The Squier Vista Musicmaster Bass (introduced in 1997) has been produced only for a short time, despite having been one of the best bang-for-the-buck-machines in the stable.
The original Fender Musicmaster Bass from 1971 was Fender’s most inexpensive short-scale bass at the time (probably ever). Many were sold as part of a two-piece set, which included a low-powered practice amp.
Squier’s version was one of the company’s first instruments made in China, and featured several genuine improvements over the Fender original.
The Squier features through-body stringing resulting in better sustain.
Instead of the Fender’s spartan two-saddle bridge, here we have an intonation-friendly four saddle bridge.
The headstock is finished in the same tasty seafoam green as the body.
The decent, full-sized tuners are good replicas of 1970s Schallers.
The best bit, though, is the Squier Vista Musicmaster Bass’ pickup. The Fender had been equipped with a rather weak Strat-style pickup. The Squier went for the singlecoil Precision Bass pickup, that had been on the first P-Basses (1951-56) – the result is a very healthy output and a full-bodied sound.
Squier’s current bass lineup includes the Bronco Bass, which is clearly derived from the Musicmaster. The Bronco’s bridge is the 70s two-saddle type and the pickup comes from a guitar (!) – it’s a Bullet-series Strat-pickup.