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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

As much as I'd love a tube amp, my Mustang III just rules!

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by unixfish, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    I bought a Mustang III around the middle of last year. I had my eye on a DRRI, and a CVRI, I looked at the Bassbreaker, the AC15, and a bunch of others. I just could not find "that sound" more than once in a row, and when I added up an amp and the few pedals I knew I wanted, well, the bill just kept climbing. That, and I normally cannot play loudly at home.

    I just love that Mustang. It sounds good, and can still sound good at low volume. But I'm finding that is not what I like the most.

    When I first got my Mustang, I could not get enough of the 65 Deluxe Reverb patch. (Yes, I modified it to sound good - as I have with all the patches I've worked with). After a week, it just didn't sound right / it just didn't "do it for me" anymore.

    Then I could not get enough of the SuperSonic 22 patch. After a week, it just didn't sound right.

    Then I was all over the Bassman.

    Then I was all over the 65 Princeton.

    Then I was all over the Marshall.

    Then I loved the Bassman with Big Fuzz.

    Deluxe Reverb with Big Fuzz.

    Deluxe Reverb with compression.

    A few weeks ago, it was blackbox and orangebox with a few models.

    This last week, it's been 65 DR, Bassman, and Marshall with overdrive.

    Thing is, each time I think "This is my sound!", a few days later it isn't, and I find another that does it for me. There are so many great sounds to be had in this amp, there is always something that scratches that itch, no matter where that itch may land for me that day.

    So, how much would I have had to spend on two or three amps and a handful of pedals? At least six times what I spend on the M-III.

    I can also find a "tone" to come close to a song I may be working on - getting something in the ballpark makes it easier for me to learn things.

    Sure - all this amp hopping / sound hopping is me - but this thing just works for me.

    Funny thing is, I only play my Tele. The Strat pretty much stays in it's case. It's just the amp settings that seem to need to switch to my wandering ear.

  2. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World
    I bought a Mustang III V2 last week. I think I'm heading down the same road as you have traveled with it. It sounds great and I'm only focusing on the Fender amp pre-set models at this time while I'm exploring the in's and out's of the FUSE program.
    privatesalt and wayloncash like this.

  3. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    You make a good point, unix.

    I haven't lately, since I've had a pretty narrow focus, but at times when I'm lacking inspiration I've found that spending 20 minutes building a foreign (to me) preset gives me hours of enjoyment.

    I think I've found the most value in the gigging and recording aspects now that I've nailed down a few baseline tones for the music I play.
    JasonKingsX, privatesalt and Jim Dep like this.

  4. mikeRI

    mikeRI TDPRI Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Rhode Island
    I recently bought a Mustang I as a practice amp. Lots of fun! Like you said, I think being able to dial in new tones keeps playing enjoyable, and it's less stressful than buying and selling boutique tube amps!

    Don't get me wrong, I love tube amps, and still gig with one; but I'm enjoying the Mustang.
    privatesalt and Jim Dep like this.

  5. drlucky

    drlucky Tele-Meister

    Jun 19, 2012
    Fresno, Ca
    I'm a serious tube amp snob. Have been for over 40 years. About two months ago I played a gig where I had to use a supplied backline (benefit show with lotsa bands, needed to be able to switch between bands quickly), and the amp they had for me was a Mustang III. I was absolutely amazed at how great it sounded. I was using the 65 Deluxe Reverb and Tweed Pro settings...amazing. I may just have to pick one of these up for gigging...

