I love the awe inspiring, chest thumping, bone shaking sound of playing your guitar through a nice loud tube amp, but as we all know, this ins’t always practical.
Like if you live in a tiny house with another person who doesn’t always want to hear you make loud guitar noises. Or if you live in a condo or apartment with paper thin walls. Or if you like to play in other places where you can’t really take your amp.
That’s where headphone amps can come in handy. I had the original Tom Scholz Rockman back when I was in high school, and sometimes I would climb up onto my roof with my guitar and Rockman and pretend I was playing on a giant festival stage. Ahh.. good times!
A few months ago, I bought Fender’s new Mustang Micro headphone amp, and it’s definitely one of the coolest guitar accessories I’ve acquired in a long time.
Built with an ingenious design, and incredible digital signal processing technology, the Mustang Micro plugs directly into your guitar and lets you play through an amazing selection of 12 virtual amps and 12 different effects combination, with the sound coming directly into your headphones.
It also has a really cool Bluetooth audio/video streaming feature, which allows you to stream music or video from your phone or tablet into the device, so you can hear that in your headphones as well. This allows you to play along with songs, backing tracks or online lessons.
Whether you’re leaning songs or practicing, or just want some musical freedom, this is an incredibly useful feature. This summer I took my Strat out into the backyard a few times and played on my deck, while jamming to blues backing tracks I had on my phone.
The 12 amp models sound incredible, with wonderfully immersive audio quality. They range from classic Fender Tweed all the way to modern high gain amps and the effects include modulation, compression, and stereo delays and reverb. You can combine any of the amps with any of the 12 different effects settings, and even adjust the EQ and effects parameters.
You can also Mustang Micro as an audio interface, using the USB-C or headphone out to record yourself playing into a computer or tablet, right into Garageband, Logic, Cubase, Ableton or whatever recording software you use.
There’s not much more I can say about this cool little device, except that I highly recommend The Mustang Micro to any guitarist who needs or wants a little privacy or mobility when you want to rock out. It sounds awesome, it’s super convenient and it’s made by Fender, who knows a thing or two about guitar amps.