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About the product
- All-new Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller for Rock Band 3
- Plays Rock Band 3 Guitar and Bass parts / Play real chords and melodies with new Rock Band Pro mode
- 17-fret touch-sensitive neck with 6 buttons per fret provides 102 active finger positions / 6 low-latency strings for authentic note strumming
- Advanced tilt sensor for Overdrive activation
- Use as MIDI Guitar Controller when not playing Rock Band (compatible with most MIDI sequencers)
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The Rock Band 3 Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller is the perfect bridge between music gameplay and the thrill of playing a real guitar. Delivering a new experience to music gaming, the 17-fret touch-sensitive neck with six buttons per fret provides a total of 102 active finger positions and six low-latency strings for actual note strumming. The Rock Band 3 Wireless Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller is fully compatible with both standard and Pro modes. Empowering you to rock outside the realm of videogames, the MIDI output connector provides compatibility with MIDI software sequencers and hardware devices, while standard console-specific gaming controller buttons deliver seamless console integration. With an official Fender Mustang body, custom Guitar Strap, right- or left-handed gameplay, plus Overdrive Stomp Box support.
From the Manufacturer
Top Customer Reviews
I received mine yesterday (11/29) and was eager to try it out of the box. Straight out of the box, I noted that the overall body was still plastic but its heft and build are quite solid. The guitar comes in 3 pieces and snap together quite easily. I plugged it in along with the USB dongle into the PS3...and the game crashed. Tried it again, same result. So, I thought that maybe I had too many USB dongles in at once so I tried just plugging in the Mustang dongle by itself. At that point, the game launched fine. So here are a couple of warnings up front for you:
1. This guitar is not like you other guitar controllers. It actually functions as an alternate PS3 controller, so be sure that you are actually synced up with the dongle.
2. This guitar is a little bit finicky straight off the bat. I would suggest that you sync this guitar up prior to syncing up with other instruments. I haven't found the right combination yet as to what WON'T make it crash, but plugging in 1 at a time appears to work so far.
So, with the unpleasantness out of the way, how does it play? Wonderfully!! All 6 strings are nylon coated steel (which disconcertingly sound like plastic, but they hold up) and all 102 buttons along the 17 frets respond accurately and with no visible delay. If you're a real guitar player, you'll marvel at the realistic response; however, you may complain (and justifiably) that the fret buttons are all the same width and you won't be able to tell which "string" is which. If you're hung up on this, wait until the Squier (which doubles as a real, fully-stringed guitar AND a controller) comes out in the Spring for a rumored value of $280 +/-. The only other complaint that purists may have is that the "notes" on the guitar highway are a combination of numbers placed over strings. No, they aren't notes - they just tell you which fret/string you have to hit. If you're used to reading sheet music, you may not be familiar about the 16th fret on the 2nd string...you may know it only as a note and a place to put your finger without consciously thinking how many frets down it is. If you're looking for actual notes, you're out of luck there.
The video game tutorials on RB3 were also fairly helpful in getting a beginner guitar player up to speed, but don't expect these lessons alone to make you a bona fide guitar player on their own steam. Still, they WILL teach you about the numbering and string schematics and also instruct you which fingers are appropriate for which chords. It's not a bad primer.
Overall, it's a fun guitar and the gameplay is phenomenal. Why they can support over 102 different possible fret/string combinations and yet be unable to support drums/keyboard/guitar/bass/vocalists without entering you into All Instrument Mode (as I explain in my review of Rock Band 3) is quite beyond me. My only other complaint is that for a guitar which costs so much, it would have been nice if they had opted for something other than a plastic body; I do feel entitled to something better for that kind of cash. Beyond that, it does work as advertised.
The feel of the "buttons" for the frets was weird to get used to. I also didn't like the weird feel of the strings. They were really cheap feeling and it didn't make for easy playing. We let the neighbor's kid play it, however, who is 10 or so and takes guitar lessons, and he really liked it. We ended up giving it to him.
Rock Band 3 becomes a very different game using this controller. I'm not a guitar player, so I'm learning slowly. Fortunately, the game has some very good training modes and the songs only involve one note at a time on the easy level. When I get comfortable with that, I can work up to learning chords, secure in the knowledge that skills developed in the game will translate over to a real guitar, should I decide to get one in the future.
My only complaint is that Mad Catz does not provide all the documentation they say they do. The controller includes a MIDI port and the included documentation includes a URL that you can go to to download the MIDI manual. Unfortunately, this manual is not available, and it seems that it never was available. Fortunately, a lot of web searching ultimately located a PDF copy of an early draft copy - I suspect that Mad Catz never actually finished writing it!
I don't know if I will use this controller as a MIDI instrument or not (I have keyboards I can plug it in to, but I think I would prefer to get a real guitar if I want to play outside of the game) but it bothers me that a feature like this, which they advertise on the packaging, is almost completely undocumented.