Squier Bullet Mustang HH
Still fast and fun, but now more affordable
by Travis Browning
In 1964 Ford began production on their Mustang “pony car” under the slogan “Fast, Fun and Affordable.” In late 1964 Fender began production of their own Mustang which fit the fast, fun and affordable bill too. And now in 2017 Squier by Fender might have just made the Mustang (arguably) faster and more fun, but definitely more affordable.
So What Is It?
Squier's new Bullet Mustang HH is part of a new lineup of offset guitars being produced for 2017. While the Mustang is under Squier's “Bullet” series, a similar Jazzmaster is being put out under their “Affinity” series, and both come with dual humbuckers and hardtail bridges. The Squier Bullet Mustang HH retails for $149.99. So let's dive into this thing.
Neck and Body
First things first, this guitar is thin. Really thin, with the same contours as normal production Mustang. Its basswood body clocks in at about 1.625” while a normal Mustang would clock in around 1.8”. It doesn't sound like a lot but it is noticeable on what is already a short scale guitar. I don’t have another Squier Bullet series guitar, but I believe all of their modern Bullet bodies are slightly thinner than their Standard counterparts.
The Bullet Mustang comes in two different finishes, an Imperial Blue and a Black finish. I have the Imperial Blue and it looks amazing; honestly the finish is perfect - not a drip, run or spot anywhere. I cannot put into words how impressive this is, especially for a guitar being sold for under $150. I’ve had other Indonesian made guitars before but this one is miles above them.
Now for the neck, its got a pretty flat 12” radius with 22 medium jumbo frets. The neck is maple, with a rosewood fretboard. I’d say its a pretty thin “C” shape with a nut width of about 42mm. Now, to clear something up, Fender's site had this guitar listed at 24.75” scale. It has since been fixed, but this guitar definitely has a 24” scale neck. It has a very thin satin finish on the back. It's almost a raw feeling neck. I personally love it, but I sand the finish off the back of all my necks.
The only thing I don’t like about the neck is completely visual and that would be the Squier Mustang decal on the headstock. It’s more like a flat black stamp than a decal, but hey, it’s a $150 guitar and that admittedly is a nit pick.
I should note, if you have big hands the neck might feel a little cramped for you, I have fairly long, thin fingers and I can easily play it. It’s a very comfortable neck, and it’s certainly fast and fun.
So I should address the fact that Fender had this guitar listed as “string through body” design online. Just like the incorrect scale length I mentioned above, it has been fixed, but this is definitely a top-loading bridge.
The bridge is a standard hardtail bridge, nothing special. It feels kind of cheap, with unbranded saddles. It works and it intonates. I do kind of wish they went with something like an older Duo Sonic or Toronado bridge, but that's just personal preference. The tuners are standard, unbranded chrome tuners. They don’t feel cheap, but they don’t feel special either. They work. I would’ve loved white button tuners like a classic Mustang, but I also feel ridiculous for even pondering something like that on a $150 guitar.
Surprisingly this guitar has Alpha branded, 500k volume and tone pots. This guitar constantly finds ways to surprise me; good, high-quality pots already installed on a guitar under $150?! They have better taper and feel than so many other guitars I’ve owned in the $300 - $600 range. It feels strange not to want to change them, which is something I’ve done in almost all my other guitars. I also need to note that the wiring on this guitar is immaculate. Whatever they’re doing in that Indonesian factory, they’re doing it well - another surprise from such a cheap guitar. The standard 3-way switch works just fine. It feels solid and there are no static or volume dropouts mid-switch.
Now for the pickups! The two ceramic humbuckers are much better than I thought they would be. They’re pretty high output, articulate and surprisingly...good. They’re not my favorite pickups in the world, but they sound good clean and they sound good dirty. The factory setup came with the pickups jacked up pretty close to the strings, but since they’re so high output I adjusted them a lot closer to the pickguard, which made them lose a little volume and articulation but now they sound a bit more open and airy.
If I had to describe this guitar in a few words off the top of my head it would be “wow,” maybe followed by a few expletives. I cannot stress enough how solidly built this thing is. This is a pretty bold statement, but in my experience this is the best bang for your buck guitar you can get. Squier describes the guitar as “perfect for the raucous sound of indie music” and I can see why. This thing screams Nirvana. The Squier Bullet Mustang HH is a perfect axe to mod top to bottom, but it truly shines right out of the box into a cranked-up amp. Other than the few nitpicks I listed I can’t think of anything really negative to say about this guitar. I haven’t been able to put it down. With a short scale, a great sound and ultra-low $149.99 price tag this Mustang, like the Mustangs before it, is truly Fast, Fun and Affordable. -HC-
Do you have questions or comments about this review? Then feel free to head over to this thread right here on Harmony Central!
Squier Bullet Mustang HH ($299.99 MSRP, $149.99 "street")
You can purchase the Squier Bullet Mustang HH from:
Travis Browning is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Northwest Florida. He likes Ford Mustangs and Buffalo Wings and has been a long-time Harmony Central member. Check out his music at lazarusband.bandcamp.com