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Here's my Fender Mustang Bass mini review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Max, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Hey everybody. Haven't been around much this summer but thought I would show my new (to me) Fender Mustang and give a little review of it. There had been some posts about short scale basses and not a lot said about these MIJs.

    I got this on Ebay, with shipping and Western Union fees I paid just over $360.00 without a case. They are $489 at Musician's Friend. I went with the Fiesta Red and perloid pickguard combo. The other option is Olympic White with the tort guard, which I like better, but the price on this was right. Fiesta Red is more of an orange and to me is a "fun" color that kind of matches the personality of the bass. Paint quality is high with no running or waves.

    Construction wise, the "crafted in Japan" models are very high quality for the money. I particularly like the necks and have a 70 reissue P from Japan with the same honey color maple with the nice lacquer job. Neck pocket is nice and tight. The profle of the rosewood fretboard sits high in relation to the neck, but the neck itself is thin, so it plays very easily. Electronics are extremely straightforward. Single coil P style pickup with volume and tone. Bridge has a lot of meat to it and the saddles are typical Fender. String through bridge to me is a bonus because you can use long scale strings on this model. Plus I think sustain is improved and the bass just feels more integrated to me.

    The tuners are again typical Fender. There is a little bit of a skip kind of feel when I tune it, meaning it doesn't have that expensive tuner feel, but the bass stays in tune easily, and after a lot of use.

    As far as sound, I would characterize it as P bass light. Particularly the E string. I can easily adjust that to get the fatness I want by using my Sansamp, but the difference is noticeable just straight to the amp. A, D and G strings have a better growl to them and are the strongpoints. This is a good rock or country bass.

    The bass is delightfully light. I estimate it at about 7 lbs but have not weighed it. The short scale is fun to noodle with and is not that much of a departure for me to play from my P bass, which has a jazz sized neck. It's pure Fender, just trimmed down.

    Can it slap? nnnyeah. Don't ask me cuz Im not that good at it. The string spacing is pretty tight. This bass sails at stuff like "I Saw Her Standing There." Like I said, this is a great rock bass.

    In summary: strengths are lightweight, build quality from our friends in Japan; particularly the neck. Only weakness is it is not going to loosen your bowels like a P bass unless you compensate for the bottom end with a pre-amp. This bass will sit in my office to play with for stress relief and just to have some fun. Definitely a keeper and a good value, even if you were to pay up to the $489 full retail. And yeah, it would be a great first bass for a kid or for someone with small hands.
  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Thanks for the review.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I always dug the `Stangs. Even the Fender Duo-Sonic, which really was in that Fender line, IMO, was a bitchen guitar.

    Set up correctly with light gauge strings, those `Stangs can almost sound like the rare Fender Bass VI !

    Didn't Tina Weymouth use one at times ?
  4. Totally. At some point her Mustang was customized with a Precision pickup and a single coil added near the neck.

    Thanks for the review, Max, and congratulations. I have serious GAS for a Mustang. My girlfriend has a DVD with a performance by the French band Air. The bassist plays a Mustang (through a mic'ed B-15 IIRC), and it sounds incredible.
  5. I played a stang once , and i swear my hand could cover atleast 6 frets! And i have average hands.