Mustang I review by Fender

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (199 votes)
Fender: Mustang I

Price paid: £ 90

Purchased from: Arcade Music

Sound — 10
This is a really varied amplifier. What I usually use it for is finding the basic tone for a particular peice of music. It's perfect for writing on because there are so many completely different sounds and tone just seconds away. I bought the MI which is only 20W because I mainly use it for writing and practicing. It's the most versatile amp I've ever had and it has never failed me when I've been trying to replicate a tone from a record or just a tone which suits a peice I'm playing or writing. My main guitars are a Standard Strat and a Wilkinson Vintage SG 2000, very different but both sound great through the Mustang. I don't really use the extremely heavy distortion myself but I know it can get very distorted tones. I play Led Zep, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, John Lee Hooker, Guns N' Roses, Metallica and more and it has got great simulations of tone for all of those very different guitar sounds. Switching from playing Clapton's Vintage blues to Angus Young's dirty rock takes just seconds. I'm really impressed with the variety of tones this can make so this is a good choice if you play a range of different styles.

Overall Impression — 9
I would definitely buy this again if it were stolen or lost. Whatever other gear I buy I plan to always have one of these at the reasy for writing and practicing purposes because it's just so amazingly versatile. I would have given this 10/10 if it weren't just for the fact that there's no middle control which you can easily work around but I still can't bring myself to give it a 10 without, so consider this a 9.9/10. Personally I love the British 60s simulation of an early Marshall, I find it's great not only for blues and bluesrock but I've even played some Metallica and Sex Pistols through that one! I'm generally really impressed with such a useful and good quality product for this price. It's an invaulable peice of gear for anyone who plays a lot of styles. If you have one particular thing you play maybe you should look at a more specialised model but for people who just love to play as much as they can I would really recommend this.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have never actually gigged with this amp. As I said I use it mainly for deciding on the style of tone I want to use. I would happily gig with it if I didn't already have access to some really great amps though. It is usually my backup amp but only because it is in competition with some much more expensive equipment. Obviously the Mustang's impression of a Vintage amp isn't exactly as good as the real thing but it's close enough so that 98% of people would probably think you had a several hundred pound amp. I would use this amp for a small gig, the volume is loud enough for a pub or small social event, for a bigger venue you might wan tto look at a Mustang II which is more powerful. Mine has not broken or acted out in any way but it has had a pretty easy life, not used for anything more strenuous than practice. It hasn't been dropped or knocked but it feels really solidly built and I'm confident it would survive minor damage like that.

Features — 7
I bought this amp in 2011 but it may have been made in 2010. It has five knobs for master volume, gain, treble, bass and volume. It doesn't have a control for middle which I thought I would miss but actually it is customisable enough so you can still get the sound you want without it. It also doesn't have a seperate button for clean and Drive channels but because it is a modeling amp it doesn't really need one because there are several clean and distorted channels in the presets anyway. The range of effects is quite good. There are 12 modulations and 12 reverb effects which are really easy to use. I have used them all for different purposes and they, like the different amp channels, are easy to customise. This amp's biggest assets in my opinion are the access to Fender Fuse where you can download artist presets to give you a realistic tone of your favourite guitarist with minimal effort and its ease of use; you only have to plug in and cycle quickly through the presets to get a tone suitable for whatever style you want to play so you don; t have to waste precious playing time setting up.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm going to post a review of this shortly, I'm still fiddling with every single feature! Great amp, amazing value.
    Hi i am looking for some degree of versatility in an amp (without using any pedals) - hoping to get a decent blues sound and a good sound for death metal. Please tell me which amp I should choose between Vox VT20+, Roland Cube 20XL and Fender Mustang 1. Thanks!