The Best Mustangs: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a car enthusiast with a passion for Mustangs, you know that finding the “best” one is a subjective matter. However, there are certain models that stand out and have garnered a loyal following over the years. In this article, we will explore some of the top Mustang models and discuss why they have captured the hearts of car enthusiasts.

The Classic Appeal of 66-70 CBS Mustangs

For many enthusiasts, the golden age of Mustangs lies between 1966 and 1970. These models, known as CBS Mustangs, offer a larger headstock compared to the earlier pre-CBS models. In addition to their unique design, these Mustangs come in three iconic patriotic colors and include the beloved competition Mustangs. While the quality of these Mustangs matches that of the pre-CBS models, the latter is often perceived as more desirable for reasons that may not matter to everyone.

Today’s Bargain: Japanese 65 or 69 Reissues

In terms of value for money, Japanese reissue Mustangs from 1965 and 1969 are hard to beat. These models are not only affordable but also boast nearly 100% vintage correctness and fantastic sound quality. If you’re looking for a vintage Mustang experience without breaking the bank, these Japanese reissues are worth considering.

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Going Vintage: 70’s Mustangs and Beyond

For those seeking an authentic vintage experience, Mustangs from the 70s and beyond offer great value for money. Models from the mid-60s and early 70s tend to sell for higher prices, while Mustangs from the 70s can still be found at more reasonable prices. Keep an eye out on platforms like eBay, where bargains can be found, but be sure to research thoroughly to avoid any potential pitfalls.

Upgrading Your Mustang’s Pickup

If you’re looking to enhance your Mustang’s sound, consider replacing the stock pickups. Vintage Mustang pickups, as well as their modern Japanese counterparts, are known for their low output and thin sound, particularly for rock music. Upgrading to hotter pickups can give your Mustang a more powerful and versatile tone. Popular options include the DiMarzio DP218 and the Seymour Duncan Jaguar Antiquity pickups. The latter is known for its authentic vintage sound, indistinguishable from a real vintage pickup.

Unlocking the Potential of Mustang Vibrato

Contrary to popular belief, the Mustang vibrato system can be set up perfectly and will stay in tune, even with extensive vibrato usage. Many people simply do not know how to set them up correctly. Properly adjusting your Mustang’s vibrato can unlock its full potential and provide hours of expressive playing without worrying about tuning stability.

Enhancing Tone with Potentiometer Upgrades

Mustangs are equipped with 250k pots, which may sound slightly dull to some players. Upgrading to 375k or 500k pots can improve the output, clarity, and overall tonal richness of your Mustang. This simple modification can make a noticeable difference in your playing experience.

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Exploring the Sonic Possibilities with Phase Reversal

The phase reversal feature found in Mustangs adds an intriguing sonic dimension. Fender’s implementation may be a bit complex, with multiple switching combinations, but it offers four distinct sounds: bridge, neck, both pickups, and both pickups in reverse phase. This versatility allows you to dial in unique tones that suit your playing style.

Comfort and Design: Contoured Mustangs and Offset Waist

Mustang models vary in their design, with some featuring arm/belly contours and others lacking them. While this may be a deciding factor for some, all Mustangs share the iconic offset waist, contributing to their distinctive and comfortable playing experience.

American or Japanese: The Choice Is Yours

When considering a Mustang purchase, you have the option of choosing between American-made or Japanese-made models. Japanese Mustangs offer great value in the second-hand market and provide an excellent playing experience. On the other hand, American-made Mustangs tend to come with a higher price tag but are considered by many as the pinnacle of Mustang craftsmanship.

Discover More about Mustangs

If you’re hungry for more information about Mustangs, there’s a great resource available at Car news. This website offers valuable insights into the world of Mustangs, allowing you to dive deeper into their history, specifications, and more.


  • Q: Are Mustang pickups suitable for rock music?

    • A: While Mustang pickups have a low output and thin sound, they can be replaced with hotter pickups for a more powerful rock tone.
  • Q: Can the Mustang vibrato system stay in tune?

    • A: Yes, with proper setup, the Mustang vibrato system can provide excellent tuning stability, even during aggressive vibrato usage.
  • Q: Should I upgrade the potentiometers on my Mustang?

    • A: Upgrading to higher-value pots, such as 375k or 500k, can enhance the output, clarity, and overall sound of your Mustang.
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Mustangs have stood the test of time, captivating car enthusiasts with their unique designs, versatile tones, and rich history. Whether you prefer the classic appeal of 66-70 CBS Mustangs, the affordability and vintage correctness of Japanese reissues, or the charm of vintage models from the 70s and beyond, there’s a Mustang out there for every car enthusiast. With the right upgrades and proper setup, a Mustang can become a powerful and expressive tool for your musical journey. So, start exploring the world of Mustangs and discover the one that speaks to you.