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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Acacia, Aug 30, 2000.
I heard mention of a Mustang bass. Was there one ever made? Just curious.
I've seen Squier Mustangs. Most likely there is a Fender Mustangs somewhere. but I've seen Squier Mustangs in Musician's Friend catalog. Not really sure of the specs
Yup - I bought a US-made Mustang bass in the late 70s, when I was a young aspiring bass player - mostly based on the Fender name. It was horrible - rusty and no tone options whatsoever. It was also short scale and lacked bottom-end. The only good thing about it was that it had a high re-sale value and I got a good deal when I traded it in for an Ibanez Musician in the 80s - and this was a much better bass!
Yeah, the Mustang was a short-scale Fender made in the '70s. It sported a split pickup and many of the features of the Precision, such as a p-style bridge and full-size machines. It filled the gap between the Musicmaster beginner model and the premium Jazz and Precision (and Starcaster -- remember them?) models. While it appealed to some bassplayers with smaller hands it never really caught on big -- too expensive for beginners, but not really enough appeal to more experienced players, who were opting for Precisions and Jazzes. It was eventually discontinued, but I'm not sure of the date. Any Fender aficianadoes out there who can fill in the detail on this?
[Edited by jcadmus on 08-30-2000 at 02:10 PM]
Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones played a Mustang bass for quite a while...of course he also played a Framus for quite a while.
I had a Fender Mustang bass around 1968-69 if memory serves me. It was short scale, single P pup, white with a tourtoise shell pickguard and a chrome control cover like a J bass. Came in a silver/gray plush lined Fender case. Cool bass. I traded my hollowbody two pickup F hole Framus bass for it. I wish I had them both back.
I recall seeing either Hamish Stuart and/or Alan Gorrie of AWB with a Mustang. Sounded nice for them.
The Mustang bass is actually a pretty high quality bass. For example, most objective observers would agree that its bridge is superior to that of the Precision bass, and the one I have (a late 60's with competition stripe) has strings through body, and has pretty good tone.
I don't know of another short scale bass of similar vintage that has as solid a bass tone as the old Mustangs. I think they were most popular with bassists who physically were small, like Bill Wyman of the Stones and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads.
Plus it looks cool!
I wouldn't have said that the US-made one I had in the late 70s was very high quality! The bridge was pretty awful (rsuty) and contributed to a lack of sustain and as I mentioned before, the bass lacked bottom end. I changed it as soon as I could and realised that any other bass I tried, sounded better. I think that any side-by-side comparison with a P-Bass would show up the lack of bottom end and it has no "frills" whatsoever. One very poor pickup and a single tone knob that does nothing. By the early 80s there were many basses that were way better and I could never see the point of short scale basses anyway.
Jeffery Hammond of Jethro Tull ('71-'75) also played one for a while too. Speaking of Tull bassists, did anyone see the article in this month's BP on Jonathon Noyce, Tull's current bassist? He's quite a good player - I've heard him twice live and of course on the new album. I think he's the first Tull bass player to NOT play with a pick! (not that that has anything to do with him being especially good or not! )