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Mustang III Update: I may have been mistaken here

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by StrangerNY, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    I posted a few weeks ago about how my Mustang III was getting swallowed up in a live situation, and the fine members of this form were quick to offer a lot of useful tips and suggestions. Here's a followup.

    Last night I played a private party, last-minute deal with a drummer I've know forever and a bass player who I'd never met, playing mostly Classic Rock. I decided on the guitars beforehand - my '84 E-Series Squier Strat and an '89 Epiphone Les Paul Custom, and I spent Friday evening setting up suitable models for each for playing some rock. I used the Super Sonic model for the Strat and the Brit 80s model for the LP.

    As per the suggestions made here, I really leaned into the mids on both models, and I ordered an amp stand in order to get the amp off the floor and improve speaker dispersion. We rolled into the venue, a large industrial space with high ceilings and a slightly raised stage, and I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The stage was big enough that I got some distance between myself and the amp.

    And the MIII absolutely aced it.

    At the loudest point of the night I went and checked the master volume, and I was barely over 3 on the dial. The Strat sounded especially good through the Super Sonic model - plenty of quack when I went to the 2 and 4 positions, but with a good amount of gain for chording. The closest comparison I could make is to Ty Tabor's Strat tone with Kings X (Who I saw the week before). When I rolled back the volume on the guitar, loss of highs was minimal so there was still a good amount of glassy top for rhythm. When I leaned into it at full volume, I got all the crunch I needed. And after a while I wasn't even hitting the overdrive for solos, just working the volume control on the guitar.

    The LP model was maybe a little too gain-y, and I found myself backing off the gain as the night went on. But the amp still cut amazingly well. I do have to do some further tweaking to the tone (did someone suggest an EQ through the FX loop? might try that), but both amp models were about 80% there as far as what I wanted to hear.

    At the time I put up my original post, I was just about ready to give up on the amp and send it down the road. But after the way it performed last night, I'm gonna hang on to it for a while.

    Thanks to all of you guys who suggested ways to improve the performance of the amp on that thread. I really do appreciate the help.

    - D
     

  2. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    Glad you worked this out. I love my MIII, but I have yet to play it in a band situation or out of the house.
     
    StrangerNY likes this.

  3. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    This is the biggest reason modeling amps create such heated debate. Lets say you gig a blues Jr or some other simple amp. You pretty much cannot set it wrong and you'll know immediately how good it is or isn't. But what if your blues Jr grew 30 more knobs when you got to the gig? Fact: your chances of getting the right tone that not only sounds good but does so in the mix are slim till you have spend time and several gigs with it. Like i've said before, thats both a modeler's strength and weakness. It's strength because you can fine tune much more and it's weakness because it causes many people to assume they can't make it work and they give up before they figure out what works.
     
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  4. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    I've used a lot of modeling technology over the years - I own a Line 6 Flextone XL, a first generation Pod and a Pod XT Live, a couple of different versions of Vox Tonelab and a Digitech GNX. I actually bought the Mustang III because the switches on one of the Tonelabs quit on me. I'm used to programming this stuff, but the big question for me was whether or not the amp had enough power, and I hadn't been in a situation where I could really tell. I had done a couple of gigs with it, but neither of those two bands really push the volume too much.

    I had to try it in a situation with a lot more stage volume, and the gig last night was it. I think the suggestions I got here helped quite a lot, but it was never a question of tone but of power.

    -D
     

  5. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    I really appreciate you reporting back on how your gig went. Since I bought my Mustang III a few years back, I'm always interested in how people are doing with it on stage. I gave up gigging as full timer back in the 90's but I still view my amps from a home practice.....to rehearsal .........to the gig perspective. 20+ year habits are hard to break.
    I wasn't interested in the Mustang amps until some working musicians started making good referrals about them based on how they performed on stage.
    I listened to what they said about getting them set up properly. Once I bought mine and got familiar with it, I realized how much fun and versatile these would have been in a live situation.

