordered it from the US which was quite an expense due to shipping and import costs, but still an ok price for me.

For now I went with a DiMarzio Virtual Vintage 54 pickup that sounds pretty good and it's hum-cancelling which I really appreciate. Vintage pickup would be perfect, but I can still change it later. I love the simple one pickup option as I play the neck pickup almost all the time anyway.

Other parts (pickguard, knobs...) are aftermarket.

 

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jayyj

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Excellent, well done and looks great! I love these super short scale Fenders, they're very pretty guitars and they have their own sound.

I did a similar project about ten years ago that somehow accidentally end up being two guitars! I bought a player grade late 50s Duo Sonic that was dirt cheap but turned out to be a partscaster with a '58 neck and a refinished later body, probably a '63-'64 as there were traces of Olympic white in the neck pocket and pickup routs but definitely not a 50s body. I started refinishing the body but while between coats spotted a body on Ebay listed as a '57 still in the original desert sand, so I bought that and mated it to the '58 neck. That left me with a spare early 60s body, so I went out looking for necks and found a '63 Musicmaster neck to go with it. I had a neat little pile of parts going already so it was easy enough to build two complete guitars out of them. The pickups on my Duo are modern boutiques, the Musicmaster has an old Japanese Mustang pickup in it. They both sound great and I don't miss the bridge pickup with the Musicmaster at all, the neck pickup is plenty bright enough.

These days I keep one of mine tuned to G rather than E and the other tuned mostly in fifths like a tenor guitar.
 

Urban

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Very cool, jayyj! I assume they were much cheaper 10 years ago, yes. Feel free to post any pictures!
 

Telekarster

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That's neat man!!! Congrats! She looks great! I've always wanted to do that. Rockin' in Slovenia! Cool!!! :cool:
 

archetype

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Is your '63 neck for the 22 1/2" scale, or is '63 late enough that it's the optional 24" scale?

I miss my '57 Musicmaster, sometimes. It had a narrow, very hard V-profile neck, and the fattest, gnarlyist, most outrageous Fender single coil I've ever heard.
 

jayyj

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Is your '63 neck for the 22 1/2" scale, or is '63 late enough that it's the optional 24" scale?

I miss my '57 Musicmaster, sometimes. It had a narrow, very hard V-profile neck, and the fattest, gnarlyist, most outrageous Fender single coil I've ever heard.

The option for a 24" scale came late in 1964, at the same time the bodies were changed to what we now think of as the Mustang shape.
 

Urban

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jayyj, they look amazing. I love the mint color!

RobRiggs, yes, for a Fender that was the cheapest way for me to get one. There are still some great affordable guitars, I love my 1961 Harmony Stratotone.
 

uriah1

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Love the early necks.
 

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