Fender’s Wifi-Connected Mustang GT Amp Is Basically a Computer

Fender's New Mustang GT Amps Will Require Frequent Software Updates
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Fender's New Mustang GT Amps Will Require Frequent Software Updates
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Gilga Mesh (CC by 2.0)

Want to use your brand-new (and costly) Fender ‘Mustang GT’?  Make sure you pause to receive frequent software updates.

According to Fender CEO Andy Mooney, 90% of people who pick up a guitar abandon it within the first year.  But a bunch of newer technologies could make it a lot harder to put down.  And part of the reason is that Fender’s ‘Mustang GT’ amp is now loaded with app-controlled effects and tuning features (and they’re constantly updating).

But first: let’s step back.  Last August, Fender introduced their mobile tuning app for the iOS.  Dubbed Fender Tune, the app sported a ton of features, like auto tune, manual tune, chromatic tune, and more.

It would teach newer players how to change the pitch in their guitars.  Mooney said,

When the kid plugs it in for the first time, it doesn’t sound like a screaming cat when it comes out of an amp. We want to help with a lot of the basic stuff.

Now, the company has geared up its long-term plans into the mobile market with the introduction of a slew of features alongside their new amplifier.

Last November, Bloomberg reported that the company had a new guitar amplifier model in the works.  The Bluetooth-enabled amplifier would connect to apps wirelessly to let players alter and share sound effects.  Seven months after Bloomberg’s initial report, Fender has launched its long-awaited amp model.

Say hello to the Mustang GT series.  Confirming Bloomberg’s report, the Mustang GT features both WiFi and Bluetooth to get presets from Fender engineers.  According to the press release,

“Users can edit effects, share their own presets, create setlists for performances, access easy to download upgrades via WiFi and stream music through the Mustang GT amplifiers via Bluetooth technology.”

To access these sounds, you’ll need to download the companion app, Fender Tone, available for the iOS and Android.  To capture preset tones, the company tapped into artists across multiple musical genres.  Singer-songwriter Grimes, blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa and rock band Young The Giant worked closely with Fender.

Speaking on the launch of the Mustang GT Amplifier series, Ethan Kaplan, Chief Product Officer, said,

“Fender Tone is the second release in Fender Digital’s suite of applications, and the first hardware companion application we have developed.  It, alongside Fender Tune, aims to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey.  Now, with artist-curated presets from Josh Adam Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gary Clark Jr. and Anthrax’s Scott Ian – channeling your favorite song or band for some added inspiration has never been easier.”

In addition to Bluetooth and WiFi, the Mustang GT amplifiers sport USB output for recording.  Models start at $299 for the 40-watt Mustang GT, $399 for the 100-watt model, and $599 for the 200-watt model.  All three models come with Celestion speakers.

Users can download Fender Tone from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.  Now, guitar players can also purchase the Mustang GT amplifiers.  However, one thing to note is that the new amplifiers will receive (and require) frequent software updates. Fender says this is to “ensure a smooth experience.”

You can check out technical specs here.