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 Post subject: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Since there's an apparent lack of information on the subject, maybe this could be turned into a STICKY by the forum admins.

The Fender Mustang series of amplifiers are modelling amps designed to work in conjunction with a piece of software called Fender FUSE. This software runs on Microsoft Silverlight, so you will need the latest version of it to work properly (it comes packaged with the download). This software is an INTERFACE ONLY. It only sends and receives instructions from the amp. It doesn't contain extra data that it pushes to the amp. It only says "Hey there, turn the Gain up to 6.7!" And the amp goes "Roger that!" Then you turn a knob on the amp itself and the amp goes "Oi! This guy turned the knob down to 4.2!" And FUSE goes "Ok, got it!" and the dial turns on the FUSE screen to match.

But there are a lot of questions some people have concerning what certain controls do. I've put together a few pictures and some descriptions to try to clarify this.

First up, let's take a look at the top of my Mustang V head. The controls here are IDENTICAL to the Mustang III and Mustang IV amps. The M1 and M2 amps have fewer controls, so bear with me.
Image

The blue box highlights which controls send instructions to the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) inside the amp. This is the chip/software that models the amp tones and effects. All instructions from FUSE are sent to this chip and nowhere else in the amp. As you can see, the highlighted section includes GAIN, VOLUME, TREBLE, MIDDLE, BASS, and REVERB.

GAIN = the simulated amp's PRE-AMP volume control.
VOLUME = this is a volume-leveller built into the DSP to allow you to level out the volumes on all of your presets so that when you switch presets, they appear to have the same volume. This in no way controls the simulated amp's POWER-AMP volume.
TREBLE, MIDDLE, BASS = These are pretty much standard across all amps. It controls each simulated amp's EQ section, allowing you to tune the amp's tone to suit your needs.
REVERB = this directly controls the LEVEL knob on any Reverb effect you may be using on the preset. It controls nothing else but the Reverb Level.

This picture should illustrate:
Image

This is a picture of the amp face super-imposed on a FUSE window. Before anyone tries to call foul, YES. The amp-face picture I got off of the internet instead of taking a shot of my own amp. So no, it doesn't match what I shot from FUSE. Just go with it, please.

The preset is #99, the [Basic Metal 2000] amp model. As you can see, I've opened the Advanced tab for more controls. The orange lines show you which controls on the amp match up with each control in FUSE. The knob on the amp and the knob inside FUSE do exactly the same thing. In fact, the two purple circles show you the PRESET VOLUME knob. Like I said before, this controls the VOLUME LEVEL of the PRESET itself.

Now, do you notice that the Red circle is around the "MASTER VOLUME" knob inside FUSE, but there's a BLUE circle around the "MASTER" knob on the amp? That's because they do two completely different things. The Red MASTER VOLUME knob simulates the Master Volume knob you'd find on, say, a Marshall JCM800, or any other similar amp. On those amps, the MV knob controls just how much signal goes into the POWER-AMP section and therefore controls not only how loud the amp is, but lets you overdrive the power-amp section. This sounds way different than pre-amp distortion. And your BIAS and SAG controls play in at this point, since they control the power-amp section of the DSP.

Now, keep in mind that NONE of this has do to with the Mustang's actual Solid-State (SS) power-amp. This is ALL still inside the Mustang's DSP chip. But that's what gives the Mustang amps so much tonal control. Without emulating the power-amp, you couldn't get that awesome tube sound.

The Blue circle around the "MASTER" knob on the amp's faceplate is always on and directly controls the output of the Mustang's SS Power-Amp. It, therefore, controls ALL volume comming in or out of the amp. The only exception is the USB Output, which is controled by the USB Gain control inside FUSE on the Advanced tab. On my Mustang V, I usually have the MV here around 2 for low-volume bedroom playing and 4 for high-volume rocking at home. I'd assume I'd be around 5-6 at a live gig.

Now, some of you who've actually played with FUSE might be going "But wait, some amps don't have a Master Volume knob. They have this weird thing called BLEND. What the hell is that and what does it do?" Well, I'll tell you here.

