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Fender JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass Review

The brand new Fender JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass speaks of classic perfection!

This is one of the great artist basses from Fender and is Justin Meldal-Johnson’s signature bass. Justin has worked with great artist such as Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and many more, and not only as a bassist, as a top tier producer as well.

The Fender JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass is as period correct as possible to the 1966 Fender Mustang bass and in my opinion, just feels right. Easy to play, eye-catching to look at, and the sound and tones it produces are really out of this world. This is the bass that will cut through the mix with its resonant, clear, and thunderous lows, to the prominent mids and highs. I’ve already played it out on a few gigs, and it just fits in like the classic basses of years gone by, not only with looks, but sounds as well. It seems that as the years progress it appears that things do get better, however the Fender JMJ is one that brings back the bass sound of long ago, something that can be hard to reproduce unless you have one of the classics.

I talked with Justin Meldal-Johnson to talk more about the Fender JMJ…

(Ty) Your Mustang Bass has been used in many recordings and seems to be chosen over other basses you take to a recording session. Any insight as to why it is preferred over many other basses you have?

(Justin) “Well, it’s not always the perfect thing for every session or piece of music, but then again neither is a P-Bass. But what I kept running into was that my Mustang tended to be more workable than lots of other instruments in the context of dense, modern music, particularly when it comes to marrying with low synths – something about the way it slices through stuff. It’s a compact sound, but it has just the right amount of thick low-end to it and the flexibility is surprising. I just recorded something very stark and intimate with it, and it ended up being the perfect tool for the job.” 


The Fender JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass is a 30” scale 4-string bass that is as close to the 66 original bass that Justin has. The Daphne color is the same and has that road worn look. The finish is lacquer, just like it was back in 66; when I took it out of the bag, not only did it have that road worn look, I could actually smell the lacquer finish.

The body is alder with a C shape maple neck and has a 9.5” radius with a 19 fret rosewood fingerboard and medium jumbo frets.

The truss rod is the same as it was back then too, being vintage style slotted, which means removing or loosening the neck to adjust the truss rod. Being that the neck is maple, I wouldn’t let that be of any concern as the necks are more resistant to temperature and humidity changes.

The inlays are aged pearloid dots and the pickguard is 4 ply aged white pearloid complete with thumb rest.

The electronics consist of a custom Seymour Duncan split single-coil mustang bass pickup with volume and tone controls.

The hardware is period correct with a 4 saddle mustang bass strings-through-body bridge and lollipop tuners.

Strings are Fender USA Bass 9050L stainless steel flat wounds gauges .045, .060, .080, and .100. A Fender Deluxe gig bag is included.

Check out the Fender JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass at a Fender retailer near you or on!



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