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1973 Fender Musicmaster bass

Short scale solid body electric bass

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass with Fender Bassman 100 amplifier
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass with Fender Bassman 100 amplifier
Model: 1973 Fender Musicmaster
Pickups: One single coil
Scale: 30"
Body: Alder body, polyester finish
Neck: Maple neck. Rosewood fingerboard. 19 frets. Bolt-on, four screws.
Hardware: Open gear tuning keys. 1 volume and tone control. Chrome hardware throughout.
Weight: 3.16 kg
Listen: (more)

The Fender Musicmaster bass was a new instrument for the 1970s, being launched in the second half of the first year of the decade. The bass pictured is completely typical example of an early Musicmaster. Have a look at the 1972 Fender catalogue, which has an almost identical guitar pictured. The only real difference is the position of the thumbrest, but then, this catalogue does re-use the image from the 1970 catalogue - the first appearance of the Fender Musicmaster bass.

The Musicmaster was Fender's least expensive bass model (in 1973, it had a list price of $139.50, compared to $293.50 for the Precision), and with the shorter 30" was scale perfect for student musicians. It was an easy-playing good quality, solid, reliable bass. Although very simple, it does have some sturdy components, especially the bridge, and was certainly a more substantial instrument than many other 'entry-level' basses.

Although a good functioning bass, it could perhaps be considered a little limited tonally, having only one single-coil pickup. This was scratchplate mounted in a fairly central position, resulting in a pretty gritty midrange sound (listen to soundclips here) with just the usual tone and one volume controls to give a little variation - for the right band how much more would you need?

Fender Musicmaster bass - pickup detail
Fender Musicmaster bass - bridge detail
Fender Musicmaster bass control knobs
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass control knobs - this bass is very simple having just one volume and one tone control.
Fender Musicmaster bass neckplate
The 4-bolt neckplate has the serial number and large 'F' logo impressed into it. The serial number dates this bass to 1973
Fender Musicmaster bass rosewood fingerboard
The Musicmaster fingerboard is typically rosewood, with faux pearl dot inlays
Fender Musicmaster bass logo
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass headstock details. The Fender logo is a decal, as is usual with Fender guitars.
Fender Musicmaster open gear machine heads
The Musicmaster bass was fitted with lightweight open-gear tuning keys, held in place with three screws.
Fender Musicmaster bass headstock
The headstock layout, with four-in-a-row tuners and string guide, is typical of all Fender bass guitars.
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass - unloaded body
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass body without hardware. Note the simple routing, and original unfaded finish colour in the centre of the body.
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass neck code detail
The butt end of the neck holds the truss rod adjustment nut (the neck must be removed to make adjustments) and neck codes. These codes have certain inconsistencies at this time, but this code D700 3512 probably translates as follows: D7 = Musicmaster bass, 00 = rosewood fretboard, 35 = week 35, 1 = Monday, 2 = 1972
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass - neck pocket
The neck pocket markings are illegible in this example, but the body wood (probably alder in this case) is clearly visible.
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass potentiometers with codes
The potentiometers are accessible by removing the basses scratchplate. Codes on the reverse (1377329) show that these pots were made by CTS (137) in the 29th week of 1973.
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass - pickup underside
The underside of the Musicmaster bass pickup
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass neck heel
Individual workers and inspectors at the Fender plant left signatures on the neck heel.

Fender Musicmaster bass video clips

Subscribe to the vintageguitarandbass youtube channel for more vintage guitar and bass demos. Also, check out the other Fender Musicmaster videos (different amps, different settings) in the supporting members area.

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass DI (3m 51s)

This is a lovely playing bass. It's got that nice solid Fender feel, but with an easy playing 30.5" scale. I've got it strung with flats for that retro feel, and it sounds and plays great. This video showcases the bass played fingerstyle and with a pick, with tone on full, about half way, and turned right down. When playing through an amp I tend not to use the tone control much (i'd probably turn up the bass a little on the amp - check out my video of this bass through an Ampeg B15) but in a DI situation, a little tweaking of the tone control adds some gorgeous roundness to the overall sound. Maybe too refined for all you punk rockers out there, but I love it.

Recorded through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended!

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass / 1973 WEM Dominator Bass MK 1 - Short Version (short version, 4m 31s)

Find out more about this amp here 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

The WEM Dominator bass is a superb sounding British tube amp from Watkins.. it's got plenty of bass, and growls beautifully when volume gets past about half way. A wide tonal palette with plenty of useable sounds. Paired here with a 1973 Fender Musicmaster; a cool 30 1/2" scale bass, at the time inexpensive, but with the usual Fender build quality and a quick easy playing feel. This one is fitted with flats, but the WEM gives plenty of treble with the controls positioned accordingly. Watch the long version of this video in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area, to hear a bit more of this bass / amp under different settings.

