Fender Mustang Japanese Re-Issue Reviews 4

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 4 on 2003-10-06.

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