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Fender Excelsior : would work for bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Inconnu, May 24, 2012.

  1. Inconnu


    Nov 1, 2005
    My bass-ment
    I just took a look at this new "Pawn shop series" Fender amp. 13 watts, all tube, 15 inch speaker with guitar, mic and accordeon inputs. I wonder if the fact it has a 15 speaker and that it supports the range of an accordeon would make it useable as a low volume all tube bass amp... Thoughts? It's like 300$!
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    It's very much a guitar amp. For $300 you can do much better in a real pawn shop with used bass gear.
  3. teemuk


    Mar 1, 2011
    If "supporting the range of accordeon" for you means killing even more low end response than mic and guitar inputs then perhaps by the same fuzzy logic the Excelsior also could be the best bass amp ever made.

    Then again, I doubt it.

    Indeed, $300 in a real pawn shop or any shop selling used amps gets you much further amp wise than buying a new Excelsior. And that applies even when we are not talking especially about bass amps.
  4. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Well according to Fender's website it has a 15" "Special Design" Speaker.

    To answer this question we would need to know what special design means.
  5. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Well, we can be sure it's not a special design BASS speaker.
  6. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    But will a thundering 13 watts of bass actually hurt it?
  7. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    So yeah, you could plug a bass into it and play notes, but what would you USE it for?
  8. CapnSev

    CapnSev Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    There have been hundreds of Fender speakers that have been marked "special design" in the past.
  9. i say it looks ok but i'd change out the driver for a good bass "15
  10. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yes, it could.
  11. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    $300 Oversized and stylish bedroom practice amp for apartment dwellers.

    Hey.... if it fits the decor...
  12. SigiZ58


    Aug 23, 2012
    Switzerland, Bern
    I bought an Excelsior - for Guitar. It sounds very lovely with Single Coil Guitars when clean. Full of Harmonics, Warm and rich.
    I am mainly Bass Player. Yesterday I plugged in a Precision. As bedroom amp: Wow! The sound is warm and full, the big Speaker sounds nice for Bass. Speaker has 50Watt. So I see no Problem to use it as bedroom amp with low-level . I love the sound much more then for example the Roland Cube.
    So for me it is a nice complement for playing bass in the evening. (I know where I am talking about, Normally to play at home I use a Traynor 300W SS Amp with 2 Phil Jones 4x5 Cabs) If I have had the Excelsior earlier I am not sure if I would have bought this equipment. The 15" Speaker brings a lot of deeps - but did't try the B-String yet.
  13. Big Fig

    Big Fig continually reaping two notes & new tones

    Feb 24, 2014
    Seattle, Washington
    I found a gently used Excelsior for $250.00 and proceeded to use it satisfactorily as a bass amplifier in low-level situations. I actually use the tremolo with my hollow-body basses to great effect!

    Your suspicions about it being suitable for bass are correct: tube pre-amp, tube power amp and a 15" speaker in an attractive enclosure make it so. A jack for external speakers is what I'll be trying next, using an outboard 15 with two 10s. 13 watts is all you get, remember!

    Big Fig
    Kukulkan61 likes this.
  14. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I didn't expect those answers. I bought an Excelsior to use as a harp amp, and -- since I already have a Genz-Benz and a Mesa/Boogie in my music room -- I never gave a thought to using it for a bass amp. Live and learn.
  15. Big Fig

    Big Fig continually reaping two notes & new tones

    Feb 24, 2014
    Seattle, Washington
    The Fender Excelsior was never intended as a bass guitar amplifier and as far as I can find, was never marketed for such a purpose, but it does perform well without blowing out the speaker. The best feature is how the pre-amp is physically separated from the power amp section to suppress hum. It is easy to forget to turn it off after you're done, because it is so quiet!
  16. Take a listen to this. Young friends of mine from the Fender Forums. Featuring Fender guitars and Fender's new Vaporizer amp. Hofner clone bass through a box stock Fender Excelsior amp. :thumbsup:Amazing!
  17. Thrillhouse

    Thrillhouse Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I use my Excelsior with my Bass VI all the time for small jams and it rocks. I know it's a bit different than a regular bass but I can't imagine it'd sound worse. It definitely wouldn't be a great choice for a full-time use amp but for low volume situations it'd be fine.
    Linnin likes this.
  18. danosix


    May 30, 2012
    Totally agree with you - I call it my "poor man's B15." Sweet sweet tone. I'd never subject it band practice - though I've considered it for an acoustic ensemble if I ever get to switching out the speaker for the Eminence (makes it inherently louder and I won't be afraid of turning the volume up a little.
  19. danosix


    May 30, 2012
    Well, yeah, but unlikely if you are using this in an appropriate manner - which would be in the bedroom/basement - or recording if you/re looking for this particular sound.
    Remember that many cheapy bass amps are 15 watts into a 15 watt 8 inch speakers and they rarely blow - the 25 watt 15 in this makes it louder so you'll be less tempted to turn it up to distortion and if you do, with the very guitar-y voicing of this amp (much of the low frequency is bled off) you are in much safer territory.
  20. Razman


    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    I disagree with earlier posters/naysayers. I too find this unit attractive and good sounding; I'd pick one up if I found one for super cheap but really have no need for it at the present time.

    With regards to appropriate usage (as a guitar amp) there are too many examples of folks using all sorts of gear for purposes other than their intended ones so I can't figure out why that is even an argument. Like how the old Bassman's are used as guitar amps??