First gig with the Fender Mustang III...

Lewguitar

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5,665
Left my vintage amps (blackface Deluxe Reverb and blackface Princeton Reverb modded with a 12" Celestion) at home and brought my new Mustang III to the gig instead.

Didn't bring any pedals either.

Spent a week or two setting up presets for my PRS Custom 22 and the first thing I did at sound check was reduce the treble on my clean tones and fatten up the bass and mids on my overdriven tones.

No biggie. All amps have to have the volume and tone adjusted on the gig.

Found that my Clean Twin Reverb settings worked best and I stuck with one or two of those all night.

Found that the Overdriven Tweed Deluxe tones I worked on so hard on at home didn't turn me on at all onstage!

Although the crowd liked them just fine, to me, once onstage, they sounded grainy and fizzy.

The Deluxe Reverb tones I'd set up with the Mustang's virtual Tubescreamer sounded much fuller and better.

Could not find a great blues soloing tone.
The sound of a blackface Fender turned up to 6 or 7 and no pedal.

Mike Bloomfield's "Texas" or "Killing Floor" tone that he got with Les Paul through a dimed or almost dimed blackface Fender Twin on the Electric Flag album.

Gotta work on that more.

Haven't found an early Santana tone for "Black Magic Woman" that I like either.

Again: the sound of a Gibson guitar through a Twin Reverb on "10". Gotta work on that too.

Santana's Europa tone is much more overdriven and easier to attain with the Mustang III...as is Peter Green's "Supernatural" tone.

Still: for $300 the Mustang III is an unbelievable bargain for a first amp. Of course, this is not my first amp!

I just don't want to beat up my old 60's Fenders any more and we play at such a low volume that I can't turn them up.

I arranged my presets so that CLEAN alternated with SOLOING tones. That way my CLEAN tones were just one preset up or down from my OVERDRIVEN or SOLOING tones and I could use the footswitch to go from one to the other easily. Worked really well.

More when I know more... ;)
 
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ur2funky

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Nice review. Reminds me of my first time taking the Mustang out. All the tones I had been gravitating to at home ended up not being my first choice on stage. I now have 4 clean tones all lumped together so I can pick the one that sounds the best for the room. Same with lead tones.
 

Lewguitar

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5,665
Play with the Supersonic model for those singing lead tones.
Yes. I use that or the Dual Rectifier for more saturated tones. Need to work with those more.

But getting the tone of a Gibson through a cranked up Twin Reverb w/o a pedal (Mike Bloomfield or early Santana...or BB King) has eluded me so far.
 

Lewguitar

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5,665
Nice review. Reminds me of my first time taking the Mustang out. All the tones I had been gravitating to at home ended up not being my first choice on stage. I now have 4 clean tones all lumped together so I can pick the one that sounds the best for the room. Same with lead tones.
Thanks! Alternating presets worked well for me on the gig.

#1 Clean...#2 Overdrive...#3 Clean... #4 Overdrive...and so on.

Made it easy onstage.
 

jerryfan6

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5,376
I just picked one up, with both the 4 button and 2 button foot switches. I like your idea of alternating patches, so I can use the 2 button to cycle up/down and the 4 button to activate the effects.

I only played around with it for a few minutes, but the one thing that concerns me is trying to balance the volumes of the different patches. They seemed to be all over the board.
 

Lewguitar

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5,665
I just picked one up, with both the 4 button and 2 button foot switches. I like your idea of alternating patches, so I can use the 2 button to cycle up/down and the 4 button to activate the effects.

I only played around with it for a few minutes, but the one thing that concerns me is trying to balance the volumes of the different patches. They seemed to be all over the board.
Yeah. Balancing the volumes of my presets is pretty easy just using the VOLUME control and then pressing SAVE.

Not the MASTER, but the VOLUME control.

I don't use any of the factory presets. They were OK to learn from but most of them sound kind of corny to me.

I made up my own using the amp models located in #80 through #100 and them saving them in positions #00 through #80. Don't overwrite the amp models though...you want those just the way they are and to use as a platform for building your own presets on.

