Fender American Shortboard Mustang is cool
When Fender introduced the limited edition Longboard Stratocaster, I really wasn't liking that. This, however, I like much better.
The Fender American Shortboard Mustang is a cool guitar as far as limited editions from Fender are concerned.
What really makes this design work is the ash body with walnut competition stripes. That gives the guitar a very cool vibe all around because the stripes are not paint but rather real wood.
As for the pickups, Fender calls them "Black Dove" pickups, which have made appearances in Telecasters. They basically have a P90-like sound to them, and have height adjustment like a P90.
No vibrato system is present on this Mustang, as Fender decided to put a "hardtail bridge" (Fender's words, not mine) on it.
I only have two complaints about the Shortboard Mustang.
First, it has two string trees. Granted, they are the nicer T-roller style and not the wing style, but still, it would have been nicer were there just one and not two.
Second, I don't like the knobs. Yeah, I know the Fender Mustang traditionally has those black plastic knobs with line indicator, but the Shortboard would have looked so much better with black knurled Telecaster knobs on it. I know Mustang knobs, and they just feel so cheap even on expensive collectible models like the Shortboard. If you know the Telecaster metal knob, you know how much better those things look and feel.
In the end...
...this is probably one of the most easy-playing Mustangs you'd ever put your hands on; it is a collectible that out-of-the-box is a very easy player with a tone that's also just as easy to get along with.
Yeah, I can safely say this is a winner of a guitar. Pricey? Of course it is, as it's an American model. But it is a great guitar.
On a final note, is this modern or retro? Definitely modern. 9.5-inch radius fingerboard, sealed tuners, bi-flex truss rod. And I agree that this is best suited as a modern guitar. Fender already has a '65 Mustang reissue, so they didn't need to reinvent the wheel there.