c.1964/1970s Fender Musicmaster/Bronco Hybrid

Here's a little treat for myself... it's a parts mish-mash guitar I picked up and outfitted as a fingerpicking/lead gem. This fella has mostly original vintage Fender parts, minus a new mint green 3-ply Bronco pickguard, new repro '60s Duo-Sonic Fender pickup, neck plate, and perhaps the control knobs, though they are a good match for '70s Bronco knobs.

This guitar came to me as a 1964 22.5" scale length Musicmaster neck (rosewood thin fretboard with clay dots) mated to an abused 1970s Bronco body (complete with original controls and wiring but with a dead 8-string Fender lap steel pickup installed all on a typical '70s black pickguard)... so...

...slight face job, fixed wiring, new pickup with cover to match the vibrato grip, cleaning, and fussing...

...and out pops a sparkling, clean-toned, bell-like little demon. The short scale took me just a bit to get used to but heck! It makes for fast picking and chord changes, as well as the option for tuning up from E to G or even A (which would give you uke range and voicings).

Bone nut, original decal, string tree, and Kluson Deluxe tuners. Nice stuff!

While the fretboard is pretty narrow at the nut, the radius is tighter which yields good string spacing despite a thinner look. Feels a lot like a Portugese guitar in terms of fingering.

I kept the black knobs because they look so slick with the green.

...and while I can see why folks are not impressed with the stock Bronco vibrato unit, it works perfectly for me... and stays nicely in tune, too... though the less-adjustable saddles are kind of irritating if you're used to a Strat or Tele bridge.

I think the cream finish is actually an original Olympic White (used on '70s Broncos).

I love the tuners.

What's cool about how this guitar turned out is that while it's definitely got the '70s style pickguard, overall it feels like a mid-60s Fender student guitar... probably mostly due to the older neck and sound of the repro Duo-Sonic pickup... as well as that mint/cream thing going on... :)


karl said...

Barely a month ago, on the guitarz blog: http://guitarz.blogspot.com/2010/12/1978-fender-bronco.html

Anonymous said...


Making us wait a whole week for an update on your blog is simply cruel :-)