Mustang Bass observation
This may be already be pretty much common knowledge to everyone else here but me, but thought I'd pass it on in the hopes that it might be of help to some other bass newb like myself who might be both lurking here and considering the purchase of a Mustang.
I bought myself a Mustang Bass RI (MIJ) about 6 months ago. Being a longtime guitar player but new to bass, I picked short scale thinking it would make for an easier transition from guitar than a 34"-er. I also have arthritic thumbs and have found that short scale is easier on my old hands.
My Mustang came from Fender strung with their (.040"-.095") round wounds. Right out of the gate, I wasn't happy with the sound or feel of the E string: felt too rubbery, sounded unfocused, almost distorted relative to the other strings.
Posted here on TB, asking how I might remedy this deficiency and was advised that higher tension flats would help. Got distracted by another bass for awhile but recently returned to the Mustang and restrung it with D'Addario Chrome (.045"-.100") flats and set it up, which felt and sounded a lot better. But I still didn't like the sound of the E string. This evening, I started fooling around with the pup height adjustment and BINGO: was able to achieve a much more satisfactory sound out of the E by gradually lowering the end of the pup under it.
Feel like an idiot for not trying the pup adjustment sooner: I just got too focused on the looser, short scale, string tension and assumed that that was the only issue in play. Live and learn.
Certainly supports the old truism that you should never assume that your instrument comes dialed in to perfection from the factory.
To be fair to Fender, I need to say that my Mustang is flawless in terms of fit and finish: it just needed a string change and some adjustment to allow it to live up the its full potential.
Yeah its easy to forget whan you change strings. I've finally gotten to where i remember to do an entire setup including pups and truss rod each time the strings get changed.
Too much enthusiasm for the new toy is what I blame it on...
Good for you! I am a huge fan of fender short scale basses. A picture would be nice too.
Been entertaining the thought of getting a Mustang Bass for years...never owned a short scale...played a few in stores and really liked them a lot.
Check out Trevor Bolder on a Mustang with David Bowie....i really like the tone.
Here's a cheaper alternative to the Fender version if you want to test drive a Mustang Bass. They are reputed to be well made (in Indonesia) and are apparently worthy platforms for upgrade (pups, pots, shielding, etc.). Note that the street price is considerably lower than that shown in this link:
Unfortunately, I can't vouch for these from personal experience or provide an A/B comparison with my Fender since I've never been able to find the Squier in a music store near me, but many TB-ers have posted favorable reviews (do a search if you're interested).
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