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Rating and Reviews: Fender Mustang GT-40 Combo Amp

Take your tone to the next level with the Mustang GT-40. Loaded with tons of amp and effects models, this amp also features a USB out for easy recording.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Overall a great practice amp, but not perfect." submitted July 8, 2018

By ALLAN BOURQUE in Tempe, AZ
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
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Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Playing guitar for over 40 years
Music Style: Rock, Prog, Christian
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: The sound is what makes this amp worth the effort to overcome its limitations. I find this to be a capable amp that achieves the sounds I’m looking for from clean to high gain. The modeling is about what you would expect for the price point, and the surprising number of effects available are more than adequate to dial in the embellishments I am looking for. I use a traditional single coil Stratocaster and a dual humbucker PRS. The unique characteristics of both guitars carry forward regardless of the gain settings. The amp does a little better in the clean/crunch segments where Fender traditionally shines, but I can also get the smooth distorted higher gain lead tone I’m looking for. Dynamics are ok but not great. Rolling off the guitar volume introduces some unnatural artifacts at high gain, but that is common for low/mid-range modeling amps. Not a deal killer, just something to be aware of. Out of the box the presets are usable and logically ordered. They start with basic amp tones and get more complex as you get further in the list. The stereo effect is nice, but not ultra-wide like some other amps. It is best experienced with headphones. Overall, I’m quite pleased with the sound capabilities of this amp. Feature: The Good: * Nice selection of effects and effects are not mutually exclusive like some amps in this range. * The ability to reorder effects and place them where you want in the chain with the option to put them in front or behind the amp. You can experiment with non-traditional placement to get some interesting sounds. * Fender Tone app has a growing selection of user and celebrity created patches available to download. Browsing cloud patches is quick and easy. * Large bank for presets and set lists * WiFi. It seems trivial but being able to update firmware and load cloud presets direct from the amp is refreshing and who knows what other uses they may come up with in the future. * Bluetooth * On amp editing is easy and straighforward The Not so Good: * No PC editing software. Patches must be edited on the amp or from the Tone mobile app * The Tone app still has bugs/growing pains. Still disparity between iOS and Android app versions, and limited functionality. Sadly, after a year it’s still easier and less frustrating to edit patches on the amp. * USB audio is not bi-directional. It is input only rendering it useless for most Windows PC DAW applications. If you plan on recording with this amp, use the headphone out or mic it. Ease of Use: The amp requires an internet connection to get the most out of it. Setting up WiFi and Bluetooth was fairly straightforward without too many hitches. I wouldn’t call it Apple easy, but it doesn’t require much user intervention to get online quickly. The Tone app does a decent job of guiding you through amp and app setup. The Tone App itself is still very much a work in progress. There are some editing features that are still not available or working correctly, but overall it can still enhance your experience with the amp. Browsing onboard or cloud (internet) presets is simple and quick. The music playback experience will depend on your phone. It is not consistent, and Fender still recommends using the app either as a music playback source, or an editing tool. Not both. Editing can also be performed on the amp itself and is still the least frustrating way to dial in your tones. Editing functions are laid out logically and consistent throughout the process. There aren’t a lot of buttons to get in the way and Fender does a decent job of making it simple. Quality: The build quality of the amp is solid. It looks and feels like a small guitar amplifier, not a piece of consumer electronics equipment. Fit and finish are good, and the seams and joints are lined up well. The vinyl Tolex style covering looks sturdy enough to handle day to day use just like any other amp. The buttons and knobs while plastic, give a little resistance and have a nice feel when turned or clicked. The classic Fender logo on the grill cloth looks great. Value: Compared to other products in this price range with similar functionality, the GT40 stands out to me because of continued manufacturer updates (GT version 2.0 is arriving early fall), better selection and operation of effects, and most importantly it sounded the best to my ears compared to several other products I’ve taken home. Manufacturer Support: This amp has been available for over a year, and there have been several updates to the amp firmware and the Tone app. Fender appears to be making a conscious effort to get all the bugs worked out, but improvements have not been as quick as many had hoped. Fender support has been good via email answering some pre and post sales questions, and they do have a gear forum where questions are answered by Fender staff and the forum community. Fender has geared this product towards both entry level musicians and seasoned players. The Fender Tone web site offers some nice write ups on the basics of amp modeling, what the effects do etc. to help guide new players through the sometimes complicated process of getting a good sound. The Wow Factor: Fender packs all this functionality into a great looking, great sounding small form factor amp. It’s the perfect practice amp for me. Overall: For background, I am an average guitarist and these days I primarily play jazz rock, or progressive-ish styles of music. I gave up gigging in my 40’s and now spend my music time recording below average original compositions at home. I was looking for a small versatile amp to keep in the living room to play at low volume while my main rig stays in the music room. This is my second go-around with the GT40. I picked my first one up the week it was released and ultimately felt it was not quite ready for prime time and returned it. Over the next year I went on a quest to find the perfect practice amp that combined versatility, ease of use, and above all great sound. I took home the Blackstar ID:Core, Marshall Code 25, Line 6 Amplifi 30, and yes, even the mighty Boss Katana 50. All had attributes I was looking for and for the most part sounded good, but I found I was always comparing them to the GT40. The versatility of this amp is its greatest strength. It really shines with clean and crunch tones but can also hold its own in the higher gain regions. The list of available effects and ability to place them almost anywhere in the chain is a huge plus and not something commonly found in this price range. The amp is easy to use. If you know your way around an amp you can dive right in and tweak with relative ease. Fender does a nice job of walking less experienced players/users through some of the basics of amp modeling on their website. It’s not without faults, there are still glitches in the firmware and the Tone app seems to be forever a work in progress, but Fender is continuing to update both and significant improvements have been made since the product was first released. Overall the GT40 is a fine practice amp that should provide most players everything they need for late night jams or intimate gigs. It has some nice features for the price, and if you are willing to suffer though some growing pains you will end up with a great piece of gear. Fender is really making a push to introduce the guitar to a new generation, and I really appreciate what they are trying to do. I wish them great success and products like the GT40 should help them on that road. They just need to fill in a few potholes first. I give it 4 stars for its overall great sound and versatility, but there’s plenty of room for improvement in the user experience area.
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"Amazing amp!" submitted October 15, 2017

