Hot-rodded MM/DS gallery
- '56 Musicmaster (SN 15171)
New bridge, refin, and new pickups.
Owned by Dale Harley.
- Late '50s Musicmaster (August '56 neck, '57-'58 body, SN -22614), refinished in metallic candy apple red
front | body, front | headstock | original pots (Stackpole 304732) and Astron cap | neck date
"I bought this guitar in Memphis in September 1997 for $400, including its original case. It came with a poorly located hardtail Strat bridge, new tuners, and a Duncan Hot Rails humbucker and 3-way toggle switch. Previous work also included a refret (sadly, with jumbo frets), conversion to a Duo-Sonic (by butchering the original metal 'guard), plus a pro refin in candy apple red. Since then, I've put a '64 Duo-Sonic bridge plate with staggered Tele saddles plus a white repro 'guard on it, and changed the pickups to a Duncan Antiquity Duo-Sonic (neck) and Duncan Cool Rails (bridge)."
Owned by M. Roy
- Circa '56-'57 MM-to-DS conversion (Nov. '56 neck), currently refinished in gold:
front | back | body, front | neck date | headstock
"I'm leaning towards doing some more restoration (or distrestoration). I really hate the color and since the disassembly is so easy, I'll strip it and see how ugly the wood is underneath. Chances are, I'll repaint it desert sand and distress it. Since the pickguard & electronics are all wrong, I may just strip, clearcoat and keep it custom. I will get a couple of more photos of the MM as I move forward."
Owned by Bicycle Bill
- Circa '58 MM-to-DS conversion, nicely refinished with a dark stain
front and back views, in case | body, front | body, back | headstock, front and back
- '59 Musicmaster-to-Duo-Sonic conversion, SN 42806
Owned by Andrew Mattei
- '60 MM-to-DS conversion
Mickey Melchiondo's (a.k.a. Dean Ween) two main guitars from 1987-1995 were Musicmasters converted to Duo-Sonics. MM/DS Gallery contributer James says, "For these two guitars, Mickey paid $150 for one and $200 for the other. He used these guitars on every recording and every gig (including the first 4 Ween albums). Mickey has practically done everything short of smashing the guitar pictured above. He has thrown it across stage and even set it on fire. It's on it's third fret job and third pickguard. As you can tell, it's a work of art. Mickey says he could never part with either of them: 'They just don't make 'em like this anymore.' "
In August 2012, Mickey shared a more recent photo of his well-loved old faithful (note the toggle switch occupying the tone pot's position) along with some very kind words about this website.
Owned by Mickey Melchiondo (Thanks, James and Mickey!)
- '65 Musicmaster II, heavily modified and refinished in white
front | body, front | Musicmaster II decal | neck date
"I bought this guitar in 1998 for $199 (sight unseen, from an online guitar shop) as a project guitar. It came with its original control plate (with CTS pots dated 6542), new tuners, a replacement neckplate, a generic neck pickup, and an awful refinish; I subsequently re-refinished it and added a Duncan Hot Rails bridge pickup and a 3-way toggle switch. Later I added MannMade angled Tele saddles and installed a Duncan Vintage Staggered neck pickup. After the inevitable refret, its neck (24" scale and super fast) made it my favorite guitar ever, a true joy to play."
Owned by M. Roy
- '66 Duo-Sonic II/Musicmaster conversion: front | body, back
Made from a pre-CBS Musicmaster II body (year unknown) and a July 1966 Duo-Sonic II neck. "A friend of mine had a Duosonic II that he modified with chrome tuners and a brass nut. We were at a local guitar shop together when the owner of the shop informed me that he had a Musicmaster II in pieces, in a box. The body was painted with white brushed-on house paint, there was one only one pickup, and no pick guard. He wanted $60 for it so I bought it. Since the neck had the original tuners and nut, my friend wanted it and offered me his Duo-sonic neck and $30 in trade. I agreed and now had $30 to use toward adding a second pickup. It cost me about $40 for a pearloid pick guard and now I had all of the parts. I stripped the body to bare wood and had an artist friend of mine do an abstract design on it. The pickup switches were giving me trouble so I had a 3-way toggle switch installed on the chrome plate. I was assured by the guitar shop that the original switches were bypassed but the neck pickup can still be turned off by the original switch. Far from original, it's still a very neat guitar with a little history."
Owned by Sal Iannello.
- '66 Duo-Sonic II, in red (collage)
No new bridge, but twin angled humbuckers and new tuners.
- '75 Music Master, in blue (collage)
New bridge, twin humbuckers, new tuners, and a pro refin. Nice!
- '76 Musicmaster, in black:
front view | body, front | headstock
"I bought the guitar on eBay and it was basically just a neck and body with a few pieces of mismatched and corroded electronics and hardware. ... I installed a set of Sperzel Trim-Lock tuning machines, a Fender American Vintage Jazzmaster/Jaguar tremolo, a Fender Mustang Bridge, a WD Music Products BWBWB pickguard and two Lollar P-90 soapbar pickups. To hear the guitar, listen to my band's music at wearefawn.com; this guitar is all over our debut LP, to be released Summer 2011."
Outstanding work! Owned by Mike Spence
- '78 Musicmaster, in black
Full-sized humbucker installed in bridge position; new Tele-style bridge saddles added (can't tell if they're the intonated type or not).
- '98 Squier Musicmaster-to-Duo-Sonic '3' conversion
"The Squier Musicmaster feels great and plays well... It just looks weird and sounds terrible... If they had made the guitar to look like the guitar version of the Musicmaster rather than the bass it'd be great... I know the Squiers are pretty rare guitars and a part of me feels bad changing it, but I actually wanna use the guitar and also have a sentimental connection to is, due to it being the first ever Electric guitar I purchased as a teen."
Paul was planning on converting it into a Fender Musicmaster II, but "took it further and created a Duo Sonic. I've called it a Duo-Sonic 3, as its basically a hybrid of the mk1 and mk2 versions. The body, neck and tuners are original, however everything else has been altered. The pick guard was custom made, the toggle switch was for a Les Paul but looked good on this... the pick-ups are Seymour Duncan Mustang-specific pick-ups. Other work which was done to it, the frets were re-done and I re-painted the guitar Olympic White myself. The decal is a Fender Duo-Sonic mk2 decal." I wish my own '65 MM-to-DS project had turned out this well!
Owned by Paul Messis (from the U.K.), who used this guitar for his latest single, "Nightmares". If you have a chance, check out his other songs; you'll quickly realize that Paul really doesn't need any help to get get an authentic mid-'60s garage rock sound.