NT10: Top 10 “Old School” Bass Gear

In celebration of our 10 year anniversary this month, we’re taking a look back at some of the most popular features in our history.

We debuted “Old School” on April 25th, 2011, with a focus on sharing the great vintage bass gear from our readers. No surprise, the series has always been a popular one.

Here are the top 10 reader favorite stories over the years since, showcasing some great basses and amps.

Old School: 1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass

1. Old School: 1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass

Fender’s Musicmaster was first introduced in 1971, and in production through 1981. As with Fender’s guitar bearing the same name, the bass was a simpler version of Fender’s Mustang Bass. The Musicmaster was Fender’s budget-priced bass at the time, made from surplus parts from other Fender models. The bodies were from the Mustang production line, and 6-pole guitar pickups were...
Old School: 1960’s Kustom Model 200 “Tuck & Roll” Bass Amplifier

2. Old School: 1960’s Kustom Model 200 “Tuck & Roll” Bass Amplifier

In this edition of Old School, bassist Mike Whited shares his classic 1960’s Kustom Model 200 bass amp, an amp Mike has shared a lot of miles with over the years. Kustom introduced the 200 model as an upgrade to their 100 model amp, offering it in black, blue, cascade, gold, red, white and charcoal. The company later introduced emerald...
Old School: 1963 Fender Jazz Bass

3. Old School: 1963 Fender Jazz Bass

In our last edition of Old School, we shared Mark Anderson’s 1963 Fender Shoreline Gold Precision bass. This time, we’re showcasing Fender’s Jazz bass from the same year, and specifically Jay Fortier‘s ’63 Jazz. Fender introduced the first Jazz in March, 1960, becoming the company’s second bass model after the Precision. In 1963, Fender replaced the below-string mutes with a...
Old School: 1958 Fender Precision Bass

4. Old School: 1958 Fender Precision Bass

When we first met Phil Smallwood, he mentioned to us something about his old gear. The next day, he showed up at No Treble HQ with a 1958 Fender Precision Bass. We tried to figure out a way to ask him if we could borrow it, but opted instead to get some photos and the story behind it so we...
Old School: 1967 Fender Mustang Bass

5. Old School: 1967 Fender Mustang Bass

Bassist John Flynn shares his 1967 Fender Mustang bass with us, along with the story behind it. Fender offers up the background on the history of the bass on their website: Mustang Bass (1966-1981, 2002-). The first truly successful Fender bass that didn’t say “Precision” or “Jazz” on the headstock was 1966’s Mustang Bass. Leo Fender began development of the...
Old School: 1964 Höfner 185 “Artist Bass”

6. Old School: 1964 Höfner 185 “Artist Bass”

Zsolt Váradi sent us this wonderful story (and video) of his equally wonderful 1964 Höfner 185 “Artist Bass”. Höfner’s “Vintage” site has this to say about the Artist Bass: Introduced in late 1962 as the main two pickup bass for the UK market, it replaced the Hofner “Solid Bass” which was actually the European market Hofner 182 model. The Artist...
Old School: 1964 Höfner 500/1 “Beatle” Bass

7. Old School: 1964 Höfner 500/1 “Beatle” Bass

Bassist, designer and copywriter Adrian Elton shares his beautiful 1964 Höfner 500/1 this time around. Karl Höfner GmbH & Co. KG began building instruments in 1887, later becoming the largest manufacturer of string instruments in Germany. Much of the company’s popularity is attributed to Paul McCartney’s use Höfner 500/1 bass, three-quarters of a century or so later. To this day,...
Old School: 1972 Peavey VTA-800

8. Old School: 1972 Peavey VTA-800

Derrick Cook emailed us with a story about an astonishing piece of gear: “I have a one of a kind Peavey VTA-800 that was handmade by Hartley Peavey as a prototype only in 1972 – 400-watt tube head 8×6550. It’s the only one ever made,” he shared. We asked him for more on this rarest of rare pieces of equipment....
Old School: 1960’s Fender Coronado Bass II – Wildwood

9. Old School: 1960’s Fender Coronado Bass II – Wildwood

This week, John Roblin shares the story behind his ultra-rare 1960’s Fender Coronado Bass II – Wildwood. Fender’s Coronado line included guitars and basses with a double-cutaway, thin-line hollow-body, designed by Roger Rossmeisl, who originally designed instruments for Rickenbacker. The Coronado line came two years after Leo Fender sold Fender Musical Instruments to CBS, and the company was looking to...
Old School: 1959 Gibson EB-2 Bass

10. Old School: 1959 Gibson EB-2 Bass

When our Instagram friend Eric Fortaleza posted a picture of his beautiful 1959 Gibson EB-2 Bass, we had to ask him to share his story with us. In this edition of Old School, we get the scoop. Here’s the story… How long have you owned it? Since Christmas 2013. I decided to buy myself a Christmas present. How did you...

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts