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Author Topic:  1953 Fender Stringmaster Steel
Jerry Kippola


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 13 Mar 2017 12:48 pm     Reply with quote

One of these just landed at my house---think it's a Stringmaster. Three necks. Serial # 0108 26" scale
Dated 9/53. Tryin to get pix up, but mine are hi-rez



Last edited by Jerry Kippola on 13 Mar 2017 7:02 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 13 Mar 2017 2:09 pm     Reply with quote

If it has two pickups per neck, it's a Stringmaster. If it has a single trapezoid pickup on each neck, it's a Custom. Assuming it's a Fender guitar. Pictures please!
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 14 Mar 2017 12:37 am     Reply with quote

Yes, that is one of the early model Stringmasters, introduced in the 1954 catalogue. The later version, a couple of years later was only available in medium or short scale.





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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 14 Mar 2017 8:05 am     Reply with quote

Here's mine from the same time frame, I bought it new:

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Daniel McKee


From:
Corinth Mississippi
Post Posted 14 Mar 2017 3:15 pm     Reply with quote

I'm guessing by the pedal board, it had pedals added on at one point or another. Beautiful instrument, I bet the sound is amazing!
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Jerry Kippola


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 14 Mar 2017 7:32 pm     Reply with quote

There's a pedal rod between the front legs, and some hardware installed underneath for what looks like two
raises on the middle neck. Looks to be pro installed, and good quality parts.
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Tim Heidner


From:
Port Arthur, TX
Post Posted 14 Mar 2017 7:39 pm     Reply with quote

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/harold-morrison-mn0001256104


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Russell Taylor


From:
Dade City, FL
Post Posted 15 Mar 2017 5:28 am     Reply with quote

You have a piece of history there. I had never heard of Harold Morrison, but following the link Tim put up here, I went there and then to spotify where you can hear Mr Morrison's music...I'm listening to him now...and I like what I hear!

https://play.spotify.com/artist/3UKl8xLutTLpua7GaUO2vq
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Jerry Kippola


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 15 Mar 2017 6:36 am     Reply with quote

Thank You for the link Tim--it looks like this guitar was played on many hits from the '50s---



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Tim Heidner


From:
Port Arthur, TX
Post Posted 17 Mar 2017 5:43 pm     Reply with quote

Any time I see one of those old steels with the name on the front, I like to google it just out of curiosity. I never heard of Harold Morrison before I saw that guitar, pretty cool to see some steel guitar history.
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Nathan Laudenbach


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 17 Mar 2017 6:28 pm     Reply with quote

Can anyone here speak to the tone differences between the necks, if any? I would assume that the furthest neck would have the best sustain since it has the thickest piece of wood. I am using a friends '53 Dual professional and the outside neck has a slightly "better" tone.
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Mark Nason


From:
Maine, USA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 7:03 am     Reply with quote

I absolutely love instruments like these, with the performer's name on them. They tell so many stories, even when not being played!
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 1:41 pm     Reply with quote

Nathan Laudenbach wrote:
Can anyone here speak to the tone differences between the necks, if any? I would assume that the furthest neck would have the best sustain since it has the thickest piece of wood. I am using a friends '53 Dual professional and the outside neck has a slightly "better" tone.

I have a Stringmaster D8 and I play the thinner inside neck more than the thick outer one just because it is closer and easier to play. I don't hear any difference in tone. The thickness is there primarily to elevate the neck and make it more playable. You can certainly set the pickup mix on each neck to achieve tonal variety.

Another thing you can do for tone is use different string gauges, as implied in the ad. A more massive guitar body will accomodate heavier strings. I have been meaning to do this with mine, maybe get some kind of baritone tuning thing going with it.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 1:49 pm     Reply with quote

Fred,
On that particular model of Stringmaster, you cannot set the pickup mix. It has no blending wheel. That feature came on the later models.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 Mar 2017 8:49 pm     Reply with quote

Erv Niehaus wrote:
Fred,
On that particular model of Stringmaster, you cannot set the pickup mix. It has no blending wheel. That feature came on the later models.

Ah. That's interesting. Yeah I think mine is a 1956. Adding the mixer wheel was yet another stroke of genius.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 8:06 am     Reply with quote

The early Stringmasters, like the one pictured here, has the bridge covers screwed down.
On the later models, the bridge covers pivoted on the ends of the bridge so you could access the blending wheels.
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Alan Cook


From:
Kent,England
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 8:26 am     Looks like my 1955 t8 Reply with quote

Made the same month and year as me 62 on Monday 27th.


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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 8:39 am     Reply with quote

I'll call and raise you one neck:

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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 8:51 am     Reply with quote

That is a beauty, Erv. The paint was all hacked up on mine, so I refinished it. In my defense, that was about 1978, and I had no idea about the correlation between original finishes and guitar values. I just wanted it to look good, and it does look much better than it did. Besides, I am not likely to sell.

Btw, the bridge covers stay off of mine, although I would make an exception for a photo shoot Very Happy
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 9:14 am     Reply with quote

The owner of that steel wasn't Harold Morrison the banjo player.

There was Harold Morrison, a steel player who lived in Colorado, who owned and left to his son the only lacquer cabinet wraparound made, AFAIK. This is the guitar pictured with Buddy behind it in the 1966 issue of Country Song Roundup


_________________
Herb's Steel Guitar Pages
Texas Steel Guitar Association
Allison String Instruments
My rig: Infinity and Telonics.

Son, we live in a world with walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with steel guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg?
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 10:07 am     Reply with quote

Fred,
I re-finished the quad also. When I got it, it was painted blue, not once but twice. I won't play an ugly instrument so I tried to restore it as close as I could to its original condition.
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Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 22 Mar 2017 8:40 pm     Reply with quote

Harold Morrison's name seems familiar to me as a comedian on either Porter Waggoner or the Wilburn Brothers shows back in the 60s...I knew he played the banjo, but didnt realize he also played the steel guitar...I really like that steel...if it could only tell us stories ! I am sure it has tons of them !
_________________
Zumsteel D10, Zum Stage One, 1956 Fender stringmaster T8, Excel JB Frypan, Melbert S8, 1976 Ibanez L5, Gretsch 6122-1959, Telonics pedal, Telonics Combo amp, Taylor 214 CE, Squire Tele, Recording King Banjo, 3 Roland cubes 30s and 80, Carvin combo bass amp
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 23 Mar 2017 9:20 am     Reply with quote

Did you know that Fender made a single neck Stringmaster?
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 23 Mar 2017 9:21 am     Reply with quote

Did you know that Fender made a single neck Stringmaster?

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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 23 Mar 2017 8:37 pm     Reply with quote

You've got some cool rugs, Erv. And the guitars aren't bad either.
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