Mustang II review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (99 votes)
Fender: Mustang II
5

Price paid: $ 190

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
The sound is excellent for a solid state. Fender cleans to Marshall crunch. Most of the presets are overdone so be prepared to listen to downloadable patches and experiment to find the real potential of the Mustang. The real trick is to fine three amps you like and then set variations of each from clean to dirty on the Mustangs three banks of presets. There is no way I can justify using a tube amp (I've owned many) with a solid state that sounds this good and the options it makes available. I jam every week with a loud drummer, bass player, another guitarist and one or two on vocals and it handles the stage with no problem. Can it sound exactly like a Mesa. No. A Mesa can't sound exactly like a Twin. Bottom like is the Mustang covers a lot of sonic territory and does it very well compared to past modeling amps. Fuse software lets the user mess with parameters like bias and sag.

Overall Impression — 10
Technology has improved with modeling amps and we're no longer stuck with a one trick pony tube amp or a solid state amp that produce a poor reproduction of the classics. I've played for decades and if I could pick any amp out of Guitar Center for free with the condition I had to use it and not sell it would be another Mustang II. The price is a steal for a 12" 40 watt amp with a boat load of features and very convincing copies of some of the most famous amps made. The perfect gig amp!

Reliability & Durability — 10
Fender offers a 5 year warranty. Treat it with respect and you won't have problems. Keep beer bottles off it, don't toss it in the trunk and leave it there for a week, it's common sense to avoid problems. Fender seems to be short on amp covers for the II. I use one from another amp maker that has the same dimensions.

Features — 10
40 watt solid state amp with a 12" speaker. Very portable based on dimension and weight which is key if you gig. It's a two channel amp that works perfectly with any cheap one button foot switch. The Fender site lists it as one channel which is a major oversight. The features can be found at fender.com so I won't waste space here.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jetwash69
    rv_phoenix wrote: 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.
    Fender's FM amps suck, but the Mustangs are different. Even this Mustang II is loud enough to cut through the mix and be heard (unmic'd) over drums, an 80 watt all-tube Fender, and a bass amp literally loud enough to tickle the tendons inside your feet in a packed venue about 15 x 40 meters.
    jetwash69
    MaggaraMarine wrote: jetwash69 wrote: Zandel wrote: MarkWakefield wrote: i highly doubt it You've obviously never played a Marshall MG30dfx. Horrible piece of rubbish. This. I have the "Marshall MG30DFX". It's so bad I disconnected amp from the speaker and wired up a jack direct to the speaker. Now I use it as a small cab for venues where my 1960a cab is impractical. Now the Mustang II is a whole other story--the first time I heard one in person was in a blues club and I couldn't believe it wasn't a tube amp. This thing sounded better than the owner's Fender tweed tube amp. You could hear it fine over the drums and PA, and it wasn't even mic'd. Erm, dude... Don't exaggerate. Because this amp emulates the sound of a Fender (and other) tube amps. That means that it could come close but it can't sound better than the original amp that it emulates. Because then it fails emulating that amp . But seriously, it didn't sound better or then the all tube Fender was EQed badly. Or then he played different guitars through them. Trust me: All tube is the way to go, nothing beats it. Digital may come close but it will never sound better than the original because it tries to emulate the original. Of course if they made new sounds with digital technology...
    Not exagerating. My serious rig is an all-tube Marshall 100w. Also, I've played through that guy's all-tube tweed on stage and I've played through about a dozen different Mustangs in stores. I've heard him play the same 3 guitars on both his amps. It was EQ'd fine and he didn't have any problems with his tubes. The tweed is a little bit of a one trick pony, and he gets a more aggressive tone out of his Mustang II. Maybe he was emulating an overdriven Twin with the Mustang, in which case, even an emulation can sound better than a half-cranked tube amp lacking a an overdrive channel or pedals. For some tones my Digitech GNX4 can sound better than my tube Marshall on its own, but it does sound even better going through the Marshall (but not as different as you might expect). I'd rather play the Digitech through a PA than the Marshall without the Digitech. TL/DR: The Mustang wasn't necessarily emulating the tweed, and it can (and does) emulate many other things well that sound better than the all-tube tweed does on its own.
    jetwash69
    BTW, I don't own any Fender amps. I have played them a lot in stores. But if I were in the market for another ammp, I'd probably get that Mustang Floor pedal and just play through the PA and the wedge monitors for feedback.
    MaggaraMarine
    jetwash69 wrote: Zandel wrote: MarkWakefield wrote: i highly doubt it You've obviously never played a Marshall MG30dfx. Horrible piece of rubbish. This. I have the "Marshall MG30DFX". It's so bad I disconnected amp from the speaker and wired up a jack direct to the speaker. Now I use it as a small cab for venues where my 1960a cab is impractical. Now the Mustang II is a whole other story--the first time I heard one in person was in a blues club and I couldn't believe it wasn't a tube amp. This thing sounded better than the owner's Fender tweed tube amp. You could hear it fine over the drums and PA, and it wasn't even mic'd.
    Erm, dude... Don't exaggerate. Because this amp emulates the sound of a Fender (and other) tube amps. That means that it could come close but it can't sound better than the original amp that it emulates. Because then it fails emulating that amp . But seriously, it didn't sound better or then the all tube Fender was EQed badly. Or then he played different guitars through them. Trust me: All tube is the way to go, nothing beats it. Digital may come close but it will never sound better than the original because it tries to emulate the original. Of course if they made new sounds with digital technology...
    Haden
    ok amp....if you dont want anything but cleans....the person who said it sounds like a mesa has obously never touched the real thing in his life...