Review on Fender Mustang Micro Headphone Amplifier
- Guitar Accessories Case - Protect your Micro amp and cable within this protective compact hard sided headphone guitar amp case
- Hard Shell Protection - The Casematix Micro Amp Case protects your guitar headphone amp in a carbon-fiber style EVA shell with foam padding which protects the personal headphone amplifier from drops and dings
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The Review on Fender Mustang Micro Headphone Amplifier
While it may never be the kind of study that receives any kind of legitimate, university funding, I’d be very interested to see the kind of influence that things like the state of the economy and the ever-buoyant real estate/rental market have on musicians and their playing habits, especially at the technical level.
While this may seem like a bit of a long bow to pull, rest assured the evidence is all around us as shared homes continue to fill up and square footage costs are unprecedented, design considerations such as physical footprint, low volume dynamics, direct outs and overall scalability (things that guitarists have treated with little consideration in the past) have become extremely important given the current zeitgeist.
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Nowhere is this more evident than in the plethora of affordable, high-quality practice amp/modeling pedals with headphone output/microphone amps available today, intended to provide guitarists with the most organic and flexible small-scale options available for practice and recording.
At the forefront of this movement is Fender’s great Mustang amp range, with the brand legitimately breaking new ground in the quality of modeling and IR found in their combo offerings like the GTX 50 and GTX 500.
The new Fender Mustang Micro Headphone Amplifier takes the same approach and applies it to an even smaller footprint: the oft-overlooked world of headphone amps, and the result is some of the most satisfying and roommate/neighbor-friendly playing experiences we’ve found for an amplifier of this type.
The Mustang Micro offers you 12 amp models for a wide range of clean and dirty tones, 13 effect models with parameter change control and adjustable EQ, Bluetooth audio signal and built-in DSP. This little pocket rocket is clearly a no-brainer for anyone studying guitar performance or on a strict practice regimen, but it’s like a low volume songwriting vehicle/late night idea generator where it really pays dividends.
The rechargeable USB lithium-ion battery provides four hours of uninterrupted playtime, making it perfect for a few evenings of practice or a day of lessons. If you’re practicing guitar and especially studying guitar playing, hearing the same riff or lick over and over can tire you out. In fact, it can start to feel a bit like torture.
One thing that would bother me if I were limited to the situation of the amp in a particular room was the unfamiliarity with the settings, the waste of time manipulating those settings to suit my sound and furthermore, the fact that I would be jumping from jazz to metal and more. The ease of installation, the limited cable requirements and the naturalness of the touch sensitivity make the Fender Mustang Micro one of the best solutions I have found for this kind of everyday playing at low volume.
It uses impeccable, self-contained signal processing to deliver crisp, clear signals to give you some truly impressive modeling, ranging from classics like the ’65 Twin and ’65 Deluxe to more general ‘vibe’-type presets like Studio Preamp, ’90s American and even a Metal 2000. You can then combine any of these 12 basic sounds with one of the 13 available effects, including a wide variety of reverbs, delays and modulation: Large Hall Reverb, Chorus and Mono Delays, Triangle Flanger and Large Hall Reverb, Tape Delay, a Vintage Tremolo and even a Sine Chorus.
You’ll be hard pressed to find yourself struggling with any of these settings, especially since you can then use the EQ to fine-tune them even more. Of course Fender has kept it pretty simple for such a small amp so there’s no infinite adjustment of parameters, but the quality of the offering is impressive to say the least.
Just having access to hyper-accurate approximations of the vintage sounds and effects we know and love packed into something so portable is a whole lot better than so many of the other practice amps out there. I could see this being a perfect little size to throw in the guitar case for a tour or interstate trip: you can really imagine it being a handy little asset for a variety of different playing scenarios.
We haven’t even mentioned the Bluetooth compatibility yet and it’s in this slightly more consumer features that the Mustang Micro’s appeal really sells itself. The Fender Mustang Micro lets you sync up any MP3/MP4 playback device directly to the mini amp and play along with any tune or instructional video.
Other useful technical features include USB-C which allows you to record to MAC/PC, update the firmware and charge the internal battery. If your headphones don’t happen to have Bluetooth, you can still connect wired headphones via the headphone output. The rotary input plug is also a nice touch for compatibility with most guitars and basses: it has a ‘no-fuss’ look with a classic black housing with rounded edges, and has thoughtful features such as color coordinated LEDs
Suitable for so many different playing situations, the Fender Mustang Micro Headphone Amplifier is so incredibly sturdy and compact that it can fit quite easily into any player’s arsenal or into a cramped living situation. Its ability to provide quality reproductions of some of the most coveted (and less than compact) amp setups out there makes it a perfect option for anyone looking to play more often and louder than their living situation always allows. After all, with everything turning into apartments and subdivision subdivisions, we guitarists have to plan ahead!
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