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

Mustang III - convince me this is the right choice

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by unixfish, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    I bought a guitar yesterday - my first Tele. I have an SRV Strat as well.

    The store set me up in a practice / lessons room to play the Tele for a while. They sent me down with a DRRI and a Wampler Clarksdale tube screamer pedal. That combo sounded really nice with both my Strat and my new Baja.

    I had all but convinced myself a Mustang III was in my future. But that combo was sweet. So here comes the big question / random thoughts nobody can answer, but I would like your thoughts none the less:

    DRRI or a PRRI with a Wompler is a great sound - but will run me $1050 to $1300, plus the cost of any other pedals I may want.

    A Mustang III will run me $330, and should have everything I ever need at the cost of time and effort with Fuse (I hope I can run Fuse on Linux under Wine - but that is another thread).

    It's not about the money, but it is about the money. You know what I mean.

    I don't play clean with no breakup very much. I usually use a bit of an edge, but I rarely go into heavy metal. The grungiest sound I ever use is Keef on "One Hit To The Body". My I like ZZ Top sound, SRV, "normal Keef", Jimmy Page, etc. I occasionally play Greenday for the Wife and daughter, but also get to cleaner Police like Roxanne. As you can see, a broad range of sounds, which can be had from either amp. My ideal sound is Fender scooped, like a Deluxe Reverb / Princeton / Super Reverb / Twin, and the Mustang has sims for all of those.

    It took me about 5 minutes to get a good sound on the DRRI with the Wompler. I think it may take weeks to tune in some great tones on the Mustang III and find the sims I like; out of the box, I think I could get some decent tones to start. I don't want to "dedicate my life" to dialing in amp sims, but I also don't want to spend an extra $1000 either.

    I did not want to ask for a Mustang to test guitars, as I wanted to play the guitar, not with the amp. I "can" afford the tubes, but it is really hard to justify. The cost of the Mustang III is almost a drop.

    I know there are some on the board who will tell me "Give me tubes or give me death!" Buying a Mustang seems tough, as out of the box sims are not ideal. A lot of you have said it takes time to get it where you want, so the Mustang purchase is a bit of a leap of faith.

    I guess I need some encouragement to take the leap of faith. I feel I would love the Mustang III, but that DRRI / Wampler combo was sweet. I you can convince me I can get that sound - or range of sounds - from the Mustang with a bit of work, I will quit the "what-if / what-could-have-been"-ing.

    Thank you for indulging my rambling thoughts here.

  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Yes it takes time to make the mustang sound good, but not that much time.

    You can fine tune your presets forever, if that is your thing. But you can dial in some very workable sounds right away, too. Even without going into FUSE.

    My vote is Mustang. It may be the greatest amp ever made, in terms of the things that I find most important (great sound, versatility, portability, economical)

  3. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    A fear I have - and fear may be overstated - is getting lost in all the oddball sims and forever playing around with goofy one offs without ever finding my sound. Or finding it, and still playing with the alien sounds for fun and never playing my guitar. I have joked with people I know about playing with sims for 40 hours with only 20 minutes of playing the guitar.

    I know, I know, sometimes a bit of discipline is in order, and playing around is OK as long as it does not consume your time.

    And I am rambling again.

  4. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder
    The fact that you didn't even want to test the Mustang amp when you were at the music store to make a direct comparison with the tube amp + pedal is puzzling. Then you want other people's opinions to sway you the other way, without trying and hearing the Mustang for yourself?

    You have an over-riding concern about others fiddling around too much with presets instead of playing the guitar, and so you don't want this to happen to you. Perhaps a modeller is not for you then. My vote is for you to go with the tube amp + pedal/pedals.

    Fair warning, you will also fiddle and chase around using precious time and money for pre-settings. You won't be pushing buttons though, instead you'd be swapping pedals, speakers, tubes, transformers, etc. until you get the sound you want - once/if you get tired of that one good sound you've got. Nothing wrong with that, just saying that chasing for tone vs playing guitar isn't an exclusive activity for those that use modelling amps.

  5. JKPickin

    JKPickin Tele-Meister

    Dec 30, 2013
    Sooke, BC
    I've had my M3 V2 for over a year. The first hour I had it at home I went through the factory presets just to hear them. There weren't many I cared for. Then I loaded up fuse, thought about songs I liked to play and downloaded some of those presets. From that point it only took me a few minutes to dial in and save a preset the way I liked it. Basically for the first week of ownership and playing around with presets it was probably 70% playing and 30% tweaking. Now I have a few presets from 00-05 that I like the best for the guitars I like to play the most. All of Shane's presets start at 20 and are in order that they were released. All of the base presets are still up in the 80's and 90's. Every now and again just for fun I'll build an artist's preset by finding a rig rundown on them and building it from from one of the base presets. Usually takes around 10 minutes to get close enough to noodle around with. If I like it I'll save it to fuse otherwise I won't worry about it and it's gone after the session. Very few of these presets ever get saved to the amp. I'd say now that my play/tweak ratio is 99:1 because the first six presets do pretty much everything I want for what I play. I grab a guitar, select the preset that I've made for it and play.

