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

New Amp: Mustang I v2

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by burnsbert, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. burnsbert

    burnsbert Tele-Meister

    181
    Dec 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    So my shiny new (matte black new, whatever) Mustang I v2 amp arrived tonight. I've only had 90 minutes to mess around with it so far, but here are my initial impressions:

    1. DO NOT buy unless you plan to set up next to a computer and don't mind using the software to adjust your settings. The controls on the amp are next to useless without using the FUSE software - at least until you remake all your presets.
    2. Most of the out-of-the-box presets are garbage.
    3. Some of the amp models are quite good. I particularly like the '57 Twin and '60's Thrift. Both of those models are new to v2, so I'm glad I paid a little extra to get the v2 model.
    4. No one will close their eyes and mistake this for an all-tube amp. Nor was I expecting that. Still, some very good overdriven tones to be had. Still trying to get a ringing clean tone I like, but it's probably there to be found... somewhere.
    5. Not surprisingly, the Fender tones are the best ones mostly. The Vox is also pretty good. Haven't found a good Marshall tone yet, but I'm not really a Marshall guy so it may be my bias speaking.
    6. Surprisingly, the Tube Screamer sim "Greenbox" is quite good. I was totally expecting all the pedal sims to be rubbish (which has been my experience with various products up until now) but both this and the "Ranger Boost" virtual pedals are worth your time.
    7. Heard mixed things about the Reverb on this, but there are some good reverb sounds to be had. Their default settings are terrible, you just need to tweak them.
    8. One of my needs for this was headphones practice. The headphones channel is both loud enough and sounds good (unlike the Vox Vavetronix series).

    Verdict so far: This is a great low volume practice or headphones amp for messing around. That's why I bought it and it seems well suited. It takes a little work to craft good sounds, and that has to be on a computer attached to the amp via the provided usb cable. Fortunately, once you find a good sound you can save it to a preset. v2 is worth the extra money over v1 in my opinion - the new amp models are some of the best on the box. I'm happy with my purchase so far.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

  2. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

    1. Yes, Fuse really is the deal maker on these amps. It's also nice to see a visual facsimile of the amps modelled, and often have the full panel available.

    2. Yes again. often too much gain, and FX thrown in seemingly at random. You'd think the factory presets would be a showcase, given most potential buyers and going to just plug n play on store demos. If stock presets sound crap, they'll look for something else.

    3. I think most people can find 3-4 favourites or useable base models to tweak up. Then you've 3 banks to tweak em differently. Even if you only use 2-3, that's makes them worth the money.

    4. I passed on tubes for home because I can't crank them to the sweet spot. I like the fact I can get all sorts of dirty sound without dirty looks from the mrs.

    5. I've a Pathfinder and cleaning up the Vox models, they're pretty good. They dirty up better though, at way lower volume.

    Good FX all round, but again, tweaking is best.

    If any v1's are going cheap, I think they're a good buy. The v2 offers a few different amps and FX, but nothing spectacular over what the v1 offered.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

  3. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Maryland
    Low volume...headphones and no computer needed with the Mustang 3. With the convenience of editing preset right at the amp itself and it's large 12 inch Celestion speaker and open back, you would have had all the tube sound with full capabilities of jamming in a gig setting anytime you wanted.

    In my opinion, it's worth the extra money for the convenience & pro level sound that the Mustang 3 offers, even for home use.

    ForumRunner_20130403_055655.jpg
     

  4. Valvey

    Valvey Tele-Holic

    985
    Apr 5, 2007
    morgantown wv
    I'm getting good Marshall tones on my Mustang II by turning the gain down to 1 and turning up the guitar knob volume. On the advanced amp setting I turn the the blend all the way up, and turn up "Sag."

    When I add some compression and tape delay and a Bassman speaker cabinet the result is a Setzerish tone. I read somewhere that his 1963 6G6-B Bassman sounds more like a Marshall than the average Bassman, and that seems to be right.
     

  5. burnsbert

    burnsbert Tele-Meister

    181
    Dec 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Cool, I'll give that a try. I still haven't messed with any of the Sag/Blend/etc advanced amp controls. I have a crazy idea to try to recreate my Blues Jr NOS sound and see how close I can come. My Blues Jr is in the same room, so I'll actually be able to do A/B comparisons and hopefully get something quite close.
     

