|Body And Neck:|
While the Strat and Tele are undoubtedly Fender’s bestsellers, the lightweight, laidback Mustang has been the choice of so many pros over the years – from Bilinda Butcher to Kurt Cobain. The Bullet Mustang HH, from Fender’s Squier branch, gives you the chance to add your name to that list – all while spending well under $200. Let’s check this one out!
If you know Mustangs, you’ll know Squier hasn’t messed with the design in any way, delivering the classic offset double-cutaway shape – like a Strat that’s melted a bit in the sun! This affordable version features a very slim body made from solid basswood, which provides a lightweight and comfortable feel.
The body comes finished in either a standard black or blue gloss, although – at the time of writing – some marketplaces were offering a couple of limited-edition retro colors, which were pretty cool.
With a shortened 24” scale length, the playability on this Mustang is fantastic for all sizes – good fun, whether you are a fully grown adult or a slightly smaller teen. The C-shaped maple neck is comfortable and the satin neck finish is smooth, while the Indian laurel fretboard features 22 medium jumbo frets, so there’s plenty of scope for high lead play.
Make no mistakes about it, this is still a ‘cheap’ guitar and may need a bit of a setup to get the best from it, but the build and finish is hard to fault at this price.
While the build is solid, the hardware is a clear indicator that this is a budget model. Not that anything is bad per se, but it’s basic. Things like a plastic nut and stock pickups just reinforce this. These pickups come in the form of two no-name passive humbuckers at the bridge and neck position.
These buckers are controlled by master volume and master tone knobs – placed on a traditional chrome strip – along with a three-way toggle switch on the pickguard, for choosing between neck, bridge, or both pickups together. The fixed bridge is made from chrome, as are the closed-geared tuners up top. Overall not bad, but nothing too noteworthy.
For a basic guitar, the sound on this Mustang is pretty sweet! Sure, it may struggle a little if played on bigger stages, but the two stock humbuckers are hot enough to cut through a mix of guitars and deliver great tones for everything from jazz and indie right up to 90s punk rock. You’d be pushing it to get a thick heavy modern metal sound, but anything up to that point is very commendable. The fact that there’s no single-coil hum on such a budget guitar is also a bonus.
Mustangs have always been seen as one of the no-nonsense workhorses of the guitar world, and this Squier Bullet model doesn’t change a winning formula. Of course, there is room for improvement, but at under $200 it’s hard to criticize this solid axe. It’s a worthwhile addition to any collection, if only for practice and jamming, while the modding potential is plain to see.