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New American Performer Mustang Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by macmanlou, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    A Mustang can cop a P-Bass tone as long as you don't have a real P-Bass to A/B it with. But real Mustang tone is a little different. Slightly tidier and rounder than a P-Bass while thicker and middier than a Jazz.
    macmanlou likes this.
  2. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    You're referring to the P/J Mustangs, and not the ones that have a Mustang pickup, right?
    If so, I pretty much agree.
    The P in the PJ Mustang sounds smoother, creamier, less punchy, and with a bit less heavy lows.
    Kind of a unique sound compared to most basses I've tried.

    I agree with this too, if you're talking about a Mustang pickup, and not a P/J Mustang pickup.
    They sound a bit rounder, with more mids, and almost what I would call a rubber ball bounce sound when compressed.

    Mustangs are getting entirely too many variations.
    It makes it difficult to talk about them without specifying which type.
    dmt and J-Mags like this.
  3. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    You could very well be right - I didn't take that much notice, but they did have the squared P pups vs the oval ones being shown here.
  4. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    Are you in reference to this bass, or are you saying this is an issue with all PJ configuration? The reason I ask is I have an American P-bass Deluxe with a Jazz PU, and the P pickup does not over the Jazz pickup at all. The gain is the pretty much the same.
  5. rwkeating


    Oct 1, 2014
    I am not saying all P/Js have this issue, just that some do. I was curious as to how the balance between the pickups on this new Mustang is.
    dbsfgyd1 likes this.
  6. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    That Mikey Way with the Seymour Duncan and the toggle switch looks perfect. It must be fun to play.
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  7. Christcr

    Christcr Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    Some of you have mentioned either a lipstick or strat pickup in the bridge position. It may look like more of a match, but in my opinion, it would be pretty much worthless as far as sound. The one complaint I have for the PJ Mustang is the somewhat "wimpy" sound with the bridge soloed. Can you imagine how wimpy it would sound with a strat pickup or lipstick?

    What it really needs is a way-overwound j-pickup or something like a Nordstrand "big single" in the bridge spot. I had a 5% overwind Fralin j-pickup in my last PJ Mustang and even that was not beefy enough. My current PJ has stock pickups (with the J-pickup nearly touching the strings and P-pickup way down) and I have just resigned to the fact that soloing the bridge is not really an option most of the time except for goofing around without a band.

    I think this new design might be an attempt to get the pickups a bit more even in output. Those Mustang pickups have half the pole pieces and about half the winding. I'll bet the two pickups are a much better match. Can't wait to try one, which I'm sure will end with me having yet another Mustang in my corral...
  8. TimmyFbass

    TimmyFbass Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    I posted something similar in another smaller thread on these new performer series Mustang basses....

    It appears fender was going for a traditional mustang bass with the mustang style bridge and the mustang split coil pickups, then for some reason they added the jazz pickup.

    If you notice in every picture the E string is over the right pole piece and G strings is over the left pole piece of the jazz pickup.

    If you moved them to be in the center of the pole pieces on the jazz pickup (which by the way you can’t because of the traditional mustang style bridge with grooves for the saddles) then they would be too far left and right going over the mustang pickups.

    That’s why I don’t understand why fender even added a jazz pick up in the bridge position when the traditional mustang style bridge is geared for the strings going properly over the mustang split coils and not the jazz pickup.

    It’s almost like an afterthought like somebody had the idea of “hey let’s throw a jazz pickup by the bridge, like the Mexican made PJ configuration because those are selling pretty well“
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 10:39 PM
    rwkeating, macmanlou and Lex P. like this.
  9. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    I'm hoping that we'll see and hear some demos soon. They had to redesign the bridge to make room for that jazz pickup. Maybe Fender chose to have the strings go over the bridge pickup that way on purpose, in order to emphasize the middle strings' output?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 11:05 PM
    dmt likes this.
  10. TimmyFbass

    TimmyFbass Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    I’m curious if the jazz pickup on this bass is in the same location as on the mustang PJ bass.

