Fender Excelsior
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Fender Excelsior

Excelsior, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Fender in the Pawn Shop Special series.

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frnkfrkl 06/11/2012

Fender Excelsior: Produktbewertung von frnkfrkl (content in English)

"Perfect for me, yes!"
5

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All tube, cathode biased 6V6 pair, 2 12ax7s on the preamp side, 13 watts, 15" speaker, volume, vibrato and a bright/dark switch, 3 inputs: guitar, mic( lower gain input ) and accordion ( basically filtered somehow to give a "honkier" sort of sound.

I'll give it a 9/10 here because I did two mods to get it to where I wanted it.

UTILIZATION

I did two mods to get it to perfection as I see it. I changed all the Chinese fizz-bottles with: JJ 6V6s for the power end, a vintage RCA 7025 for V1 and a JJ ecc83s for the vibrato slot ( V2 ). The amp actually sounded pretty darn good out of the box but the JJ 6V6s and the 7025 really got it smoothed out. The vibrato was barely audible with the Chinese 12ax7 in V2 but it really started to come lively with the JJ. The second mod was a 500K potentiometer to replace the bright/dark switch. "Bright" was too bright, "Dark" was too dark. The pot basically pans between the two extremes, my general-purpose setting is halfway, 5 on the pot.

SOUNDS

I've got a G&L Legacy, a G&L ASAT, a '74 Les Paul Standard and a couple of pretty wonky no-name guitars and I can get just about any sound I'm looking for out of this baby. It's a player's amp, not a knob-tweaker's amp. Turn it up, it gets dirty, turn it down, it gets clean. Turn up the guitar volume, it gets dirty, turn down the guitar and it cleans up BEAUTIFULLY. Turn on the vibrato and play some country licks, you're there. Jazz? Turn down the tone pot ( which you WILL install, it's dead easy ) to it's darkest setting, hit the neck pickup, adjust the guitar's tone knob to taste and you're there. Rock? Get some dirt and let it fly. Weird honky twang-thang sounds? Hit the accordion input, get the vibrato warbling, adjust your guitar's volume and tone controls to dumb settings and you're just plain retro hi-fi alien. Clean, dirty, skinny, fat, it's all there. It's just one spunky little amp that's a blast to play.

"Little" is not a good word 'cause it's also pretty loud, I would say small gig territory.

This amp is VERY responsive to what you put in it, dynamics, gain, tone controls on the guitar, etc.

Ok, so it's not for metal-style sounds, but that's kind of a no-brainer, huh?

OVERALL OPINION

I love this amp. I think the two tweaks I performed on mine are pretty well necessary. My only outlay after the initial purchase of the amp was the pair of JJ 6V6s. I had the JJ ecc83s and the RCA 7025 sitting in a drawer as well as the tone pot. About 2-3 hours of work and I was good to go.

Value for the money, you bet, I'd do it again in a second.

I've joined a photo of my tone pot mod. That's a Strat Volume knob, by the way.

Here's the horrible, shameful truth. I like it better than my Orange AD-30 Combo and I like my Orange A LOT...