Mustang III review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (128 votes)
Fender: Mustang III

Sound — 8
I recently purchased a Modified Highway One Telecaster with a TV Jones placed in the center with a five way switch. I had been playing this guitar through an iRig attached to my iPhone using Garage Band, and Amplitube Amp models. I could not make up my mind on which amp to purchase. I was swaying toward a Fender Blues Jr. If money was no issue I would have gone with a Fender Twin Reverb, a Vox AC 30, or a Marshall Tube Amp. I made the right choice, with this amp I have all three, plus a Champ, Two Champs In Stereo, Bassman, Deluxe, Marshall Stack, and max out the distortion on any of them.

Overall Impression — 8
I have been playing guitar for over 35 years, and this is the most versatile amp I have played. I played a Gretch through a Mustang I while I was looking for a new guitar, and I was amazed at the sound that came out of this small amp. If you just plan on practicing at home then buy the Mustang I or II. In a home setting I have not taken this amp over 4 on the master volume. I could blow out the windows, if I wanted.

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Reliability & Durability — 8
This amp is brand new, it is light weight, and durable.

Features — 8
A 2011 Amp that is very versatile with 100 preset channels and ability to customize using the amp controls, or more in depth using a computer and the USB connection (cable included). The Fender Mustang III has all the features I was looking for including an on board tuner. I am currently using this amp for practice at home, but it packs 100 watts of power, so you could gig with it in a small to medium size venue.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm looking to get a weird shoegaze/post-rock vibe out of an amp without spending a lot on pedals at the moment; so is it possible to chain 2-3 delay pedals within the Fuse Software for a really ambient textured sound?
    I used to own a Mustang II. I traded it in for an Egnater Tweaker 40 (Tube). I don't gig, and I can't turn it up loud enough to activate overdriven breakup. Plus, I miss my headphone jack. I'm trading it all in for a Mustang III tomorrow.
    Got a Mustang III a couple of months ago, very pleased, and surprised, at how good this amp is. I've owned a Mesa MKII, Fender Twin Reverb, Lab L11 (a great solid state amp), Line6 PodHD, played a lot on Marhall's, Vox, etc. Bottom line, its all about the tone, and its easy to get great tone out of this thing. Vintage Fender to Marshall, all the way to heavy metal and back to jazz. Yes, a tube amp will give you a bit more dynamics, sag, touch control, etc. But IMHO, only the player is going to know the difference, the listener (another guitar player) is not going to be able to tell the difference between this amp and the modeled amp with a blindfold on. The weakest link is the speaker, a 1x12 is not going to sound like a full stack, its just not. But it can come quite close with the speaker models built-in. The III has 100 real watts, so it gets as loud as any 100W amp through a single 12" speaker (Mesa MKII). So you can gig everything but the biggest stages with just this amp for your stage volume, and use the line out or mic to get support from the PA. If you need to fill a big club with just your amp, you would want the IV with a 2x12, or the V with a 4x12. Has nice pro features like effects loop (mono) and balanced stereo line out to run to the mixer, or to a power amp and a pile of 4x12's for your world tour (a la Eddie VH). You can put 4x 'stomp' effects in front of the amp model, and 4x 'rack' effects after the amp model. When connected to a computer the amp acts as your digital interface, allowing you to record in the free Ableton Live software or play mp3 backing tracks on the amp. Editing effects in the Fuse software is easier than the LCD display because you can see all the effects knobs at once. The headphone jack and Aux input jack make for a great practice setup. TL;DR The small 1x12 combo package, light weight, great (and versatile) tone, and low cost make a very compelling product. Don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself.