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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Mustang III road test

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 14th, 2012 04:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Tried out my MIII at a gig last night. One of those fun gigs. Bigger room, good fun loving crowd. Everything miced, amp tipped back and set at a medium volume. I used two patches for this job. 00 was Twin Reverb clean with some reverb added. 01 was Bassman with a modest amount of overdrive. The Bassman patch was very good. I guessed at the settings at home and didn't need to adjust them all night. I had a better crunch tone with this amp than I get from my PR clone and Tube Driver pedal. The clean tone was a different story. The tone controls are run through the computer so they can be saved to a preset. IMO, this is a mistake. I need to adjust the tone on the fly and no need to save tone adjustments in presets. They are awkward and don't hit the right frequencies. They are mounted on the top panel which is a PITA for those of us that tip back our amps. As far as tweeking the clean tone over the course of a gig goes, my regular amp beats the Mustang hands down.
I was only using two patches, so it wasn't a problem to deal with the up down footswitch, but I can see how managing a lot of different patches could be a problem. No indicator on the switch. Only way of seeing where you are is displayed on a little LED screen, back on the amp, tipped away from me. This amp has potential, plenty of power and some very good sounds. I like it, but It will remain my rehearsal amp, not a working amp.

telegib

Canada

Apr 14th, 2012 06:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Patch 00 is my Twin amp. Patch 01 is my 65 Deluxe. Patch 02 is my 57 Deluxe.

I have overdrive and delay on all 3 amp patches set up to kick in with my 4 way switch whenever I need them.

A very simple setup and works perfect in any situation for me.

fredocaster

USA

Apr 15th, 2012 08:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

For me, patch 00 is the 57 deluxe, set clean. 01 is 57 deluxe cranked, and 02 is the 70's marshal,cranked a bit. I do preset the tone controls where I like them prior to gigs, but I do change them occasionally on the fly. But I usually just use the physical tone controls on the amp to do this, just like I would on any of my tube amps. I might save them to the presets if I don't like what I hear during the sound check.

I haven't really felt like control location is a problem any more than my real 57 deluxe RI or HR Deville, which also have the controls on top.

(This message was last edited by fredocaster at 08:15 PM, Apr 15th, 2012)

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 16th, 2012 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I know it's being fussy, but us musicians tend to be fussy about our amps. When they designed the MIII, they anticipated that overall volume should be controlled by the power amp not the computer. They did figure tone settings might need to be adjusted on the fly, so the controls on the panel offer a temporary preset bypass that can be saved with 2 presses on the save button. IMO, the computer controls don't work nearly as well as the usual tone controls in a regular amp and I find no advantage to being able to save basic tone settings in the presets. For me, I would prefer both the volume and tone to be controlled by the power amp. Also, it would be nice if there were a display of the patch number on the footswitch. The tone controls on my PR suit my Strat perfectly. The MIII is super touchy and doesn't adjust the frequency range I want it to. I found the MIII tone controls to be clumsy and poorly designed compared to my regular amp.

(This message was last edited by 6 Cylinder Slim at 06:36 AM, Apr 16th, 2012)

telegib

Canada

Apr 16th, 2012 06:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Doesn't sound like any processing amp is for you. I would stick with basic amps.

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 17th, 2012 07:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

For now I will, but this amp comes close. Master Treble and Bass controls like the master volume control would do it for me. I suppose an outboard EQ in the effects loop would work, but the convenience of an all in one unit would be spoiled. This is a good sounding amp. I do like it, but it's not exactly what I need for live shows. Fine for rehearsal and good enough to back up my show amp.

jbryan

Minneapolis

Apr 17th, 2012 02:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You need to get the 4 button footswitch which DOES display the patches on the floor right in front of you. Plus it has the built in tuner display too. I guess I am VERY surprised you didn't like the clean tone. IMO this is where this amp totally kicks butt! Once in a while I tweak the '59 Bassman here and there for my crunchy dirty tone ( I throw the OverDrive and Comrpessor on it)...but never never ever have touched my '65 Twin Reverb setting other than plain out volume.

I will agree that having the amp tilted back (which I do too) does make it a little more inconvenient but I guess I am used to it too. having the 4 button switch helps a lot!

I love my Mustang III for gigging and am not going back to a conventional tube amp on stage. Unless the MIII needs repair or something...

stinger22

USA

Apr 17th, 2012 06:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

>>For me, I would prefer both the volume and tone to be controlled by the power amp.> Also, it would be nice if there were a display of the patch number on the footswitch.>The tone controls on my PR suit my Strat perfectly. The MIII is super touchy and doesn't adjust the frequency range I want it to. I found the MIII tone controls to be clumsy and poorly designed compared to my regular amp.

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 18th, 2012 06:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I should try the 4 button switch. Without a display on the footswitch, I would get lost if I used too many patches. It might be my answer to assign a few different EQ settings to my clean tones rather than messing with the tone knobs on the panel.

telegib

Canada

Apr 18th, 2012 04:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes the 4 button switch is a great help. I do agree that if the footswitch had the same display as the amp it would be much better but for just a few patches the numerical display works fine.

