Sound — 8
I play mostly alternative and reggae at the moment and the Mustang can work in these genres and others great with a little effort and EQ. The amp you use it with determines your sound mostly. I play it on a small Peavy Microbass but have used it on larger Ampeg amps and others and it sounded great. I like to use effects as well and this bass handles them well. It sounds much better than my old bass with fuzz or other effects. The bass rarely ever has much noise with me even with volume and tone maxed out. I don't put the tone past 4 or 5 often though; it gets a little too trebly for me. It doesn't have the greatest variety but can fit in well to many different genres. It's sounds stays somewhere between a P-Bass and a J-bass. The sound is definitely old school; I couldn't recommend it at all for modern metal or anything requiring down tuning (due to the short scale neck).
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said, I play alternative and reggae, and it can work in both genres. It doesn't have the brightest or heaviest tone in the world but stays in the middle most of the time. It can adapt well to any genre in my opinion. I love the simplicity of this bass, it's just a well made bass without any batteries or other stuff in the way. If stolen I would definitely get a new one as soon as possible. My favorite things about it are the fast neck and the overall look of the bass. I just love looking at it! It's beautiful! The only things I dislike about the bass itself are that the pickup isn't really good for anchoring your thumb to play fingerstyle so it needs a thumbrest and it can get too trebly with the tone maxed out. I wish it came with a bridge pickup and a case. I took this bass over some more expensive USA made Fender J-basses and I honestly think I made the the right decision. This bass fits me like a glove.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would be great for Live playing due to it's light weight, small size, and lack of noise! All the hardware is solid and very dependable, just like any other Fender. The finish is pretty thick and still looks Brand New to me. It doesn't get dents or scratches very easy. I would easily play Live with it without a backup. The only thing it needs is strap locks and then it would be set for a gig!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
My Mustang came very well setup with the intonation just a little off on the high notes on the E string. It's action came pretty low. The pickups are adjusted just fine to me and the bridge and nut were fine as well. The fret ends were smooth and there are no dead spots on the neck. The finish is perfect, one of the best finishes I've seen. The hardware was all well put together with shiny tight tuners and other hardware. The controls are dead quiet and the tone knob is very responsive. I don't think you can get any better under $1000.
Features — 7
The Mustang Bass I picked up was a Japanese made 2007 model in Vintage White (a cream color). It has 19 frets and a really nice narrow and fast little maple neck that has a nice coat of lacquer that really doesn't slow me down. My Mustang's (alder? ) body is light and glossy with absolutely no flaws I can see. It's all passive with a single mini-P pickup in the center of the body that can range from almost P-Bass sounds to a shrill and unique tone using the tone knob effectively. The bridge is a pretty heavy string-thru body that I've never seen before. The tuners are standard Fender and hold tune very well. The bass came with no accessories.