What is it?
The guitar amplifier has been transformed by technology. Even if our umbilical connection to the vacuum tube is yet to be severed, guitarists en masse have bought into this technological revolution, our expectations of connectivity and functionality expanding with each passing NAMM.
And this revolution has reached the practice amplifier. Take Fender’s Mustang LT25. Here we have a compact little combo, with an eight-inch speaker, a fuss-free control panel and a black-on-black finish with nothing but a chrome Fender logo on the grille cloth for decoration. It’s an unassuming product. But this being the Fender Mustang Series there is a whole lot going under the hood.
There are 20 amplifier models, 25 onboard effects, there’s a USB connection for hooking up to your computer for recording, and an auxiliary input for playing along to your favourite tracks. For the beginner, or the player looking for something compact, versatile and easy to hone their chops, that’s all you need.
And if you are not of a mind to be tweaking every effect just yet, then there are 30 factory presets so you can hit the ground running. The question is: all these features, the effects, the amp modelling, is it any good?
Performance and verdict
The Mustang LT25 is a cinch to operate. The factory presets – a reasonable starting point for most – can be accessed by scrolling through the encoder that’s situated beside the control panel’s LED screen. Again, a great jumping-off point, especially for beginners, but editing these and creating your own is much more rewarding, and as simple as pressing down on the encoder, scrolling through each category and selecting which amp models you want and which effects.
If you like the tone, save it. If you don’t you can scrub it and move on. The main thing about the Mustang LT25, and this must have been brought up in R&D meetings at Fender HQ, is that it keeps you playing.
Sure, there are options, but these are both easily accessed and not so multifarious that you are bamboozled with option paralysis. The Mustang LT25 allows you to think of a tone and get a great approximation of this in quick time, and then get on with playing.
We loved the classic Fender cleans, but likewise the thick distortion you can find if you dial it in. Allied to a thoughtful complement of effects that includes modulation, filters, pitch-shifting, delay, reverb and more, the sky is the limit.
Fender have pitched this one perfectly. It can do a whole lot and offer you plenty of change from 200 bucks. What else do you want from a practice amp?
MusicRadar verdict: Modelling tones, onboard effects and USB connectivity for recording your playing, the Mustang makes for a great value practice amp.
- TYPE: Digital modelling amp
- AMP MODELS: 20
- EFFECTS: 25
- CONTROLS: Gain, volume, treble, bass, master
- SOCKETS: Input, headphones, aux-in, footswitch, USB
- OUTPUT: 25 watts
- CONTACT: Fender