Mustang III (V.2) review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (30 votes)
Fender: Mustang III (V.2)

Price paid: C$ 270

Purchased from: Gilbert Guitars

Sound — 9
I play a Strat and a Les Paul, two very different sounds and tones. And honestly, both sound great. You just have to play with the settings depending if you are playing with the humbuckers or the single coils... What I do is label my presets Strat or LP! It suits my music style wonderfully (Blues Country & Rock). It is very clean sounding, and really emulates the different Amps and Cab's VERY well. The gain, treb, mid and bass settings work just like any other amp. The effects sound amazing and distortion pedals, reverb and delays... There are so many to choose from and the variety in sounds could have you playing and modifying for hours and hours! All-in-all, this amp sounds great, awesome tone and output is phenomenal!

Overall Impression — 9
As mentioned, I find this amp to fit my style of blues-country-rock very well. I have a Fender Vibro Cham as well, and it is an Amazing little tube amp, which I have had many effects pedals over the years with it. And just over the past few years I have been eyeing new amps that are slightly bigger/louder. Honestly, this one was a match for me. It is bigger and has more output, it emulates all the other amps & cab's I like, even the tube amps sound nice and warm coming from this solid-state! Also, there is no need to spend a ton of money on effects - they are all built in. The headphone jack is awesome so that I don't bug my wife late at night, and the iPod input so I can Jam with my tunes! And even though the FUSE software freezes, it is very user friendly, as well as the amp.

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Reliability & Durability — 9
So far this amp is very dependable. It has not broken down. It is very durable. I have used it at home, outside at church etc. It would be safe to say that you could use this without a backup, but personally, I would bring a backup just in case... You never know right? But that's just me. It is a Fender, so quality should not be a question. I don't know what else to say about this great little amp. For it's size it's fairly lightweight 36lbs. 12 inch Celestion speaker, 100 watt. It's great for small to mid size gigs - I wouldn't rock out in the Rogers Centre or anything, but for pubs and church etc, it is wonderful!