    Not all gig reviews have been positive on the Mustangs and most of the ones who didn't like them didn't own them and therefor didn't put in the time to get to do their homework.
    Congrats on the Mustang working out on the job and I'll look forward to any further comments from you.
     

  6. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    Thanks, Jim.

    I experienced much the same thing as you did. The Mustang wasn't even on my radar (I was looking at the new Vox combos) until a couple of guitarist friends who I respect - tube amp guys, at that! - told me to check them out. One friend wouldn't go near a gig without his Deluxe, and when he told me he got an MIII I nearly fell over.

    I'm still thinking of following up on the suggestion to swap out the speaker (someone here suggested a Swamp Thang). The amp's got plenty of headroom, but I'm always down for coaxing a little more out of it if I can.

    - D
     
    Jim Dep likes this.

  7. luckett

    luckett Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    You want more headroom than when the master volume is on max? Man, you must be melting some faces!
     

  8. JasonKingsX

    JasonKingsX Tele-Meister

    172
    May 15, 2017
    Austin
    "The closest comparison I could make is to Ty Tabor's Strat tone with Kings X (Who I saw the week before). When I rolled back the volume on the guitar, loss of highs was minimal so there was still a good amount of glassy top for rhythm. When I leaned into it at full volume, I got all the crunch I needed. And after a while I wasn't even hitting the overdrive for solos, just working the volume control on the guitar."

    Well now you have my attention and I'm interested in test driving the Mustang III... I love Ty Tabor's tone. It's unique and killer.
     

  9. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    I've seen Kings X 5 times, and every time he's had a different rig and played a different guitar - but his tone has been absolutely consistent every time. I've seen him use Egnaters, Marshalls, some crazy rack thing one time. This time he played what looked like a stock Fender Strat (nice metallic purple!) through a big Orange head and 2 cabinets. Same tone. It's uncanny.

    Programming update: After setting up around 15 different patches for different guitars (which I always seem to do with a new modeling rig), I set up a series of 'all-purpose' patches using the Super Sonic model with various stages of gain and the compressor as a stomp instead of the overdrive. It works like a champ with Teles, Strats, P-90s and humbuckers.

    - D
     

  10. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    Nah, I'm nowhere near diming it. The amp's rated at 100 watts, and the Swamp Thang is rated at 150. I like having that extra cushion just in case I do have to dime it one day. :)

    - D
     

  11. JasonKingsX

    JasonKingsX Tele-Meister

    172
    May 15, 2017
    Austin
    I've seen them half a dozen times too and you're right, he nails his tone no matter what the rig, amp or guitar. I think my favorite tour was Ear Candy. I think he recorded some of that album on a Marshall head for the first time. He toured with what looked like a hybrid setup... the Marshall head for the new sounds and rack/Mesa for the older stuff. They opened with The Train with him chunking through the Marshall. It was pretty phenomenal and it was a new tone for him IMO. I've seen him play various guitars but my favorites where Yamahas. One was his signature guitar from them and another was a sweet AES-920 Les Paul copy. Here's a link to The Train but those unfamiliar with just how unique this guy is should check out Gretchen goes to Nebraska too.
    https://g.co/kgs/yb3vo7
     
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  12. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    I owned one of those 920s for a while. Really nice guitars.

    I remember seeing them on the Ogre Tones tour and he was playing a T-body (2 humbuckers) through the rack rig. I couldn't tell what the make was, but it might have been one of those Zions he played for a while.

    I mentioned it to a friend who's pretty tight with Dug and he was surprised - said he'd never seen him play a T-body. And this guy has jammed with Ty (my friend is a pretty awesome player himself) and he summed up Ty's playing as 'scary.' Said he's never heard him play a wrong note.

    - D
     

  13. JasonKingsX

    JasonKingsX Tele-Meister

    172
    May 15, 2017
    Austin
    Ty is awesome and knows his way around. Dug too. I love his bi-amped approach on bass. Harmonics and tubes on top with a solid tight low-end. His tones and Ty's combined are just PBJ, two peas in a pod. Steak and mushrooms.

    I've visited with them after a couple of shows. I'm jealous of your friend... Ty's such a nice guy.
     

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