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Fender Mustang GT Series Amps

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by pondcaster, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. tonezone6

    tonezone6 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    24
    Nov 16, 2017
    Romania
    I own a GT100 and just bought a J. Rocket Blue Note and the result is ...very inconsistent [​IMG] no drive at all, just mids & volume boost..
    Tried with deluxe reverb & twin reverb, played with gain/volume/bias settings. No success.
     

  2. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    219
    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    I was enjoying this --



    and wondering how he got that bright, bursting sausage tone. Then the camera pulled back again to show that big Vox amp in the background. I paused the video, plugged an Epiphone Les Paul into my Mustang GT 40, pulled my chair back from the amp, and launched the Fender Tone app on my iPod Touch. Chose the "British 60s" (= Vox) amp, turned the gain way up, and added the '63 Spring Reverb. Then I added the generic Overdrive pedal with its default settings. (That's a nice-sounding pedal, by the way.) Overdrive on top of high-gain? "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful." I played around with various echo and tremolo settings, then set them both to "bypass" for use as needed. (In combination, I thought they were too much -- at least with a tone this fat.)

    I really liked what I was hearing, and wondered what it would sound like with a Strat. I expected, going from humbuckers to single coils, to need a boost -- not really! I guess with this much gain, the difference between pickup types is more compression than anything else. But why not see what I could do? I bypassed the first Overdrive and added a second. I had no intention of running them both at the same time; it was more a way of saving two settings in one patch: Overdrive 1 on, Overdrive 2 bypassed = humbucker setting; Overdrive 1 bypassed, Overdrive 2 on = single coil. The only difference, so far, is that Overdrive 2 has a healthy boost of mid frequencies.

    Fun, fun, fun!

    A week and a half ago I bought a used Boss Katana 50 on Craigslist for $125. That seemed the right price for a year-old amp. I'd played it a few times in stores, so I had a pretty good notion of what I was getting. But even in the parking lot where we met to do the deal, it sounded glorious. This summer, when I was shopping for a practice amp, I looked at the Katana, the Mustang GT, and the Vox VT20X. I didn't have a chance to compare them directly, but when I tried them separately I liked all three and figured I would be happy with any of them. I chose the Mustnag GT on the basis of features, but kept my interest in the Katana. One thing I notice now: the Boss amp is more ruggedly built. It's also louder: I would be confident taking the Katana to a bar, which I would be with the GT 40. The Katana's bigger speaker (1x12" vs. GT 40's 2x6") gives the bass more kick. It has a "mid" frequency knob (which the GT 100 has but the GT 40 lacks). And, I think it's safe to say, finding good sounds is faster with the Katana.

    Going the other way: the GT 40 has less bass than the Katana 50, but it also fits comfortably on a shelf, close to ear level when I'm sitting down. I don't move it around, but it's lighter and more compact. The biggest difference, which was very apparent when I was trying to get that Vox tone, is editing. Boss has a nice laptop/desktop editor, but nothing for iPad or Android. (There is a third-party Android app, but the guy developing it has disappeared. Nothing wrong with that: he wasn't asking for money.) Wireless connections, with the Boss amp, are non-existent. The Boss editor is better, in some ways, than the Fender editor, but you must have a computer, whereas the Mustang GT has everything you need on the amp itself. At some point, the external software for editing both of these machines is going to stop being supported, but the GT will still have its onboard editor and screen. I'm still learning my way around the Katana -- in addition to the five amps that you can select from the panel, there are about 20 so-called "sneaky amps" that you can unlock through software, set up as you like, and save to the Katana's preset channels. (A recent firmware update doubles these channels from 2 to 4 on the Katana 50 and 4 to 8 on the Katana 100.) But tweaking the effects, beyond setting an overall effect level, has to be done on a computer.

    Which sounds better? I still haven't played them in the same room. When I first got the Katana set up in the guest room, I played the clean channel and thought, "This is what I should have bought this summer." But a few days later I went back and played the GT 40 with my slightly-tweaked Basic Princeton patch. That's a pretty nice sound too. I'm not sure yet which I prefer.

    If I knew a young person who didn't have any other gear, I would probably recommend the Katana, because it's easy to find good sounds right away and it's built for performance as well as practice. But for practice and recording? I think the editing can be improved on the GT 40 -- the knobs and app both need to be tuned for acceleration -- but editing the GT is something you can do without a computer. Also, I like having 200 preset slots instead of 4.