    Sent from my iPad using TDPRI

  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    I'd suggest that you play a Mustang III and find those presets you would use first, try them out, listen to how they respond to your guitar and your playing style and then make a decision.

    Many here get exactly what the want out of one and others like me never could even after 6 months of trying so the best answer anyone can give is that it all depends on you. They're certainly capable of sounding good you just have to be prepared to explore them a bit to find what you're looking for tonally.

  7. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    The Mustangs are actually pretty easy to dial in. The highest ten or so presets are simply the amp models, with no effects at all. Turn on the unit, and it defaults to preset 0. Turn the knob counterclockwise to scroll down, and you're instantly at those dry amps. Find the one that's closest to the sound you're after, and then use the gain and tone control knobs on the amp to fine-tune it to your personal taste (just like with a traditional amp). Done.

  8. Jimo

    Jimo Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2004
    Are you playing out?

    I have several tubes amps, but I would like to have a Mustang 3 for in the house. It is a lot of fun, to me, futzing around with sounds. You can go down the rabbit hole playing with sounds, but when you get tired of it, quit.

  9. olefudd

    olefudd Tele-Meister

    Sep 27, 2009
    out yonder!
    FYI, Fuse will not run with Wine because of Silverlight. I've tried.

  10. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    If you are in love with that deluxe and pedal i can pretty much assure you you aren't going to get that real close and you may be unhappy. That said, the tones you CAN get from it that are the best it's capable of to YOUR EAR may be different than that but equally pleasing. I know there are tube amp tones that i can't get with my mustang, and also the feel. But i also know the tones i DO get and like best with it are for me as good as any tube amp i've owned and thats a lot.

    I can't even begin to tell you what you will feel about it, but i will say two things i think are helpful. 1-if you get one, they are so cheap it won't be much of a loss if you sell it and you may even want to keep it as a companion to the deluxe because it will do so much more than the deluxe. Don't forget it also has dozens of effects and a great tuner built in. And 2-i would strongly suggest you go try one and bring a piece of paper with you with settings written down from members here who can tell you what model and settings they ting will get you what you want. Trying to dial one in yourself in the store will be impossible w/o really knowing the amp well. It DOES take time, but once you get it the rest is easy. Ask for members to post thier settings. Heres one i posted recently which i feel is a great dynamic tone that cleans up nice with the volume and gets even cleaned when you turn the stomp off, tho i have stomp set to ON as the default default tone.

    59 Bassmsn model:
    bias: 50% (all the way right)
    gate: off
    presence and blend all the way up
    level: all the way up
    gain:all the way down
    blend:all the way up

    This is made at low volume....turned up you'll need to tame the brightness. I change to the 412 cab sim on the very right of the dial (there are three 412 cabs) to tame the brightness and sound much fuller and fatter at stage volumes.

    Honestly tho, fender amps just have a feel under your fingers that i don't feel this modeler can do. I feel what it does best is great master volume type amp sounds. But you really need to check one out with a well tweaked patch. Other than that all i can tell you is I love this amp and lost all desire and need for tubes anymore. But i'm not you and i'm not in love with a deluxe and pedal combo like you are. If that was ideal for you and the mustang doesn't have one sound you like that much, you aren't likely to be happy even if the mustang gives you 50 different sounds that are almost but not quite as good as that one. What the mustang does so well is give you an almost infinite palette of settings to work with so you can really dial in your best tone. But look at shane who does the mustang videos on youtube. He's a mustang fanatic, yet he still gigs with a deluxe at times. So there are just too many considerations to tell you whats best for you.

  11. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003

  12. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    Hmmm, I may have mis-stated some intention here.

    I have a Princeton Chorus solid state right now. Not a good distorted sound on that amp.

    The DRRI I played was the first tube amp I think I've ever really played with more than two minutes. I liked the sound I got - but it was not like "OMG! There it is! My sound!" It was a sound I could be happy with, but not a be-all-end-all.

    I think a fair point has been made - write down some presets from Shane / Fender4Life / etc, and try those with the amp. If I like what I hear, then I think I am golden.