  6. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    New York
    I think a Mustang or any similar type modeling amp is a terrible choice for a backline amp. It's like having to use someone else's cell phone that has all THEIR information and none of yours. The whole idea, IMHO, is to set the Mustang up so it's dialed in for your personal gear and playing style. Pickup sensitivity is one example and there is a difference between how it responds to single coil and humbuckers, depending on the output of the pickup. Once making the changes on the amp is done, you get the max benefit of having one. I think using someone else's modeling amp on the fly could be a disaster and leave someone wondering what all the hype was about. I'm glad in your case that it did work but I think the odds were against you.
    What would make that situation work GREAT was for someone who has the same amp at home, uploaded their presets on a laptop / external hard drive and then downloaded (with permission) their settings into a Mustang used as a back line amp. I don't know, maybe that's a common practice now... great if it is.
    Anyway, I'm glad it worked out for you :)
    privatesalt and nicholaspaul like this.

  7. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 9, 2015
    Seekonk, MA
    The key phrase that you mention is that you can't play loud at home. A tube amp needs to breathe. My Deluxe doesn't come into its own unless I can get it past 6 which is pretty frikin loud at home. A friend of mine bought his daughter a Mustang III for Christmas along with a CV Tele. I came over to jam with her and give her a sort of lesson and I had a blast playing through that Mustang! Would I trade for the DR? Oh my goodness no!
    wayloncash and nicholaspaul like this.

  8. nicholaspaul

    nicholaspaul Tele-Meister

    Mar 15, 2010
    Suffolk UK
    I see your point. I don't know if you've used a Mustang, but what I like about mine is that you don't have to worry about the presets. Once you have picked an amp, you can use the dials like any other amp. For me that makes it so easy to use that I don't think about it being digital. The only menu diving is when you want to pick efffects, but even that is just scrolling through a list and, again, turning knobs. It's very intuitive.
    privatesalt likes this.

  9. I use my Mustang lll version 1 as a tuner (loved it when I got it but now.....)

    Use my tube amps to play

    And I only play at home.
    Darkness likes this.

  10. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 13, 2016
    Georgia, US
    I love my Mustang III v2. I can get nice clean Fender sounds with or without effects and, for a backline situation, I can quickly edit a patch to a good clean Fender sound and use my pedalboard, all without saving the setting to mess with the presets. It's a good tone machine in my humble opinion.
    privatesalt likes this.

  11. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I am truly going back and forth in my mind between a
    Mustang ll or a Boss Katana.
    Both are the same price, the Mustang has hundreds of presets, but the Katana has every Boss pedal ever made built right it.
    I don't want to spend a lot time fooling around with knobs and menu's and such.
    Both amps have very dedicated and enthusiastic owners.
    I'm truly torn between the two.
    privatesalt likes this.

  12. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Rhode Island
    If all those sounds are so great, why do you get tired of them?

    Asking for a friend.

  13. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Rhode Island
    My favorite channel of my favorite amp has a volume control and a tone control. I haven't moved the tone knob in years.

    Never fails to give me the exact tone I have in my head. Sometimes it even surprises me by sounding better than I imagined it could.

    Ease the picking, lower the volume slightly on the guitar and it jangles, croons and sings. Dig in, turn it up and it bites, snarls and barks.

    Stick a Fuzzulator in front of it and it does all the same, but fuzzy.


  14. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    New York
    In your case, you're already familiar enough with the amp to know what you want and where to find to make quick adjustments if you had to use someone else's ( providing that no one messed with the basic amp presets and hit "save".) What I was concerned with above, was someone who's not familiar with the amp enough to make those quick adjustments if they had to plug into one doing a one nighter.

    Even with your own pedal board, you still have to know that there's about 80 presets to go through to get to #80 or so where the basic amps start...and some of those basic models have the gain up. If you know the amp, it takes a second to turn the wheel on top to get to those models........if you don't know the might be a little frustrating just trying to figure that out if you're doing a quick switch of musicians between acts.

