Mustang II review by Fender

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (99 votes)
Fender: Mustang II

Price paid: $ 220

Purchased from: Mundt Music Tyler, TX

Sound — 8
I play with an Epiphone Les Paul. All qualities of the guitar are retained. This amp has a PhD in cleans, and is great in low to mid drive. Most of the Fender models on this amp are very good. Notables are: - '57 Deluxe, which has a good clean tone at low gain and a FABULOUS Drive sound in the upper gain areas. - '59 Bassman. This isn't as good as the '57 Deluxe, but it retains all the Bassman qualities, including its mix of clean and driven tones. I've heard some good "Hey Joe" and other Hendrix played with this model. - Fender Deluxe Reverb: A good, mellow clean sound. I use it for some soothing tones. - '65 Twin Reverb: Much brighter than the Deluxe Reverb. Another fantastic amp model. Turn the gain to 7 and add some reverb, and I got a perfect "Heart-Shaped Box" tone. - British 70's: Modeled after a 70's Marshall, you get a great mid gain that is even good getting into higher gain territory. Perfect AC/DC tone. Those are the really good models on this amp. Now for some additional comments on the other built-in models. The British 60's model is based on a Vox AC30, I believe. You can get close to some Beatles, but it doesn't sound quite like a Vox. The British 80's setting is based on an 80's Marshall, and gives you more gain than the British 70's. It definitely sounds like a Marshall, but it begins to sound processed in the high-gain areas. I still use this setting quite a bit. Next on the list is American 90's, based on a Mesa Boogie Dual-Rectifer, I believe. It nails the tone pretty well, but it sounds too reserved, and not bold enough. Next is the Fender Supersonic, which is a piece of shit. The real Supersonic sounds four times better. I never use this model. Finally, we come on Metal 2000's. Based on a Peavey 6505, this model is gain and more gain, with some gnarly feedback to boot. Pinch harmonics are pretty easy to achieve with this model. It's quite a bit bolder than the American 90's setting, but still sounds a little to processed. I use this setting to mess around and have fun with. You can get a good variety of quality tones with this amp, but metal heads will be disappointed with the high-gain models. Seeing as I'm not a metal head, this doesn't concern me too much. To sum it up, clean to modern hard rock are great, and you can even venture into metal, but not much after that.

Overall Impression — 8
To sum everything up, everyone except those into really heavy metal will be delighted with this amp. I would definitely get a replacement if it got stolen. For those looking for a modeling amp with really high gain, check out the Roland Cube or Peavey Vyper. The Mustang, however, beats out the two in most everything else, in my opinion.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Seems sturdy and well built, everything is tight, and nothing feels very fragile. I would definitely trust this in a gig.

Features — 8
A 40W, 1x12 digital modeling amp. This has some really good features on it, with eight amp models and 24 presets (use Fender FUSE to get an additional four amps and unlimited presets saved to your computer), 24 built in effects, a gain, model volume, bass, treble, and amp volume nobs, a preset nob, two effects section divided into modulation and delay/reverb, an accurate tuner, a headphone jack/line out, an auxiliary out, and a footswitch, which is sold seperately. I play most anything except anything above heavy metal, and it does a good job The built in effects are very nice, but some of them are plain weird, and I don't use them unless I need a laugh. At 40W, this is great for home practice and some jamming, but you might need to mic it in live situations. One of the cool things with this amp is its sensibility to touch, which can really be noticed on the '57 Deluxe and Bassman models. You can also roll down the volume for some clean tones, or go from Drive to crunch on a Marshall-style amp. The Fender FUSE is fabulous, and can be used to really get in depth with amps. It also unlocks the Mid EQ control, as well as four additional amps. You can also download other user-made presets or additional Fender presets that were made for the Mustang III+. Overall, this amp gives you some good stuff to play with. (An additional note, scrap most of the presets, as most of them don't sound to good. Get into Fuse and make some good ones.)

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I don't think it can be used for live playing, since it's a SS 40W, that it about 10W of an all-tube amp: insufficient for playing live (and with a drummer!). And the sound quality only allows you to play live live for deaf people. Fender all-tubes are some of the greatest amps ever made. Fender's SS and modelling amps (like this one) are rubbish.