The term "Fender Mustang" can refer to either the student-oriented short-scale guitar model first introduced in 1964 and recently reissued, or to a newer line of guitar amplifiers, loaded with modern features like built-in amp and effects modeling, USB connectivity, and Fender's FUSE software, for editing, storing and swapping your effects and presets through your computer. While the guitar model has its roots in Fender’s early history, the amp line represents the company's drive to innovate and remain relevant well into the future.
The first Fender Mustang bolted off the assembly line not long after the first Ford Mustang was produced in 1964, and has been captivating players looking for something a little different ever since. The guitar was originally intended as an upgrade to Fender's student models, the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic, which at the time represented a fairly large portion of their guitar sales. It had several unusual features, starting with a rather unique switching and wiring set-up, with a separate on/off/phase reversing slider for each of the two angled pickups, without a dedicated pickup selector. The Mustang also featured a rather unique tremolo/vibrato, or whammy bar bridge system, which is more direct than the usual Fender spring-loaded type typically found on Stratocasters. As a student model, it was originally offered with either a 3/4 size, 22.5" scale length neck, or a 24" scale length, as opposed to the 25.5" scale length found on the Telecaster and Stratocaster models, but the 24" was far more popular. The body featured an offset waist, thought to make it easier to play when seated. The guitar soon found favor with the surf and instrumental bands of the day, and has since become popular with players as diverse as Kurt Cobain, David Byrne, and Thurston Moore. Today, Fender offers several Kurt Cobain signature models, a period-correct '65 reissue, and a Pawn Shop model, loaded with dual humbucking pickups in place of the single coils.
The recent line of Fender Mustang solid-state modeling amplifiers range from the Mustang Mini, a battery-powered portable 7 watt amp with a 6.5" speaker, to the Mustang I, II, III and IV combo amps and the Mustang V 150-watt head with a matching 4x12 cabinet; and the Mustang Floor, a multi-effects pedalboard based on the amp models. The Mustang I pushes 20 watts through an 8" speaker, while the II pushes 40 watts through a 12" speaker. The III is a 100-watt open-back combo with a 12" Celestion, and the IV rocks 150 watts through dual 12" Celestions. Highly versatile, these ponies rock hard right out of the gate, or connect to your computer and use the free FUSE software to store and edit your presets and effects, and even swap them with others in the Fender community. Whether you're saddling up the guitar or the amps, you've got another winner from Fender - grab a matching set and hold on to the reins!
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