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Fender excelsior???

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by MatCarfi76, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. MatCarfi76

    MatCarfi76 Strat-Talker

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    Anyone have any input or opinions on this amp?? Thinking of picking one up for 300.00 this week. It's 13 all tube watts, 15 inch speaker - bright/warm switch... Anybody know how pedal - gig friendly it can be??
     
  2. Hugh

    Hugh Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It's a good amp. I have one and using my Barber Barb EQ (eq pedal) I see no need to mod it.

    It is good for pedal use. It is a fairly high headroom amp imo. Gets loud before the tube breakup starts happening. They are rattle prone according to many reports by guys who have them, but mine doesn't rattle at all. Some of the rattles have been simple fixes like tightening the fittings on the aluminum conduit that runs from chassis to chassis.

    Good thread here on the amp.

    The Excelsior Lounge - Telecaster Guitar Forum
     
  3. joelstrat

    joelstrat Strat-Talker

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    I think they're awesome, but I dont own one, unfortunately.
     
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  5. Teleblooz

    Teleblooz Strat-Talker

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    Been hearing about these since they came out and finally got the chance to try one out last weekend. Bottom line - if I were in the market for an amp right now I'd snap one up in a heartbeat. Nice sounding unit. Playing around with the 3 inputs yields some interesting variations in tone. I'd probably eventually mod it with a tone control, but that's more down to my inability to leave well enough alone than any shortcoming of the amp "as is". The stock voicing is perfectly serviceable out of the box.
     
  6. Hugh

    Hugh Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    They are different than most amps in that they don't have a familiar crunch tone. I think they are great for finding fresh dirty tones. Check this out

    Fender Excelsior - YouTube
     
  7. BobAndTheSlobs

    BobAndTheSlobs Strat-Talk Member

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    There were some FSR runs too with wacky colours and upgraded speakers. IIRC there was a surf blue one that I slathered over. Think these have been and gone but might turn up second hand.
    I know of someone who is an experienced semi-pro who uses an Excelsior for country and blues gigs. Pretty sure he has a mic on the amp, although not a particularly loud band. Definitely uses pedals for distortion rather than amp generated.

    Goes away and googles... in Baby Blue with an Eminence Legend fitted, still some for sale this side of the pond at least:

    [​IMG]

    Ooh, there is baby blue or surf green. Doh! They look pretty similar on my crappy laptop though.
    The other colour was vintage blush but doesn't have the Eminence and not that many people can carry off the pink combo look.
     
  8. MatCarfi76

    MatCarfi76 Strat-Talker

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    I've hot mine coming. Just regular - I will put in JJ'a and have an eminence on order - 65.00 - can't beat what I have in this amp and what I am getting sound wise.. I am even considering trying mods I've seen online - straight out the box I am a fan ....
     
  9. strat.hawk

    strat.hawk New Member!

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    Got one the other Day. Played it for a bit and figure out how them knobs and switches work (technical term). And just loved it. Went out to local spot and got me new JJ 6v6s and two new 12AX7 and the amp got louder and cleaner. Waiting for my Legend 1518 now.

    Need to give credit where I found the info (Tubes Speaker and tone knob demo)

    Billm Audio » A Look Inside Fender’s Excelsior

    Installing the tone knob

    Fender Excelsior Amp DIY Tone MOD - YouTube

    Installing and on/off jack for remote on/off operation for the tremolo

    Judybox Revival: Installing a Vibrato Footpedal On A Fender Pawnshop Excelsior

    The amp with the tubes already sounds fantastic. I can't wait to finish the mods. This has to be IMO one of the best amps out there for the money.

    Enjoy,
     
  10. go49ners

    go49ners Senior Stratmaster

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    I've seen these getting bashed a lot on forums - but I always thought they sounded pretty cool. They are darker sounding amps (even with the bright switch on) so I particularly liked the amp when playing with a Strat or Tele

    I'd love to grab one someday
     
  11. oatsoda

    oatsoda Puck of Paradox Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm thinking about finding one now, since like a dink I sold all my little amps in the last few months. I had 3 here and thought it was too many. First to go was the Vox Pathfinder 15R. dumb. Then the Fender Princeton 112 plus. how could I get rid of that? What a moron. Then before I knew it the Laney CUb12R was out the door. Now it's just me and the HRDx. Like a planet without its moons now, the poor HRDx. Thought I had to get rid of them to pay for the HRDx I guess.

    Yeah, I like the look of the original color Excelsior better than the froofy ones, but wish it had the speaker upgrade. Also wish it had a spring reverb and a line out. Oh well, at least if I get one I'll finally have somewhere I can plug in my accordion (wink).
     
  12. Leebman

    Leebman Strat-Talker

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    I had one for a while but all it did was make me want a proper old tweed amp so I sold it and my PRRI and bought a gibson GA-14 no looking back at all.
     
  13. MatCarfi76

    MatCarfi76 Strat-Talker

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    No looking back - great amp choice - but quite a big price jump as well - for 300.00 - this amp is a steal -
     
  14. MatCarfi76

    MatCarfi76 Strat-Talker

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    Just an update - put new tubes in - and changed speaker out to the fender eminence legend .. Ok / head and shoulders above PRE upgrade.. And louder as if it needed to be. I want to do the tone mod, and I think I will 1000% happy - already happy.. And VERY pedal friendly.. Gigged - barely had it on 1-2 - ridiculous loudness... Great tones..
     
  15. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Do you have before and after recordings?


    I always wish people would make before/after recordings of upgraded gear. It makes the value of the upgrade obvious (or not, in some cases).
     
  16. James.Lee

    James.Lee Strat-Talk Member

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    I love mine. I swapped up the tubes to JJ's and considered switching out the speaker and installing a tone control pot...but as I played it more and more, it really became my new favorite amp virtually stock. It's very old school, simple but powerful and has great, rich tone. You'll probably want some pedals (I use an overdrive and reverb with it), but for $300? I spent more on doughnuts over the last year...a great amp for virtually nothing
     
  17. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I thought it sounded pretty retro lo fi. A bit splatty and harsh when turned up.
     
  18. oatsoda

    oatsoda Puck of Paradox Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Splatty and harsh can be good though, if that's what the situation calls for.
     
  19. MEXbluesGUY

    MEXbluesGUY Senior Stratmaster

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    Don't waste your money bud
     
  20. IanS

    IanS New Member!

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    I did these two mods to (tone control+footswitch). If you use a jack with a switching contact (and wire it properly) the tremelo still works whithout the footswitch. I bought a 25 Euro plastic Fender footswitch (the one for the Mustang I believe). Looks cool.

    Ian


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  21. DavidP

    DavidP New Member!

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    Hey IanS...

    ... how did you wire what appears to be a switching Cliff jack (but the lugs are covered with tape!) to allow both the footswitch and the pot switch to turn the tremolo on/off?? The way I currently have wired my jack simply takes the original leads from the pot switch to the jack so the trem works only with the footswitch. I'm more familiar with Switchcarft jacks rather than the Cliff jacks so this one is a challenge.
     

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