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass / 1973 WEM Dominator Bass MK 1 - vintage guitar demo, long version (long version, 9m 46s)

Find out more about this amp here 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

Long version of this video with extra bass settings. This is a great bass/amp combination with a tone all of its own. Compare this video with the others on this site - ie with the bass DI'd and through an early 1960s Ampeg Portaflex B15.

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass / 1964 Ampeg B15 - vintage guitar demo (8m 57s)

Find out more about this amp here 1964 Ampeg B-15N

The Ampeg B15 is an absolute classic amplifier, famous for its clean midrange output: there's little snarl, and certainly no fuzz, but the clean tones are magnificent! Contrast the sounds of this amp with those from the WEM Dominator also featured on this site

Strung with Fender flats

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

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1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass Guitar Shortscale Short Scale Bass

1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass Guitar Shortscale Short Scale Bass

Austin, Texas, 787**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Great condition, purchased at Main Drag Music in 2011 or 12. Wonderful sound, no issues of any kind... more
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Vintage 1975 Fender Musicmaster Bass Red With Original Case

Vintage 1975 Fender Musicmaster Bass Red With Original Case



Vintage original 1975 Fender Muicmaster Bass in original red finish
Bass is remarkably clean and plays great
Neck is straight and plays without buzz or issue, and the original pickup is warm and strong. A killer recording bass.
A perfect example for the player and collector alike
Completely original with super cool original case!
Guitar is exactly as pictured.
Buyer pays $125 shipping in the USA, $150 to Hawaii or Alaska, $400 International, $450 to Australia
Pay ... more
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Fender Musicmaster Bass 1970s Refinished Silver with OHSC and Case Candy.

Fender Musicmaster Bass 1970s Refinished Silver with OHSC and Case Candy.

Las Vegas, Nevada, 891**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Here we have an early 70s Fender Musicmaster bass that has been professionally refinished in silver
It plays great and includes all of the original parts. The pickguard, volume pot and pickup have been replaced. The original pickup works great but I preferred the Seymour duncan that has replaced it. The volume pot unfortunately was accidentally broken and has a disconnected shaft. The original owner replaced the pickguard with a reproduction because of damage as shown to the original ... more
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Vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Anchorage, Alaska, 995**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is my ?78 Musicmaster bass. The short scale neck feels great in hand and is a joy to play. Comes shipped with LaBella flat wound strings for that fantastic old school vibe.
Condition is good overall with some minor flaws due to age. Plays and sounds great and is all original
This vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass guitar is a true gem for any musician.
Feel free to message any questions you may have. Thank you for checking out my post.... more
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1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass Vintage Short Scale

1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass Vintage Short Scale

Miami, Florida, 331**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


All original 1971 fender music Master bass black. It does not look like anything on this bass has been replaced as far as I can tell. Will also come with the original chip case. Sounds good. Last owner had the action high but can be lowered. If I was in the market for a short scale bass like a mustang or something similar. I would buy this instead .lots of vintage vibe. Probably better action. Obviously lots of scuffs and stuff but again original paint job
... more
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1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass Olympic White

1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass Olympic White

San Diego, California, 921**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass In Olympic White Finish
This Bass Is Located At IVG Burbank
In Very Good Overall Condition (Please See Photos)
Finish Shows Checking And Some Cosmetic Playwear Including Various, Marks, Dings Throughout
Replaced Lace Sensor Pickup
Added Thumb Rest
4 Extra Thumb Rest Holes On Body As Shown
Made In Fullerton, CA
Poplar Body With Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish
Maple Neck With Rosewood Fingerboard And Pearloid Dot Inlays
Original ... more
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VINTAGE 1975 Fender Musicmaster Bass (831)

VINTAGE 1975 Fender Musicmaster Bass (831)

Pikeville, Kentucky, 415**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Physical Condition
This bass is in great condition, and while it's been played over the years, this bass is in solid condition with only some moderate wear. Most notably, there small bumps, dings, scratches, and scuffs all over the body and neck in various spots. The body finish has yellowed up over time, and some spots have darkened up more than others. Neither of the strap buttons are original. The pickguard and hardware have some scratches, and the hardware has some notable tarnishing ... more
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1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass Vintage Short Scale Daphne Blue

1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass Vintage Short Scale Daphne Blue

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass in perfect working order, finished in Daphne Blue. A first year example of the Musicmaster Bass model, this bass is 100% original save for a modern volume pot. The original gray bobbin single coil pickup delivers focused upper midrange, treble growl and present, taut low end. Featherweight at 6lbs 7oz, this bass has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike??s Guitar Bar with 45-105 roundwound strings, easy-playing action, and accurate intonation ... more
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Vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass Cherry 1978

Vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass Cherry 1978

Brookfield, Wisconsin, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass Cherry 1978
A true vintage beauty with an ultra cool look & vibe. The neck is very comfortable & plays great up & down the fretboard. Professionally set up & ready to play straight out of the case
Cosmetic Condition: Various nicks, chips, dents & dings; scratches & pick wear. There's an extra screw hole towards the base of the neck from a previous strap ... more
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Vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Vintage Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Weatogue, Connecticut, 060**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Fender 1978 Musicmaster Electric Bass. Great Condition! Original case, paper work, and strap This bass has minor wear for the vintage and all components in excellent condition. This bass has not been played much! Neck and fretboard are in mint condition.... more
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VINTAGE 1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass (195)

VINTAGE 1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass (195)

Pikeville, Kentucky, 415**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Physical Condition
This bass is in good condition, and while it's seen a few miles, this bass is in solid condition with only some moderate wear. Most notably, there some light scratches, scuffs, and some stray bumps and dings on the neck and body here and there. The pickguard and hardware have some scratches, and the hardware has some notable tarnishing. The lower corner of the pickguard has broken off at some point and another larger screw has been added to secure the end of the ... more
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Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Wien, 1***, AUSTRIA


Verkaufe Musicmaster Bass aus 1978.
Klingt sehr good und ist leicht zu spielen wegen short scale. Ich habe Thomastik short scale drauf. Klingen wirklich geil!Schauen Sie meine andere vintage bass Angebote!As is, keine garantie etc .
Versand 99EUR
Viel Spaß!... more
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1978 Fender USA Musicmaster Vintage Bass Guitar - Black

1978 Fender USA Musicmaster Vintage Bass Guitar - Black

Nottingham, NG1***, UNITED KINGDOM


Fender Musicmaster Bass, made in 1978 (Fullerton, USA)
Fender's classic short scale bass, originally released as a 'student' model.
Factory black finish, all original save for repro thumb rest and 2x knobs
Factory black finishShort scaleMaple neckRosewood fingerboard with dot inlays1x original '78 Musicmaster Bass pickup
Good vintage condition, used but not abused. Marks, dings and playing wear to the body commensurate with close to 50 years of play, but no... more
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1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass

1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass

Hockenheim, 68***, GERMANY


Originaler 1971 Fender Musicmaster Bass in Dakota Red. Eine seltene, frühe Version mit Pearloid Pickguard. Der Bass klingt sehr gut und wurde offensichtlich viel gespielt. Eher was für Spieler, nicht unbedingt Sammlerzustand. Hals ist gerade und spielt sich hervorragend

Verkauf von privat ohne Garantie oder Rückgabe. Antesten ausdrücklich erwünscht

Ausschluss jeglicher Sachmangelhaftung.
... more
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Basse Fender Musicmaster 1969

Basse Fender Musicmaster 1969



Basse Fender Musicmaster 1969.
Avec étui coque et documents
Révisée par luthier
Les petites taches blanches sont dues à la transpiration, ce ne sont pas des coups
... more
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Fender musicmaster bass 1977 black

Fender musicmaster bass 1977 black

Clichy, 92***, FRANCE


Fender Musicmaster bass 1977 black
Vintage and used bass but in good general condition All original parts
Normal wear marks on the varnish and some bits of varnish have popped off as you can see in the photos
The frets are a little flattened The neck is straight and the keys are in good condition
The mechanics and electronics are still completely functional. Bridge is a bit rusty
The nut has a small broken end but the string does not jump and the bass remains completely ... more
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Fender musicmaster bass 1977 black

Fender musicmaster bass 1977 black

Clichy, 92***, FRANCE


Fender Musicmaster bass 1977 black
Vintage and used bass but in good general condition All original parts
Normal wear marks on the varnish and some bits of varnish have popped off as you can see in the photos
The frets are a little flattened The neck is straight and the keys are in good condition
The mechanics and electronics are still completely functional. Bridge is a bit rusty
The nut has a small broken end but the string does not jump and the bass remains completely ... more
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Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978

Booragoon, WA, 6***, AUSTRALIA

AU $3000

Fender Musicmaster Bass 1978 set up with Aero replacement pick up and new set of La Bella flat wound strings, will include stock pick up in the sale, no case included

Shipping cost does not include insurance cover. If you would like to purchase insurance please let me know as it will be an additional $100 AUD fee

... more
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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1961 Hofner Colorama I

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1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

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1960 Hofner Colorama II

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1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

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1981 Gibson Marauder

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1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

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1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

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1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

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1973 Eko Ranger Folk

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1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

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1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

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1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

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1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.