    If that is the case then the regular full-size mustang bridge would not work because it would cover some of the jazz bass route.

    nor would the bridge on the PJ work because the string spacing on that bridge is geared to go over (in between the pole pieces as best as possible) a precision bass pickup which is larger than the mustang split coil pickup. And in doing so more aligns with going in between the pole pieces on the jazz pickup of the pj configuration.

    That’s why I believe this downsized mustang style bridge is geared more towards properly going over the smaller mustang split coil then it is between the pole pieces of the jazz pickup on this new mustang

    Here are some samples

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 11:31 PM
    Root 5, dmt and macmanlou like this.
  11. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    They went for pretty different tones there in those two demos
    macmanlou likes this.
  12. KenB


    Jul 15, 2008
    Yellow Springs, OH
    The Jazz pickup is in the exact same location (lengthwise). The string spacing is a little wider on the MIM PJ, so the strings are centered better with the E and G pole pieces (but still not perfectly).

    Incidentally, The pole pieces of the new split mustang pickup line up perfectly with the E and A pole pieces of the P pickup on the PJ. The D and G side of the P pickup is shifted about 1/4 inch towards the bridge because of its larger size.

    This picture is an overlay of the new Performer Mustang on the JMJ Road Worn model, to show the difference in size between the Seymour Duncan custom Mustang pickup on the JMJ and the Yosemite pickup. But you can see the difference between the size and location of the two bridges. Fender would have had to move the Jazz pickup just a bit to be able to use the vintage bridge on the Performer.

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 7:29 AM
    macmanlou likes this.
  13. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    I'm sure they could have managed it without difficulty.
  14. Tell me, please tell me, that you still own it.
  15. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    The J-pickup completely ruins the aesthetics for me. Without the J-pickup I would have ordered the surf green one INSTANTLY.

    It wouldn't have looked quite as bad to me if they had at least used regular a regular size P-pickup. I probably still wouldn't have gotten one, I'm personally not a fan of P/J, but that J + small Mustang pickups... totally ruins it for me.
  16. Christcr

    Christcr Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    The thing everyone should remember here is that there are oodles of "regular" Mustangs floating around. If you want a standard Mustang, there are plenty out there. There is also the JMJ "regular" Mustang currently offered. I'm assuming the PJ has been quite a hit for Fender, thus you now see this American version offered. I'm also assuming they used the normal Mustang pickup to address the complaint that the PJ is "not a Mustang." Now it is, with the versatility of an extra pickup.

    I don't think it would have made very good business sense for Fender to reintroduce essentially what they discontinued just a few years back (a "regular" Mustang). Yes, it was a Japanese rather than American bass, but there is a reason they discontinued it--lack of sales. Why would they start making something again they couldn't sell before? As for this version, I'll be getting one... before they stop making them. Maybe they will catch on, but I'd say the Mustang market is a pretty small market. I also think we have the PJ to thank for Fender making any Mustang bass at all. If it wouldn't have been for the PJ, I'll bet there still would be no Mustang offered from Fender. So, with that in mind, this American version of what is essentially a PJ makes perfect sense, business-wise (at least to me).
    macmanlou likes this.
  17. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    It is VERY UPSETTING that Fender put a J bridge pickup on the Mustang.

    For me, a major turn off!!!!!!!!

    It is supposed to be like this!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Christcr

    Christcr Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    And if the new American Performer Mustang had been "like this," how many would you have bought?

    Personally, I wouldn't have bought any. I already have three of them like that. Don't need another. As it is, I will be buying one... because it is something different from the rest.
  19. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    While the J pickup and smaller bridge really change this Mustang's look, the wide variety of tones is pretty nice.
    dmt likes this.
  20. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    For those of us who would like a nice original type Mustang Bass (like Bill Wyman of The Stones), we have 2 choices. Buy a vintage USA Mustang Bass for an outrageous price or buy a used out of production MIJ Mustang Bass for around $1,000 to $1,200.

    Would have been really nice if Fender would offer it's new Mustang Bass with and without the J bridge pickup.


    Lucky you! Three Mustangs?! Original type?

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