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  • Fender Musicmaster Bass Amp?

    My sister has a Fender Musicmaster bass amp that she's planning to get rid of. Is this a low-watt vintage tone machine? Or another piece of CBS-era low-end junk? It's a silverface, from 1976, so far as I can determine (it uses two 6V6s). My guess is that everything is stock (well, maybe not the tubes--they're Sovteks). The pots are scratchy, and it makes a lot of static-type noise when it's on--I presume that means that it probably needs a recap? It sounds pretty decent, despite the noise, but the only guitar I have to try it out with here is an old DeArmond M65C (LP copy), and I'm a SC kinda guy. My question, basically, is whether it's worth it for me to buy the amp from her, have it shipped cross-country (she's in Seattle, I live in Boston), and get it fixed up? Or would I be better off just buying a new Blues Junior or something like that? I'm aware that there's no definitive answer to a question like this, I'm just curious what the forum opinion on the Musicmaster bass is (for guitar amplification, of course--I gather that these suck as bass amps). Thanks.

  • #2
    as far as i can tell the musicmasters are the last of the "affordable" vintage fender amps. they are extremely stripped down (no reverb, no nothing) but they sound fabulous if its the 6v6 version. there was another version with a different tube setup but i can't remember now what it was. depending on how cheap you can buy it for and how much shipping will set you back you should probably get it. don't expect it to be much of an investment since no one famous that i know of ever played one but, to me they sound every bit as good as a champ from the same era. just my opinion.
    Talking about music is like whistling about chickens. - Adrian Belew

    Carltone Cigar Box Guitars
    Billy's Ego

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    • #3
      I own one and had it re-capped and replaced the speaker. Now it's the only amp I need, since it does guitar or bass.

      If you like vintage stuff, buy it. Don't pay more than maybe $200 if you think it needs work.

      If you aren't a huge vintage fan, get a Blues Junior.
      Good Sales / Trades

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      • #4
        Dude, she's your sister. You have to pay her? Tell her to give it to you for your next birthday or Christmas.
        Good deal with: pfindeis, ae3753, Carbohydrates, robbierobnj06, Zacman0126, jubb, silverring233, nbabmf

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        • #5
          as far as i can tell the musicmasters are the last of the "affordable" vintage fender amps. they are extremely stripped down (no reverb, no nothing) but they sound fabulous if its the 6v6 version. there was another version with a different tube setup but i can't remember now what it was. depending on how cheap you can buy it for and how much shipping will set you back you should probably get it. don't expect it to be much of an investment since no one famous that i know of ever played one but, to me they sound every bit as good as a champ from the same era. just my opinion.


          They sound quite like mid 60's through 70's Champs except louder having a 12 watt output and a 12" speaker vs. the 5 watts with a 8" speaker for the Champ. Mine rivals a friend's Princeton amp (for volume anyways).

          You can get by with it in a small club doing Blues n' basic Rock. Controls; volume, tone and the on/off switch. Some would say what more do you need? I round out the tone of mine with an OD pedal, 6 band EQ and an Alesis nanoverb.

          I have a '74 and it sounds great with a pair of 6AQ5A's in it instead of the the 6V6 powered ones that some favor. I like the original speaker as well. A lot of owners go for an upgrade like a Weber for more vol. and maybe more headroom.

          They typically fetch between $250 and $400 (including the shipping) on eBay.

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          • #6
            yeah, 6aq5. that was the variation. don't know how i forgot that. those are what my 64 gibson scout has. wasn't intending to cut on the version with 6aq5's it's just that they are a little harder to come by than 6v6's. the tubes, not the amps.
            Talking about music is like whistling about chickens. - Adrian Belew

            Carltone Cigar Box Guitars
            Billy's Ego

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            • #7
              I never heard the difference between the "two kinds" of Musicmaster amps with different power tubes. So, I can't claim no difference between the two or that "mine's better than yours". Have seen some eBay sellers and HC posters plug their 6V6 versions as more kick-ass. I do know first hand that it's a hassle sometimes to find 6AQ5A's. So, maybe the later ones (post '75) ARE better with 6V6's.