  6. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

    Be interested to hear how you go. There's so many potential options with this amp it can be tough to get to grips with it.
     

  7. burnsbert

    burnsbert Tele-Meister

    181
    Dec 20, 2009
    Cary, NC

  8. burnsbert

    burnsbert Tele-Meister

    181
    Dec 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Here is my full review, copy-and-pasted from my blog:

    Fender Mustang I v2 Amp Review

    So, I wanted a modeling amp I could use for night time practice with a good headphones channel. After some research, I ordered an $80 Mustang I v1 restock amp from a friendly online store. Fortunately, the amp sold out while I was making up my mind and I got kicked to back order. I ended up ordering the newer v2 Mustang I for $110, and boy am I glad I got that instead - even at the higher price.

    Anyway, the basics. The amp has 24 presets, which can only be fully edited using a usb connection to a computer and the FUSE software. There are 17 amp models, including 5 new ones from the v1 version of this amp. There are also a number of effects including overdrive, distortion, fuzz, reverb, delay, autowah, etc.

    The amp models list has a strong Fender amp bias (8 of the 17), and they are also the best amp models on the box for the most part. Of these, the excellent Fender ‘57 Twin is new to this version. The remaining amp models are a clean “studio preamp”, two Marshall sounds, a Vox, a High Watts, a SilverTone, an Orange, and a couple of high gain amps I don’t recognize. The amps have a lot of knobs and dials to tweak in the advanced settings to fine tune your sound.

    The best non-Fender sounds are by far the Orange (“British Colour”), SilverTone (“‘60’s Thrift”), and High Watts (“British Watts”), all new for the v2 version of this amp. I’m particularly impressed with the Orange tones. The Vox and Marshall sounds are decent but not as impressive. The high gain “Metal 2000” and “American 90’s” amp models don’t sound good at all to my ears.

    The effects on the amp are also quite good, much to my surprise. The “Green Box” tube screamer effect, also new to v2, is quite impressive, as is the “Ranger Boost” overdrive (I’m not sure what this one is meant to emulate). The reverbs are tweakable to get some great reverby sounds, but they are cranked ridiculously high by default (unless you like surf guitar). Easy enough to fix, fortunately! Some combinations of effects are limited (only one stomp box allowed for example, so no overdrive + compressor allowed, but overdrive + reverb is fine).

    The presets are mostly a waste of time - really, they are almost all terrible. You’ll have to fiddle to get the sounds you want, and this will need a computer connection and the free FUSE software. I have my amp right next to my computer with a longer usb cable I ordered from monoprice.com connecting it at all times. Fortunately, you can overwrite the stock presets for your presets, so once you have it setup to your liking you might have less need for the computer interface. I wouldn’t though, I’m always tweaking and fine tuning.

    Fender has an online repository of presets that various users have cooked up - this is worth your time. Check out “Bar Room Choir” and “Texas Grit” from cyberthrasher_706 and “Plexi Sweetness” from R’n’fn’rl. I also have some presets up there as “burnsbert”: “Son of the Blues”, “Silver and Bold”, and “Orange Blizzard”.

    The headphones channel is good but not great. It’s plenty loud enough, but a bit hit-or-miss on whether it sounds good depending on the amp model and settings. Some settings sound quite good, others fart out and sound fizzy. I have a decent set of headphones (Sony MDR-7506’s) so I was hoping for better. But I wouldn’t say I was very disappointed either. Some very usable tones are to be had for headphones practice. At least it’s much better than the headphones channel my Vox Valvetronix VT15 has - that one is borderline useless.

    For a fully digital amp with an 8” speaker - one that is a budget amp to boot - the thing sounds pretty amazing out loud. I can’t help but think that modeling technology has turned the corner in the past few years. The Fender models and new-to-v2 non-Fender models in particular sound fantastic.

    The Verdict

    Buy If: You don’t mind using the computer to fine tune your settings, have a preference for Fender or Orange tones, or like to have many different settings and sounds to play around with

    Don’t Buy If: Your favorite tones are high gain, heavy metal amp models, or would be irritated by having to use the computer to fine tune your sounds

    Overall Rating: 4/5, but a huge value at $120 or less

    If I had this purchase to do over again, I would make the same decision. I’m really enjoying this amp.
     

  9. gpasq

    gpasq Friend of Leo's

    Oct 15, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    I just did this with my AC15 and am VERY happy with the result.
     

