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Thread: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

  1. #21
    Mojo's Minions SirJackdeFuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by indie folk guy View Post
    It's a $300 amp I hardly consider a speaker upgrade, tubes, etc a major investment I'll stick likely have less than $700 invested in the amp upgrading everything one could upgrade.

    I think an Eminence Big Ben or Weber could really be fun in this guy.
    I would LOVE to hear this driver in the amp :

    http://www.jensentone.com/speaker/mod_15_120

    On B&W it just reads right to me : Res Freq - 47.5Hz / Sens - 96.5dB


    "Full bodied bass speaker with enough highs for both organs and "heavy" guitar players. The MOD15-120 has a full, boomy low-end focus with subtle highs and responds to overdrive distortion with a gritty edge."
    Tele, SG, LP Jr & Tokai LS92 into FUZZ boxes into a '66 AB165 Bassman & 2X12 (55Hz Greenbacks) / block letter 5150 & 2X12 (V30 & SwampThang) / Thunderverb 50 & PPC212 (2x V30's) / Marshall Class 5 combo


    "...it's a tree with a microphone" - Leslie West

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    Vibroluxologist B Bent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    I finally played it this week as well. Feels more substantial that I thought it would feel. I am with you Joe..... Sounds good, especially the trem. One drawback is that when cranked it falls apart to my ears and ruins everything I had in my mind about how great this amp could be. It is way to brittle and raspy at jamming volumes.

    If I needed a cool low volume clean amp with trem, this would be it. If I wanted to crank it with a band I would be crap outta luck with this amp.

    I wonder if a speaker swap would help much???
    Last edited by B Bent; 06-29-2012 at 01:25 PM.
    I get weak in the knees at the sight of a vintage Fender amp!

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    Kablamminator ratherdashing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Fender is going to sell a mountain of these things.

    Hipsters/indie rockers will love it because it's a simple retro-looking-and-sounding amp.

    Gearheads will love it because it's cheap and they'll want to mod it endlessly (a la Valve Jr).

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    I definitely think if you plan to use it at higher volumes you'd want to at the very least upgrade the speaker. The stock speaker is ok at lower volumes but a lot of that raspy/breakup quality is likely the stock speaker.

    That Jensen speaker sounds interesting btw.

    I will definitely report back when I get mine and do some mods to it.

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by indie folk guy View Post
    I definitely think if you plan to use it at higher volumes you'd want to at the very least upgrade the speaker. The stock speaker is ok at lower volumes but a lot of that raspy/breakup quality is likely the stock speaker.

    That Jensen speaker sounds interesting btw.
    I was wondering that myself. The gain sounds smoother on the mic and accordion inputs, but the raspiness on the guitar input made me believe some pre tubes could help cure it, but maybe it is the speaker.

    I really like how they divided up the circuits, not just for noise, but to keep the heat away from the cheap motherboard on top. I'm sure they then realized that there's a lot of power running between the top and bottom of the amp, and came to the conclusion that the metal piping was necessary to keep someone from electrocuting themself touching a frayed cable.

    The bonus is that the back of it looks just as cool as the front.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    well throwing in different tubes and a new speaker in my mind are things I'd probably do to any amp (much like putting in a bone nut, changing pickups, doing a restring with my preferred brand/model/gauge, etc) so I don't view it as a major expense to me it's just personalizing my gear

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    Administrator Scott_F's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    On the design separation, my guess it has less to do with noise than it does for overall size constraints for the cosmetics they were going after. That guess being stated, I do like the metal conduit shielding that signal and keeping prying hands off the voltage on the preamp tubes. I'll have to try one. I've got a JBL D130F and an old Blackwidow 15" sitting around here. They nailed the cool look, gotta hand them that. I love retro amps. Looks like an old Gibson.


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    John Mayer's Mankini ImmortalSix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by SirJackdeFuzz View Post
    BillM (famous for his Blues Jr mods) has allready started to mod his Excelsior !

    http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1203


    And thank you for the review of the amp.
    With a little bit of luck, i will have mine in mid-July.



    PS : does that 15" speaker really warm the tone up ?

    How loud is this amp before you get a really good gritty break up ?
    Wow, nice writeup from BillM!

    The layout of this thing looks great.








  9. #29
    Saucy Plebe Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    An EXCELLENT review Joe. May have to check one out. Not giving up my Pro Jr. just yet though....
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    Aceman, your advice was a rich tapestry of hard-fought research, blood, sweat and tears and the homespun wisdom we've all learned to expect and relish from our itinerant face-painted lunatic. I would like to award you a internet trophy for "best comment on a proco rat discussion". Let it be written in the annals of history; Aceman sure as heck helped.

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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Hey Pro Jr's are fun too lol I may have to get one of each I really miss my Pro Jr grrr for selling my blonde pro jr with weber 10A25 alnico speaker.

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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by B Bent View Post
    I finally played it this week as well. Feels more substantial that I thought it would feel. I am with you Joe..... Sounds good, especially the trem. One drawback is that when cranked it falls apart to my ears and ruins everything I had in my mind about how great this amp could be. It is way to brittle and raspy at jamming volumes.

    If I needed a cool low volume clean amp with trem, this would be it. If I wanted to crank it with a band I would be crap outta luck with this amp.