The BLEND knob only appears on two of the Mustang's amp models: The 1959 Fender Bassman and the [British '70s] amp. Why the British '70s model? Well, this amp model is of the Marshall 1959 Super-Lead Plexi, even though Fender can't officially name it or confirm that, as to do so could possibly violate copyright laws that Marshall owns. But anyway, here's a look at those amp faces:

Image
Image

Do you see how both of these amps have 4 input jacks? Two for the Bright channel and two for the Normal channel. Way back when these amps first came out, that was how you had two separate channels. There was no footswitch like we have now. You plugged into either one or the other. Each channel had its own volume knob too. You can see that in the above pictures. Well, back then you could also JUMPER the two channels together to get a BLEND of the two channel sounds (see bottom-right of the last picture above).

See where I'm going with this? Ok, so some people thought the Bright channel was too bright, but the normal channel was too boomy. So if you blend the two together, you got this great rock sound, so a lot of people started doing that. The BLEND knob allows you to control how much of each of those two channels is getting used. If you turn the BLEND knob all the way down (left), it's essentially turning off the Bright channel and using only channel 2 (Normal). If you turn it all the way up (right), then it sounds like you're only using the bright channel. If it's right in the middle (at 12:00 or pointing straight up), you're using both channels at full volume. But keep in mind that this BLEND control works in tandem with the GAIN control above it (see the picture below), as wherever the GAIN control knob is set to determines the highest channel volume you'd get out of the simulator.

Image

That's all for right now. I'll probably be adding more later on.

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Marshall JVM410H + 1960A Lead
Fender Mustang V + V412
Fender Mustang II
Marshall Lead 12 3005 MS
Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst
Gibson SG Faded Special
Fender American Special Stratocaster
Hagstrom Ultra-Swede
Custom Warmoth Strat


Last edited by FFXIhealer on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:51 pm 
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Awesome thread, this should help a lot of people understand the amp better! Thanks for taking the time to post all this info!


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:25 pm 
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I always wondered what the blend thing was about....

i just tested on fuse and WOW, i used to like both amp models but now I like them way more, particularly the bassman with the blend at max right sounds a little crunchy... just perfect


Thanks a lot!


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:17 am 
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Great post!!!!!

I have another question: for amp models that don't have their own "master volume" (ie the one in Fuse, not the knob on the Mustang amp), how do you control the power-tube saturation of those amps? (as distinct from the 'gain' that controls the pre-amp stage)

Also, what does the "Presence" control actually do?


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:17 am 
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Great post!
I wondered what the blend control was.
Thanks for the information!

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:37 am 
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Hey scott-uk,

The presence is a tone adjustment for the ultra-high tones (more than 6 Khz and more) it add more clarity to the sound. Given that the Celestion speaker of the Mustang is rated at 5Khz I think you will notice more the effect using a line out than using the internal speaker.

In the case of the amps without power tube saturation emulation using the master volume FUSE control, I would recommend increasing the BIAS parameter to the max to obtain a somewhat similar effect.

Last piece of (unsolicited!) advice, if you feel like using a compressor but you find it distorts too much your signal, try putting the SAG control to max, it acts as a gentle compressor effect, and at the same time it does not consume the STOMP place in your chain, so you are free to add any other stomp and still have some compression effect.

Hope this is useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:23 am 
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A number of amps out there have a Presence control knob. A lot fewer have a Resonance knob (sometimes a Deep switch, like on the old Marshall Dual-Super-Leads). These two are Master controls, similar to a Master Volume. I'm going to do a copy-and-paste job from Blackstar's Website:

"Resonance affects the lower frequency range, Presence the higher frequency range. These controls differ to the regular Bass and Treble controls which boost or cut frequencies, as they rely on phase cancellation and other electrical factors allowing the operator to voice the signal to a specific characteristic making the speaker sound tight or loose, warm or bright. Due to the way these controls work it is more noticeable at higher volume and is often perceived as having little effect at lower volume levels."

Presence is like a Treble knob for the Power-Amp, but not quite. It is a lot different than the Treble knob in the amp's EQ section. None of the amps in FUSE have a Resonance control, so we don't really need to worry about it.

For a lot of the amps that don't have a "Master Volume" control under Advanced, that's because those amps in real life didn't have a power-amp Volume control at all. They had only a pre-amp volume control (also known as Gain). These amps always ran "full-tilt" and depended on how much gain/volume was comming out of the Pre-amp section to determine how much was going to the speakers. You usually find this on either really old amps or smaller, low-wattage amps.