By Jim P in Sevierville, TN
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Musical Background: Keyboards 26 years, guitar (acoustic and electric) 4 years, Jamming at home and with friends friends
Music Style: '70's rock and pop, blues and everything Pink Floyd/David Gilmore
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Overall: I bought this little amp on a whim and I am so glad I did. I love how you can tweak every setting on every effect and amp, then place them anywhere in the signal chain. You can change the factory presets and rename them to make it your own. The ability to download new Fender and user presets wirelessly. You can also control most of the features with your smart phone including streaming with bluetooth. Granted this amp is mainly for home use and the local coffee house but if you need more sound it has 2 bigger brother amps. The only thing I didn't like is the head phone jack. It is plastic. I have pulled the jack apart just from pulling the headphone cable out. My repair tech has replaced it with a metal barrel type. Problem solved. I have played thru this amp for 3 months having no desire to play thru any of my others. Hands down the best amp I own!
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"Fun, inspirational, well-executed " submitted April 12, 2018

By Will S in Durham, NC
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Musical Background: 20+ years of guitar, keybs, bass, vox...
Music Style: Hillbilly jazz 'n' roll.
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Overall: This is a great amp. It's thoughtfully designed, it works well, and it sounds fantastic. I bought it primarily because I wanted a little practice amp to have in our family room. I have young children, and my vintage tube amps are too loud and too valuable to have in a family space where there are frequent stumbles, spills, etc. I also wanted something small enough to take on trips and carry to and from my home studio space as needed. However, the GT40 has far surpassed my modest expectations. First of all, it sounds very good. I haven't owned or played all of the amps it models, but the ones I know well are nicely emulated here (Blackface Fenders, Tweed Deluxe, Bassman). The others sound fine to me, although they're not all my thing. The effects are likewise well-done; they're musical, useful, and satisfying. The level of tweakability for each effect and amp model is just right: you don't have to get lost in menus or knobs to coax out a usable sound, but you can customize details like bias and rectifier sag if you want to. The user interface -- and I can't believe I actually own (and like) an amp that has a "user interface" -- is clean and intuitive. One of the best things about the GT40 is the Fender Tone app. I'm really enjoying how easy it is to adjust the signal chain and modify amp settings from my iPhone. The Fender Tone interface is clean and intuitive, like the amp itself. I’ve seen a few reviews complaining about the sound quality or a “phasey” tone. I don't really hear anything weird or off about this amp. It sounds very good, even — you may need to adjust the EQ to suit your style of playing, and you shouldn't put the amp in the floor, blasting sounds at your feet. Same as any other amp, really. It sounds good out of the box, but I switched to the "Guitar Focus 1" global EQ and found that most amp models sounded a little bit better. I'm playing a recent American Standard Telecaster and an old 50's Les Paul Jr (P90), and I like how the global EQ brings out the upper midrange in both of them. YMMV; find what works well for your guitar and style of playing. In summary, the Mustang GT is a lot of fun, the iPhone app makes tweaking easy and immediately gratifying, and the tones on offer are mostly great. At this price, it's hard to go wrong if you're looking for a portable and inspirational practice amp.
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"Fender GT-40 Is a winner" submitted November 25, 2017

By Randy S in Round Rock, TX
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Musical Background: 35 years playing guitar
Music Style: Rock, Country, Hard Rock
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Overall: Great little amp. Very versatile. love the effects in this little amp. you can move the effects around just like a real pedalboard. the Fender tone app is pretty cool lots of cool patches. Bluetooth works great as well as WIFI. lots of great stock tone. It is not full tube tone but it is a great little lightweight amp.
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"Most Reviewers are Wrong" submitted September 14, 2017

By Stuart W in Lake Mary, FL
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Musical Background: 27 years. Guitar. Okay at Home have had all the best equipment
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: Okay- I've seen the reviews- many say this amp Sucks. Wrong- it's mostly a novices point of view that doesn't have an ear. Here are some tips. 1. The amp is too small to provide headroom of a 100 watt Marshall or a Fender Twin. 2. You MUST not position the amp below you ears. In other words make sure the speakers are pointed directly at you at ear level or it will sound like a tin box. 3. Go to the 60's-80's British amps and make adjustments. Think AC/DC. Turn off effects on those amps or turn down bass or add treble until they sound good. I referenced AC/DC because that's what most amateurs are looking for because they can't play anything beyond that. Don't play on the fender settings because you don't play clean. You instead add overdrive or distortion pedals to sound like a Marshall. They won't. You don't play clean so use the Marshall settings.
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