    I wonder if a speaker swap would help much???
    You noticed the same thing I did about that imperfect breakup. This is what keeps the Excelsior from reaching the quality of tone that more expensive amps have when cranked up.

    I actually liked the edge of breakup tones on the mic and accordion inputs better, because the gain structure was backed off a bit.

    I want one of these amps, only because I know it's almost there, and a few tweaks will bring it all the way. Some pre tubes, maybe a new speaker, trem footswitch jack, and a few component changes that tailor the 3 inputs to perfection. This amp is bound to be a modder's dream.
    It's such a cool amp for less than $300.

    The 6V6's may be running cooler than they could too. I have no idea, but getting the power tubes running at the perfect current could clear up some of the crossover distortion we may be hearing as rattiness.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    You noticed the same thing I did about that imperfect breakup. This is what keeps the Excelsior from reaching the quality of tone that more expensive amps have when cranked up.

    I actually liked the edge of breakup tones on the mic and accordion inputs better, because the gain structure was backed off a bit.

    I want one of these amps, only because I know it's almost there, and a few tweaks will bring it all the way. Some pre tubes, maybe a new speaker, trem footswitch jack, and a few component changes that tailor the 3 inputs to perfection. This amp is bound to be a modder's dream.
    It's such a cool amp for less than $300.

    The 6V6's may be running cooler than they could too. I have no idea, but getting the power tubes running at the perfect current could clear up some of the crossover distortion we may be hearing as rattiness.
    all good points now I need this thing in my clutches lol

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker SoCalSteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    That is a cool looking little amp! I'll wait 'til you guys do the mods (at least a speaker upgrade) and give the verdict before picking one up.

    Couldn't help but notice the Excelsior logo looks just like the Mesa Stiletto logo.
    Seymour Duncans I've owned: Dimebucker, '59n, '59b, PG+n, JB, Phat Cat, PGn, Custom, Seth Lover, '78.

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalSteve View Post

    Couldn't help but notice the Excelsior logo looks just like the Mesa Stiletto logo.
    And that could be the final mod - replacing the Excelsior logo with a Fender logo that covers the original holes.


    Last edited by Gearjoneser; 06-30-2012 at 11:36 AM.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

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    Cornographer d1dsj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    What a cool looking little amp. I wonder if we'll even get them over here? I'd like to try one if we do.
    Originally Posted by Gearjoneser
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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by d1dsj View Post
    What a cool looking little amp. I wonder if we'll even get them over here? I'd like to try one if we do.
    I'm sure they'll show up in the UK pretty shortly. If you got the Chinese Modern Players (which are great for the money), you'll be getting these too.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    I'd be surprised if Fender kept this little gem from the UK I think it's going to be a huge hit. Fender is pretty much king of cool inexpensive tube amps.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Thomann in Germany already has them in stock for 269 euro, free shipping to the UK.

    A number of UK dealers have them on preorder, but I don't know if there's anywhere here you could actually try one out yet.

    Without having heard one, I still think they look good enough that if I had the money (and space,) I'd consider buying one and even if I hated it I could strip the guts out and just turn it into a 1x15 extension cab - it would probably be cheaper than getting a custom builder to build a cab like that.

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    Mojo's Minions SirJackdeFuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by B Bent View Post
    I finally played it this week as well. Feels more substantial that I thought it would feel. I am with you Joe..... Sounds good, especially the trem.
    One drawback is that when cranked it falls apart to my ears and ruins everything I had in my mind about how great this amp could be.
    It is way to brittle and raspy at jamming volumes.

    If I needed a cool low volume clean amp with trem, this would be it. If I wanted to crank it with a band I would be crap outta luck with this amp.

    I wonder if a speaker swap would help much???
    HUH ? . . . too brittle ?

    Even on the Dark-setting ?


    <---skip to 9m08sec

    CRANKED, it does not sound too brittle on this clip. (...to my ears)

    Did you experience it the same as in this clip ?
    Tele, SG, LP Jr & Tokai LS92 into FUZZ boxes into a '66 AB165 Bassman & 2X12 (55Hz Greenbacks) / block letter 5150 & 2X12 (V30 & SwampThang) / Thunderverb 50 & PPC212 (2x V30's) / Marshall Class 5 combo


    "...it's a tree with a microphone" - Leslie West

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    Mojo's Minions SirJackdeFuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally tried the Fender Excelsior

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    Fender is going to sell a mountain of these things.

    Hipsters/indie rockers will love it because it's a simple retro-looking-and-sounding amp.

    Gearheads will love it because it's cheap and they'll want to mod it endlessly (a la Valve Jr).
    Not just Hipesters/Indie kids (although i can see them flocking to this amp, once word gets out that it is "cool in their wold")

    But also folks (like me) who like this type of stuff will be drawn to this sleazy sounding greasy dirty-shirt rock tone :








    Tele, SG, LP Jr & Tokai LS92 into FUZZ boxes into a '66 AB165 Bassman & 2X12 (55Hz Greenbacks) / block letter 5150 & 2X12 (V30 & SwampThang) / Thunderverb 50 & PPC212 (2x V30's) / Marshall Class 5 combo


    "...it's a tree with a microphone" - Leslie West

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