Nov 18, 2013

Fender Mustang I Review

          For $120, the Mustang I is pretty much the best amp for the money on the market.  The amount of effects and sounds available through Fender Fuse make it unbeatable.

          The Mustang has an 8" speaker and a 20 watt rating, which all on its own is plenty for small performances.  I have never cranked the volume all the way - just part of the way can get surprisingly loud.  Size is a manageable 14" x 15" x 7" and the build quality is what you would expect from a Fender.

          Tone quality is very nice for the price and sounds like a much larger amp.  Of course it still is an 8" speaker and not a tube amp, but honestly the difference is negligible when looking at the big picture.

          Controls include a master volume knob and 4 other preset-specific dials - gain, volume, treble, and bass.  I actually almost never use these - I set it on Fuse and have no need to change it "on the go."

          It comes stock with 24 presets - 8 each of 3 channels.  (or 3 of each amp model, depending on how you look at it)  These include:

  • Metal 2000
  • Super-Sonic
  • American 90s
  • British 80s
  • British 60s
  • '65 Twin Reverb
  • '59 Bassman
  • '57 Deluxe
          There are three each of these presets, though with Fender Fuse they can be modified into any type of amp model regardless of original settings.  The 24 pre-installed settings are okay in my opinion, though I switched very nearly all of them for personalized ones.  

           Through the Fuse community you can download anyone's presets if they upload them - while most need some tweaking for volume etc. some are good to go.

          I uploaded my top 8 presets I usually use for you to try out.  I play a wide variety of music and these cover pretty much everything with some little adjustments to pickup selector and so on.

G    GGR      Distorted Cleans        (one of my personal favorites - really nice sound)
E    GGR      FX Rock                   (Guns and Roses)
D    GGR      Rock                        (Led Zeppelin)
C    GGR      Hard Rock                (Van Halen)
B    GGR      Metal                        (Metallica)

           Each preset has a link to the Fuse community where you can download it if you have a Mustang I or II and a Fuse account.

          As a note for if (when ;) you download these, they are set for a Strat set to volume 5 - single coil guitars set to volume 5, humbuckers could probably do about 4.  It's all personal preference though.

          I would also appreciate feedback on my presets and suggestions for what to change/improve.  Always nice to hear other viewpoints on sound quality.

          As for the variety of sounds obtainable through Fuse, it can do a large variety of clean tones, a decent array of rock sounds and an acceptable variety of metal.  If you want this for jazz or rock, think no further-just get it.  If you want it expressly for metal... it's still certainly up there regardless.

Relatively inexpensive
Right size for portability and playability
Plenty of volume for the size
So many effects
Emulates other famous amps
So many effects

No tubes
Not the greatest metal ability
Not gold plated

          I could go on and on about the sound quality and the quantity of tones available, but I see no need to.  This amp is a great deal and has almost unlimited potential for just $100.  Are there better amps?  Of course.  Are there better $100 amps?  No.

10 of 10 stars

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