Leo Fender's goal was to build affordable, workingman's instruments by simplifying designs and streamlining production processes. An interesting consequence of Leo's genius is the mutability of the designs. While Fender parts aren't exactly 100% interchangeable, players have always experimented with them, combining parts and thereby creating new inventions. Sometimes, the right parts come together perfectly. A good Partscaster is something unique that tells its own story.
Leo unveiled both the Duo-Sonic and the Musicmaster in 1956, and both are 3/4-size guitars with stripped-down features intended for beginning players. Interestingly, this Partscaster combines elements of both, and it uses exclusively period-appropriate Fender parts.
It starts with a 1958/1959 Duo-Sonic body and neck that was made around the transition to clay-dot Brazilian Rosewood slab fingerboards. The original nut and original frets still perform beautifully. At some point in the past, the body was refinished to a tasteful Olympic White that has aged and patina-ed into more of a butterscotch color. The bridge and tuning machines look to be original to the Duo-Sonic side of this guitar, but the pickup, pots, tone cap, and wiring are from a 1965 Musicmaster. The pickguard is an anodized aluminum pickguard that looks like it came form a pre-'59 Musicmaster, but this guitar also includes a late-'50s black bakelite Duo-Sonic pickguard.
This Duo-Sonic/Musicmaster Partscarter is set up nicely, and the 22.5" scale is fast and easy to stretch out across the fingerboard. Vintage short-scale electrics are a lot of fun, and this one has its own unique charm and vibe. It includes a '50s Fender Duo-Sonic case.