I saved a few of the factory presets but overwrote most of them.

You can always get them back again if you want but you'll lose your own presets.
 

ur2funky

Silver Supporting Member
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2,011
I also have the 2 & 4 button footswitches. I always use them the same way:
4 Button is:
1) Tuner
2) Clean
3) Mid Gain
4) Lead

2 Button is:
1) Stomp
2) Mod

The Stomp button is an overdrive/distortion pedal so I have 6 levels of gain easily available. And they're all level adjusted (including turning on the Stomps) to be the same volume.

edit: I should add, I like having the Stomp distortions available to add/remove gain to an existing sound instead of changing tones, which can cause an interruption in the sound.
 
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Lewguitar

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5,665
I also have the 2 & 4 button footswitches. I always use them the same way:
4 Button is:
1) Tuner
2) Clean
3) Mid Gain
4) Lead

2 Button is:
1) Stomp
2) Mod

The Stomp button is an overdrive/distortion pedal so I have 6 levels of gain easily available. And they're all level adjusted (including turning on the Stomps) to be the same volume.
Yeah. I picked up the 4 button footswitch too. I'm still deciding how I want to use it but using both the 2 button and 4 button footswitches sure makes the Mustang III versatile onstage.
 

ur2funky

Silver Supporting Member
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2,011
I got the expression pedal too, but it's a little annoying to setup. If I remember correctly you have to program it for every patch, which compared to the general ease of use for the amp otherwise, is annoying. But you can do kool things with it, and I LOVE that you can just piggyback it to the other footswitches with one short cable.
 

Lewguitar

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5,665
Didn't go for the expression pedal. I don't use a wah wah and besides, I bought the Mustang III to make these little low volume gigs easier and so I could leave my pedals at home.
 

jerryfan6

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,376
I also have the 2 & 4 button footswitches. I always use them the same way:
4 Button is:
1) Tuner
2) Clean
3) Mid Gain
4) Lead

2 Button is:
1) Stomp
2) Mod

The Stomp button is an overdrive/distortion pedal so I have 6 levels of gain easily available. And they're all level adjusted (including turning on the Stomps) to be the same volume.
That is another interesting way to use the two switches. I may try that as well.
 

Miles

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3,966
So funny how room acoustics and stage volume completely booger all of the tweaking we do away from the band.

I'm really pumped for you that the Mustang crushed it in the gig setting. I've also transitioned over to SS amps for live use. With SS and modelers, I've found I've needed to be cautious of not achieving that famous live "tube snap" and cut by overcompensating in gain or treble. Rather, regulating gain with caution and finding more definition in the mids and presence have worked well for me on those amp models.

For me, the most liberating aspect of using amps like these live is the tweaking process becomes more about re-working amp models, stacking pedal voicings, working EQ or cab settings, sprinkling in FX. If something wasn't sounding right with my tube amps, it became about upgrading speakers, tubes, pots, etc... (changes were less creative and I spent more on hardware). Rather, I like the creative process of working within the limitations of that platform and not having to deal with tube hiss and those variables. The tone chase is more exciting and creative and less about what I have to buy next.
 
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Lewguitar

Member
Messages
5,665
So funny how room acoustics and stage volume completely booger all of the tweaking we do away from the band.

I'm really pumped for you that the Mustang crushed it in the gig setting. I've also transitioned over to SS amps for live use. With SS and modelers, I've found I've needed to be cautious of not achieving that famous live "tube snap" and cut by overcompensating in gain or treble. Rather, regulating gain with caution and finding more definition in the mids and presence have worked well for me on those amp models.

For me, the most liberating aspect of using amps like these live is the tweaking process becomes more about re-working amp models, stacking pedal voicings, working EQ or cab settings, sprinkling in FX. If something wasn't sounding right with my tube amps, it became about upgrading speakers, tubes, pots, etc... (changes were less creative and I spent more on hardware). Rather, I like the creative process of working within the limitations of that platform and not having to deal with tube hiss and those variables. The tone chase is more exciting and creative and less about what I have to buy next.
Yeah. I've only done one gig with the Mustang III but I'm pretty sure everything is all there. I just need to find the keys to unleashing it.

