Fender Mustangs and Original ‘81-‘83 Bullets

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by jrintheemaking, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. jrintheemaking

    jrintheemaking TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    I had a question about Fender Mustangs and the original Fender Bullets (S-1, S-2, S-3) made from ‘81 to ‘83.

    From my understanding, the original Fender Bullets were created with leftover guitar parts. And the pickups that were used on the Bullets were leftover Mustang pickups.

    I don’t have either a Mustang or a Bullet but I like both guitars (although I’d prefer to have only one of them). The Bullet’s tone is super quirky (which I love), and I prefer the regular size and look of the Mustangs. Above all though, tone is more important to me rather than size or looks.

    My question for people knowledgeable on both models is this: if I bought a Mustang created between ‘81-‘83 would that be the closest thing to getting tones like those of the S-1 and S-2 Bullet? Also, has the voicing of Mustang pickups changed a lot over the years? Thanks very much.
     
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  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Weren’t mustangs discontinued by then?

    Edit: I had to look it up I guess they were discontinued in 82
     
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  3. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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  4. jrintheemaking

    jrintheemaking TDPRI Member

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  5. knavel

    knavel Tele-Meister

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    There is a Bullet owners club forum on this very site with over a hundred pages and a decade's worth of info! I think the leftover parts aspect ran its course fairly early. I had one of the first bullets from 1981 and it was heavy.

    I bought the Bullet originally for the rosewood neck which is really good looking to put on that Tele but it didn't fit in the Tele's neck slot. And while the pickups were good next to my 76 Telecaster they just didn't compare so I knew I'd never gig with it and sold it.

    The real great get re leftover parts in the first year were mid 60s Kluson Deluxe tuners on a few of the guitars which are half of the value of the guitar. Mine sadly didn't have them.
     
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  6. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Bullet S-3 Deluxe (the one with a separate hardtail bridge) and the pickups are rather low output. Great tone, but they won't push your amp front end very hard. I've never had a Mustang, so I can't compare.
     
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  7. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    It wouldn't surprise me that they used left-over Mustang pickups early on, but those were probably used up at some point during 1982 and they might have changed specs when they started winding more specifically for the Bullets. Sorry, not fully up on Bullet lore; I've not studied it's history like the Strat, Tele, and the Lead Series (since I had a Lead II from 1979-2015; it was my first good guitar and I hung on to it way too long for sentimental reasons).

    Regarding the Mustang it was definitely discontinued at the end of 1981; it's not on the December 12, 1981 Fender price list. The Mustang is last on the September 12, 1980 price list (which is also the last appearance of the Tele Deluxe, Tele Custom, and Musicmaster). Interestingly enough the Mustang and Musicmaster are only listed as being available in black or wine red in the September 12, 1980 price list - same as the Lead I and Lead II (no Lead III until the December 12, 1981 price list).
     
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  8. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The one 80s Bullet Tele / Strat guitar that I owned years ago had ceramic magnet Strat size pickups with solid covers, they still sounded pretty good. The neck was great , I still miss that neck!
     
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