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MG69-BECK/CO vs 1969 Competition Orange Original
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KPI
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:08 am    Post subject: MG69-BECK/CO vs 1969 Competition Orange Original Reply with quote

So i recently picked up a MG69-BECK/CO for around $900US. The US dollar is totally tanking so guitars can be picked up quite cheaply at the moment Smile Anyhoo when it arrived the other day, it reminded me that I also had an original 1969 Competition Orange Mustang. So i thought I would do an A/B comparison here while I had a camera handy.

Firstly, the MG69-BECK/CO is based on the current MG65 reissues, meaning they are much more accurate reproductions of the original 60's US Mustangs. For years, Fender in the states have been making accurate reproductions of other guitars, so at some point, probably 2005 they gave the go ahead for Fender Japan to starting making a really accurate reproduction of the Fender Mustang.

However before then, sometime around 2003/2004 (or possibly earlier) Fender Japan started moving towards making more accurate reproductions of Fender Mustangs anyway, well at least certain components. This may have something to do with Char, a big mustang guy in Japan who is quite famous there for using them. Certainly by 2002 Fender Japan was churning out Mustangs in all sorts of colors that it was hard to keep track, but more importantly these guitars were now starting to become easier to source internationally than had been previously possible.

Also around that period the regular MIJ white and blue mustangs (a mish/mash of a 60's mustang with a red pickguard and a 1972 post comp decal) that we all are familiar with start to get more period correct features, such as the brass plate switches that are on the MG69-BECK/CO & MG65 reissue. The MG66 (now MG65/VSP) introduces a more accurate, but not entirely correct headstock decal and the blue mustang (now CBL - a much different shade of blue to Daphne Blue) gets the right color pickguard, switches and pup covers. Fender Japan also starts to use white button Klusons on this model.

From sometime in the early 90's, letís say 1993, (as we know Kurt had reissue Japanese Mustangs by that point) to around 2005 the shape of the Mustang body was close to, but not entirely exactly like the original 1960's version. And as far as I know Mustangs from that period to the late 90's were predominately olympic white and sonic blue. Fender Japan was probably making Mustangs in crazy colors prior to then, but they weren't being exported a great deal. I canít remember seeing a Fiesta Red reissue Mustang other than the one Kurt had.... until around 2005 when they started doing Fiesta Red Competition.

I wasn't researching the guitar market from late 05' till mid '09 so I can't really comment on what Mustangs were available during this period. However it was seeing the MG65 that sparked my curiosity again. I was looking at picking up a couple when by complete accident I stumbled across the MG69-BECK/CO.

FIRST IMPRESSION
Pulling this MG69-BECK/CO out of the box it was clear whoever was driving this model in Japan loves Mustangs. It is just about as perfect as it can be in every way... one must weep at its beauty Smile Visually the guitar is GORGEOUS. However in picking it up and playing it, the fit, finish and materials used are nearly exactly the same as that on other Japanese Mustangs. The finish is still poly, the neck feels the same. It looks better than a regular mustang, but it has still come from the same factory. This is not a criticism, typically Japanese Mustangs are killer guitars for the price and this is no exception.

COLOR
The shade of orange between the two examples is very, very close. This is especially impressive due to the wide variations in shades and subsequent aging of the originals. In this example the Competition Stripe on the MG69-BECK/CO is slightly darker than the original, only pronouced by the camera. To the human eye, it is quite scary just how close in shade these two guitars are!





HEADSTOCK & DECAL
Really this is what sealed the deal for me. The Competition Decal between the MG69-BECK/CO & Original are IDENTICAL, save for the font used for the pat numbers, the numbers are matching Smile The colored headstock is just sublime, but painted closer to the nut than original examples.



The F tuners on the MG69-BECK/CO are replicas of the original F tuners used in the 1960's. They LOOK identical, but the original 1960's ones feel heavier and more substantial, presumably due to the different kinds of metal used. To me, itís not a Mustang unless it has F tuners Smile. Note The BECK logo is under the finish.




NECK
The dot markers on the MG69-BECK/CO are indeed faux pearl & white and have the correct 12th fret spacing, just like the original 1969 Mustang. This is different to 90's mustangs which have black markers and different 12th fret spacing.

What is amusing to me though, is the finish on the MG69-BECK/CO neck has been tinted yellow/orange to make it look "vintage", however the finish on the original 1969 Competition Orange is crystal clear 40 years later.




BODY
The shape of the body between the MG69-BECK/CO & the original 1969 is very, very close. It has the correct bevelling on the edges, making them much more rounder than a contemporary reissue Mustang.









