FENDER | BASS | MUSTANG | 1969 MUSTANG

1969 Fender Competition Mustang bass

Solid-body short scale electric bass guitar

Fender Mustang Bass | Catalog Appearances
1969 Competition Mustang Bass
1969 Fender Competition Red Mustang bass with Fender Bassman 100 amplifier - front view
1969 Fender Competition Red Mustang bass with Fender Bassman 100 amplifier - reverse view
Fender Mustang bass pickup detail
Model: 1969 Fender Competition Mustang
Pickups: One split coil pickup
Scale: 30"
Body: Laminate poplar body, polyester finish with stripes
Neck: Maple neck. Rosewood fingerboard. 19 frets. Width at nut 1 5/8". Bolt-on, four screws.
Hardware: Open gear tuning keys. 1 volume and tone control. Chrome hardware throughout.
Weight: 3.39 kg

The Fender Mustang bass was the four string counterpart to the Mustang guitar that debuted in 1964. The bass version followed in 1966, although the competition finishes (red, burgundy and orange) were only available between 1969 and 1973. This was on of Fender's first (along with the Coronado) shorter scale bass (just 30" compared to the 34 1/2" scale of the Fender Jazz and Precision. The Competition finish refers to the stripes on the top corner of the body, a feature (like the Mustang name) of American sports cars that certainly appealed to the US guitar buying public. Have a listen to this bass through various vintage amps here.

Fender Mustang bass parts

The Mustang, in true Fender tradition was a simple bass: a poplar or ash body with bolt-on maple neck and (initially) rosewood fingerboard, one single coil pickup like the Precision, a Mustang bridge and Fender open gear tuning keys. The pots on this bass have the code 3046617 which dates them to the 17th week of 1966, manufactured by Stackpole (304); Fender bought a lot of 1966 pots that were gradually used over the following few years. Like all Fenders it was made from easily assembled parts, not requiring any skilled luthiery whatsoever. See the 1969 Fender Mustang parts list.

Fender Mustang bass control knobs
The Fender Mustang bass had the simplest of controls for it's single pickup: one volume and one tone. Pots are 250K audio taper, both mounted to a chromed metal plate.
Fender Mustang bass neckplate
The serial numbers for Mustang basses were stamped into the neckplate as shown here. From mid-1976 this changed to a decal on the headstock. All Mustang basses had four bolts holding the neck to the body.
Fender Mustang bass rosewood fingerboard
The truss rod adjustment can be seen at the base of the neck, and is to some extent accessible, although it best adjusted when the neck is removed. Note the thumbrest positioned below the strings rather than above, as was the case for later Mustangs.
Fender Mustang bass bridge
The Mustang bass is strung through the body, via the heavy duty bridge. Note also the string mute (without felt mutes).
Fender Mustang bass pickups reverse view
Although somewhat faded, note the 1969 datestamp on the reverse of the pickups

1969 Competition Mustang bass pricing

ManufacturerModelPickupsScale1969 Price
HarmonyH25130"$139.50
FenderPrecision134"from $279.50
 Jazz234"from $339.50
 Coronado230"$469.50
 Mustang130"$229.50
GibsonEBO130"$275
 EB3130"$390
 Melody Maker bass130"$240
GuildJetstar bass130"$245
KalamazooKB130"
Rickenbacker4001234"$429.50

The 1969 US list price for the Fender Competition Mustang bass was $229.50, a great price for a bass of this quality, especially when compared to other models available at this time.

Prices above come from the Harmony 1969 catalogue, Gibson price list 1-9-69, Fender price list 15-5-69, Guild price list 15-6-69, Rickenbacker price list 1-2-69

Although the Mustang bass was included in all Fender catalogues during it's production, and several in Competition finish, only the 1970 catalogue showed it with matching coloured headstock (here); the 1969 Fender catalogue still described the standard Red, White and Blue finishes.

Fender Competition Mustang bass headstock
The Competition finish included a matching coloured headstock in 1969. The vast majority of Mustang basses before and after this time simply had a natural finished headstock.
Fender Competition Mustang bass reverse headstock
Reverse headstock detail.
Fender open gear tuning keys
The Mustang was fitted with Fender-branded open gear tuning keys, with eliptical keys.
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass with Fender Bassman 100 amplifier
1973 Fender Musicmaster bass with Fender Bassman 100 amplifier

Note the neck code 17MAR69B. 17 is the model code for the Mustang bass, not part of the date - just March 1969. The letter B indicates a neck type, in this case a width at nut of 1 5/8"

Fender Mustang bass soundclips

Here are some soundclips of this bass through a few of my favourite vintage bass amps:

