Gibson guitar headstock script dating
Taylor in England; the individual also went by the name of Tony Taylor.
Even Richard Smith’s astonishing “Fender: The Sound Heard ‘round the World” spares only a few paragraphs to the student guitars.The first version of 3/4 scale Fender guitars are characterized by the one-piece maple neck, the gold anodized metal pickguard, and the conservative beige color.These are classic ’50s Fender appointments, applied to a design that was inspired at least in part by the timeless Stratocaster.A note on assembly-line frugality: the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic guitars shared many parts with another Fender product that predates their introduction, the Champ steel guitar.Among other things, the pickups and covers, the plastic-tipped Kluson gears, the knobs and even the Desert Sand finish were applied to both the Champ lap steels and the 3/4 scale student guitars!During the summer of 1959, when the transition was made from the first to the second version of the 3/4 scale guitars, overlaps of materials were certainly possible, due to the assembly-line nature of the construction of the instruments. A few rosewood board guitars with metal pickguards, for example, would not be surprising.
It is certain that Fender had an excess of the “old” bodies that were fitted to the “new” rosewood necks.
These are easy to spot as they have only 11 securing screws holding the plastic pickguard to the body (the screw located roughly between the tone knob & the jack is missing; there’s nothing underneath to screw into! Around the middle of 1962, the slab rosewood fretboard was replaced by a thinner curved “veneer” rosewood board.
In the course of 1963 the spacing of the two position dots at the 12th fret became narrower.
Enough examples have surfaced that we now have a pretty clear picture of the first production run of the Musicmaster.
Neck dates have been noted with both m/yy dates (4-56) and with specific dates from the last two weeks (4-20-56, for example) of the month of April.
The 3/4 scale ‘burst was different than the regular Fender style in that it ran, from the inside out, yellow to red to maroon; no black on the outer edge, and the center yellow area was fairly opaque (compared to the “normal” Fender sunburst).