Saturday, February 20, 2010


Through another trade with Billy Ray, I am back in possession of the Fender Musicmaster Bass Amp that I traded him some time ago for a very nice Strat and another guitar. You can read about that trade here at A Stratocaster Bargain.
So about the only thing this amp needs to be 100% is a new speaker. I put a used guitar speaker in the amp when I started using it for guitar playing a few years ago. I have the original speaker, but my efforts to recone it and repair it were not successful. So I want to find out what the original speaker specs were for this amp so that I can get as close to that as possible with a replacement.
As mentioned in the earlier posting, the amp was rehabbed after I got it sometime in 2001, buying it at a bargain price in not so great condition from a bandmate who had owned it for years. The amp guru repairman said it was an excellent example of a hand wired Class A tube amplifier, and not only rehabbed and replaced any wires or parts but resoldered some connections and replaced and rebiased the tubes. It's a cranking amp and gets a great sound.
Although the amp was rated new at 12 watts RMS with 26 watts peak, it's a bedroom practice or recording amp at most when used for bass guitars. But for guitar, it's three tube, solid state rectifier amplifier gets a great sound.
I once played in a band with a fellow who, for practices and recording, used some sort of Dbx stereo unit to play his guitar into, which split the signal to two Musicmaster Bass Amps. He also used a Fender tube reverb with this rig as well, which was plenty adequate for the full band live recording that we did with it.
These are one of the last great bargains available in Fender Silverface tube amps of the 1970's and 1980's. The similarly priced Fender Champ amps can also be had for several hundred dollars still, and both offer the tone that so many guitarists love. Throw a tube screamer pedal in front of this amp and you're ready to crank out some Texas blues for your shoes.
I'd pay as much as $500 for a pristine "closet classic" version of the Musicmaster Bass Amp, provided it had been kept with a cover and was relatively dust free. For a more used one, anywhere in the $250 to $300 range is good for an excellent working condition one, and less for other problems.
As with any tube amp this age, plan on getting it retubed and perhaps having at least the pots cleaned by a qualified repairman who knows how to bias tubes and properly clean an amp of this nature.
So I'm off to do some surfing to find the ideal replacement speaker for it. And maybe an amp cover, since it has been kept clean and closeted and is still relatively new looking and I'd like to keep it that way.


  1. Hey, I've got an original Fender Master Bass that's in good working condition, and the sound is awesome. I was wondering how much it was worth. Just get back at me at keithshapardon @ Just get rid of the spaces in the email. :P I appreciate it.

  2. i have a music master bass amp just like yours wondering what tubes your would recommened

  3. For fans and users of the Fender Musicmaster Bass Amp (FMMB) like myself, I crated a Facebook private group where share ideas such as speakers, modifications. I'm the group host, I created the group about 3 years ago and we now have about 25 members, several of which are amp gurus who love the FMMB and have made mod kits. The group URL:

    Regards, Paul