Purchased from: Craigslist
Features — 9
Good day gear head, today I am reviewing my Fender Mustang I V.2 solid state combo amplifier for electric guitars. Like most things these days, it was made in China. I purchased the amp on New Year's Day 2012 from a fellow musician off of Craigslist as his mother had bought the amp for him for Christmas, but he already had an amp that he preferred. Therefore I would assume the amp was made in 2011. The 20 watt amplifier comes with an 8" Fender Special Design speaker and one 1/4" instrument input channel. Control knobs include Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass, Master, Preset Select, Modulation Select, Delay/Reverb Select, Save, Exit and Tap Tempo controls. It features 24 presets, 24 built in effects, 17 amp models, a chromatic tuner, a 1/8" aux input, 1/8" headphone jack, and 1/4" foot switch jack. The amplifier is covered with a black textured vinyl covering and has a silver grille cloth. A USB port and accompanying cable allows this amplifier to connect to a computer and access AmpliTube Fender LE edition with Fender FUSE software.
Sound — 9
To give you an idea of what sounds this amplifier can produce a number of the colorfully and aptly named presets include: Brutal Metal, Super-Live Album, Liquid Solo, Aussie Rock (AC/DC), British Invasion, Touch of Reverb, Bassman Drive, American '90s Chorus, Beauty Clean, Movie Tremolux (Rebel Rouser), Fusion Lead, Basic Thrash, and one of my favorites Surf Twin Reverb. Of the 17 amp models the Fender models include the Super-Sonic, '57 Champ, '57 Deluxe, '57 Twin, '59 Bassman, '65 Princeton, '65 Deluxe Reverb, and '65 Twin Reverb. Connecting the amp to a computer and accessing the Fender Fuse software reveals what the non-Fender amplifiers look like. Although they are not specifically labeled with any official manufacturer logos the amplifiers are designed to look similar to Peavey, Mesa Boogie, Marshall, and Vox models. Next, a list of the onboard effects include: Sine Chorus, Triangle Chorus, Sine Flanger, Triangle Flanger, Vibratone, Vintage Tremolo, Ring Modulator, Step Filter, Phaser, Wah, Touch Wah, Diatonic Pitch, and Pitch Shifter. All effect settings can be adjusted either by the turn of a knob for intensity or by tapping the tap tempo button for modulation rate and delay time.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Being that this is a 20 watt practice amp with a single 8" speaker it is going to be limited in which live settings it can effectively be applied to. A small setting accompanied by a drum machine or drummer playing electronic drums seems fitting, but I think this unit will have a hard time competing with the likes of an acoustic drum set in a medium to large venue. Luckily Fender has a complete line of Mustang amplifiers to meet any live performance need; including a 4x12 cabinet and 150 watt head (Mustang V). I have had my Mustang for four years at this point and it has been dependable for routine practice. The control knobs operate without a problem, all input/output jacks have good connections, and all in all it should live a long happy life as long as it is properly cared for and not abused. Then again, the amp can take a punch if it has to considering the fact that my Mustang survived an accidental 3 foot fall and continues to play flawlessly.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing guitar for the past twenty years and I have owned my share of amplifiers. I typically favor Fender amplifiers and this one is by far my favorite. If and when the time comes to buy another amplifier I will seriously consider one of the larger Fender Mustang model while checking out the market. I would love to have the Mustang V half-stack but I will likely end up going with something more practical like the Mustang III or IV if I can get a good deal on it. I believe the Mustang I V.2 is a great match for any musical style especially if you are simply looking for a practice amp. I like to play punk rock and find a number of settings perfect for the genre. Rock and blues styles are easily accommodated, as well as country, jazz, and even pop. Not only that, but I think this amp can make any guitar sound good. I wish this model would come with a foot switch.