Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: Hix Bros. Music
Sound — 6
The split single coil pickup doesn't produce the thickest, bassiest sound in the world, but it does sound good. I prefer the P-Bass sound, myself, but the Mustang Bass still had a good tone. It was very punchy and bright, did a good job to cut through the muck and be heard, just not as good a job at laying down the basement.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a lot of differant kind of music and I doubt that I would ever actually use this bass. I know my ex did/does use this bass for punk/emo music (ala Rise Against and Thrice)and absolutely loves it. I never much cared for how thin the Mustang Bass tone is compared to the P-Bass, but it works and it sounds good. Comparing this bass to my p-basses is almost unfair, since I'm so fond of the P-basses. If I actually liked the way the bass sounded and played, which I didn't, I would have gotten another one or tried to get it back from her somehow, but I just don't like it. It's a great bass, just not my style. I do wish there were more upgrade options out there for, though. There's no aftermarket pickups or upgrade bridges for it and I think that a hotter pickup and a beefier bridge would do wonders for this thing's tone. If you dig the Mustang basses, you can't pass this up, but if you're more into P-basses and Jazz basses, this probably won't be your favorite bass.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is rock solid, just like any other Fender. It will take a beating and it will keep going. It stays in tune better than most basses in the sub $700 category and the bridge is rock solid. The finish is not going to be marred or destroyed without being horribley abused, either. I'd depend on that bass for gigs and recording (if I didn't play P-basses) and stake my life on it if I had to. Just replace the strap buttons... always replace your strap buttons with strap locks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The finish on the bass was just amazing, but the set-up was terrible. Took me about an hour to set the thing up beautifully, there were no fret ends sticking out, no poorly crowned frets, the nut was perfectly cut, didn't bind the strings at all. The hardware on the bass was all solid and felt better than that of most MIM Fenders. There was also not a single flaw in the finish or build of the bass, it was the most impressive bass I've ever bought.
Features — 10
I got this for me ex for our anniversary one year. When she left me she also took the Mustang Bass out of my life, that's what hurts. It's a shortscale bass, which is great for younger students or smaller people. The bass was introduced in the 1960's as a student's bass and is now revered as a collector's peice. This reproduction has been produced for the Japanese market for at least a decade before we got it (I know because I was drooling over them and thinking of importing on ten years before they introduced them here). My model was from the first year they were in the states, whcih I believe was 2003. The finish was a bueatiful Vintage white finish, and neck was the smoothest neck I've felt on a Fender in a long time, just too short for me, and the tuners were solid. It did come with a gig-bag, which saved me a bit of money on her, and was the nicest bass I've ever bought, actually.