From the Deluxe Reverb to the Twin and many, many more, we all know Fender can make a really good amp. And while I've had plenty of time with several of their well-known tube amps, it was one of their newer digital models that caught my eye when it came time to take a closer look at a new piece of Fender gear. I'm talking, of course, about the Fender Mustang GT 100, a 100-watt digital combo amp that comes boasting a ton of features at a very reasonable price.
It's obvious that Fender Mustang GT 100 was built to deliver everything players would expect from a modern-day digital amplifier. From Bluetooth audio streaming and control to dozens of built-in effects and amp models, this is definitely packing a ton of bells and whistles. The Mustang GT 100 even has the honor of being the first amplifier available with built-in WiFi connectivity (which makes updating the firmware and downloading presets a breeze).
Most of your selections will be made with the help of the LCD color display and the large encoder dial and three menu keys. And while the UI is pretty straightforward and easy to use, things really start flying once you get your hands on the free Fender Tone companion app. Everything you can do through the built-in display can be done through the app and then some. From downloading custom artist presets to updating the amp itself, the companion app has you covered.
Other core features include an onboard 60-second looper, headphone jack, 1/4" input, two XLR line outs, effects loop (with stereo send/return), physical three-band EQ, dedicated reverb and gain knobs, and a 12" Celestion Special Design speaker. It also includes functionality with the optional MGT-4 footswitch which allows you to control presets, effects, the looper and more.
The best way to describe the look of the Mustang GT 100 is sleek, stylish and modern. From the smooth grille to the lush all-black design, it definitely looks like a modern-day amplifier and unlike any other Fender amp around. Even the familiar leather handle has been replaced with a sleek "soft-touch" flip design. The cabinet itself is made of high-grade plywood that keeps it sturdy and tight while being surprisingly light. While I would never suggest that Fender give up the well-known look of their classic amp lineup, this is definitely a good looking amplifier.
How can a modern legend like the Mustang digital amplifiers be improved? Simple—do it again, bigger and better with the 100-watt Mustang GT 100. We take seven decades' worth of experience crafting inspirational tools and use it to add new (and better) amp and effects models while making it easier to use all of this without sacrificing one iota of power. We make it easy to control a studio's worth of authentic amp and effects models with one finger via Bluetooth and the exclusive Fender Tone app. We invent the world's first WiFi-equipped guitar amplifier, making it easy for you to download the latest updates, access Fender artist-created presets, and connect directly with a community of other creative players and music makers like yourself.
Like most digital amplifiers, there's no shortage of possible sounds that can be coaxed out of the GT 100 thanks to the plethora of built-in effects and amp models that can be dialed in. Reverbs, all sorts of overdrive and distortion, wah-wahs, phasers -- you name it, it's in there. So the important question is -- how do they sound? Overall, the Mustang GT 100 sounds amazing but it definitely has some strengths and weaknesses. For example, it should come as no surprise to Fender amp fans that this combo excels at clean vibrant tones. If you're familiar with the legendary "Fender clean" sound, this amp has it in spades. On the other hand, overdriven effects can be hit or miss. Light overdrive can work pretty well with some slight tweaking but heavier distortion sounds can get a bit too cold. If you're planning on using this amp for at home jamming or practice sessions with the band, it shouldn't detract you if everything else the checks the boxes. In fact, when paired with a great tube-style overdrive or distortion pedal like the Bogner La Grange you can actually mask a lot of the Mustang GT 100's high gain deficiencies.
Overall, the Fender Mustang GT 100 is a superb modern-day amplifier that comes packing all the bells and whistles today's players would want in a digital amp. As a stay home jam amp or practice sessions workhorse, the Mustang GT 100 will deliver in spades. You can easily lose yourself for hours messing around with all the sounds available at your fingertips, especially when using the Fender Tone app. As for small gigs or recording sessions, the amp is amazing if you're doing clean tones but I would definitely suggest bringing your favorite overdrive or distortion pedal if you plan on going heavy. All in all, you'll be hard pressed to find another amp that delivers more for the price.