Fender Mustang GT200 Guitar Amplifier Review

Fender Mustang GT200 Guitar Amplifier Review

The Fender Mustang GT200 Guitar amplifier is one of three new amps to the Fender Mustang amp line up for 2017.  This review attempts to answer a lot of frequently asked questions as well as to help you work out if you actually need this new amplifier.Fender Mustang GT200 Review

Basic Specs

The Fender GT 200 is a digital modelling amplifier featuring 2×12″ guitar speakers and 200 watts of power.  The Fender Mustang GT200 also comes with a 4 button footswitch and power cable.   Please note: This is the only amp from the range that has the included footswitch.

Weight

The Fender Mustang GT200 is an extremely light amplifier.  It weighs about the same weight as the previous Mustang III V2 amplifier.  That is correct it’s as light as the Mustang III.   The Fender Mustang GT100 is even lighter.  It’s so light it actually feels odd when you pick it up.  This is a double edged sword.  Some people really like light amps while others prefer them to feel heavy because that’s associated with quality.  If you have a bad back these amps are great.

Should I Upgrade from a Mustang V2 Amplifier?

I hear you asking me: “These amplifier are an upgrade right? I’ve seen it all over the internet”.

This is where I am not convinced.  In my personal opinion the connectivity features are an upgrade in many ways.  Updating the firmware of the amplifier without having to use the Fender Fuse software is fantastic.  You now download an app called “Fender Tone” to make, download, and upload patches.

This is where my first gripe with the amplifier begins.  Fender decided to rid the amplifier of the hardware keys for overdrive, mod, delay, etc in favour of having a phone in your hand.  I think the removal of the hardware keys is a huge problem and I will tell you why.  Imagine you’re at a gig or a jam night.  You forget your switch and now you have no way to really control the amp other than using the clunky menu system or the app.  What’s worse is sometimes the app doesn’t stay connected to the amplifier if the screen goes blank.  If your phone battery goes flat and you have no footswitch you’re in for some trouble especially when playing live.

The app itself isn’t too bad considering it’s new. I am sure Fender will update it and make improvements over time.  It’s a shame though there’s no PC/Mac option available.  Most modern computers have bluetooth connectivity and I would prefer to tweak my patches on a computer than always having a phone in my hand.  You can of course use the menu on the amplifier to do everything the app does in terms of setting up the presets but keep in mind it’s a lot more clunky.Fender Mustang GT200 Review

How does the amplifier sound?

Not very good overall.  The clean Fender tones are quite nice on their own but the drive sounds aren’t great.  It feels like this amp is more of a Hi Fi sound than a guitar amplifier.  What do I mean by that?  It sounds flat and scooped compared to a regular amplifier like a Peavey Bandit, Fender Blues Deluxe, or just about anything else.   The good news is Fender actually programmed the stock presets pretty well.  They aren’t perfect but you can easily tweak and save them as you go.

How well does the amplifier take pedals?

In terms of overdrive pedal the quick answer is not very well.  I am convinced that certain YouTube channels do a lot of post production audio editing on their videos to favour sales.  In my experience the Bandit sounds way more 3D in terms of pedal tones than the Mustang GT200.  The new Mustang GT amplifiers are very Hi Fi and very scooped in the mids.  They sound okay for home use but it’s the sort of sound that gets lost in the mix when playing live.  Trust me, I have a good ear for this stuff.  In my personal opinion the V2 amplifiers weren’t great with overdrive pedals either but this is on a whole new level (not in a good way).

Is the FX loop Good?

The good news is the FX loop works great for modulation and delay pedals.  I think this is a huge bonus for folks who want to use external effects.

The footswitch

Don’t get me started on the footswitch.  This is a serious downgrade on the previous version of the amps.  Check this video below for my rant on the footswitch capability.  Unlike the older amplifiers you can only connect one footswitch to the amp.  Not only that but Fender have skimped on providing even a 2 button footswitch for the GT100 and GT40 amplifiers.  This means you need to spend $100+ dollars on a pedal just to use the amp with more “convenience”.

The Looper Function

The looper function on this amplifier is awesome.  It’s a welcomed addition and something they got right.  It’s easy to use and works great.

What’s in the Box?

This unboxing video below shows you everything that comes with the Fender Mustang GT200 amplifier.

What you get in the box

  • The Fender Mustang Amplifier
  • Footswitch & Footswitch Cable
  • A power cable
  • Some instructions and warranty information

Watch my video review of this amplifier here.

 Easy Mods for making the amplifier sound better

The easiest mod you could make to the Fender Mustang GT200 or GT100 would be to change the speakers.  Fender really provided us with cheap, junk speakers that have no push in a live context.  If you were to swap these speakers out for an Eminence Swamp Thang or Eminence Texas Heat for example it would make the amplifier heavier but it would have to sound way better.  The Texas heat speaker would give the Mustang GT200 the mid frequencies it lacks for live use.

Who is this amp for then?

Someone who wants good tones at home.  I wouldn’t use this amplifier live without changing the speakers out. I am going to give it a try live but I already know it’s going to suck based on what I am hearing at home and from hat I know about many other amps.  While it is a loud amplifier it doesn’t have the 3D sound of a real amplifier.  For home use and jamming with friends it will be fine.  I really feel like the EQ system per patch is nothing worth writing home about.  The mids control adds honk and the bass control adds boom.  There’s a night and day difference between what these patches are trying to do and the real amps in terms of how the EQ system works.

