Comparison: Fender Mustang Amp v1 vs v2

Since I posted Fender Mustang 1 vs 2, a Comparison, Fender has released another version of their popular Mustang series of modeling amps; the v.2.

Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of emails about the differences between the original Fender Mustang (v.1) and the newer v.2 and how they compare. Rather than copy my replies to everyone individually, I figured i would just write a post about it and be done. 😉

Difference between the Fender Mustang v1 and v2

The new v.2 models have gotten minor upgrades to the control panel, but otherwise look very much the same.

The new v.2 models have gotten minor upgrades to the control panel, but otherwise look very much the same.

Here’s a brief overview of what’s new in the Mustang v.2:

The V.2 is physically much the same as the V.1, except the outer covering is now tolex and the control panel has a more “modern” look.

The new Mustang V.2 series includes five new amp models, five new stompboxes, and pitch shifting (only available when you connect your amp to Fender Fuse).

New Amp Models in v.2

The five Amp Models are:

  • Studio Preamp
  • ’57 Twin
  • ’60s Thrift
  • British Watts
  • British Colour

I know the ’57 Twin was/is available as a download from the FUSE community page for the v1 Mustang series, and it was very popular. Fender probably decided to include it in the presets for that reason.

“’60s Thrift” is code for Silvertone amps, “British Watts” is the HiWatt, and “British Colour’ is an Orange amp style.

New Effects in v.2

Five New Stomp Box Effects:

  • Ranger Boost
  • Green Box
  • Orange Box
  • Black Box
  • Big Fuzz

And, like the Mustang V.1, all effects and amp models are tweakable when connected to the FUSE software via USB cable. Unlike the Mustang V.1, some of the new effects require an expression pedal (sold separately) to fully use.

Fender Mustang V.2 Demo

Final thoughts

The Fender Mustang series of amps is easily one of the best on the market. Not everyone will enjoy all the amp or effects presets, but with the Fender FUSE software you can tweak to your heart’s content. I long ago replaced most presets with my own versions and some I downloaded from the Fender community site. I’ve gone through a couple of sets of presets since I got it, and that’s one of the best things about it – whenever I find myself in a rut, or looking for a new sound, I can change my amp to suit my needs.

Fender FUSE is not hard to use (it provides an excellent visual simulation of your sound rig), but if you’re not comfortable with computers it’s probably not a big selling point. But for those who welcome modern technological tools, FUSE is a huge plus. With it, you can tweak just about every aspect of the Mustang.

So, is the Mustang v.2 worth the extra money?

If you’re looking at a Mustang III, IV or V, then the answer is yes. This is due mostly because the v.1 versions of those amps had a bug that is know as “FIZZ” among their grumpy owners. V.2 solves the FIZZ problem.

Note: The Mustang I and II models never had the FIZZ issue, so the only reason to buy a v.2 over a v.1 for those models is for the new effects or amp models.

Eventually, the v.1 versions will all be sold, so you won’t have the option of choosing. But until that happens, you can still snag a v.1 for much less than a v.2, and if you’re not hot for the new effects or amp models and are looking for a Mustang I or II, you can get a sweet deal.

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Comments
  • Aaron Matthies April 20, 2014 at 7:23 am

    It might sound like a very minor update – but I agree with you that the v.2 would be worth the extra money for somebody considering the two options. Another point to consider is that now that the v.2 is out, the chances are that the v.1 amps will receive very little attention in regards to updates or support (compared to the v.2).
    One of my students recently purchased the Mustang I v.2 and it’s a fantastic little amp. Highly recommended for beginners.

    • Mike April 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I have a Mustang I v.1 and it’s been the best practice amp I’ve owned. The flexibility, size and sound have been incredible for the price. I’ve had it since about 2011 and haven’t had any problems that required an update, so I’m not sure that would be a deal breaker for someone looking at a v.1 now. I’ve heard of a lot of problems with the III, IV and V models though…

    • CedricS January 18, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      They are all updateable via FUSE, so it doesn’t really matter whether you have a 1 or a 2 ver.

      • Mike January 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm

        CedricS,

        It does matter… v1 and v2 are different enough that the presets and effects that are new to v2 are not available to v1. So while they can both be updated, you cannot upgrade a v1 to v2 by using FUSE.

    • Alonzo Long June 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      If I buy a mustang from a friend can I get the “free FUSE” Without store paper work?

      • Mike June 4, 2016 at 8:29 am

        Yes you can. The software only checks to ensure it’s compatible with the amp, it doesn’t carry any registration with it.

      • JB July 18, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        Yes, go to https://fuse.fender.com/ look at the left middle of the page for the free download

  • Philippe P March 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Do you know if fender solved the FIZZ issue on M III V1? My last update is not a succes!

  • Philippe P March 7, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I can’t suceed to link my exp pedal with the 4 buttons pedal on my M III V1, i have the 4 buttons or exp but nver both !

    • G S April 24, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Don’t have a problem at all on mine. The in and out on the expression pedal are important though. If you hook it up wrong it won’t work. Also note that the expression pedal is plugged into the 4 button foot switch on the back of the amp, and the 4 button foot switch is plugged into the expression pedal.

  • Rob May 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve had my M4 v1 since 2011, must have gotten real lucky because I have never had any issues at all. Always been crisp, clear, and fizz free. For the price and wattage, couldn’t be happier.
    It will due until I can sell enough organs for a Twin Reverb tube amp.

  • Marcell August 22, 2016 at 3:51 am

    i have a M3 Limited E , and a M4 V2 versions , for me both Fantastic amps , take the time for programming and change the presets , the built in effects are for me very good , and above all , you can change them to your taste , i think Fender made an Amp mush better than they thought it would be , i,m 60 an i use Fender Fuse , works great !!! , Top Amp thy should make them in Blond tolex ;-))))

  • ajbstrat October 29, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    This review failed to mention THE SINGLE important reason for v2’s existence: Fender corrected V1’s fizz problem in the power section. They alluded to the fix indirectly on their forum – i can’t recall their precise wording – but it was a clear acknowledgement of the reported problem and Fender’s remedy. Fender included some additional models and a few other ‘enhancements’ in the V2 release, i suppose to song & dance their way past the correction by providing a “justifiable” reason for a new release. But at any rate, the fix was well worth it, because fundamentally, the Mustang is a wonderful modeler, and still to this day, for the most part holds its original retail price, which says ALOT when you consider all the modeling competition out there.

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