Fender Mustang 90 Review 2020 – Before You Buy

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Fender Mustang 90 is definitely a classic with its unoriginal looks and P90 pickups, but is it worth your money? Let’s find out!

Fender Mustang 90 specs:

Body type: Solidbody

Body wood: Alder

Neck wood: Maple

Neck shape: C

Scale length: 24”

Truss rod: Yes

Fretboard material: Pau Ferro and Maple options available

Fretboard radius: 9.5”

Number of frets: 22 Medium Jumbo

Nut width: 1.65 inches (42mm)

Pickups: 2 Mustang P90 single-coil pickups

Pickup switch: 3-way

Bridge: 6-Saddle Strings-through body Strat Hardtail(w/Bent Steel Saddles)

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Fender Mustang 90 Review

Sound

This guitar comes with 2 Mustang P90 single-coil pickups. The tones of P90 pickups usually sit somewhere between the humbucker and regular single-coil pickups, and these are no exception.

So, these pickups offer you more warmness and less brightness than single-coils in general, and this makes these pickups quite versatile choice. At the same time, you are not getting spanky and bright single-coil or thick and warm humbucker tones. But P90’s still offer you something that no other pickups don’t.

Tones are quite thick and warm, but some of that single-coils brightness still shines through. If you can’t decide between humbuckers and single-coils, P90’s are a solid option.

Dirty tones give you some of that ”in your face”-characteristics needed in metal and rock. But if you are into a punk, or punk rock, this guitar is one of the best choices you can find. P90 tones offer you so much attention tone-wise that it’s hard to ignore a guitarist with these pickups.

For example, Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) and Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls) have been using P90’s a lot during their careers. You can find many other punk guitarists to prefer P90’s too.

What about clean tones? Mustang 90 gives you sparkling cleans, but you can also dial some really gentle and warm clean tones if you want.

So, you can play some soft cleans to calm everybody, but you are also able to crunch some dirty riffs to wake everybody up.

At least I didn’t feel that P90’s limit your tones too much, but still a little bit when I want to play some heavy riffs or spanky cleans.

If I was limited to one electric guitar, it probably wouldn’t be this(it would be HSS Strat), but I would love to add this axe to my guitar collection at some point, and this is by no means a bad guitar, it just depends from what you are looking for.

If you are really into spanky single-coils tones, you should go with single-coils then, or if you want to play metal, go with humbuckers.

This one is a nice garage/punk rock guitar.  You can get good Nirvana and old-school Green Day tones out of it.

Playability

The fretboard radius is 9’5-inches, so there is some curve, but I don’t feel that this limits playing too much. Maybe if you are into some serious shredding and sweep picking, a flatter fretboard will be a better option for you.

Nut width is 42mm(1.65inches). So pretty narrow, and that makes playing easy and all the frets easy to access. The neck is especially good for short fingers, small palms, or small hands in general.

24 scale length makes this really smooth to play and beginner-friendly. Jamming with this guitar doesn’t require so much finger strength because of the less string tension that shorter scale causes. 

The neck shape is C, and it’s one of my favorites. Mainly because it’s so comfortable for my small hands, and if you have big hands, this guitar probably feels a pleasure to play even then.

This one might need some slight action adjustments. Not a major flaw because you can easily adjust the action with truss rod, but it’s worth noting.

Quality

Some users have been saying great things about the electronics and lack of hum in the sound. That’s definitely nice to know, and my experiences with the quality of Fender guitars (Mexican or American made) have always been excellent, and this Mexican made axe is no exception.

The guitar stays in tune well and the overall finish looks flawless.

Looks

I have mixed feelings about the looks of this guitar… I’m still not quite used to its ”skinny” looks, but on the other hand, it’s unique and some colors fit really well with this body shape(others don’t). But these are only my thoughts…what do you think?

Summary

Pros

  • Spot-on nut width, C-neck shape, and 24 scale length make this one really easy to play
  • Good quality electronics
  • The neck is really comfortable (especially good for short fingers and small hands)
  • Offers versatile and different tones
  • Great axe for rock and punk music
  • Classic looks

Cons

  • Some action adjustments might be needed
  • Doesn’t offer you either warm humbucker or spanky single-coil tones

The Mustang 90 is really comfortable and fun guitar to play. Great for small hands. Sound-wise this is at the same time versatile and doesn’t. Best for punk-rock, rock, and funk. If you mostly want to play metal, this probably isn’t the best option for you.

If you want an comfortable guitar for yourself. And you also want to blend bright and warm tones together and start rocking with totally different tones or you just love rock and punk, this guitar is worth your money.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

Is the Fender Mustang a good guitar?

Based on my personal experience and research, I would say that the Fender Mustang is a good guitar. It’s not for everybody, but for some folks, it’s a great choice.

Fender Mustang usually offers you comfortable playability and high quality. Usually, Mustang comes with 2 regular single-coils or 2 P90 single-coils. Depending on what pickups you choose you get either classic bright tones(regular-single coils) or blend of a warm humbucker and bright regular single-coils tones (P90’s).

Fender Mustang, in my opinion, handles rock and punk tones well but is not so good with metal.

As always whether the Mustang is a good guitar for you, it comes down to your own preference.

Who used a Fender Mustang?

Many famous guitar players have used Fender Mustangs, such as:

 

Alternatives

Single-Coil Option – Fender American Performer Stratocaster HSS

This one is a real treat for those who want more single-coil, but still some humbucker tones from their guitar, and also want comfortable playability. For these folks, this guitar is absolutely worth the money.

If I wouldn’t own any electric guitars, Fender American Performer Stratocaster HS would definitely be a strong contender if I decided to buy one. It offers you so much versatility and quality.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: Fender American Performer Stratocaster HSS Review in 2020 – Before You Buy.

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Great Budget All-Rounder – Fender Player Telecaster HH

This one is an excellent all-rounder with one of the best split-coil tones I have heard. Modern C neck shape ensures easy playability, and the affordable price makes this guitar a really interesting choice. I definitely recommend that you check this guitar out. Really high value for money.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: Fender Player Telecaster HH Review 2020 – Before You Buy.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

If You Want to Play Metal – ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000

I tried this for the first time in a music store nearby, and it has been one of my favorite guitars since. This guitar is just gorgeous. It handles everything, but it’s made for heavy riffing. A pleasure to play and listen. It offers great value for money with high quality and stunning tones. 

This EC-1000 isn’t as versatile as other guitars mentioned on this post, but when heavily distorted tones are needed, it is my go-to choice.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 Review 2020 – Before You Buy.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

Conclusion

Fender Mustang 90 is an excellent instrument in my opinion. It offers you different looks and tones, and that’s why you either like it or don’t. Personally I like it. A great option, especially if you love punk.

I hope that this review helped you out! If you have any questions, leave a comment down below. Feel free to share this post too.

I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

Teemu Suomala

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