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Another musicmaster bass: making a decent bridge

 
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:50 pm    Post subject: Another musicmaster bass: making a decent bridge Reply with quote

Ten years ago I converted a Squier Bronco Bass into a musicmaster



It was a fun bass but I got bored of it and sold it. I've kind of regretted that since then.

A couple of months ago I bought this on a whim:



I initially thought I would build another mustang bass but then I bought this on Reverb:



It's a Squier musicmaster bass body (Vista series). I just bought it yesterday and it's currently in the mail on it's way to me.

Should be a fairly straightforward partscaster, I just don't know what to use for a bridge. I remember that years ago, you could buy the 4 saddle string-through-body Squier musicmaster bass bridges pretty easily, several parts dealers had them for sale. Now it seems that the supply has dried up and nobody has them anymore. A bronco bass bridge would most likely fit, looks like the screw holes are the same, but then I would lose the string through capability and have only 2 saddles. I could probably put a Mustang bass bridge on it, but that might look weird. The problem is that all of these options are hard to find online. Even traditional mustang bass bridges seem to be impossible to find online. My first pick would of course be the Squier Vista bridge, but it looks like the Bronco bass bridge will be the easiset to source. Maybe I could drill it for string-through.

Pickup will be a Lace Sensor Red that I have in my parts bin. I hated it as a guitar pickup but loved it as a bass pickup when I used it in the Bronco. Pickguard still needs to be bought, thinking of mint green.


Last edited by astro on Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Body seems to be held up by customs for some reason. They've had it for 10 days, no idea why. Hopefully it will get here soon!

In the mean time, I found a Schaller bass bridge in my parts bin. It looks like this:



I think it would look fugly on the musicmaster bass, but on the bright side I can adjust the string spacing to the narrower width that the stock bridge would have, and it won't cost me anything since I already own it.

I am hesitant due to the fugly factor, but since my searches on the interweb for a musicmaster/mustang/bronco bass bridge have turned up nothing, I might not have a choice but to use it. I think any holes I drill in the body for this bridge would be covered by a stock bridge, so I'll keep looking for one.
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kingkiller
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Location: Dumbtown, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn customs ruining everything. Excited to see how the project turns out! I’ve wanted to pick up a bronco bass and do the blade humbucker mod that everyone does but I haven’t had the freedom to yet. I have to free up some space in my workspace first
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IS THAT A SQUIER ? WHAT A PICE OF FUCKIN SHIT
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astro
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got the body today!

There's a tiny chip in the paint, which I already knew about since the seller had disclosed it. The interesting thing is, you can see that under the blue/green there is a layer of pink, then a layer of white primer. So I guess this was a body that was re-sprayed in the factory?

The bad news: the Squier Mustang Bass neck I bought is about 1mm too wide at the heel to fit the neck pocket on the body. I suppose I'm going to have to sand the neck pocket to widen it, but I'm not sure how to do this while ensuring that the neck won't be misaligned/crooked when installed. Anybody have any suggestions/ideas so that I don't fuck this up? Should I instead be sanding the neck?
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I enlarged the neck pocket on the body with a wood file and my dremel. Now the neck fits nice and tight in the pocket.

However, I chipped the paint around the neck pocket with the file:



Thankfully I found most of the chips and glued them back in place:



Thankfully the bolt holes on the neck line up with those on the body so I won't have to redrill those.

Still no luck finding a suitable bridge, I've decided not to use the fugly one I already have.
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kingkiller
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GFS have a lot of decent looking bridges, but I assume they'll be too big for the bridge spacing on that body
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Al_ wrote:
I prefer to squeeze balls.

Hurb wrote:
I love Jizz

robroe wrote:
IS THAT A SQUIER ? WHAT A PICE OF FUCKIN SHIT
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kingkiller wrote:
GFS have a lot of decent looking bridges, but I assume they'll be too big for the bridge spacing on that body


You’re right, fender shortscale basses have a narrower string spacing than the long scale models. I can’t remember the exact measurement but that’s why I can only use a bridge made for a shorty.

Bronco bass bridge is cheap ($9 at some websites) but everybody is out of stock at the moment. I saw some Mustang bass bridges on eBay but the sellers want $200 for them... no way I’m paying that much for a bridge!
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brainfur
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astro wrote:
kingkiller wrote:
GFS have a lot of decent looking bridges, but I assume they'll be too big for the bridge spacing on that body


You’re right, fender shortscale basses have a narrower string spacing than the long scale models. I can’t remember the exact measurement but that’s why I can only use a bridge made for a shorty.

Bronco bass bridge is cheap ($9 at some websites) but everybody is out of stock at the moment. I saw some Mustang bass bridges on eBay but the sellers want $200 for them... no way I’m paying that much for a bridge!


$12 on reverb!
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astro
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I gave up trying to find a bridge from a bronco/musicmaster/musrtang bass, and ended up using the fugly bridge that I already have. Got a mint pickguard, wired up a lace sensor red I had in my parts bin with 500k pots and a 47 capacitor, and it's done:

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astro
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just could not adapt to looking at the fugly bridge on this bass. It was like seeing a fresh dog turd in the middle of my favourite carpet every time I looked at it. Functionally it's great, but it's just so hideously fugly.

So I was able to score a Squier Bronco Bass bridge for cheap on Reverb:



Looks much better.

Body of the bass is from a Squier Vista musicmaster bass, so it was already drilled for putting the strings through the body. I decided to drill the new bridge in order to be able to string the bass this way:



Two of the bridge mounting screw holes were pretty much already over the string holes in the body, so I just had to enlarge them a wee bit.

Of course, the two barrel saddles make intonation difficult, so I purchased one of these on eBay, a Gotoh/Wilkinson 51 P-bass bridge with ajustable compensated saddles:



My goal is to harvest the adjustable compensated saddles from this bridge and put them on the Bronco bridge. I also ordered some string ferrules but neither these nor the adjustable bridge have arrived yet.
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astro
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So now I have all the parts, took weeks to get here due to COVID. The body ferules were a bit small but work as intended.

I harvested the saddles from the Gotoh/Wilkinson bridge and stuck them on the Bronco bridge. They work great. Each saddle can be rotated to adjusted intonation, then locked in place with an allen key. A very clever design, allows you to dial in the exact intonation on all 4 strings.



I'm quite happy with the results, I got all the benefits of mustang/vista musicmaster bass bridges (string through body and intonation on all 4 strings) while keeping the authentic look of a stock crappy musicmaster bass bridge.
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sunshiner
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Shocked Shocked
All around impressive job
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sunshiner
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I'm not mistaken you built a mustang of the same colour a couple of years ago
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astro
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunshiner wrote:
Shocked Shocked Shocked
All around impressive job


Thank you!

sunshiner wrote:
If I'm not mistaken you built a mustang of the same colour a couple of years ago


Yes I did, but it was not exactly the same colour: the mustang is surf green whereas the musicmaster bass is the old version of sonic blue, somewhere between surf green and daphne blue.

Here's a pic of the mustang:

Build thread here:
LANK

Unfortunately the sonic blue of this bass is very hard to photograph correctly. All the pictures I've taken look either too blue or too green. It's a lovely colour though, unlike the more modern sonic "blue" that fender has been using the last few years, which is almost white.
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paul_
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all very sexy stuff.
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