70’s Fender Mustang Antigua

A rare Antigua version of the little Fender classic.

Last weekend my band was playing a gig in Brunswick, Melbourne at a new venue called the Phoenix Club. The highlight of my Brunswick trips are heading to the local asian bakery and buying a vietnamese pork roll (5 types of pork in a crusty bun with cucumber, carrots and chilli… oh my god). But another highlight this trip was playing with some cool bands… the awesome Bad Vision and Jackals. I’d heard word from the guitarnerd facebook page that the guitarist from Jackals played a very special guitar. Yes… yes he did.

What we have here is a 70’s Fender Mustang (probably 1978) in the rare Antigua finish. My love of the Antigua finish has been documented in this story here:

I was the proud owner of this Antigua Stratocaster for many years, but sold it last year to get my Maton Phil Manning PM1 back. While I loved the sound & look of the guitar… the guitar itself didn’t really connect with me. The neck was an absolute tree trunk… more ’58 Les Paul than ’78 Strat. And the frets were pretty flat so it was a challenge to dig in. Also, the body was the chubby late 70’s Strat style and weighed quite a bit. When I realised I enjoyed playing my $300 Squier Strat more than this guitar, I decided to move her on.

This Antigua Mustang, however is a different beast altogether…

The look was all there… that great old Antigua colour that the Japanese reissues couldn’t quite get right. The Mustang was a bit yellower than my strat, but not that puke green/yellow that the japanese versions are.

The guitar itself was a great weight. Not especially light but really comfortable. Certainly a lot lighter than my Strat. And the wear and tear from 30 years of playing makes these guitars look even better. It didn’t have the black ‘show through’ on the scratchplate that my Strat did, but does have the white undercoat scratches.

The best thing was the neck. It wasn’t the baseball bat that my Strat was… this was still big, but a little narrower and a lot more comfortable… probably due to the shorter scale. I’d play the hell out of this guitar. Jackal’s certainly did.

The headstock had that slightly darker tint that some 70’s Strat’s have. Interestingly, 70’s Mustang’s haven’t got the bullet trussrod adjuster or 3 bolt neck that their bigger Strat siblings have. You can see the little indent on the scratchplate where the neck is adjusted.

Jackal’s put this guitar to good use, and it’s great seeing such a rare Fender doing service. These 70’s Mustang’s are a different guitar altogether from the 60’s versions and in my opinion a lot more solid. Plus I love a maple fretboard on Mustangs.

Check out Jackal’s in action.