Fender Classic 65 Mustang

The Fender Mustang was originally launched in August 1964, but its first full year of production was 1965 - hence the reissue's name.

The Mustang was an entry-level student guitar that went on to be popular with famous folk like Kurt Cobain, Blixa Bargeld of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, John Frusciante and Graham Coxon of Blur.

The Mustang here on test is part of Fender's Classic Series. It features the poplar body of the original guitar as well as other period-correct details like the white-buttoned machineheads, '65 headstock logo and floating Dynamic vibrato. Look around and you'll pick one up for £499.

If you've never played a Mustang, you're in for a treat. The compact body and shorter scale neck make the guitar a dream to play. The strange-looking floating vibrato is very smooth and, as long as you've given your strings a good stretch, it won't knock the guitar's tuning out.

Plugged in this guitar offers a range of bright tones selected via slider controls. If you're expecting to emulate Kurt Cobain's raucous tone you may be disappointed with the Mustang's mild-mannered singlecoils. Kurt preferred a humbucker in the bridge position (like on his Jag-Stang). The Mustang is more 60s garage punk.

Few axes combine vintage tone, stunning looks and easy playability as well as this. Ultimately, the Dano '63 shared the same virtues as the Mustang, but for a lot less money.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Beautiful looks, vintage tones.

Cons

A wee bit pricey.

Verdict

Smells like… a classic.

Available Controls

Master Tone Master Volume

Available Finish

Daphne Blue, Olympic White, Dakota Red

Bridge

floating tune-o-matic-style

Fingerboard Material

Rosewood

Fingerboard Radius

7.25

Guitar Body Material

Poplar

Hardware

Chrome

Headstock

‘65 Mustang Headstock and Bridge Plate Logos

Neck Material

Maple

No. of Frets

22

No of Strings

6

Pickguard Material

3-Ply

Unique Features

White Tipped Vintage Tuning Machines, Vintage Appropriate Gap Between the Control Plate and the Pickguard

Year of Origin

2006

Pickup Configuration

2 x Single-Coil

Pickup Type

2 Mustang Single-Coil Pickups (Neck & Bridge)

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.