AudioRumble rating 87/100
What We like
Awesome vintage looks.
Lots of versatility.
Good pickups for the price.
What We don't like
An unreliable, noisy bridge.
It doesn’t come with a gig bag.
May need a good set-up out of the box.
Fender’s affordable subsidiary Squier offer up their take on the Mustang – a classic guitar used by the likes of Kurt Cobain, John Fogerty, and Thurston Moore. Whereas a ‘real’ Fender Mustang will set you back around $1000, this Squier comes in at $299, which is already looking like good value.
Here we have a guitar that just oozes vintage class. With its unique Mustang double cutaway shape, there’s a solid basswood body with a compact 24” scale length, finished in three cool vintage colors – Vintage White, Fiesta Red, and Sonic Blue, with either a white pearloid or tortoiseshell four-ply pickguard.
On the body is a bolt-on C-shaped maple neck, with a ‘vintage-tint’ gloss finish that doesn’t hinder your playing in any way, and looks cool. There’s also a rosewood fret board, with 22 medium jumbo frets, and parchment dot inlays.
The retro look continues up into the headstock, which retains the classic Fender design, with a gold and black Squier logo, and vintage-style white-tipped machine heads.
Squier have put a lot of effort into giving this guitar a vintage look – even adding aged covers to the modern pickups. If you love the vintage look, you’ll love this guitar. Even if you don’t, you’ll still appreciate the effort.
While Squier have put a lot of effort into loading this guitar with retro style, they’ve also added some modern features that it sounding great.
It’s voiced by two passive Duncan Designed SC-101 covered single-coils at the bridge and neck positions, which – for the price – is a great duo, offering good tone and some vintage twang. They are also very versatile, thanks to several controls – you get an on/off phase slider switch (in or out) for each pickup, along with a master volume and master tone control knob in black skirted plastic.
This Squier Mustang also features a floating bridge with dynamic vibrato tailpiece, and an accompanying whammy bar/tremolo arm. The bridge is the only real negative of this guitar, as it is prone to rattling and buzzing. The intonation screws are also notorious for popping out, which isn’t good at all.
With its 24” scale length this Mustang is great fun to play, and string bending is a doddle. The neck is nice to get up and down, and shows no stickiness despite its glossy finish. It’s lightweight and comfortable to hold too. Lovely.
The two pickups are also great for what you pay. They are Duncan Designed and slightly better than the basic, stock pickups you will find on other Squiers, offering plenty of tone and volume.
The only negative, as I’ve mentioned, is the poor bridge. It’s noisy, and doesn’t allow for easy intonation tweaks, and may be the first thing you want to change. Otherwise this is a superb guitar.
Squier’s Mustang is a superb affordable option, which exudes vintage style, great playability, and lots of control. A shame the bridge is a bit dodgy, otherwise it’s an excellent guitar. If you are just starting out look no further.
AudioRumble rating 87/100