Fender Mustang Japanese Re-Issue Reviews
I don't really know why I bought it, as I
already enjoy my old Musicmaster [which is
verrrry similar bass]. Anyway, I got it
at Parkway, in Clifton Pk, NY, for $350 in
truly like-new condition. OK, I'll admit
some possibilty of buying it just because
it's white and I already have about 10,000
black basses. Also I figured it has to
sound way cool if it looks that much like
my [red!] '76 Musicmaster [which I might
possibly have bought because it, too, is
also not black].
The tone is "classic" or "traditional" or
"vintage Fenderbass" or whatever you want
to call it. It's Jamerson studio sound in
a live setting. It's a great sounding ax,
even if it lacks multiple personalities.
It's easier to find strings for a Mustang
than for the Musicmaster because both are
30" scale but the Mustang has through-body
stringing and much fatter tuner posts. The
knobs are on a metal plate [like a Jazz] so
you can clean pots or tighten the jack with
no need to unscrew the whole pick-guard [as
on a P-bass or my Musicmaster].
Mustang is a bit smaller and lighter than
big Fenders with absolutely NO neck dive.
The simple 2-knob system is refreshingly
basic [as is the whole ax], and the tone
control really works. All in all, this
is one very comfortable bass.
It's not very versatile: 19 frets and that
klunky fender neck joint blocking me from
the uppermost 3 or 4 anyway. It's not
particularly loud [altho very quiet as to
hiss, hum etc]. However, for what it's
designed to be, I really have no complaint
other than the raggedy-feeling tuners. As
a basic comfy thudwacker, once it's tuned
it very enjoyable and easy to get great bass out of it.
I hated the strings it came with, very
harsh and metalic sounding, good for thumb
hammer funk but hardly appropriate for a
"vintage re-issue" bass that lacks any
other features for funky string popping
funksters. A set of Rotosound black flats
gave this ax a more appropriate attitude.
Minor bitch: It's just a bit to long for a
guitar-sized gigbag [most 30" solid body
basses fit in a guitar bag].
It has an opaque finish, but I'm guessing
poplar or such for the body [by its weight
or lack of weight]. Neck is 4 bolt, maple
with rosewood, big peghead with typical
vintage-look tuners that are not smooth at
all in use. PU is a mini P-type split,
and not adjustable. Bridge is stamped and
has the curved stiffening addition at the
top edge [like MusicMan], as well a large
apron of metal ahead of the saddles that
I guess improves transfer of vibes. It's
set up for string-thru-body, no other way
is provided. Even tho it's a 30" bass it
uses MEDIUM scale strings, short scale is
too short with the sting-thru set up.
I'm rating it a 4 because it's blatantly a
narrow purposed item and delivers 100% on
that, but the tuners suhkk. Also, for the
heavy reliance of many vintage styles upon
the low range open strings, it should have
a real zero fret or a brass nut. Overall,
it's a comfortable, compact, affordable,
well made, cool looking, great sounding
vintage knock-off. It seems intended only
for classic styles, being of a design that
plays conveniently in the low range but is
of little practical use above the middle.
Did I mention it sounds really great ?Golem
rated this unit