Fender Mustang Amp and Fender Fuse Software: Finding Acoustic and Clean Sounds

Fender Mustang Controls: If you do not like the 24 amp models then change them with the Fuse software

Fender Mustang Controls: If you do not like the 24 amp models then change them with the Fuse software

Fender’s Mustang guitar amp is a very cool modeling amp, with 24 preset types of amp sounds. It is also a very flexible amp. Unfortunately for some players who like an acoustic or clean sound, most of the presets are way too aggressive and dirty, with lots of distortion. Have no fear, because with the Fender Fuse software and USB cable that comes with the amp the Fender Mustang can clean up pretty well, turning your solid body double humbucker into an acoustic.

You can radically change the sounds of your Fender Mustang amp using the Fuse software. Search and download new amps, or “presets” as Fender calls them, using your usual browser and save them to a conveniently remembered spot. Make sure you select “”Mustang” from the right side top banner or you’ll get the amps for the G-DEC. Yes, you can use the Fuse software to download them as well, but I have had trouble with Fuse crashing when I did this. No matter, you are reading this blog using Firefox already are you not? Simply right click on the link above and open a new tab and you’re there. Downloading the amp requires no new software or plugin. How convenient is that?

There are really only two amps that do acoustic: Acoustic-Interface and Twelve String (for Strumming). Both will give you a nice acoustic sound. I found you need to use headphones for the twelve string amp to hear the higher pitched strings, and it is really not a 12 string acoustic, simply a 6 string with some razzle dazzle box that adds sounds an octave higher.

Here are others I have used and liked. Many require you to lower the volume in Fuse and match their volume settings to your other amps, If you do no do this when you switch amps your guitar’s volume will be considerably louder than the previous setting, forcing you to lower your volume, possibly scaring the cat and anyone else near you. Change the volume in Fuse and use headphones because it is more accurate. These amps are great for a clean lead line and some of them are also Ok for rhythm backgrounds.

These are only Ok for lead lines. Many needed to be modified. I have tested these but did not download them into the amp.

Interestingly many of these amps use pedals and sound effects that are unavailable and unchangeable from the physical controls of the Fender Mustang amp. Some amps are quite complex. I am glad some guitar players out there knows what they are doing and are willing to share. I am here to learn.

As I was swapping amps in and out willy nilly, tweaking settings from Fuse I noticed I hardly touched the Mustang’s physical control knobs. The Mustang had turned into a black box, to be used and abused by the lordly Fuse software. Once disconnected from the umbilical-like USB cable the Mustang then regains it sense of control.

As an aside I tuned my guitar from Fuse. After tuning 2 strings Fuse froze up and almost barfed. I exited the tuner back to the main screen and restarted the tuner, where I tuned the remaining 4 strings. The graphical tuning tool is much larger and better than the one onboard the Mustang, making it much easier to tune your guitar because the scale is much more granular and therefore easier to control.

With all the downloaded amps I have tried I notice most of them are from Fender. I am finding that through the use of Fuse I am learning much more about the Fender line of guitar amplifiers and their individual sounds. I wonder if this is a very clever marketing tool to get guitar players to buy Fender amps. I was actually looking for a Roland Jazz Chorus to try, but could not find one, and do not know enough to modify an existing Fender amp to get that same sound.

Also interesting is that I really do not know what the majority of aftermarket guitar pedals do, but with Fuse I can stick some in and try them, all without buying anything. Ditto for amp effects, though they look much more expensive.

I continue to learn.

Addendum 2011 Jan 25, evening As I stated in my other blog post the Mustang tuner is consistently inaccurate by -20 on the scale. Check your guitar with another tuner. After my daughter tuned her guitar we checked it with a Seiko tuner. Then Fuse crashed on me.

10 thoughts on “Fender Mustang Amp and Fender Fuse Software: Finding Acoustic and Clean Sounds

  1. Casey

    Nice write up! I’m thinking about getting a Mustang I or II. I’m hoping someone can answer my question before make a final purchase decision

    I know the mustang I and II only allows one mod effect and one delay/reverb effect (2 total) to be on a program (without Fuse). In Fuse it appears you can use 1 overdrive/distortion, 1 mod, 1 delay, and 1 reverb (4 total).

    Question: Can you SAVE a Fuse setting/program to the Mustang amp utilizing all 4 effects AND play it later WITHOUT having the Mustang hooked up to your computer/Fuse?

    I mainly want to make sure I can set a program with both reverb and delay without having Fuse hooked up every time I want to use it but it would also be good to know if you can save programs with 4 effects at once too without requiring the computer/Fuse to be running.

  2. dontai Post author

    Hi Casey,
    Yes, you can save an amp setting you have created with Fuse that has multiple pedal effects and use this amp setting without being hooked to Fuse or your computer. You simply save your Fuse amp creation to one of your 24 built-in presets.

    Fuse allows you to simultaneously have up to 4 pedal effects and an additional 4 rack mounted effects that goes from your amp’s “pre-out” and back in using the amp’s “main in”. There was one crazy amp I downloaded that had 2 pedal effects and 4 rack mounted effects, but it was too wild sounding for me to actually use.

    With Fuse you can download and try new amp setting on your Mustang. You can save these amp settings on your computer. Your Mustang amp has 3 banks (orange, green, red) of 8 different amps, for a total of 24 amps. In Fuse when you find an amp setting you like, either by downloading one or creating one yourself, you can replace one of your Mustang’s 24 amps with your new amp. The default 24 Mustang amps can also be retrieved if you change your mind and want the original amp setting restored.

    After you download the amp you want into one of the Mustang’s 24 amps, you can disconnect from Fuse and your computer, and the new amp is now part of your Mustang. Turn the Mustang off and then on and your new amp will still be there, right where you downloaded it. It is really quite exciting, provided you get through the software installation process.

