The Musicmaster was introduced in 1956 as a part of Fender's new, student focused series. Accompanied by the dual pickup Duo-Sonic the Musicmaster was initially available in a simple Desert Sand finish with a gold anodised pickguard. It was constructed in the same manner as the Telecaster and the Stratocaster with bolt on maple necks and a solid body. The first evolution came in 1959 when, like the rest of the Fender range, the fingerboard switched to Rosewood. The Desert Sand finish subtlety changed to Tan at this point and a Sunburst finish was also offered to compliment. At this point the delicate gold anodised pickguard changed to plastic. 1964 would see the Musicmaster given a refresh after the recent introduction of the Mustang to the Fender range. There was a subtle change in name to Musicmaster II and the aesthetic shifted to bring it in line with the new Mustang guitar. The Musicmaster was a constant seller for Fender, the model remained in production throughout the ’60s and ’70s before being discontinued in 1982 after 26 years.
Apart from the sympathetically refinished body the guitar is in great condition. The neck lacquer is showing some light wear as the thin finish has worn with use. The heel has a feint pencil date that is hard to make out fully but 7-60 are legible. The neck has a slab rosewood fingerboard with clay dot position markers. The nut and frets both appear correct. The body, although refinished is in very good condition. There is no evidence of modification or repair and the refinish has been well colour matched to the original tan colour. Nail holes are obscured. Electronically the guitar is very simple with a single Musicmaster pickup and single volume and Tone controls. Wiring is all very neat and nothing appears disturbed. Pots are matched CTS 137 6009 with a single yellow Astron Capacitor across the tone pot. The hardware is all in good order, the Cream pickguards can be prone to cracks. The Pickup cover is a brown colour that shields the pickup pole pieces. The knobs are the correct knurled type but modern reproductions. The bridge is a simple bent steel affair with threaded steel saddles. Tuners are the correct, plastic buttoned “single-line” Kluson Deluxe type.
Thanks to its short 22.5in scale length the guitar feels compact and easy to play. The neck measures 21.09mm at the first fret filling out to 26.02mm at the 12th. The nut width is a slimmer than standard 39.34mm. Despite the smaller dimensions the guitar feels great to play after only a short time adapting. The original Fender single coil pickups sound wonderful with lots of clarity and chime so much so you don’t miss the bridge option. The guitar weighs 6lbs even and comes with its original hard case and bridge cover.