When it comes to practice amplifiers, it is always hard to know beforehand what to expect. There are many cases when such units are merely tools that do not accomplish that much. However, there are a lot of models that are meticulous enough to help you find your tone. They not only give you the sound to work with, but also provide you with the opportunity to experiment and unveil all your hidden capabilities. We all know that Fender amplifiers have been renowned for their quality products for years now. They have succeeded in creating amplifiers that have rocked many stages and famous rigs. But they have badass smaller models as well. Mustang I V.2 represents such tendency perfectly. It is a solid-state amplifier that you will fall in love with in a blink of an eye. Let’s continue our journey and see, what is this little fella capable of.
It could easily be said that Mustang I V.2 offers way more than one would expect from such a small combo. I cannot help but mention how fancy it looks. It has black chassis with silver heavy-duty grill covering that catches your eye from the first glance. Of course it has the Fender logo on the panel, which rounds everything up and hints at what you are going to get. What is more significant is everything it has under that fancy chassis. Mustang I V.2 operates with 20 watts of power, which drives a single 8” speaker. Yeah, this is not that much, however, it is perfectly enough for the purpose of this combo. Fender has taken amp modeling pretty seriously and has provided us with 24 on-board presets (stored in three banks) and 17 amp models, including ‘57 Deluxe, ‘59 Bassman and ‘65 Twin Reverb. Additionally, Mustang I V.2 has numerous effects: Chorus, Flanger, Wah, Tremolo, Pitch Shifter, Phaser, Reverb, Delay and many other variations. It also has a tuner, meaning that you will not have to reach for your pedal or the app on your phone. And when it comes to the jacks and sockets, we have a single input for your instrument, an input for the footswitch so that you can control the unit hands-free, an auxiliary input for external audio sources, headphone output for silent practicing, as well as USB connectivity for audio recording output.
Fender Mustang I V.2 has a very simple and sorted control panel. Everything you will ever need is displayed on the top of the combo, allowing you to shove the amp in front of you and start practicing. Plus, all the inputs and outputs are there as well, eliminating the need to turn it around and plug that way. The only time consuming activity here is scrolling through presets and finding the ones that work for you. But that’s a one-time thing, don’t you agree? Once you figure out what you like, it will not take you that much time anymore. Anyway, I will tell you what are the functionalities of each knob and how you tweak everything is completely up to you.
The basic knobs that you will come across in any amp out there include Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass and Master. Gain strengthens your signal and distorts it to a certain extent, Volume sets the level of the signal, Treble and Bass modify higher and lower frequencies in your sound, while Master controls the overall volume of the amplifier. Preset knob allows you to scroll through in-built sonic programs, Mod moves between different effects except for Reverb and Delay, since we have a dedicated knob for that. The level of the effects can be controlled by holding down the Exit button and rotating Mod or Dly/Rev encoders. Save and Exit buttons allow you to save your own presets and finish the process. Lastly, Tap sets the tempo of reverb and delay, while Tuner switch is self-explanatory.
Do practice amplifiers have to sound good? Yes, they do. If you ask me, their sonic quality is just as important as it is with more powerful combos. Fender Mustang I V.2 can create an amazing tone and is replete with options to choose from. Everything here has clarity, depth and definition, which is quite surprising in my book. The amp modeling is not cheap and poor sounding. It is quite easy to find something decent that you will use in your performance. The same goes for the effects as well. They are not overpowering and do not color your tone, but rather they enhance its features and add some character to it. The best thing about Mustang I V.2 is its USB connectivity. It allows you to plug the amp with your computer and use the free app from Fender called Fuse. It is an amazing software which enhances the versatility of the presets even further and guarantees to deliver the sound that will be tailored for you.
If you are one of those skeptics who overlook practice amplifiers, just try Fender Mustang I V.2 and you will easily be turned to faith. It is truly a magnificent tool that could even compete with “more serious” combos had it more power. The versatility it offers is jaw-dropping and the sounds it can deliver are mind-blowing. Could a practice amplifier get any better? I do not think so. Do not be lazy and hesitant, listen to this bad boy and you might even find your best friend. I am sure you will not be disappointed. Good luck on your way to perfecting your sound and entering the realm of creativity!