    Olefudd - ouch. And I suppose Silverlight cannot be added via Wine either. That is going to be an issue, as my only Windows box is an old Pentium 4 that was recently :)eek:) upgraded to Windows7.

    I have heard Shane's videos on YouTube that made the M3 sound like a DRRI, only just a bit brighter sounding / more presence sound. That sounded great to me.

    I am all over on this issue. I think I just need to find some settings and play with one. I need a few months with the new guitar first, then the search begins.

  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    You're more than welcome to come over to my place and mess around with mine. I'm in Seattle and the game starts in an hour and a half, so you'd better drive fast. :lol:

  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    In the words of the immortal Ronnie Van Zant; "You Got That Right".

    Very nice cleans and a wonderful sounding stereo chorus but I have to wonder why they even bothered with the dirt channel except that chain saw SS distortion was all the rage in the '80s. Unfortunately it doesn't even do that well but whatta you expect out of 25w x 2?

    I'm sure if you like certain aspects of the PC Chorus that a Mustang will work for you once you get to the boilerplate models. The rest can bewilder, bewitch, and beguile and you'll spend more time scratching your head than scratching your strings.

  15. gallred

    gallred TDPRI Member

    1.Buy Mustang,
    2. Dial up Deluxe model
    3. Turn knobs until it sounds good to you
    4. Press save.

    People are making this sound harder than it really is. The DR model is one that the Mustang does really well

  16. Jeff_K

    Jeff_K Friend of Leo's

    Aug 14, 2009
    Katy, TX
    Looks like you'll have plenty of time in the second half to play with your gear. Oh!!!

  17. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    But see, shane still uses a deluxe at gigs sometimes. What does that tell you? I can tell you exactly's the feel. You can't feel the tone in a video. I'm talking touch sensitivity, dynamics both in volume and tone. All that stuff is a HUGE difference. You can actually have 2 amps that sound identical and one feels totally different. Thats where the problem lies when asking about tone or watching videos.

    I really hate playing devil's advocate when I am in love with the mustang, but I'm trying to help you here and just raving about it as tho it's perfect isn't beneficial. In any case, thats why shane still uses a deluxe i'm sure. On the other hand i also find the mustang does some tones AND feel so well it matches or bests many tube amps. But you're on the right track now. Copy those settings i gave you and any other offered here and go try one. Also note that you do NOT need fuse at all with the MIII IV or V because you can adjust everything except effect order, which already defaults to the way most people use them anyways, and a bright switch on the 65 twin and vox. Everything else is adjustable on the amp. Just hit the amp button to get to page 1 with the gain and volume and tone controls, then hit it again to access page 2 with the sag, bias, noise gate, (turn that off if it's on) cab sims and on some amps presence and master volume. And if you change patches you will lose the settings unless you save them, and they can't be saved without going in to the utility menu by pushing the util button a number of times till you get to the page that shows it's lock and unlock it by turning the data wheel.

  18. olefudd

    olefudd Tele-Meister

    Sep 27, 2009
    out yonder!
    Exactly! Just because it has 100 presets doesn't mean you have to use them all. I only use 5 or 6 and they are all built using the DR.

  19. kyussvegas

    kyussvegas Tele-Holic

    Jul 26, 2014
    Canton, MA
    I was going to say the same thing - the DR model sounds fantastic on the Mustang. I have very little trouble dialing in a good sound on that, the Princeton, and the Bassman even if I swap between guitars.

    Seriously it's easy to setup, use, and have fun with.

  20. jaytee32

    jaytee32 Tele-Meister

    May 30, 2011
    Lots of good stuff said here. One thing I want to add - there is a hug difference between the Mustang and the DRRI if you are going to gig with it. The DRRI has knobs on the front that show you where the tone controls etc are set. The Mustang has knobs on the front that allow you to control the tone, but these knobs may, or may not, reflect where the controls are actually set.

    At home this is not a problem, but at a gig it presents a completely different set of challenges than you'd have with the DRRI. There are many ways in which you can, accidentally and unexpectedly, get a big change in the sound coming out of your amp.

    Some people don't have a problem with it, others do. From what I can tell this has mostly to do with how often one gigs with the amp. I don't gig often with mine and I get a couple nasty surprises every time. Others who gig very regularly learn what to watch out for I guess. You may or may not experience these problems, I wanted to make you aware of the possibility.

    Check some of the recent threads over on the modeling sub-forum, where opinions and experiences from a range of people, on this issues, have been discussed.

    Believe all these guys, the Mustang really does sound very very good. Without weeks of tweaking.

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