Might be that I always think the Mustang's overdrive sounds a bit fizzy on a gig (doesn't at home) but it's plenty good enough for the little low volume blues and oldies gigs, and church gigs, that I've been playing for a while now.

Not going to give up my old 50's and 60's Fenders and Gibsons though. Not until I'm to old to play.
 

Miles

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Messages
3,966
Didn't go for the expression pedal. I don't use a wah wah and besides, I bought the Mustang III to make these little low volume gigs easier and so I could leave my pedals at home.
Same story...mostly. Only pedals I had to still run in front were my POGII and my ZVEX Fuzz Factory - pedals that modelers usually don't include an emulation of and pedals I rely on a LOT to achieve various tones. Used a pedaltrain with those two pedals and the amp footswitch.
 

Lewguitar

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Messages
5,665
Same story...mostly. Only pedals I had to still run in front were my POGII and my ZVEX Fuzz Factory - pedals that modelers usually don't include an emulation of and pedals I rely on a LOT to achieve various tones. Used a pedaltrain with those two pedals and the amp footswitch.
I haven't tried anything in front of the Mustang yet.

I have a small board with a Providence Delay, Simble (Dumble emulator) pedal, VS Route 808 (Tubescreamer) and a Klon KTR on it.

But I'm hoping to be able to leave that stuff at home and go light with just the Mustang and its two pedals.
 

Miles

Member
Messages
3,966
Yeah. I've only done one gig with the Mustang III but I'm pretty sure everything is all there. I just need to find the keys to unleashing it.

Might be that I always think the Mustang's overdrive sounds a bit fizzy on a gig (doesn't at home) but it's plenty good enough for the little low volume blues and oldies gigs, and church gigs, that I've been playing for a while now.

Not going to give up my old 50's and 60's Fenders and Gibsons though. Not until I'm to old to play.
Right. I still have my tube head. It's an opportunity cost - no reason to ditch it unless it's financially unavoidable. It still has a place in the close micing studio situation that one might find themselves in. It's also good to know that it's there. That said, I haven't mic'd an amp since the Bush administration. I can pretty much get anything I want DI on modelers or built in amp models in Reason 7.0.

One thing I had to be careful of was how I positioned the Mustang or any combo at gigs. If I angled it up and close mic'd, those "fizzy" sounds were actually cut that the tone needed to punch through in the upper mids. I've had people tell me "what you hear, the mic hears" - and that's really not true. I find that for recording or relying heavily on PA use, dynamic mics hear a lot less treble and "fizz" than my ears. So, some apparent unpleasant high end actually gave my mic'd up tone some greatly needed cut and definition.

So, I spent some poorly-advised time dialing out much of my cut to make the sound coming out of the speaker sound like great-sounding recorded tone. It was a BIG mistake. Recorded gig tone yielded very flat sounding guitar that sounded too watered down and processed.

When I worked the gain cautiously, I got the tone sounding good in the open room without tilting my cab as a monitor but to where it sounded pretty good out front. Then, leave it and play. Let the sound-guy do the rest. With cymbals and snare, those TOANZ still need to cut through. Some fizz may actually help in the mix.
 

Lewguitar

Member
Messages
5,665
One thing I had to be careful of was how I positioned the Mustang or any combo at gigs. If I angled it up and close mic'd, those "fizzy" sounds were actually cut that the tone needed to punch through in the upper mids. I've had people tell me "what you hear, the mic hears" - and that's really not true. I find that for recording or relying heavily on PA use, dynamic mics hear a lot less treble and "fizz" than my ears. So, some apparent unpleasant high end actually gave my mic'd up tone some greatly needed cut and definition.

So, I spent some poorly-advised time dialing out much of my cut to make the sound coming out of the speaker sound like great-sounding recorded tone. It was a BIG mistake. Recorded gig tone yielded very flat sounding guitar that sounded too watered down and processed.
Absolutely.
 




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