Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Review & Prices

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Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Review
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  • From Fender's 2021 Artist series
  • Ben Gibbard Signature
  • Made in Mexico
  • 6 strings
  • 24"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Chambered Ash body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Mustang (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Mustang (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Mustang Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Modern C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Vintage-Style with Fender Logo tuners
  • Weight between 7.15lbs (3.2kgs) and 7.4lbs (3.4kgs)
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Fender's 2021 Artist series
  • Ben Gibbard Signature
  • Made in Mexico
  • 6 strings
  • 24"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Chambered Ash body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Mustang (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Mustang (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Mustang Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Modern C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Vintage-Style with Fender Logo tuners
  • Weight between 7.15lbs (3.2kgs) and 7.4lbs (3.4kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang a Good Guitar?

Made in Mexico with great craftsmanship while keeping the price as low as possible. It's a guitar with decent playability. It has good pickups but might be lacking in terms of versatility. It favors playing chords more than solos. In general, it offers a good amount of features for the price. Overall, a good guitar for the price.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 72
Sound 72
Build quality 67
Value for money 70
Overall Score 70
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang
  • Expensive Wood
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Strap Lock
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Mexico
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio

Videos

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Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Prices

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Is the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $1140, which means that the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang is within the average price asked for this kind of guitar. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in Mexico.

Explore All Fender Guitars >

Is The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Easy to Play?

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang meets 7 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang weighs between 7.15lbs (3.2kgs) and 7.4lbs (3.4kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the guitars they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's 24" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Scale Length Comparison
Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

There are advantages and disadvantages to a short scale length like this. This guitar will be very easy to play, especially if you have small hands because the frets will be close to each other. Also, since the distance between the bridge and nut is short, the strings will have less tension, so they'll be really easy to bend. However, this also means that you won't be able to lower the action (lower the saddles and get the strings closer to the fretboard) too much or you will get fret buzz since the strings will be a bit loose.

Also, short scales give less space for the harmonics to 'breath', so this ends up making the tone of the guitar sound more 'bassy' than a loger scale where there's more separation between harmonics, which gives the tone more chime.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Neck Profile
Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's neck thickness is approximately 0.82'' (20.8mm) at the first fret, and 0.87'' (22.1mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Fender website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang has a 9.5" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This is the most common radius for Stratocaster guitars. It's considered curved when compared to most other models. This allows you to play chords very easily without muting strings accidentally and gives you more space between strings for fingerpicking. However, this curve also gives the guitar less allowance for lower action. If you bend too hard at the high frets, some of your notes might get muted because the curve will make the string fret out.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

24'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
24'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius
24'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
24'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Nut Width
Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Nut Width

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") width. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Fret Size Comparison
Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 60
Playability 72

Does the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck, Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck and Fretboard: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fender. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's configuration is SS. This is the classic Telecaster configuration and it's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang's switch options

What music genre is the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Country or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 60
Versatility 63
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 72

How well is the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Built?

Where is the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang is made in Mexico. This is the country that some American brands choose for building really good, but cheaper guitars. You can expect a guitar that offers a good price-quality relationship, although they don't get the same quality control as the ones built in Japan or the United States.

More guitars made in Mexico

Bridge

6-Saddle Vintage-Style Mustang Tremolo: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang has a Synthetic Bone nut. One of the best nuts you can have is a Bone nut thanks to their rich tonality and resistance. The problem is that they're a natural material, so different bone nuts will have inconsistent tonal properties. In other words, one bone nut might not sound as well as the other even when they're made from the same piece. Synthetic bone helps with this by giving you a high-quality, consistent nut that resembles the tone produced by bone.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 60
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 67

Most Popular Comparisons With The Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang

Fender Ben Gibbard Mustang Specs

General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2021
Configuration: SS
Strings: 6
Made in: Mexico
Series: Artist
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Chambered Ash
Bridge: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Mustang Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Vintage-Style with Fender Logo
Fretboard: Maple
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Black Dot
Scale Size: 24"
Shape: Modern C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm)
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 9.5"
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Bell
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Mustang (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Mustang (Single Coil / Passive)