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1957 Fender Musicmaster Vintage Guitar, One-Family Owned & Duo Sonic Converted w/ Case & Strap


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Up for sale, a 1957 Fender Musicmaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and strap. A one-family instrument passed down from father to son, this Musicmaster was purchased new at Parlier's Music in Bakersfield, CA and played a part in the Bakersfield club scene during the seminal years of the "Bakersfield Sound." The case even retains the large badge from Parlier's Music, the original Fender dealer on Baker Street.

Ths Fender was essentially converted to a Duo Sonic in the late '50s, with the addition of a second black bobbin Fender pickup in the bridge position and a three-way rotary pickup selector. These mods take advantage of the Musicmaster and Duo Sonic's identical routing (both come from the factory equipped to accommodate two pickups and a selector switch on the body horn), and this Fender features genuine 1950s steel Telecaster saddles to top things off.

Via the pair of black bobbin pickups, this "Musicmaster" dishes out plenty of twang and percussive cut, and these pickups are essentially wound identical to a late '50s Strat pickup, with the only difference being a flat pole piece design and smooth white covers. Both pickups have strong output and exceptional tone, and everything from chewy, biting bridge pickup twang to sweet, broad neck pickup warmth is on tap, with plenty of percussive cut and sparkling snap. Featherweight at 6lbs 6oz, this guitar is very easy on the back and has a clear, chiming acoustic tone that's resonant and authoritative. We've had this Musicmaster professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, with fresh 10-46 strings and slinky action.

The one-piece maple neck has a substantive V-shaped profile carve (the quintessential shape for 1957) with quite a bit of shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .910" deep at the 1st fret and .980" at the 12th. The original slender frets have good meat, ostensibly benefitting from a light level/crown in the guitar’s lifetime and currently showing only a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-3. With a scale length of 22 1/2", this is a true short scale instrument, perfect for players with smaller hands or those looking to comfortably execute chord extensions that might otherwise be out of reach. The nut has been replaced with a carved piece of bone, measuring 1.650" in width. On the headstock, the original "Fender - Musicmaster" waterslide decal is intact, and the tuners are a later set of Kluson-style Ping Deluxe tuners that match the original tuner footprint.

All of the electronics function as intended, with the original black bobbin neck pickup and an identical vintage Fender bridge pickup, sourced for this model in the late '50s. There is a very slight widening of the factory route for the pickup selector to accommodate the unconventional three-way rotary switch, and the switch functions as follows: (clockwise) Neck, Bridge, Neck + Bridge. The wiring harness features the original pair of Stackpole pots which date back to the 45th week of 1956, and the original paper-in-oil Astron tone cap is also present. The chrome plating on the bridge and knurled knobs is notably clean, and the upgraded genuine 1950s Telecaster saddles have more sustain and snap than the threaded style offered with the Musicmaster model when new.  The original four-bolt neck plate and gold anodized pickguard round out the hardware. The metal pickguard was extremely cleanly cut to accommodate the bridge pickup and transition from Musicmaster to Duo Sonic specs, and the pickguard has also been painted over with a very similar shade of gold that has lightly checked.

The body was professionally refinished decades ago in a deep shade of Candy Apple Red nitro lacquer, exhibiting light vertical lacquer checking and just a few minor nicks on the edges of the slab body. The body retains its flawless factory contours, and the neck retains its original thin nitro lacquer gloss.

The original tan hardshell case with brown leather ends is included and speaks to the care taken with this one-family instrument over the past 60+ years. This case is very well-kept, and retains the large Parlier's Music badge from the Fender dealer in Bakersfield that sold the guitar to its only owners. All three original latches are intact and functional, along with the original handle. The original brown leather Fender strap is also included, split at one end.