The body contours on the MG69-BECK/CO also perfectly match the 1969 original

PICKGUARD
The pickguard on the MG69-BECK/CO is shrunken with gaps and the pickguard material is an aged pearloid. Very subtle, but quite notable when placed next to white pearloid.

The shape of the pickguard is very, very close to the original, but not quite there on the lower cutaway - The shape on the original 1969 is very distinctive and the material used is completely different and much thicker. This is one of those subjective things where the best way to describe it is the original pickguard has more "mojo" than the reissue.





KNOBS
The volume and tone knobs DO NOT match. The ones on the MG69-BECK/CO are the same on other Japanese Mustangs. The original US ones are wider and slightly shorter. Probably the only cosmectic oversight on the guitar.



COMPETITION STRIPES
Subjective as the placement on the original 1969's was not consistent. I am happy with both examples. Mustangs lend themselves to having competition stripes anyway Smile





SOUND
Personally, I prefer Mustangs fitted out with humbuckers, but Iím not about to drop a hotrail in either of these two. The original has that cool surf sound, but is limited in other areas. Frankly, the 1969 original looks cool but isn't really practical for contemporary "grunge" playing. The MG69-BECK/CO sounds like pretty much any other stock Japanese mustang you have played. Sorry I don't have the time or energy to look under the hood on either of these guitars. I did that once on a mint '66 mustang and the pickguard warped grrrr.

OVERALL
The MG69-BECK/CO is the best reproduction of an original 60's era Mustang i have ever seen. It is everything you would expect from Fender Japan, is 95% of what a real 1969 Competition Fender Mustang is and killer cheap to purchase. Go buy one NOW!!

Unless Fender US retools and starts making Mustangs stateside with Nitro finishes (snowball in hell), this one will reign supreme over all others. Based on the time and effort Fender Japan has put into MG69-BECK/CO, I would bet your nuts that they will do them in Competition Blue & Competition Red (without the BECK decal) at some point in 2010 or soon. Start saving kids....


HAVING SAID ALL THAT
One thing I will mention, like i said I forgot I had an original 1969 Competition Orange Mustang until I bought the MG69-BECK/CO. I don't think the original had been out of its case since 2001. I paid about $2500US for it then, at a time when the average competition mustang was going for about $650US. When I think back I start to slap myself about all the Mustangs I passed up at $500-700US in 2000 because they were "too pricey" lol

One thing different is that this MG69-BECK/CO is probably a couple of months old. The original is 40 years old. It smells like a vintage guitar, it feels old to touch, the wood is just gorgeous and is a relic from that era. Itís an antique, which means that intrinsically it is of its time. It came from Fullerton and is a real slice of Americana. Doesn't mean it is better than a MG69-BECK/CO, it just means that whilst they look the same, they are different in other ways.
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cobascis
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Quality thread.


though, $900 for a reissue is a high price to pay considering the relative price of the originals.

I Shocked 'd when you said you 'forgot you had' an original comp stang, how many guitars do you have??
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hotrodperlmutter
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, great write up, but the fact you mentioned you forgot you had an og compstang twice is irritating.
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Sidney Vicious
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hotrodperlmutter wrote:
yeah, great write up, but the fact you mentioned you forgot you had an og compstang twice is irritating.


Razz

Both guitars are beautiful - thanks for the thorough review.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hotrodperlmutter wrote:
yeah, great write up, but the fact you mentioned you forgot you had an og compstang twice is irritating.




"oh yea that's right, I had a mustang back there...."
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

envy...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

quality post, i really enjoyed reading this though i don't know all about the mustang history, i thought a little bit though when you said original 69 stangs don't lend themselves very muchto grunge playing, i'm not a huge nirvana fan so i don't know every single detail but on the rehearsal footage on with the lights out kurdtz plays an old mustang...but with different pickups and all i guess so i guess you're right.

nice post.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very informative. But like others I find it somewhat charring you would forget you owned the original.

Guitars weren't built to be forgotten or collected.
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Noirie.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A+ thread. I seriously want a orange 'stang like that but are kurtzy blue ones available?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KPI, Excellent review! Nice comparisions! Thanks for taking the time to post it. I thought I saw that the Beck mustang comes with a bridge cover and white tipped trem arm...is this true? Did you end up buying it off ebay? I tried to buy one a year ago but the seller didn't have them in stock even though he had them on ebay at the time. The only thing I don't care for the BECK / DOG decal on the back of the headstock....is it under the clearcoat?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the MG69-BECK/CO does come with a bridge cover and white tipped trem arm. Also it comes with a big novelty plastic pic with "BECK" on it and a fender gigbag.