    I haven't tested enough to see which is better with pedals. The consensus seems to be that the GTs do it better than the previous generation of Mustang, but the Katana is widely acknowledged to take all manner of pedals well. (When I was in Sam Ash this summer, Boss had a display where you could test about 30 pedals, and they were all plugged into a Katana.)

    Mustang GT has a looper and tuner...

    One more thing: Boss's parent company, Roland, seems to be more responsive to customers than in the past. That's not something I associated with Roland, but I'm seeing it in various areas (synths too).
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017

  3. Lephthandmaninvan

    Lephthandmaninvan TDPRI Member

    Age:
    65
    10
    May 5, 2017
    Vancouver B.C. Canada
    Get a life!
     
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  4. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    208
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    Man, I like em both. Follow your ears. I see a place for both. When I want to explore amps, I can spend a day playing with the gt40. When I want a more standard experience, the katana or the champion 40 come to mind. Both great amps despite what folks who haven’t used them or used them lately may say.
    Thanks for all the detail. I need to try it all out. Oh and my shout out to my faves the bandmaster and Excelsior!
     
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  5. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    219
    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    A couple addenda: (1) I forgot to mention that I turned the high cut on the "British 60s" amp down to 0. (2) I now understand why the single-coil Strat didn't sound that different from the humbucker Les Paul. I had the volumes knobs on my Les Paul turned way down from Tuesday's guitar lesson! Turning them back to full produced very different results with the same patch: not bad, but I like the low guitar-volume effect better.

    After I wrote about this yesterday morning, I tried to approximate the same tone on my Katana across the hall. I have mine set up to use a Vox clone (Matchless) on one of the preset channels, and it wasn't hard from there to get something similar to my Mustang tone. Tweaking the effects is much easier on the Mustang, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  6. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    219
    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    This morning I worked on an Excelsior patch. Turn up the gain, boost with the generic Overdrive or just EQ gain, and that amp makes some sweet, saturated sounds -- but with more sizzle than I want. I tried EQ to the frequency out, but didn't find it. (That doesn't mean it can't be done, just that I didn't do it.)

    Delay and harmonic tremolo to the rescue! My blooming blues lead became a brooding rake or arpeggio. Then I turned down the volume on my Strat down to around 7.5. The attack got soft and velvety. Hence

    Velvet Excelsior
    https://www.fender.com/tone/presets/velvet-excelsior-1877579083
     
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  7. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    219
    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    Last night I was playing around with the GT 40 and noticed a ticking sound, synchronized with the tap tempo light. Turned off all effects, and I could still hear it. The main thing I'd changed in the last month was adding the MGT-4 controller, so I unplugged that at the controller end. Still ticking... Then I tried unplugging the controller at the amp end. That stopped it! More experimentation showed that where I put the controller cable made a difference. Also, the ticking disappeared in looper mode (and any other time that the controller's LED tempo light was NOT flashing).

    I was able to arrange the cable in a way that the ticking was inaudible at normal volumes (normal for me, in my study, where I rarely turn the master volume up to much less beyond nine o'clock). Not reporting this as a fatal flaw, just recording it for future reference and possibly help to others who have a similar experience.
     
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  8. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Now I think I know now why so many talk about a muffled sound from the Mustang GT series. I usually play sitting right in front of my GT40, but the other night I sat a few feet off to one side, and the amp sounded really muffled, like I had turned the treble way down. Then I moved to my usual spot right in front of it, and it sounded right again. So, the speakers in the GT40 are very directional. High frequencies roll off quickly off axis. Not a problem in the GT40, which is a bedroom amp, and not going to be in a club or rehearsal where it needs to throw a large soundstage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  9. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    I found this on YouTube- apologies if it's been posted before. This one is for all the Mustang GT haters out there, just to prove you wrong!
     
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  10. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I am surprised this thread is still alive. Most of the "haters" never spent any time with the GT. They were just piling on to the hatchet jobs by others. Sheep gonna sheep. Haters gonna hate.
     
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  11. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    I still say the GT DOES have issues tone wise and that it has to do with the speaker and the cabinet. The modeling is fabulous, but they just need to change the speaker and that cabinet. I've tried about 4 or 5 speakers and when i still had my MIII i tried them all both in the GT and in the MIII can via a jury rigged cable so i could play them in the MIII via the GT amp. I then also cut up a old combo and made a really cheezy 1x12 cab from it to use two 8 ohm 12's with the GT and even when any speaker goes in that cab it sounds better then in the GT.

