Fender Player Mustang Bass Review: A Modern Take on a Classic Short-Scale Bass
The Fender Player Mustang Bass is a modern reinterpretation of the classic short-scale bass that has been a staple in the Fender lineup since the 1960s. Known for its unique look, comfortable playability, and punchy sound, the Mustang Bass has become a favorite among bassists of all skill levels and genres. In this comprehensive review, we will discuss the features, construction, sound, and overall value of the Player Mustang Bass to help you decide if it’s the right bass for your needs.
Fender is a legendary brand in the world of musical instruments, and their bass guitars have always been at the forefront of innovation and quality. The original Mustang Bass was introduced in 1966 as a short-scale alternative to the popular Precision and Jazz basses, offering a more compact and lightweight option for players. The Player Mustang Bass carries on this tradition, combining the classic design and sound of the original with modern updates and enhancements for today’s musicians.
Construction and Design
The Fender Player Mustang Bass features a double-cutaway body shape with the iconic offset waist design that sets it apart from other basses. The body is made from alder, a tonewood known for its balanced tone and excellent resonance, ensuring that the bass provides a full and rich sound despite its smaller size.
The neck is made from maple, a popular choice for guitar and bass necks due to its strength, stability, and bright tonal characteristics. It features a 19-fret pau ferro fingerboard with white dot inlays for easy navigation. The short-scale length of 30 inches makes the neck more comfortable and accessible for players with smaller hands or those who prefer a more compact playing feel.
The hardware on the Player Mustang Bass is reliable and straightforward, featuring a 4-saddle Mustang Bass bridge that allows for easy adjustments and stable tuning. The vintage-style tuning machines add a touch of nostalgia to the bass while ensuring precise and accurate tuning.
The Player Mustang Bass is available in a variety of finishes, including Sienna Sunburst, Aged Natural, and Firemist Gold, allowing players to choose the look that best suits their personal style.
Electronics and Sound
The Fender Player Mustang Bass comes equipped with a versatile pickup configuration, featuring a Player Series split-coil Precision Bass pickup in the middle position and a Player Series single-coil Jazz Bass pickup in the bridge position. This combination provides a wide range of tonal possibilities, from the deep and warm sound of the Precision Bass to the bright and articulate tone of the Jazz Bass.
The simple control layout includes a master volume knob, a master tone knob, and a three-way pickup selector switch, allowing players to easily shape their sound to suit various genres and playing styles. The short-scale length also contributes to the punchy and focused sound of the Player Mustang Bass, making it perfect for bassists who want a more aggressive tone.
One of the standout features of the Fender Player Mustang Bass is its playability. The short-scale length and comfortable neck profile make it easy for players of all hand sizes and skill levels to navigate the fingerboard and perform complex techniques with ease. The smaller body size and lightweight design also make it an excellent option for those who prefer a more compact and manageable bass guitar.
The double-cutaway body shape provides easy access to the higher frets, which is particularly useful for soloing or playing melodic lines. The medium jumbo frets and smooth fingerboard ensure that playing the Player Mustang Bass is effortless and enjoyable, even for extended practice sessions or performances.
Value for Money
Considering its features, construction, and sound quality, the Fender Player Mustang Bass offers excellent value for money. The combination of the classic Mustang design with modern updates and enhancements makes it a versatile and adaptable instrument that can handle a wide range of musical styles and genres. While it may not be the cheapest bass on the market, the Player Mustang Bass provides a level of quality and performance that justifies its price tag.
The Fender Player Mustang Bass is an outstanding choice for bassists who want a modern take on a classic short-scale bass. Its combination of quality construction, versatile electronics, and exceptional playability make it a powerful and inspiring tool for creative musicians.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking for a compact and lightweight gigging bass or a beginner who wants a more comfortable playing experience, the Player Mustang Bass is an excellent option that delivers impressive performance and value for money. With its wide range of tonal possibilities and comfortable playing feel, the Fender Player Mustang Bass is a worthy addition to any bassist’s collection.