Because of this, power-tube saturation was handled by loading the power-amp section with signal from the pre-amp. That's why the Marshal Plexi always had this nice, deep growl of overdrive instead of more modern amps like the JCM800 that had more pre-amp distortion, which sounds fizzy and harsh by comparison. A lot of people like the way the older Plexis sound when boosted for that very reason.

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Marshall JVM410H + 1960A Lead
Fender Mustang V + V412
Fender Mustang II
Marshall Lead 12 3005 MS
Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst
Gibson SG Faded Special
Fender American Special Stratocaster
Hagstrom Ultra-Swede
Custom Warmoth Strat


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:35 am 
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jedi2b, ffxihealer: very helpful info, thank you very much!


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:03 am 
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Thanks FFX, a truly useful, thoughtful post, makes a nice reference tool, especially with the art. Can't wait for our next installment!

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:33 am 
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Ok, so we all know what amps are being modeled in the Mustang.

Wait, what's that? You don't? You think I'm talking out of my $@! about what each amp is? Oh, well let me explain...

We all can clearly see which amps are being modeled from Fender:

1957 Fender Champ
1957 Fender Deluxe
1959 Fender Bassman (4x10 combo)
1965 Fender Princeton Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1965 Fender Twin Reverb
Fender Super-Sonic (burn channel)

Ok, good. We got that, yadda yadda. But what about the other ones? Well, go into FUSE and look at those models yourself. You can do simple Google searches to confirm what amps those are "supposed to be" if you know what to look for. Since I do and most of you don't, I did it for you. -.-

[BRITISH '60s]

What band was HUGE in the 60's? The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. What amps did they use? Back in the day, VOX was the big amp company in England. So naturally, you get this:
Image
Well, what does that amp look like? Let's check Google and find out.
Image

Holy crap, that's a VOX AC30. And you can even check out the panel on top of the combo:
Image

So, you can tell that it's a VOX AC30. Now, what speakers came with the AC30? Well, honestly I don't know. But I do know that the AC30 is a 2x12" combo. So what did Fender supply us with in the Cabinet Simulators? Something called 2x12C. Hmmmm, I wonder what the C could stand for...

Anyway, am I the only one who noticed Fender's mistake in FUSE when they did the picture there?
Image

Mistake...or intentional? Hmmmm... Next:

[BRITISH '70s]

What was the big one in the 70's? Well, first off lets look at the Fender Mustang amp. Their own slogan says "High speed, amped up, and LOUD!" That usually means ROCK. The biggest rock amp in the 1970s was the Marshall 1959 Super-Lead Plexi (reissues are called the 1959SLP - can you figure out what those letters stand for?). Don't believe me?
Image

That looks so much like this...
Image

...that I can't help but think it MUST be a Marshall 1959SLP...because that's what that picture is. It also sounds just like one, especially whe you use a Greenback cabinet. Now, I find it very weird that Fender would choose to have the cabinet picture on FUSE wear a salt-n-pepper grillecloth, most commonly found with the old JTM45 cabinets. Those had Alnico Gold speakers in them and was really only found in the late '60s. Besides, the JTM45 was a modified Bassman anyway, so Fender must have been "Well, they copied from us anyway, so we'll just put the REAL Bassman in there and be done." Awesome choice, by the way, you Fender guys. No, what gets me is that the most often used cabinet with the 1959SLP is the 1960AX loaded with Celestion Greenbacks. That cabinet is the default one selected in FUSE anyway, the 4x12G cabinet simulator. To their credit, Fender got that one right. Just the picture urks me.

Moving on by decade brings us to:

[BRITISH '80s]

OK, so we ALL know what happened in the '80s. Hair Metal Bands. And what did they overwhelmingly choose to use? Remember, we're talking BRITISH bands, not American ones here. Yes, you got it - the legendary Marshall JCM800 2203 (with Master Volume control).
Image

So let's do a Google search, shall we...
Image

Very nice. Now a lot of people have debates over what sounds better for your cabinet simulator, the 4x12V or the 4x12M. Well, here's the difference between those two simulators. The 4x12V models a 1960AV 4x12" cabinet loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s (hence the V). The 4x12M models a MODERN 1960A 4x12" cabinet loaded with the stock Celestion G12T-75 speakers.

