Mustang III review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (128 votes)
Fender: Mustang III

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
I play a Laguna LE200, which has a fixed bridge and two humbuckers. I also play a Washburn HB35, which is a hollow body with two humbuckers and a mounted bridge. And lastly, I play a Tele-copy made by a local luthier, which has two single coil pick-ups and the normal saddle bridge. I haven't had this amp for more than a few weeks, so I haven't taken it a lot of places or played out anywhere with it, but for recording in the studio it works perfectly. There is no hum or hiss. It doesn't pick up background noise or buzz from neons like some amps do. It models some really great amps. My favorite being the old Fender Princeton Twin Reverb. A near perfect emulation of the classic Johnny Marr sound. I've cranked it and it easily keeps up with an average volume drummer. I think it could top out with a crazy loud drummer, but for my needs, it works great. The cleans that this thing puts out are very smooth. It really sounds like tubes are in there. It's hard to believe it's all digital. The distortion is chunky enough, depending on your preferences. I wouldn't use it for black or death metal, but for punk or hardcore it would be great.

Overall Impression — 9
As I said before, at the moment I play a lot of post-punk/darkwave/noise rock kinda stuff and it suits my style perfectly. I can really get some great sounds out of it. I use a lot of pedals and layer like crazy, so I guess I wouldn't be the best judge, but I think this puppy's pretty versitile. I've been playing electric bass since about '88 and guitar since about '89-90. I also have an old Marshall Mosfet Lead stack and a Vox VT50, but this is my fave. I would definitely get another if this one dissapeared. Especially at the price. Like I said before, I do wish it had an external out, but I can live without it. I give it an overall 8.75

Reliability & Durability — 7
Like I said, I really don't know about gigging with it, but it seems solid enough. It's definitely a lot lighter than it looks, so I probably wouldn't throw it around too much. I have only had it for around a month so I haven't had any problems yet. I don't think it would hold up great to all the wear and tear from constant gigging.

Features — 9
-It was made in 2010 -It's definitely versitile enough for me. Plus, it takes pedals well over clean. I play mostly experimental stuff at the moment. Mostly post-punk/noise rock/darkwave kinda stuff. Heavily effects driven. I've been in all kinds of bands in the past from rockabilly to metal. -It's a modeling amp, so it has A TON of different "channels" I suppose. It comes with a two button pedal for switching between amp models and presets, which you can also add the four button Switch for added control. It also has an in/out for an effects loop, a 3.5" headphone jack, and a 3.5" auxilliary input for an mp3 player, or what-not. I do wish it had an external speaker out, since it's only a single 12" Celestion speaker, but it's plenty loud for a studio or small gig.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Not much, if any, amps out there..
    with a 12 Celestion speaker
    for $299.
    Lol you people and your tube elitism. I bet most of you couldn't tell the difference if you heard it and nothing else. As for the actual review. Seems like a pretty good amp for what your going for. Don't think I'd have much use for it myself though.
    sewoo55 wrote: modelling amp? no thank you
    Older modelling amps used low-fidelity, low resolution models. Recent modelling in the Fender Mustangs, Peavey Vyprs, and Line 6 HD PODs are much higher resolution and simulate more variables, more realistically to achieve much higher fidelity than before. I know a guy who gigs with his Mustang II, replacing his Fender Tweed. Despite its 40 watts solid state (similar to 20 watt tube) it can be heard well over drums at the venue where I've seen him play. He gets incredible tone out of that thing with a slide. When I asked him about his new amp, I couldn't believe it wasn't a tube amp.
    This amp is amazing. People need to try it in store, it is definitely a huge step forward more than anything we've ever seen before. The FUSE interface is just like Amplitube in real time with your amp, and the tones you can get are the best I've ever heard. Seriously, you look at the competition for the same price, and they are toys compared to this. You can go deep and change the bias realtime and everything. F'ing amazing.