              All I know for sure is mine sounds good to me... and yes, quite Champ-like in tone.

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              • #8
                A local store has had a Fender Musicmaster Bass amp sitting in a corner for about 2 years. It has the 6AQ5A tubes, and it's in all-original good, but not great shape.

                He has it at $250 and won't budge. I really want it, but I figure after getting it checked over and a new speaker, I'd be into it for at least $400, and I just can't quite justify that.

                Man, I do want that thing though.
                Good Deals- machine gunner, DRPool, Urinate Forever

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                • #9
                  The musicmaster bass amp is pretty much a stripped down princeton on its side with no tremelo and only a volume and tone. And thats what it sounds like.

                  Crank it up and it is KICKASS. Great rock and roll amp. Push it with an overdrive and it gets even better.

                  I'd say its worth it.

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                  • #10
                    I always have my eye out for one of those in the sub $200 range. They're fantastic amps. Like I was The Funk said, it's kind of like a stripped-down Princeton and it flat-out rocks. I played one that had a new Jensen Alnico in it and it was tone heaven with a Strat.
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                    • #11
                      My sister has a Fender Musicmaster bass amp that she's planning to get rid of. Is this a low-watt vintage tone machine? Or another piece of CBS-era low-end junk? It's a silverface, from 1976, so far as I can determine (it uses two 6V6s). My guess is that everything is stock (well, maybe not the tubes--they're Sovteks). The pots are scratchy, and it makes a lot of static-type noise when it's on--I presume that means that it probably needs a recap? It sounds pretty decent, despite the noise, but the only guitar I have to try it out with here is an old DeArmond M65C (LP copy), and I'm a SC kinda guy. My question, basically, is whether it's worth it for me to buy the amp from her, have it shipped cross-country (she's in Seattle, I live in Boston), and get it fixed up? Or would I be better off just buying a new Blues Junior or something like that? I'm aware that there's no definitive answer to a question like this, I'm just curious what the forum opinion on the Musicmaster bass is (for guitar amplification, of course--I gather that these suck as bass amps). Thanks.




                      "Vintage" Fender amps look and sound cool for the most part and are def' fun to have around. The MM is a fun amp but it is what it is. The Blues JR. is a great amp to have around as well. In the end I think the MusicMaster has a def' "cool factor" compared to the Jr. but teh Jr. is a nice little gigger with good tone. Much more versatile than the MM.

                      What would be the total cost including shipping?

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                      • #12
                        A local store has had a Fender Musicmaster Bass amp sitting in a corner for about 2 years. It has the 6AQ5A tubes, and it's in all-original good, but not great shape.

                        He has it at $250 and won't budge. I really want it, but I figure after getting it checked over and a new speaker, I'd be into it for at least $400, and I just can't quite justify that.

                        Man, I do want that thing though.



                        Sounds like a do-it yourselfer type amp.

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                        • #13
                          This is mine. I like it. It sounds good and is louder than my Princeton.

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                          • #14
                            They are pretty cool amps, I think they sound darker than a Champ of the same era (I have both). I replaced the speaker with a Fender-labeled one from a DRRI and changed the volume pot from a 250K to 1 meg. You can get a nice claptonesque tone on a Strat neck pickup from them.
                            And I'm sure the right pedals would do wonders, like musicmaker55 says. Here's mine. 2 6V6s and one preamp tube. Got it for $130 on Ebay a few years ago, the 0 feedback newbie listed musicmaster as two words.

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                            • #15
                              The musicmaster bass amp is pretty much a stripped down princeton on its side with no tremelo and only a volume and tone. And thats what it sounds like.

                              Crank it up and it is KICKASS. Great rock and roll amp. Push it with an overdrive and it gets even better.

                              I'd say its worth it.


                              Nope-transformer for phase inverter (instead of tube) way different tone,
                              Can be tweaked to sound good for guitar though. (Just NOT a Princeton)
                              Originally Posted by GarysBlues


                              Fact is he passed away many years ago.
                              But he's a Living Legend for sure.









                              Originally Posted by Stubacca


                              This kid is seriously and idiot!

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