Yeah, yeah, but we don't know speakers. That's all greek to me! Well, ok here's my best description of the two. Vintage 30s were made with a boost to your MIDs. So they're very mid-heavy and when cranked up loud, give you a very balls-to-the-wall sound. It also overdrives very smoothly.

The G12T-75 speakers, however, were voiced quite differently and for a much more modern rock sound...I'm talking about emphasizing treble and bass frequencies. Now, if you COMPARE them to the Vintage 30s, they sound very scooped...but only in comparison. The mids are there, you just hear less of them. That's why those two speakers are usually a decent pair...if the Vintage 30 didn't have a +3db efficiency rating (read: LOUDER at the same volume settings).

Now, me personally, I love the JCM800 sound with the 4x12M, but I know a lot of other people would disagree...including Slash (who usually uses 1960AV/BV Vintage 30 cabinets almost exclusively). And the weird thing about that is...that's the same cabinet that Fender assigned as default - the 4x12M. That's a win for me.

Moving on, we have:

[American '90s]

Ok, now we're getting into stuff like Metallica, Megadeath, etc. American metal bands.
Image

Pretty nice picture. Let's see what Google gives us for a Mesa Dual-Rectifier...
Image

That's the best image I could find of the faceplate, but you get the point. It's a Mesa Engineering Dual-Rectifier Solo head, pushing around 100 watts. The default cabinet in FUSE for this one is the 4x12V. Not bad, considering that Mesa's 4x12 cabinets for the Dual-Rec and Triple-Rec all come with Vintage 30s installed.

And last but not least, the fizziest amp of them all (because most of us are too chicken to really turn our Mustang amps up LOUD):

[Metal 2000]

I find the name here quite appropriate, as I would NEVER use this amp model if I wasn't playing Death Metal or some other God-awful noise. If you turn the gain WAY down, you can pull off a passable Eddie Van Halen, but I'm not that good a guitarist yet. I just know technical stuff.
Image

This amp model has been debated a bit, but judging by the sound of the amp when played up loud, I'd have to say it's a Peavey 5150. Why not a 6505? Well, honestly they're the same amp. According to Wikipedia, Van Halen parted ways with Peavey in 2004 and took the 5150 monicker with him. So since Peavey was celebrating their 40th anniversary (1965-2005), they named it the 6505. GOOGLE!
Image

Ok, so we got the hexagonal front grille, check. See through it to the power tubes behind, check. Chicken-head knobs on the faceplate, check. Now you can see the resemblance. I also found a good one of the 6505+.
Image

For what it's worth. This amp comes with a 4x12" loaded with Sheffield 1200 specially-voiced speakers (according to Musician's Friend's website). Fender didn't include that cabinet model, so instead they default this amp to the 4x12G, the Greenback speakers (same default as the Marshall 1959SLP model). Sounds pretty awesome, but also sounds decent with the 4x12M cabinet.

Wow...I'm getting tired of typing.

_________________
Marshall JVM410H + 1960A Lead
Fender Mustang V + V412
Fender Mustang II
Marshall Lead 12 3005 MS
Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst
Gibson SG Faded Special
Fender American Special Stratocaster
Hagstrom Ultra-Swede
Custom Warmoth Strat


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:50 am 
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this is great FFX! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:55 am 
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Great post. I'm probably too old to use anything beyond the British 80s...

Regarding the cut control on the Vox AC-30 (from the Vox site) looks like it is a presence control indeed:
VOX Tone Cut control: varies the presence in the power amp section for even greater tonal variety


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Great job! Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:58 am 
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I still maintain that Fender ought to be paying me for all this info/help I give out. I've even thought of showing off the Mustang/FUSE features at my local Fender dealer, but the guys won't let me because I don't "work there" or I'm not an official Fender rep.

But hearing about how informative and awesome my posts are never gets old. Keep it comming, guys... :mrgreen:

_________________
Marshall JVM410H + 1960A Lead
Fender Mustang V + V412
Fender Mustang II
Marshall Lead 12 3005 MS
Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst
Gibson SG Faded Special
Fender American Special Stratocaster
Hagstrom Ultra-Swede
Custom Warmoth Strat


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Mustang Controls and FUSE
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Thanks so much for all that great info FFX.
Great job!
Cheers!
John(65 year young disabled Rocker)


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