Features — 8
Made in 2012-2013 (V.2). Solid state amp. It is very versatile in sound, from very bright and clean to raunchy and distorted. I play blues, country, rock, and I find that this amp exceeded my expectation for the sound it outputs. It is 1 channel, and it has both a 2-switch and 4-switch channels, and therefore you could have a 6-switch stomp box. The amp includes a two-switch stomp box. It does have an effects loop, headphone jack, USB for FUSE software and recording, and an input for an mp3 player to Jam with. It comes with tons of features, from different amp models to effects, delays and so on. Personally I would probably never use such as pitch shifter or ringer mod... But who knows. That's all part of the fun is trying out all of these effects and personalizing the presets for your own sounds. This amp has more than enough power. It is 100 watt, and I don't know if I'll ever have the master volume past 4! I play at home and at church, which is a fairly decent size and play really up-beat rockin' music. The only 2 things that have bothered me so far is that (1) you can only choose 1 effect/mod for each preset, for example it would be nice to have a chorus and flanger enabled at the same time, and (2) is that the FUSE software freezes often.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    and now a video without every guitarist having a pedal board please... when do those guys realise we want to hear the tone of the amp, not the tone of the 20 pedals u got..
    I spent half an hour with one of these in a shop just to see what it was like. I was really impressed: one of the best little practice amps I've ever tried. For my tastes, it's superior to the Roland Cube. My practice amp is a Vox VT40+, and I think I prefer it over the Mustang, but the Mustang beats it for portability and price. The USB is a cool feature too, but having only played it in the shop, I haven't tried that out. Would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a practice amp. EDIT: My mistake, this review is for a Mustang III, I was thinking of the I and II (which are smaller versions). But my comment still stands, I was impressed with those amps! I imagine this bigger version would be great for pub gigs and the like.
    I spent about an hour with this amp at my local music store. It is very impressive. I found that it had great realistic tone and was very easy to use. Another impressive feature that is not really mentioned is the weight of this amp. This amp is a breeze to carry around. There is also a pedal board version of the Mustang that can be connected into an amp or direct into a PA. Overall I think these are great and superior to the Line 6 Spider series. The price point is also very good.
    Own one and am absolutely in love with it. So many awesome presets. Fits well with both my 6 and 7 string guitars.
    I have this amp and it is well worth the money. The only pedal I run through it is a Crybaby Wah otherwise I set all the presets myself and the range of sounds I can make is amazing. Its an amp good for people on a budget as you are not just getting a great amp but a whole stack of pedal effects that you can play with.
    Had this amp a little over a year and it has been amazing, For the dollar you can't go wrong.It will rattle the windows and wake up your neighbor.
    We used to have one of these at my school and all the guitarists hated it. It was impossible to get a real clean sound because there was always this washy, sizzly digital sheen to every note. Distortions were also really bad, they sounded a lot more digital than even a Peavey Vypyr or Line 6 Spider.
    My son and I are just getting into learning guitar. We went to the music store and ordered a pair of guitars and played around with amps for a while. The sales guy was very helpful in getting us around all the features of the various models. Budget was a consideration since I'm having to buy two of everything. He took us through each of the models and we really were impressed. My son went nuts when the sales tech demoed the FUSE software and the various effects that could be utilized as well as the factory presets. It appealed to his love of all things pc-MAC related. It appealed to my wallet, too, as it gave us a plethora of sounds to tinker with an keep the learning process fun.I bought us two of these Mustangs v.2.....a III and another II for his bedroom.There may very well come a day that one or both of us really improve our skills and lust for new gear.....axes, tube amps, pedals and such.....but for now I feel like we nailed the PERFECT amps for us to begin and grow with.
    I have the Mustang III. At first I didn't want something that had so much going on with it technologically. I've been playing guitar for 20 years and am used to having 3 channels: clean, blues, and dirty. The key to this amp is to plug it into your laptop and learn how to set up the sound on each channel. It is an awesome amp for those who like the old Fender amps and you can recreate all of them. The downside is that there are so many options, and I am one who was a bit overwhelmed at first. But after finding the time to spend I can tell that this is an awesome amplifier that can provide you with custom sound in a compact package never seen before. I have been through a dozen pedal boards, and I think my search is over...for awhile anyway p.s. the tone is awesome, the sound of this amp will make you want to pick up your guitar and rip!
    Luckyfreddy2 has it right. The temptation with modeling amps is to get lost in the "ooh shiny!" array of too many models with too many effects. The less squirrelly (and more practical) approach is to choose a model (there are about 10 classic Fender models all bunched together in the upper reaches of the 100 presets), strip out any effects, dial back the gain, and build your sound from the bottom up. Choose the Fender Deluxe Reverb, and simply use the amp knobs as you would when dialing in a "real" Deluxe. The just USE the amp AS the Deluxe (or whatever your preference. The Mustang III is a powerful amp with lots of options. But like any amp, it works best when used simply. One important "deeper" edit is to ajust the Sag and Bias controls. Therein lies the secret to Fender "tube" tone with this amp.
    I have the V.1 of this amp, what has changed between the versions?
    On the software side (I think) Fender added a couple of amp and effects models, and made improvements to a couple of the previous models from the v1. I downloaded a v1 presets list and compared it to the presets on my new v2, and found a couple of the v1's missing, and some shuffled around. (In the V1, wasn't there a preset that simulated playing a 12-string? Mined doesn't have that and I was curious about it.) On the hardware side, the 'dreaded fizz' problem was eliminated -- according to web reports, this was caused by an underpowered transformer in the v1. Also, all v2 Mustangs except the I and II have left/right XLR line out ports on the back panel. The Mustang Floor also has left and right "unbalanced out" 1/4 inch mono ports in addition to the XLR line out ports.
    Also The EXP-1 pedal works correctly with v2.0. It was added to the Mustang line after the v 1.0s were introduced. There are also a few more pedal configuration options.
    There's some side by side blind tests comparing the Fender Mustang amps with the real tube amp it's modelling. You'll be amazed at the results. Look up intheblues youtube channel and see for yourself. There is also a video of a live gig using the Mustang 3. I have a Mustang 3 and I love it. It does the job so well and the value for money is outstanding.