Fender Musicmaster

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Contents

The Beginning

The Fender Musicmaster was first concieved in 1955 and was Fender's first 3/4 scale guitar. Prototypes were made the following spring, and production started in April. 3/4 guitars come in two sizes: 24" with 22 frets and 22.5" with 21 frets. The Musicmaster (and a few months later, the Duo-Sonic) was made as a 22.5." The guitar was equipped with a hardtail bridge (no tremolo) offered only one pickup in the neck position and had one volume and one tone control. Kluson Deluxe tuners were standard Fender issue, and the pickguard was anodized aluminum. These early Musicmasters were routed for two pickups (the musicmaster and the duo-sonic share the same body), and came with a maple neck with maple fretboard.

The First Changes

In 1959, changes were made to all Fender guitars, and the Musicmaster was no exception. Changes included, the maple neck now coming with a rosewood fingerboard and the anodized pickguard was replaced by the cheaper plastic pickguard.

With the introduction of the Fender Mustang in 1964, both the Musicmaster and her little sister, Duo-sonic, underwent more changes. They were now being built with Mustang bodies and necks. Their pickguards were made in the Mustang fashion, meaning a steel control plate was added and the 24" scale Musicmaster (and Duo-sonic) were now available to buyers. These newer, updated guitars became the Musicmaster II and the Duo-Sonic II, although Fender was rather slap-dash about decaling them properly.

It's Over

In 1969, the Duo-sonic was discontinued, but the Musicmaster managed to stay in production until the early 80's. The Fender Mustang quickly followed in 1984.

Vista gives new life

Around 1997-98, Squier reissued the Musicmaster bass as part of their "Vista Series" line of guitars. Later on at the end of the Vista Series' run, a 24 3/4" scale guitar counterpart would be released as well. The Musicmaster came in Surf Green, Black, Shell Pink and had a single "Vista Tone" humbucker that could be coil split with a push/pull volume knob. All Musicmasters came with matching headstocks and a new 6 saddle bridge / string thru tail that made its way to the Mexican-made Toronado years later. Unlike the other shortscale guitars in the Vista Line that came out of the Japan Factory, the Musicmaster came out of China and is not viewed by many collectors to be the same quality guitar. This guitar was the last of the Vistas and was only produced for 1 or 2 years. Its $175 price tag and Chinese make made it unpopular in shops of the day, and it's failure may have been the reason the Vista Series was pulled. 1998 Squier Vista Musicmaster 1998 squier musicmaster headstock

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