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 19th, 2012 09:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A numerical display would be plenty good enough for me. When I get the 4 button switch, I'll try setting up 3 TR clean patches with different EQ settings. That might just do the trick. I really hate the knob adjustments. Then one or two Bassman patches with overdrive. I wouldn't want to deal with 5 different patches with my current 2 button pedal though. Something that might be of interest to you. If you ever want a Tuki padded cover for your Mustang III, the one I bought for my 1980s Princeton Reverb II fits it fine.

fredocaster

USA

Apr 19th, 2012 09:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The 4 button switch is really necessary for gigging, unless your setup is really simple.

For me, 3 patches are usually enough for a gig, so I set up the 3 quick access settings, and use 3rd mode to switch on stomp boxes, modulation effects, and delays. I think you can only have 3 effects running at once, but that is more than enough for me. The built in tuner controlled by the footswitch is very useful as well. As you guys have said, it would really be nice if the same LED display the amp has was on the footswitch. But I could see how this might get complicated if you were fooling with the display while gigging. In general I like my floor switching as simple as possible for live work.

stinger22

USA

Apr 20th, 2012 08:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hmmm my last post didn't post correctly I was trying to quote back to 6 Cyl, but it stipped my responses.
Anyway, tone is controlled by the preamp/computer not power amp on any amp. Making the tones universal IMO would limit the MIII. The tone controls act according to the model being used, they are modeled. I also set up patches per guitar which require different tone settings.

I usually gig with my DRRI and have to tweak the tone controls at each venue. So it's not a big deal when I gig with the MIII or take it to practice which I do often. I only use about 3 patches set up on the 4 button so no big deal to play a few chords hit a few notes and tweak the tone controls then hit save-save. I guess it it was a more expensive amp they could have included tone per preset AND a master tone.

You might want to put an equalizer pedal in the effects loop and then you can fine tune per room.

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 20th, 2012 12:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You know what I mean. If you are used to the smooth and well balanced tone controls on a Princeton Reverb, the temporary preset bypass controls on the MIII are erratic. I would definitely prefer master tone controls on the power amp to saveable tone settings on the computer. But, now that I know the 4 button footswitch has a patch number display, I feel confident I could use more presets without any showtime confusion. Next time I try the MIII at a live show, I'll have a 4 button switch and a few clean TR patches set up at home graduating from scooped mid to flat response tone settings. This will probably solve my whole problem with the amp.
Turning around, back to the audience, trying to read a little LED screen on a tipped back amp behind me to see what patch I'm on just plain doesn't work for me. I must be able to see the patch number in front of me. Using the 2 button switch with only 2 patches is where I went wrong with this test. Not the amp's fault.

stinger22

USA

Apr 20th, 2012 06:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Make sure you use the two button and four button together to get the most out of it. I have the two button set so the left button turns the stompbox effect on and off and the right button to turn the modulation effect on and off. On stage I can keep the four button over on the side, I only use three patches and only switch between songs. I keep the two button up front mainly to switch the stompbox, either the compressor as a boost or the OD, on and off and the modulation when I need it. Gives me great flexibility.

fredocaster

USA

Apr 20th, 2012 07:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Using the 4 and 2 buttons is really helpful. You can control effects with both switches, so you can get a lot of flexibility. I haven't tried to see if you could call up two additional presets with the 2 button switch (for a total of 5). Anybody try that yet?

fendermaw

USA/Indiana

Apr 20th, 2012 09:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You can actually set up for 9 presets, if you needed that many. Set up 3 of them on your 4-button switch. Then set the 2-button switch to "up/down" through the utility menu.
Set up the other 6 presets to be +1 and -1 from each of your chosen 3 presets on the 4-button.
Now, when you access any of the 3 presets with the 4-button, just use the 2-button to go up/down one from there.
For example, set your 4-button for presets 02, 05, and 08. Assign the remaining 6 presets to 01,03,04,06,07,& 09. You could then access 01/03 when at preset 02, 04/06 when at preset 05, & 07/09 when at preset 08 very easily.

6 Cylinder Slim

New England

Shoes for Industry
Apr 21st, 2012 06:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

uh oh. A question about the 4 button. I'm not a pedal board guy. I need simple. Mostly, what I need is a display showing me the patch number in front of me. Maybe someday I can play with effects, but for now, I just want to cycle through 4 or maybe 5 presets and nothing else. Can the 4 button switch cycle up and down like the 2 button and show me the preset number?

stinger22

USA

Apr 21st, 2012 10:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey 6
Yes Mode 2 of the four button gives you bank switching and up down within that bank. IE button one cycles through banks 0 to 10 to 20 to 30 etc. And buttons 2 and 3 go up and down one at a time.

fredocaster

USA

Apr 21st, 2012 08:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Most of the time I just use the 4 button. It is pretty straightforward once you get to know how it works. I also am not a big pedal board guy. I really dislike doing tap dances on floor devices.

Stinger is right, you can access banks and presets within banks. I pretty much use just the 3 quick access buttons, just because it is simple. Not a lot different than what I do with my HR Deville. My settings are clean, a little dirty, and higher gain dirty, on pretty much whatever platform I am using. What is nice about the mustang is that I can also get a variety of other effects (my favs are delay, tremolo, reverb, sometimes compression) without having to drag around a bunch of pedals and/or a pedalboard. All of that can be done with just the 4 button switch.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Mustang III road test




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