- Great selection of preset tones
- Ability to fully customise tones with the use of the app
- Great size for bedroom or living room practice
- Screen real estate could have been bigger
- Loads of menus but easy to follow
Technology in music has increased so much over the past five years. My time during the ‘band days’ from 2005 – 2013 really only consisted of owning a guitar and amplifier with an overdrive setting. If you had that, then you were ready to go. There were those fancy musicians that turned up to gigs with massive pedal boards that could make slight adjustments to their tones, but I never had the cash for that kind of thing.
But Fender, being at the forefront of their game has come up with a way of being able to keep your crafted guitar tones stored in your mobile. It’s am amp and phone combination setup, and requires Bluetooth or a WiFi signal to really take advantage of. The item is the Mustang GT amp with a TrueTone app.
The setup process is fairly simple, and if you’re wanting to use it with your mobile, is a basic Bluetooth connection between the amp and phone. Setting it up to your wireless network is also seamless but will require a WiFi network’s password. If it is hooked up to WiFi, then everything can be done internally like download firmware updates or patches for certain tones.
So the Fender Mustang GT amp isn’t a bad looking piece of kit. I have the Fender Mustang GT40 model here which can be described as that bedroom practice amp. It’s small, and not particularly loud, although loud enough to make your parents tell you to turn it down.
It’s covered in a some kind of acrylic vinyl giving it that kind of leathery type skin that is traditional with most amplifiers. The control centre is pure black with a few dials and mini screen, and the front is covered in a black cloth. It looks pretty mean as a unit, and because of that screen, you know it’s going to be full of technological goodness. The control panel faces up rather than out so you will need to be above the amp if you want to see what’s happening on on the screen.
Everything that the Fender does well happens internally. After plugging in my Fender Telecaster I pretty much immediately felt comfortable with the rotary control knob. All the controls are soft to touch, and as soon as the power went on, I was racing through the 120 or so already preset tones that the amp could recreate. That’s where this amp shines, is through its tone control. What’s more, is if I hooked my mobile phone up to this amp, my phone could ask as a controller, which means I wouldn’t have to bend down and change each setting on the actual amp.
When you first hook this amp up to your wireless network, be prepared for a firmware update and also the transfer of tones so you have the most up to date audio patches. Once this is done however, the world is at your fingertips. You have the control to change even the slightest of sounds like bass and treble, right through to adding stomp box, reverb, delay or flange effects. And all of it is done from your mobile phone.
I definitely would have liked to have seen a bigger screen, and maybe sacrificed the size of the actual control knobs on the interface. The smaller screen does mean you will be sifting through menus before you get to the option you’re looking for, but it is in their defence laid out well.
The Fender Mustang GT40 was the model we checked out, and inside you will find a pair of 6.5″ speakers at 20 watts a side in stereo sound. As I said earlier, this amp probably won’t be enough for live shows, as drums will definitely overpower it, but for a small living room/bedroom practice amp, you can’t really go wrong. If you’re a musician who likes to tinker to get that ultimate sound, then look no further.