The "BECK" logo is under the finish. It was a bit off putting at first, but itís kinda a cool crazy japanese thing like homer simpson/mr sparkle.

More amusing is that underneath it says "mongolian chop squad" which has probably something to do with the cartoon, but to me sounds more like a bordello with asian women :O

Lol, yes that black and white pic is like my house, for a while back in the late 90's early 2000's I was buying and selling mostly japanese fenders and predominately vintage Mustangs on the internet - this was back in the dot com boom days and I thought I could become a billionaire by sourcing guitars in japan and the US and flipping them to other oddball countries.

I remember at one point I had just over 100 guitars with me that I was trying to move... one by one :O and basically nearly got crushed by international currency fluctuations and problems with customs - they work basically like the mafia taking a piece of the action for doing nothing but that another story Smile

Anyhoo, it was just a sideline, distracting from my real job, the margins sucked and it was very time consuming only to end up making sometimes 100 bucks on a used guitar. Also by then the internet had reached critical mass so consumers had heaps of choice, nevermind that the contractor for fender japan is turning out like 20,000 guitars a month at just ONE factory!

Vintage Mustangs are cool, probably my favourite looking guitar of all time. Leo really engineered something great. Itís a pity they weren't made in more custom colors of the era. But to be honest they are like a vintage muscle car versus a new car, they look cool, are fun to play and people who are into them like them, but outside of that niche they are not very practical or as well built as more modern guitars!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MG69-BECK/CO vs MG73/CO OLB

There are some slight differences in the body shape between the two different MIJ mustangs. the MG73 is the more square shape prevalent on reissue Mustangs with a different tummy countour. Not necessarily better or worse than an original, just different Smile I do think OLB is one of the sexiest colors of all time. However I lust for a Shell Pink or Sherwood Green Metallic Mustang. I know for a fact that Fender Japan would do SLP on a Mustang, but Sherwood Green was totally out of the question at the time on ANY MIJ. They just weren't interested in discussing it then. I got the impression that Fender US was at the time very particular about what they would let Fender Japan do.





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Aeon
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How are the bridge and tremolos in comparison? It seems that having matching aesthetics is nice, but functionally equivalent playing-feel is more important.

(Perhaps doesn't matter to people that don't use the trem, but if you fall in that category, why the heck aren't you just getting a Duo-Sonic instead?)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

could someone enlighten me about why fender japan is making BECK guitars that weren't in the show? all I remember seeing was a vintage tele and a les paul. no mustang.

rickenbacker should make an FLCL bass.

and yeah, great post.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post. Thanks. Very envious.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yarko wrote:
could someone enlighten me about why fender japan is making BECK guitars that weren't in the show? all I remember seeing was a vintage tele and a les paul. no mustang.

rickenbacker should make an FLCL bass.

and yeah, great post.


manga...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aeon wrote:
How are the bridge and tremolos in comparison? It seems that having matching aesthetics is nice, but functionally equivalent playing-feel is more important.

(Perhaps doesn't matter to people that don't use the trem, but if you fall in that category, why the heck aren't you just getting a Duo-Sonic instead?)


because they don't sell re-issues competition duo-sonics...
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Aeon
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suede wrote:
Aeon wrote:
How are the bridge and tremolos in comparison? It seems that having matching aesthetics is nice, but functionally equivalent playing-feel is more important.

(Perhaps doesn't matter to people that don't use the trem, but if you fall in that category, why the heck aren't you just getting a Duo-Sonic instead?)


because they don't sell re-issues competition duo-sonics...


Well there were never competition duo-sonics to begin with. I think someone that is collecting Mustangs must like the trem or at least the sound that that system imparts, otherwise the Duo-sonic would be the better option.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there really needs to be a sarcasm emoticon somewhere oh wait Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aeon wrote:
suede wrote:
Aeon wrote:
How are the bridge and tremolos in comparison? It seems that having matching aesthetics is nice, but functionally equivalent playing-feel is more important.

(Perhaps doesn't matter to people that don't use the trem, but if you fall in that category, why the heck aren't you just getting a Duo-Sonic instead?)


because they don't sell re-issues competition duo-sonics...


Well there were never competition duo-sonics to begin with. I think someone that is collecting Mustangs must like the trem or at least the sound that that system imparts, otherwise the Duo-sonic would be the better option.


or maybe they want something that they prefer aesthetically, even if it means they don't use the full functionality of it.

for example, i rarely if ever use neck pickups, but still reserve the right to purchase a guitar with one.
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