    I never had the tonal issues others have mentioned like the muffled sound or any of that, but the GT does give a speaker a rather anemic sound that really puzzles me because I thought ply would be better. But I think the problem is MDF is better for modelers after i researched it. Ply is better for tube amp generally IMO because i have compared the same speakers in both before and the difference wasn't subtle.

    Fender should really look at changing the cabs and speakers for the better, as i don't think they put much thought into them and that would improved the GT immensely. I WILL say that with the EQ's that came in the last update you can do a respectable job of making up for the cab's sonic shortcomings and even the speaker to some extent, tho the speaker will never sound great IMO. Like i have said before, it sound good at low volumes, but soon as i started playing the GT at jams i realize at volume it turns to harsh treble. Anyways, i now use it with a 1x12 ext cab with a celestion 100 and a EV12L in the GT and it sounds great. I haven a switch and jack mounted in the rear so i can hit the switch and go to the GT by itself which actually sounds fine in the GT by itself and the EQ's easily make up for any shortcomings in the cab. I like both sounds so the switch is nice as it give me 2 different tones at the flip of a switch. I think fender will likely change some things and come out with a V2 at some point and I wouldn't be surprised if they make cab and speaker changes. The difference is nite and day and it's a improved tone that most or all GT players have not experienced. I haven't heard of anyone else thats done this so i am probably the only one who's experienced what the GT can do when you remove both the speaker and cab shortcomings. I know some will say it's all subjective, but there are some things that just generally aren't and i can't imagine anyone liking the sound of the GT's cabs over either of the two others i have tried it with unless you like weak thin tone vs punchy full sounding tone. Of course i can't comment on the 40 for obvious reason.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
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  12. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    London
    Interesting. Never played either amp, but I quickly called each of them correctly as they came on with clean tones, without comparing. Skipped over the tests with pedals.

    Not saying I hate anything, or which is best, as I own both a Mustang III and a 1966 Deluxe Reverb and a ‘58 Princeton, so maybe that affected my decision.

    But yep, it was pretty easy to tell which was a model of a DR and a Deluxe, and which, by default, was the Blues Junior or whatever.

    Interesting and thanks for the post.
     

  13. Risible

    Risible TDPRI Member

    Age:
    48
    13
    Oct 20, 2017
    NY
    I finally had my last straw with my GT40. I really liked some of the cleans but could never really totally clean up the boxy sound. Still, I loved the form-factor and the features, so I was dealing with the sound.

    Upgraded to the latest firmware and couldn't connect to the amp via bluetooth any more. Tried with both Android and IOS, and it threw up different errors for each operating system. Opened a ticket with Fender and after a bunch of back and forth with the techs (who were very nice and tried to help me) the end result was basically "maybe the next patch will fix your problem, in the meantime enjoy your amp sans BT connectivity." Needless to say I wasn't happy.

    In the meantime I busted out my Mustang 1 v2 and was shocked when I fired it up at how much better it sounded than the GT40 - I guess I had just forgotten after getting used to the GT40. Also playing with Fender Fuse made me realize I really enjoyed the simplicity of Fender Fuse over the phone app.

    I immediately threw the GT40 on eBay and went out and bought a Mustang III v2.

    The next iteration of the GT will probably be awesome, but for me it was just too many headaches. I'm glad others are enjoying theirs, as I like Fender as a company for the most part.

    Thus endeth my sad tale :).
     
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  14. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    Same here. Well, not firing up the old one and feeling its better. But just tired of trying to deal with a few bugs and the fact the cabinet sounds like crap and the output section i think is weak. tried the katanas a few time but unimpressed. The i tried the katana artist...whole different thing. Bought one and the ,more i play it and learn it the more i love it. The thing kills. Much better then the K50/100. And the output section/cab/speaker compared to the GT....nite and day.

    I loved the GT's modeling and i still think it's great. But that married it to a pathetic cab/speaker/power amp. I could change speakers and did, using a ext cab and 2 8 ohm speakers. But that tinny sounding GT cab and weak sounding power section just don't cut it. Combined with the buggy functionality i gave the atrist a shot with GC's 45 day return policy. But it ain't going back ! The one thing to note tho is if FX are important to you, the kat is not the answer either. Great tone, which to me trumps all. But the kat's FX and switching functionality is the worse i have ever witnessed. The GT is infinitely better. But if like me tone is everything, try the artist. It kills the GT tonally and beats the other kats too. Great amp, and very different from the regular kats.
     

