Fender Pawn Shop Mustang Bass

A short-scale bass workhorse

Fender's much-loved short-scale Mustang bass design retains plenty of its original DNA in the new Pawn Shop version.

Build

"This may be a fairly simple upgrade, but it's an absolute masterstroke"

The Pawn Shop Mustang Bass has a separate chromed control plate, large baseplate on the bridge, black finger rest and a custom 'competition' stripe. This is now referred to as a 'racing' stripe but, whatever you call it, in Lake Placid Blue, it looks cool.

The Mustang bass has always benefited from having strings that pass through the body, as here, but now the original mini split-coil pickup has been replaced with a substantial-looking humbucker.

The pearloid scratchplate is another traditional feature; collectively, it makes for a busy appearance, especially for such a small-bodied instrument, yet it somehow still manages to work.

Sounds

The humbucker upgrade has made a phenomenal difference to the sound of this Mustang. The original downsized split-coil always looked and sounded a bit dull compared with this larger and more dynamic version.

Back off the volume a tad and we get pretty close to the original sound (although it's distinctly brighter), but wind her up and this baby starts to get nasty in a most pleasing manner. Growl is now on the menu, as well as fuller and warmer sounds that aren't usually associated with a Mustang.

It's a good call: the Mustang should now appeal to a much wider selection of players. This may be a fairly simple upgrade, but it's an absolute masterstroke.

MusicRadar Rating

4.5 / 5 stars
Pros

New beefy sounds. Cool traditional looks.

Cons

Short scale might be flimsy for hardened players.

Verdict

A worthwhile Pawn Shop variation on the original design, with a far more powerful sound.

No. of Frets

19

Scale Length (Inches)

30

Country of Origin

Mexico

Hardware

Fender-designed bridge, standard open-gear tuners

Weight (lb)

7.5

Neck Material

Maple

Nut

Synthetic/ 38.4mm (1.51")

Circuitry Type

Master volume and tone controls

Scale Length (mm)

762

Weight (kg)

3.4

Fingerboard Material

Rosewood

Pickup Type

Fender humbucker

Body Style

Offset twin-cutaway 4-string solidbody bass

Available Finish

Olympic White w/ Racing Stripe, Three-Colour Sunburst, Candy Apple Red w/ Racing Stripe

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.