Kurt Cobain Mustang review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (88 votes)
Fender: Kurt Cobain Mustang

Price paid: $ 950

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Sound — 9
Ah, the sound. This baby is absolutely amazing, the humbucker gives it a crunchy and heavy tone, and the single coil gives it a smooth clean tone, which are fun to combine (especially with the great pickup configuration). I play lots of styles, everything from Blues and Rock N Roll to Heavy and Thrash Metal, and although she's mostly heavily distorted, this guitar sounds sweet when clean as well. I use the small Line 6 Spider IV 15W for now, and although it's a cheap amp, I can still hear the 1000$ worth of guitar through it. The neck pickup is a tiny bit noise when distorted (as do all single coil pickups), but the Duncan JB simply kicks *ss! You can really get a great, heavy tone out of it (such is Metallica, Megadeth, Maximum The Hormone and more), as well as the bluesy, BB King-ish tone. The pickup configuration is what makes the guitar truly amazing - if you put the two of them in "out of phase" mode, you'll get the twangy Telecaster sound! The 9 options available with the 2 pickups selectors makes it a truly versatile guitar! And of course, this one nailed the Cobain sound really well, and it's great for Grunge as well.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall - this guitar fits just perfect, the setup, the finish, the pickups, everything seems great! I've been playing for a few, and I've had my share of bad guitars, so this guitar is a few levels above what I used to have. I don't think there's something that I wish I've asked before, I watched pretty much every review of it and read every article before buying it. If it was stolen I'm not sure I'd buy it again, I mean sure I'd buy a Mustang again, but probably the Japanese 2-single coiled version in Candy Apple Red (I'm planning on buying it anyway someday, but that's somewhere in the distant future). I love almost everything about this guitar, the pickups, the tuners, the finish, everything's great. My favorite feature is probably the versatility of the pickup selectors, and the humbucker-single coil combination. The only thing I dislike is the fact that the Trem system gets out of tune fast (a few swings of the whammy bar and that's it), and the tiny buzz it has (though it can be fixed easily). I haven't really compared it much with other guitars in the same price range, mainly because as soon as they announced it I was fixated on it, but I did compare it with the Gibson Les Paul Studio, and the Fender American Telecaster, who are both great guitars, but they are too... Common, plus I love the "offset" Fenders, such as the Mustang, Jaguar, Jazzmaster and more. Only thing I wish it had was the matching headstock, to really go with the one Kurt used to have (although his Comp-stripe blue didn't have a humbucker).

Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't played this one live yet, but I'm sure as hell it's not gonna break anytime soon. The hardware seems solid, no wobbling or anything like that. The strap buttons are rock-solid, and seems like they'll hold anything. I'd definitely use it without backup (although it's always good to have a backup, no matter how good your guitar is), this one is easily studio-recording material. The finish seems like it's gonna stay there for ever, though I haven't given it a really bad beating so I can't be sure. Overall great finish, great durability!

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar came with a bit a tiny buzzing sound (which you can only hear if you pay attention, and play with no amp. With an amp, you won't notice it). The pickups were adjusted just right, no complains there. Otherwise - it's a great guitar, pretty well set up and ready to rock. The wood and finish of this guitar feels amazing, you can really move smoothly across the neck without any problems. I have nothing else to say but one thing, that this guitar truly pays off.

Features — 8
Bought this baby a few months ago, a true beauty!. The guitar is a Japanese Fender, which is actually made in the same factory Kurt's Mustangs were made (which is awesome). The guitar features a nice 24 inch scale (even though I'm like 6'3, it's really comfortable even with big hands), a mahogany fretboard with 22 frets, C-shaped neck. The body's alder (feels perfect, not too heavy, not too light). I got mine in Lake Placid Blue with the Comp stripe, looks great with the pearloid pickguard. The guitar features a classic Fender Dynamic Vibrato trem system, and the standard Fender Mustang style bridge (though I'm not sure about the bridge, maybe it's the Adjust-O-Matic), and two pickups - a standard Mustang pickup in the neck, and a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge. The controls feature one volume knob and one tone knob, and the classic 2 Mustang pickup switches (3 modes for each pickup - In phase, turned off and out of phase). The tuners a classic Vintage Mustang tuners, which stay in tune great (if you don't use the trem system). The guitar came with only the whammy bar, no case/gigbag or whatever. The only complains I do have is that the pickup switches aren't so great "on the fly" (especially if you need to switch pickups), and that the trem system keeps getting out of tune (which isn't so bad for me cause I don't use it).

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