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Mustang Bass observation

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mustang Surly, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    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.
  2. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    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...
  3. Dale Johnson

    Dale Johnson

    Jul 22, 2008
    Moran Kansas
    Good for you! I am a huge fan of fender short scale basses. A picture would be nice too.
  4. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
  5. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013

    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).
  6. scottie65


    Jul 31, 2013
    Can someone tell me when in an article refers to "pups" what they are talking about?
  7. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    pups is short for pickups.

    I used to think Mustangs and Mustang basses looked weird, but I liked the way the guitars play and sound, and I got used to it.

    I like the look now, and Mustang basses are fun too.
  8. scottie65


    Jul 31, 2013
    I am wondering if anyone has had any problems that live in the southwest with the VM Mustang as far as neck warping, twisting etc since it is so dry out here. Since they are made in Indonesia I was wondering about that since the climate is much different than the desert atmosphere I live in. I am trying to decide between this one that I just found or the Hofner Galaxie CT. That is another nice 30" scale but I think and am not sure so correct me if I am wrong is made in Germany. Does anyone have experience with the Hofner Galaxie? I am wondering since it has a bridge and neck pickup how variable the sound would be. Sure would be nice to have a site that would address that. Hard to find many on youtube that plays the Galaxie. I guess on this one any major sales company would honor the warranty even if you did not buy it from them. Any suggestions are welcomed.
  9. scottie65


    Jul 31, 2013
    Thanks for the reply.