  15. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    219
    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    I have a Katana 50 across the hall, but I still practice with my GT40 every day. Bluetooth is flaky, but the size makes it convenient to put at desk level, and I can edit stuff without a computer. Lots of effects to explore too. The Boss gear does feel sturdier, and would be my choice if I needed an amp to play out. If Fender made a small floor model, like the Boss GT-1, I bet it would do well.
     

  16. Georox

    Georox Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 30, 2014
    The tan house in AZ
    Interesting, you've been a staunch defender of the GT and finally admit it's not up to par.
     

  17. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    Over and over i said the speaker and cab were sub par. I'm not saying anything i haven't already said here and elsewhere. I criticized speaker and cab, the switching limitations and other bugs it had and crappy tuner. But because someone here decided to attack me on liking the amp's tone, my criticisms were never quoted because that would not speak to thier argument that i'm an idiot. My point was and always has been the modeling is great, and it is. But the speaker and cab were crippling it, and when I used a ext cab i could somewhat get past the limitations. But even then i had to use a speaker in the gt along with it both at 8 ohms to make 4 total, and the GT cab added undesirable details. And i wasn't about to try and find a good 4 ohm speaker and lug a combo around to use as a head with a ext cab. It was just a PITA. Add to that the amp had a bug where every so often it started cutting out and updates didn't fix it. That was the last straw that made me decide to try the artist on the GC 45 day return policy and only keep it if it was truly great. It turned out to be more then great. It sounds much better then the kat100/50, yet the big diff is the cab and speaker. Fender needs to take a lesson from boss and create thier "artist". Beef up the cab and a great speaker. But still until they work out the bugs i'm out. If they did all that tho it would be the better option due to the kats almost totally worthless effects functionality.
     

  18. Risible

    Risible TDPRI Member

    Age:
    48
    13
    Oct 20, 2017
    NY
    Does anyone really like the GT40 without reservations? It has some amazing features, and the sound for the size is awesome. Most reviews, even good ones, had a lot of caveats in them it seemed to me.

    If they can get rid of that muffled boxy thing that's going on with it I'll happily pick up the next iteration. What they really need to do is allow app connectivity AND computer connectivity a la Fender Fuse so that you can use either.
     

  19. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    Well, to me the GT100 sounded great at bedroom levels even with the cab and stock speaker. It's louder volumes where it falls apart. So the 40 i would say being a bedroom level amp would be fine. But if you have that muffled thing going on then i dunno what to tell you. The 100 has no such thing. It;s either that you haven't edited deeply or the stereo effect causes it. But i never had anything close to that on the GT100 which may well be due to it being mono. Stereo can sound muffled and if they used some sort of separation effect that may be the reason. I don't think anyone has even determined that. One way you could find out is get inside the thing and unplug one of the speakers. If the muffled sound goes away then thats what it is. Many years ago I used to seperate one channel on my stereo original recordings from the other channel with a short delay of maybe 20 ms if i recall. The sound gets huge, but it also gets muffled if you use too long a delay, and too little and the effect is gone. They may have used some trick like that and if you unplugged one speaker and feel like the note is coming out a millisecond after you pick it then thats what they did. Then plug that speaker back in and unplug the other speaker and it would be clear and un muffled w/o that slight delay. Of course they may have used some other method, and thats even assuming that it IS the stereo aspect thats causing it.
     

  20. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    219
    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    I take that back. The latest firmware breaks the tone editing app on Apple devices older than iOS 10.x, which includes the iPod Touch 5G that I've been using since I bought the amp this summer. Apparently Fender is just abandoning customers with those devices.

    Bluetooth editing was one of the reasons I chose the Mustang GT 40 over a Boss Katana 50 (which I also bought, later, on Craigslist). I see why Fender doesn't want the expense of supporting older devices, but you can't expect customers to thank you for it or spread the good news about this amp when one of its main selling points expires after less than a year of ownership.

    The Mustang GT has a lot of things I still like, but if someone asks "What's the best modeling amp in this price range?" I think my answer would have to be Boss Katana. It may lack some of the Mustang GT's features, but it was designed for a longer lifespan.
     
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