The stock presets are pretty nice and I am sure you’ll get a great sound for playing at home.  My opinion is while you “can” use it live it won’t have the same 3D push/knock of a Peavey Bandit, the Mustang V2, or any decent Tube amp.  If you don’t already own a Fender Mustang then you can give it a shot but don’t expect miracles from it.  Think of the Mustang GT as a really loud Hi Fi sounding guitar amplifier for playing at home and jamming along to CDs.

Lasty, here’s why I returned the Fender Mustang GT200 guitar amplifier.

Get the best deal in the US on a Fender Mustang GT here.

 

Mustang Monday Signature Series #8 – Buddy Guy

Mustang Monday Signature Series #8 – Buddy Guy

Welcome to Mustang Monday part 8.  The tone chosen from the Buddy Guy collection was from this song below called “Every time I sing the Blues”.

Have a listen and compare the tones and let me know what you think.  For the first time ever I tried recording direct out of the mustang via the XLR output so there’s no microphone on the amp which still sounds very impressive.

Thanks for watching please let me know what you think and don’t forget to thumbs up the Mustang Monday videos on YouTube if you like them.  You can download this patch here or just type in “intheblues” or “Mustang Monday” in the Fender Fuse Software to find it.

Buddy Guy Patch Settings

If you don’t have the ability to download the patch here are the settings I used for this patch.

Mustang-Monday8-BuddyGuy

Mustang Monday Signature Series #5 – Mark Knopfler

Mustang Monday Signature Series #5 – Mark Knopfler

This weeks tone was taken from the killer tones of Mark Knopfler from the Sultans of Swing song.

 

My reference tones for this patch were the following two clips.  Check out the live version of Sultans of Swing on the live clip as well.  I went for a tone closer to that than the album version.  I added a hall reverb on the patch to give it that live sound as well.

This first video is the album version of Sultans of Swing

This second video features Sultans of Swing in the live concert.  Check out this version not only for the tone but for the amazing chops!

Feel free to tweak this patch to suit your preference too.

Download the Mark Knopfler patch on the Fender Fuse Website or you can type in “intheblues” to bring up a list of all my patches on the Fender Fuse Software.

Mark Knopfler is one of my all time favorite guitarists and song writers. I think what sets him apart is his original approach to playing guitar and his very melodic guitar solos that are a real cut above most other imitators out there.  Knopfler is a class act on guitar and can play any style of guitar including folk, country, rock, blues and more.  Check out some of his stuff with Chet Atkins for example on YouTube.

Mustang Monday #5 Mark Knopfler

Mustang Monday Signature Series #4 – Stevie Ray Vaughan

Mustang Monday Signature Series #4 – Stevie Ray Vaughan

This is probably the best preset I have made so far in my opinion.  It sounds remarkably close to the tone on Little Wing off Sky is Crying album by Stevie Ray Vaughan.

You can download the patch directly on the web here or type in “intheblues” or “Mustang Monday” into the Fender Fuse software.  I developed this patch listening to the above track on CD and modifying it until I got the touch response right.  I hope you all enjoy this one it took a while.

I feel like I nailed the tone of the intro and the reverb that surrounds the guitar tone.  Feel free to modify it if you like less reverb, it should be easy to do.

Thanks for checking this out – Click here to head back to the Mustang Monday video on YouTube.

I used the Fender Deluxe Reverb into a Super-Sonic cabinet for this patch.  I put the spring reverb on the amp and also ran a room reverb in the FX loop to give it that big, warm, and round sound on the reverb.  I just tweaked the EQ section to match my guitar so you may need to make some adjustments depending on your pickups.  This will sound best with a Stratocaster too.

Fender Mustang Monday Amplifier Tones by intheblues

Fender Mustang Monday by intheblues

Here are the first 10 Mustang Monday presets I made with the help of Ric, Brian, and Wayne based on popular amplifiers and tones I really like.  Most of these presets were based off amplifiers we had in a side by side comparison.  Some of them sounded as good or better than the real tube amplifier that we based them on.

The Fender Mustang amplifiers sound fantastic once you get past the stock presets which are “okay” at best.  These presets make the amp sound so much more like a real tube amp and having them in the side by side comparison while tweaking really makes a difference.  Please note, these presets will only work for the version 2 amplifier series and not the originals.  I don’t have a version 1 amplifier so I am unable to make presets for that amp.

Here’s a breakdown of the videos in this series:

  • Mustang Monday #1 – Delayed ’65 Fender Princeton intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #2 – Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #3 – Two-Rock Studio Pro 22 intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #4 – Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #5 – VOX AC30C2 intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #6 – Fender EC Tremolux intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #7 – EC Twinolux Custom Version intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #8 – Signature Marshall Tone intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #9 – Fender ’57 Bandmaster intheblues
  • Mustang Monday #10 – Super-Sonic 60

Follow this link for more INTHEBLUES Mustang Monday Videos.

Fender Mustang Monday Continues

I will have Mustang Monday series two on track for an August 2014 start.  If you have any requests for tones please let me know by commenting below or on Facebook/YouTube mail bag videos.  The above collection took a long time to complete and if you’re on the Fender Fuse website I would appreciate you leaving a rating on the patch or leaving some comments.  Fee free to share these around too, they are free to download.  If you watch the playlist above you can then click on the links in the video to find the direct link to the patch via YouTube or you can simply click here.

Hope you enjoyed the first series.  The Fender Mustang amp is one of the most versatile and fun amps I have ever used, they just sound great! :)

Shane

Mustang Monday - Free Fender Fuse Presets by intheblues
Mustang Monday – Free Fender Fuse Presets by intheblues