Sadly, some guitars are simply left out of the conversation when it comes to entry level models, meaning a lot of players simply miss out on some otherwise brilliant instruments. One great example of this is the Squier Bullet Mustang.
The Mustang is one of the most affordable electric guitars available not just in the squier lineup, but from any mainstream manufacturer, making it an attractive prospect for anybody looking for a reliable guitar on a shoestring budget. In fact, we named it as our best budget pick in our roundup of the best Squier guitars.
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review we spent some extra time with the plucky Bullet Mustang to get a more in depth impression of its build quality, performance, and tones. Keep on reading as we learn more about this awesome little guitar.
Squier Bullet Mustang: Who Is This For?
The Squier Bullet Mustang is an extremely affordable, entry level guitar, aimed at novice players looking for a handsome, well made dual humbucker model. It’s extremely lightweight, and thanks to its short (for a Fender) scale, it makes a great choice for younger players and anybody with small hands looking for a more comfortable guitar.
There are few, if any frills on the Bullet Mustang, which also helps beginners learn the fundamentals without unnecessary distractions.
Appearance / Features / Controls
The guitar we received for this test was finished in Sonic Grey, which we reckon is the best of the 3 available colors, which also include Black and Imperial Blue. The finish was beautifully applied, but in today’s day and age, even on the cheapest guitars, we rarely find any issues with the actual paint application.
All 3 finishes are equipped with bolt on maple necks and Indian laurel fretboards attached to poplar bodies. The body has the classic Mustang offset shape which we think is one of the most comfortable designs ever conceived.
It’s physically quite a small guitar. The body is much slimmer than the equivalent Fender, making it incredibly light weight at just 5lb 12oz. This is definitely going to appeal to any player who prefers to play standing.
The neck was the standard Squier C profile, which we’ve always found to be slim and very comfortable. There were 22 medium jumbo frets, and interestingly, it came with a 12” radius, making it much flatter than most Squier models. Up at the top, it had the big ‘70s style Fender headstock, which we think is a great look for this model.
This is a hard tail model, so there was no tremolo arm – just a fixed bridge with 6 individual stamped saddles. The tuning machines were Squier sealed gear units, and had the contemporary keystone style buttons.
It had a pair of ceramic humbucking pickups with a master tone control and a master volume knob. Seeing as there are just 2 pickups, it’s fitted with a 3 way toggle switch, similar to what you’d find on a Les Paul.
Performance / Sound
The ultra thin body really helped make this Squier an incredibly comfortable guitar to play. It was so easy to handle, which made us want to dig in and play hard the entire time!
The general playability was great. We did need to make a couple of minor setup adjustments, primarily lowering the action just a touch, but once this was taken care of we were off to the races.
As we’ve found on other Squier C profile necks, it was comfortable, and very slick thanks to the satin finish. The profile in general was extremely forgiving, and very easy to play, every for long periods. The fretwork was all well finished, and we found no sharps, burrs, or uneven wire.
The treble side cutaway actually sinks below the fretboard, which gave us incredible upper fret access, which when paired with that super flat 12” radius, actually made this an awesome lead guitar.
We thought that the tuning stability was spot on, helped no doubt by the hard tail bridge, although we do want to give credit to Squier for turning out a very well cut plastic nut on this guitar.
As for the tones, we loved the performance we got from the ceramic humbuckers. They were super hot, which really lent itself well to the punk and hard rock leanings of this guitar. In the neck position it was creamy and rich, with good clarity and decent note separation. It played nicely with a clean amp, and seeing as neck pickups on cheap guitars are rarely described as good, we were pleasantly surprised.
The bridge pickup was awesome for crunchy rhythm work and searing lead lines. With a clean setting on the amp it was crisp and bell like, but once we cranked up the gain and pushed the amp into overdrive it really came to life.
Other Guitars to Consider
The Squier Bullet Mustang really is about the most fun you can have with a guitar for under $200, but you might want to consider some of these excellent alternatives if you’re not quite sure whether this is for you. Here are our favorites
Epiphone SG Special
Interestingly, the Epiphone SG Special is an incredibly similar guitar to the Mustang. Both have slim bodies, twin humbuckers, and tons of attitude. The SG has an all satin finish which looks fantastic, and it delivers the classic thick SG tone, made so famous by the likes of Angus Young and Tony Iommi. It’s lighter than a standard SG thanks to its poplar body, and it even features a real rosewood fretboard, which really feels great under the fingers.
Jackson Dinky Minion JS1X
The Jackson Dinky Minion JS1X is a great choice if you’re into heavier styles of music. Like the Mustang, it’s fitted with a pair of humbuckers, but it’s voiced for a much more aggressive tone. It’s also a hard tail model, so you can be assured of excellent tuning stability, even with drop tunings. It offers aggressive looks, and because Jackson is a Fender brand, it’s built to the same high standards as the Mustang.
Final Thoughts on the Squier Bullet Mustang
We wanted to start this conclusion with “the best thing about the Squier Bullet Mustang was”, but we really thought there were so many great aspects to this guitar that we couldn’t pick just one. We loved the styling, we loved the ergonomics, and we really loved the tones. Overall, it was just an absolute riot to play, and felt like it wasn’t all that far removed from the original student grade Mustangs of the 1960s.
If you’re in the market for a cheap, fun, throw-around type of guitar, we can’t say enough good things about the Bullet Mustang – go buy one!