1969 Fender Competition Mustang bass
through a
1964 Ampeg B-15N

1969 Fender Competition Mustang bass
1964 Ampeg B-15N

B15 channel 1, volume 5 bass 5 treble 5, mic'd up with a Shure SM57 microphone, into an M-audio mobile pre USB portable soundcard. Bass strung with Rotosound RS77M flatwound strings.

more vintage guitar soundclips

Played fingerstyle

Guitar: volume 10, tone 10. Even played fingerstyle with flatwound strings, the Mustang has plenty of midrange snarl.
Guitar: volume 10, tone 0. Turn the tone down and you still get a very useable tone, but about as fat as this bass can go.

And with a pick

Guitar: volume 10, tone 10. With a pick the Mustang grunts and snarls... probably what most players want from it!
Guitar: volume 10, tone 0.
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Gibson Vintage Reissue Electric Guitar Strings

Gibson Vintage Reissue Strings

These Gibson strings are made to the original 1950s specifications - pure nickel with a great tone - the perfect choice for vintage Gibson (and other) guitars


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Fender Mustang for sale

Fender Mustang 60s VINTAGE LOADED w Sperzel tuners GUITAR NECK PARTS PROJECT

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, 10306, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$299

Hi .- this is 60s VINTAGE 100% Authentic and Original Fender Mustang GUITAR NECK with 100% Authentic and Original Sperzel tuners .VERY GOOD FOR REPLACEMENT ,RESTORATION, PARTS PROJECT, it is in very GOOD working ,cosmetic and playing condition, the neck is strait .Thank You. Returns are accepted, but You must understand that first time shipping fee will be spent for delivery this item to You So - if You change You're mined and want to return - You will pay for shipping 2 times for 2 ways and ... more

original 1977 Fender MUSTANG BASS Black!!!

CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS, 62901, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1940

Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1977 Fender Mustang Bass in its original Black finish. It has a good playing neck with good frets. It's all original with the only exception being one string ferrule on the back of the body. It even has its original hardshell case. This vintage Mustang Bass looks great with some very minor nicks dings, and other minor cosmetic wear. Everything remains structurally sound with no cracks, breaks, or repairs. All ... more

Vintage 1975 Fender Mustang Bass - Olympic White Excellent Condition

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, 28270, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1995

Sweet little 1975 Olympic White Mustang Bass with OHSC 100% Original in Excellent Condition The neck retains its original sheen, plays effortlessly and the original frets are in great shape, The original finished on the body has mellowed to that subtle yellow tint that reminds us of endless summer days during a time of relative innocence in our lives. One Piece Maple Neck Dark Rich Rosewood Fretboard Original Paddle Tuners Fresh Setup with Spot on Intonation Neck Plate Dates to 1975 Neck Dates ... more

original 1968 Fender MUSTANG BASS Red!!!

CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS, 62901, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2390

Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1968 Fender Mustang Bass in its original Red nitro finish. It has a good playing neck with worn, but good frets. It's all original and 100% complete with the exception of the mute pads. It even has its original hardshell case, but the middle latch isn't working and there's a couple cracked areas in the case. It still functions fine as a good case. This vintage Mustang Bass has lots of nicks dings, lots of finish ... more

Vintage USA 1976 Black Fender Mustang Bass Guitar. A Stunning Short Scale Bass

USA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3999

Very Rare Vintage 1976 USA Fender Mustang Bass All original and in great vintage condition. Fully setup with low buttery smooth action. The bass plays like a dream. This Bass also sounds amazing. This is the REAL DEAL highly sought after USA Made Fender Short Scale Bass, not a knock off or newer attempted copy of the real thing. This is the real thing. You will love this bass. Please view the photos herein, for details, regarding the condition of this bass. You will notice some scratches on the ... more

Fender Mustang 1965 RI MIJĀ  Relic Ocean Turquoise Metallic

LEEDS, LS62HS, UNITED KINGDOM

£725

Absolutely stunning guitar, but not really my sound so it's time to sell It's been refinished in nitro Ocean turquoise metallic with a tinted clear, as to model a real 1965 custom colour mustang that has aged into more of a Sherwood Green. You can see where the blue shows through in the more played areas. It's quite a thin paint job so will naturally wear more over time Currently fitted with creamery mustang pickups which are a huge step up from the factory ones. Also currently sporting a ... more

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Gibson Vintage Reissue Electric Guitar Strings

Gibson Vintage Reissue Strings

These Gibson strings are made to the original 1950s specifications - pure nickel with a great tone - the perfect choice for vintage Gibson (and other) guitars

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