    After owning the amp for a while, everything I need to know when making a preset is very simple to find. Many years back when I used to sit in with bands here and there, in general, the amps on stage were pretty straight forward, whether they were tube or solid state. If I had never used a Mustang and had 5 minutes to get it dialed in front of a crowd, I'd be a wreck.
    A Mustang can be as simple as any amp to operate, but you initially have to set up that way. The amp always defaults to preset 00 when powered up, and is not even close to being a basic dry amp. It's a tone used for soloing with lots of effects. That's how it comes out of the box. When I turn the amp on and it goes to 00, I want that preset to be the model I use the most and the settings to be neutral, so that I can have the knobs operate like the original model. The nice thing is, is that you can set it up any way that works best for you.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017

  15. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2011
    Kent, UK
    I've got a Mustang III v1 and love it. I'm tempted to get the v2 but so far I haven't had any problems with mine, not even the fizz that some complained about. Great amps and perfectly loud enough to gig with while easy on the back.
    I only use a few of of the presets - two Bassman versions, the Twin and the 80s.
    privatesalt and Jim Dep like this.

  16. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    All those presets...sounds like a rabbit hole to me, and as I know I'm susceptible to going down rabbit holes, I'm leery...
    rich815 likes this.

  17. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    New York
    I'm not familiar with the Katana's so I'm no help there, but with the on board pedals they have available, you still need to set them up somehow.and save those many different amp / pedal combinations are you able to store on the amp without it being plugged into a computer?....just curious. IOW's you don't have to dial them in every time you select a different combination and load them in, right? I wouldn't think so.

    I got interested in the Mustang after they'd been out for about a year, due to the amount of gigging musicians that were singing praises about them. What impressed me was that these opinions were coming from people who'd played professionally, some who played for a living and who'd been doing it for a while. There were a fair share of critics too, some that hated the concept of modeling technology or anything digital. Some just didn't bond for whatever reason.
    I was never overly impressed with most of the YouTube demos with how the Mustangs sounded, especially the ones with the most views but I was given a link to a few videos that sounded really good and some that weren't on YouTube. The ones that sounded good to me were from players who tweaked their own presets and who had a good understanding of how to set it properly.
    All this was before Shane from " In the Blues" started using a Mustang and making his video series with his custom presets.
    Once I learned about all the editing capabilities and on board effects, I saw a great deal of potential to get some great tone out of an inexpensive amp. The more I learned about it, I figured I could use this amp for many different styles I like to play. Once I finally saw one the Mustang III in person, it was already looking familiar.

    What I'd do in your shoes is find actual owners of the Kantana amps and hit them with as many questions you can think of and hopefully that will help you decide. There's probably some owners who've done video demos that will give you some good info.....maybe who play similar styles to what you like. Learn as much as you can about the amp, BEFORE you hit the stores to try one out.
    privatesalt likes this.

  18. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    New York

    I know, all those presets and so little time. I just made a dozen or so I like for the styles I like to play. All those factory presets will remain virgins.
    privatesalt likes this.

  19. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    Y'know, I'm not really sure. I will just love the SuperSonic patch one day, thinking it sounds perfect. The next day, it will be too trebly and shrill. One day the Bassman really gets it, the next it's too muddy.

    It may have to do with the amount of ringing in my ears that day? Humidity? Mood? Who knows. All I know is no sound I've ever gotten has made me happy all the time.

    My old SS am that I retired would only sound good occasionally; sometimes it sounded nice, many times not. Same room, same guitar, same playing position.

    I've just always been this way.

    The think I really like is that the MIII always has something I can find that "hits the spot". I have no idea why that dad-gummed spot keeps moving.
    drlucky and privatesalt like this.

  20. Journeyman22

    Journeyman22 Tele-Meister

    Dec 11, 2014
    Piute County, Utah
    I am very happy with my Mustang III v2! I got about 25 presets (Fuse, or just the Amp presets) all set up from 01 to 24 with a good Rockabilly preset on "00". Jumping around from Surf tunes to Country or even "Aqualung", it don't take long for me to get the tone I want. The speaker is just now getting broken in, the sounds just keep getting better! If Fender ever up dates to a v3 I will most likely be first in line to buy one!
    drlucky and privatesalt like this.

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