  3. Scotty

    Do you think this amp could be used with an acoustic guitar with undersaddle piezo?
    Or is it only suitable for simulating an acoustic on an electric guitar. I would be buying primarily as an electric amp.

  4. dontai Post author

    I do not have an acoustic/electric to test the amp. I have acoustics and as well electrics. If you wish to change your acoustic/electric into an electric, with varying levels of distortion and effects, the Mustang will do this. The amp is also good if you are thinking of buying an additional electric guitar.

    If you want an acoustic sound, most of the fancy stuff on the Mustang amp will be unused by you. IMHO the “acoustic” modeling of an electric guitar is very inferior to an acoustic guitar.

    A simpler amp might be better for you. The Mustang is somewhat complex and fiddly, and you’ll only use 1 (downloaded from the internet, not a factory setting) amp setting out of 24. You might also try the 12 string amp (also downloaded), but it gives you your original sound plus an octave higher, not really a true 12 string sound. Take your guitar to a music store and plug into a Mustang and try it.

    For me, I’d prefer a simpler but louder amp than the Mustang. An older used amp will also work very well, and should be half the price of a new amp. Check out the Fender Frontman 15G or 15R amps. These are the predecessors of the Mustang amp, older, are much simpler to use, and can be purchased used for $30 (here in Toronto). For an acoustic sound they are just as good. You could also consider a bass amp or small PA system as well.

  5. Walter

    Hello Don Tai,
    I was also looking for a clean sound on my Fender Mustang I.
    I use it with my Epiphone Casino and want a bluesy/jazzy sound.
    95% of all presets are not what I’m looking for,
    so I have to “Fuse” : therefor I’m very happy to read your blog and the suggested amp-settings.
    Thank you for a perfect story ! greetings from The Netherlands.

  6. Mauro Samuel

    This week I went into a music store to buy a string set and I saw the new Fender Mustang II amplifier exposed. I was curious about how it sounds and I
    gave it a try. I was impressed how easy I could get some nice tones just
    twisting the presets. I found some beautiful Fender Twin clean tones and
    also some nice driven tones.
    It´s an impressive light weight amplifier considering it got a 12′ speaker.
    I think it could be used to gig in some small places with a drummer without any problem.
    It also got a master vol that allows you to get the same tone at low levels
    no need to remix the gain and volume! (that’s a real pain…. you know it!)

    Of course it´s not made to be compared with a high quality tube amplifier!

    I also own an Orange amp and a 4×12 Marshall cabinet but it’s not a practice
    kit and can not give me the clean tones I need ( Fender Tones At a Low Level! ) with all the delays, chorus, flanger, fuzz, all of it in traveling pac!

    I went home impressed and after some research I discovered that this amp was capable for home recording acting as an audio interface using Fender Fuse software, a software similar to Amplitube Fender that enables you to deep edit the amp settings and record direct using the usb port.


    The next day I was back to buy the amp. I recorded this song using a factory preset made to emulate Eric Johnson´s “Cliffs Of Dover”.
    I hope you like!
    I could say for sure that this amp deserves at least try as a practice amplifier.

    Here is a vídeo using the preset:


  7. Tuba

    I am thinking of getting the mustang 1. Do I have to download Fender Fuse. Can I play without the Fuse? I’m also thinking of the Roland Cube 20xl, but I can’t make my decision. This amp will be the first I’m going to get, so I’m afraid to make the wrong choice even if I already heard both amps. I only play heavy metal, which one would you prefer for me? Hope you can help..

  8. dontai Post author

    Hi Tuba,
    You do not have to download the Fender Fuse software, as the Mustang 1 amp already comes with 24 different preset sounds. They are also heavily biased towards hard rock. Turn on the amp and play.

    I also have a Roland Cube 15x as well as a vintage Roland Cube 60. Both Cubes sound very nice as well, but I do not play hard rock.

    Both amps sound great. The Roland Cubes have an excellent reputation for reliability and sound quality. The Fender will have more amp and varied sounds, and you can download more and/or modify what you have. This does not mean the Fender has a better quality sound for their amps, as this depends on the player’s preference.

    I’m probably not helping. Go to your music store, plug in and play both side by side. Have a friend come and play while you listen. Buy the one that sounds best for the style of music you love.

  9. orlando

    Hi I have a quick question.
    I want to use my headphones instead of the amp as the speaker, and i know i can use the headphone jack but its convenient for me if use the one on my computer so i can use my media libary. so is there a way to do so?

  10. roy

    great site!

    gotta question for you…

    i have read the pdf manual/user guide for mustang 1 as it says you can change the effects that are on the AMP by selecting one in FUSE and then saving to amp, but, i cant find exactly how to do this.

    i want to save the TOUCH WAH (Tron up, T wah) effect to replace say C3 on the effects NOT the reverb/delay.

    can you help with this?

    thnx !

    [Don: The Fender Fuse software gives you the option to save your new setting over top of one of the original 28 amp settings. The original amp setting that comes with the amp will be overwritten. Do not worry though, you can get it back from Fuse if you still want it. If you do not want to overwrite one of your amp settings then you can use the amp with your computer, but this is not too portable.]

    follow up

    i know i can save a patch with this effect but i want to specifically save just the effect by replacing one on the amp and have it be there when not connected to FUSE,,,,


    you can only change the MOD pedals NOT the STOMPBOX like Touch Wah.

    u click on the mod dial in Fuse EFFECTS CONFIGURATION (top center of fuse layout) and drag the and drop the pedal over the existing effect and save to amp from there.

    I think this is a serious drawback even though the amp has a solid sound with each amp model.

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