Jump to content

1973-ish Fender Music Master?

Recommended Posts

A friend of mine was given this Fender Music Master. The best I can come up with...looks to be about 1973/74. (Haven't taken the neck off yet.) My understanding is that this guitar came BLUE. But, as you can see, the finish is more like Avacado Green.

Mr. Riffle and I have gone over it very carefully...and we're fairly convinced that this is actually the original paint...and that it's aged wonderfully/horribly - depending on how you feel about these things. It LOOKS like this is purely clear aging/dirt/smoke mojo. Pretty cool little guitar. Ignore - if you can - that somebody routed the dang thing out like a 4-year-old and put in some cheezy humbucker. Sigh...

Anyway...anyone seen this finish go THIS GREEN? I can't find any pics on line where it's THIS GREEN. Not even close in any pics I've seen.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

very hard to pin down original fender colours because they do change so much as they age

never seen one change that much on its own. does it show any signs of being oversprayed? clearly it doesnt in the pickup routes and my main concern would be why they are so blue compared to the rest of the under scratchplate lacquer. a clear coated guitar from the early 70's usually doesnt show a massive amount of yellowing (still usually a few shades darker than under the scratchplate)

also, whats the neck like? I an see the headstock is very yellow (as is normal for 70's fenders with nitro headstocks), but what is the back of the neck like?

the fake fag burn and dodgy route may be a clue to a helped along relic project, maybe including some yellow tinted lacquer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another series of shots I just took.

I really can't read ANY of the stamps completely, except for the Herb G stamp. Just too faded. I know that's pretty normal.

The neck doesn't appear to be reliced on purpose. It's in decent enough shape - a few good dings here and there. Frets show wear, but not deep enough that it couldn't be leveled and crowned. The rosewood (?) lam on the neck is still in awesome shape.

Looks like the neck was shimmed with part of a concert ticket stub...can't tell what concert it was, but it was general admission!

You can't see it in the photos, but on the front and rear of the body, the clear is cracked in long straight lines like I've seen in Fenders from the era. I don't notice anything in the paint that looks oversprayed. There is some orange-peel in the clear on both the neck and the body...but doesn't look suspect to me.











Link to comment
Share on other sites

what about the electrics - if they are original you should be able to get some pot codes to help narrow down the year - you cant trust fender neck plates at this time! infact if its early 70's you will probably find that none of the parts have the same year stamped on them

is that a colour stamp in the neck pocket? between the middle and end hole - it looks the same font and size as the colour stamps. I cant quite make it out

anyway - the back of the neck has the poly look (albeit quite aged) and nitro front so i would agree neck is untouched. Behind the neck plate seems to rule out the over spray idea so yeah, i would say its original and aged - but i think its had some help at some point like with the fag burn and who knows what else! finish should be poly at this point - which it could be with the thickness and obvious layers, but less like it with the extreme colour change and crazing. not that poly doesnt discolour or craze, but the poly fenders are usually the cleanest vintage guitars.

they have been known to have bad batches of lacquer occasionally, like the original 79 anniversary strats in pearl white which actually got a product recall due to finish defects (silver after that)

herb G stamp is nice to have!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I first looked at this I was convinced it was resprayed over the blue and then cleared with nitro. But when we took some paint scrapings and looked at them under 30X magnification, all we see is blue paint and yellowed lacquer--no layer of green paint. The odd thing is the yellowed clear doesn't look yellow enough to change the blue that much.

And we have over 40 years experience of color mixing between us. Based on what's under the pickguard and the heel plate, I'm just as convinced that the nitro has aged and yellowed....and picked up a lot of smoke and grime to reach that shade of green.

Hence the original question, has anyone seen this much change in color before?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both pots: 250K 032367 A-1377329

Yeah...it looks like a red ink circular stamp in the neck pocket, but I can't read any of it.

I tried looking up the HERB G stamp to see if it meant anything....found nothing. I take it you've seen that one before?

I know it's not really something that's sought after by collectors, but it's a pretty sweet little guitar. I think we're gonna put single coils back in it, put some Fender machines back on it, replace the hack-job pick guard, level and crown the frets....could be a fun little guitar once it's in good playing shape.

It feels pretty good as it is now, so in the end, not a bad freebie my buddy scored here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm just as convinced that the nitro has aged and yellowed....and picked up a lot of smoke and grime to reach that shade of green.

back to my main point in the posts above - they supposedly stopped using nitro in the late 60's (except for the headstock face due to problems with the poly and the decals)!

i have seen nearly that much colour change in very early nitro custom colour fenders - never in poly

however i have seen 70's poly finished necks with similar age and colour to that one. So my query is why the body would discolour so much more unnaturally than the neck. Knowing fenders of the time its possible they were still using up old batches of nitro on some stuff (like a cheaper student model maybe), or its possible they had a bad batch of poly.

pure speculation :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried looking up the HERB G stamp to see if it meant anything....found nothing. I take it you've seen that one before?

3 minutes of google and I found

Herb G. is Herb Gastellum, a Fender employee at the time.

on some vintage guitar forum from UK. And "the time" is according to that thread around 1973!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah, herb G is one of the long time employees since the 60's and moved to 'masterbuilt' custom shop stuff in the 90's

for the neck pocket stamp - i was not talking about the red circle but the bluey colored stamp - the one that looks a bit like the 'NATURAL' stamp in the neck pickup cavity on this 73ish natural strat body


cant make out what it says on yours, other than it seems to end in A

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...