  10. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

    Good review, and I agree about the factory presets.

    This will be a deal-breaker for some. It was for me with the v1, I couldn't get anything I liked out of the stock settings, so instead of trying to learn how to use the thing in store and find out what it could offer, I bought a simple SS amp instead.

    It's going to take some time, or experience playing with amps, to get presets the way you want. I haven't been able to do this with many yet. Where I left my Pathfinder on the same settings all the time and just tweaking vol and gain, with this, I'm forever messing with some of the models.

    That said, I can get some really rich and thick sounds from the Bassman model, it cleans up beautifully. The Brit 60s (VoxAC30) is good too, plays clean and dirt nicely. Likewise the Brit 80s (Marshall?) I got some nice AC/DC sounds from this pretty easily, I think they're set up in that ballpark anyhow. The others are hit and miss for me at present.

    Not a fan of the reverbs, and the trem doesn't offer the same options or sound my Pathfinder does. I could easily add a touch of trem and reverb with it, but I can't seem to do that with the Mustang, even messing with the tap tempo and EXIT/level. I'm hoping I can sort this, as I like a smidge of both, it makes for a fuller sound IMO.

    So, unless you've got a good idea of what sounds you're after and can dial them in fairly easily, modelling amps in general can be a butt pain. But you do get everything you need for practice in one box and can keep it at low volume, even gainy stuff.
     

  11. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    May 25, 2010
    North Alabama
    I have the original Mustang 1 (no fizz on this one) & I pretty much agree with everybody.
    I got this for a low vol bedroom clean sound and it delivers that in spades. With a couple of copped Fuse presets, I've got a very good Bassman sound with my Gretsch, and a decent Twin sound with my Tele. The 60s British sounds pretty good to me, and the Deluxe not so good. But I havn't tweeked any of those with FUSE. The Headphone out is good. The high gain stuff on I cant comment on as I just don't play that very much unless just goofing.

    For me, its proved to be a strictly bedroom amp. I tried taking it elsewhere to a low vol jam, but I found my presets were all wrong effects-wise for the space I was in, and for the life of me I couldn't get it dialed back in just by using the controls on the amp. I hate the interface, but I'm a luddite I guess. Now the guitarist in the band I play bass in has one exactly like it, and he always sounds good and seems to be able to adjust his no prob.

    If you're tech savy and love to tweak, this thing will deliver. I'm not so much that way. In retrospect I should have bought a Cube 20 instead. Not nearly as many options, but whats there I can use by twisting knobs on the amp.
     

  12. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

    Pretty sure the III was the only that suffered from fizz. Some early I&II may have, but that was sorted with a firmware or software update IIRC.
     

  13. burnsbert

    burnsbert Tele-Meister

    181
    Dec 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Have you uploaded your preset? I would love to check it out.
     

  14. gpasq

    gpasq Friend of Leo's

    Oct 15, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    I have not, but I can do so tomorrow.
     

  15. gpasq

    gpasq Friend of Leo's

    Oct 15, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    Just uploaded it, it's called "Voxy". My AC15 tone. Seems to lack a small bit of punch in the middle register, but otherwise, it's pretty close.

    I added my "Voxy Lead" as well, which is about the same, but with a cranked up overdrive.
     

  16. burnsbert

    burnsbert Tele-Meister

    181
    Dec 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Cool, I was able to dial in a nice sound with "Voxy" tonight. Thanks for sharing :)
     

  17. bh1812

    bh1812 Tele-Meister

    106
    Jun 23, 2013
    Florida
    Bought a Mustang I v2 and am very happy with it and it's 24 presets. Will get to the computer part eventually. Right now I am just staying with two or three of the presets. I bought a Standard Telecaster last month and this Mustang is a great fit.
     

  18. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Maryland

    Welcome to the club of Mustang ownership :D Truth be known, the Mustang is a great with any guitar :cool:
     

    Attached Files:


  19. hotpepper

    hotpepper Tele-Meister

    146
    Mar 14, 2013
    no. il.
    :cool:Still playin my m3 v1. works great at gigs. plenty of power. It started sounding really good this past weekend at an outdoor gig. I think the spkr. finally broke in. I used son of blues preset for the whole gig just increased the gain a little. thanx.
     

  20. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Maryland

    Still waiting for your video demo that you said you would post :))
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.