My Excelsior + Greta review

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by Kalz, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Kalz

    Kalz Senior Member

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    As some of you may know, I got a pawn shop day not too long ago and I decided to do a written review after my honeymoon phase was over for those who may be still wondering if y'all should buy it or not :thumb:

    Im trying to get a computer accessory for my computer from my friend to plug in my SM57 and record a bit so hopefully I will be getting that to you guys soon. :)


    Excelsior

    Stock tubes & speaker.


    As soon as I turned this amp on and it warmed up, instant blues. I could not help myself, it was the only thing I wanted to play and I played it for a long time. The 15" speaker just swoons you with it's sound. Amazing bass and a good top end. The mids are noticeable in the amp but not overpowering andd I really really like it. It adds to that old school sound/feel

    With the limited tone controls it begs you to use your guitars volume and tone knobs which is a GREAT thing. Rather than having the same setting when turning on your amp, each guitar brings out a new characteristic in the amplifier. Each time you plug something in it sparks some new creativity and away you go :thumb: I personally really like the dark/bright switch which is a good way to balance the sound between your buckers and single coils.

    Since the amp has 3 inputs it is actually straight forward. The guitar has the most output and harmonica has the least while the mic input is inbetween. The amp also gets clearer with the lower output inputs so you can use that to your advantage.

    The OD is crazy awesome. You do have to push your amp to get there and it is LOUD but it has that awesome Link Wray sound :thumb: put it around noon to add just a tad but of grit to your playing and turn it up more for instant tonez!

    The tremolo is LUSH with the perfect amount of depth imo. Turned that puppy on and went to town with some good 'ol CCR :thumb: It wont get you a helicopter sound but it is an amazing tool to have on board to just add that little somethin to your playing.

    I didn't only play blues with this amp, I plugged in some pedals and play what I normally do and it handles both pedals and other genres very well. Can't say much about metal though, I do not play it. I assume if you are looking into this amp you may not be into metal :laugh2:

    I would HIGHLY recommend this amp to anyone looking for an amp in the 300$ range. You need to hear it to believe.


    Greta

    Stock tubes & speaker (is there even another 4" guitar amp speaker?)

    This little box is MAGICAL. I don't know what it is but when I get home I want this thing on at all times. Though it's only a 4" speaker it draws you into it and you keep going. All it has is a tone control and volume which is more than enough. Adding an aux port to plug in your phone/mp3 player makes it amazing to play along with or to just listen to music through it :thumb: Great conversation piece too!

    The breakup isn't too pleasant with a 4" speaker since it really can't handle the load but I plugged her into a cab and whoa.... the OD is awesome. More awesome blues :cool:

    This makes a great practice amp for home since it is only 2 watts, plenty loud for bedroom play and quiet enough for you not to get yelled at :applause: add a cab for some more bottom end and clarity and you will be in heaven :thumb:


    I also highly recommend this magic box... believe it or not, I recommend it over any amp I own right now, no idea why but... it's just awesome. I'm telling you, this thing is magical.


    Any questions just ask below :thumb:


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    Malikon, NashvilleCat, joba and 6 others like this.
  2. theaxeman

    theaxeman Senior Member

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    Great review on both amps!! :applause:
     
  3. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    I just got an excelsior too. mine is stock, and I have to agree with your review. I find that my excelsior greatly favors my telecaster. it really gives that swampy, near lo-fi sound. i dig it, a lot!!! it is great for blues and old school rock n roll stuff.

    I keep mine with the volume around 3 o'clock, and don't find it to be too (as in excessively) loud. but, that could be because I have always played 100+ watt amps turned up loud enough to feel as if you are in an earthquake!!!

    i favor the accordion input. i find it responds the best when the volume is turned way up. i also like the dark EQ setting, but lately have been using it set in the middle. i am debating doing the tone knob mod, and i am pretty sure i will install a jack to make the tremolo foot-switchable.

    i have hit the front with a big muff, a roland space echo and a strat and was rewarded with an AMAZING 70's space-rock sound. that gear really makes the bridge/middle position on the strat sound powerful and creamy. i haven't used any other pedals with it yet, but i am sure it will shine.

    regarding metal? i was a metal player for YEARS. of course i tried some riffs with the big muff and my SG standard. i was able to get a KILLER doom tone.

    it really is a great amp. i am considering recovering it in tweed....what do you think???
     
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  4. lowatter

    lowatter Senior Member

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    Necro bump to see if you indeed did recover your Excelsior in tweed. I just got a used one yesterday for $200. I was jones'n for a Blues Jr but with my Fender Mustang Floor unit I got for $139 at GC, I can make this amp sound like anything I want and do it well. GREAT value amp. I was kicking around doing some mods but because I don't play out and just noodle and do home recordings, I'm just going to leave it stock. I'm tired of taking on projects anyways...BUT I am planing on making a tele(ish) guitar and a hollowbody. When will all this madness end...when? BTW, I just heard a new word today(to me)...it's "guitarted"
     
  5. retrobob

    retrobob Senior Member

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    I just picked up an Excelsior today at a yard sale of all places.
    It has an Eminence Legend speaker.
    When I got it home, I was surprised at how good it sounded with my trusty Tele. Warm tube tone with lots of tone options, depending on what input, and where the tone switch is set. Nice organic overdrive as you turn it up.
    Then I tried my P bass through it. Really cool vintage bass tones!
    Looks like I stumbled into a really cool all around amp.
    Never expected this thing to sound this good! And I'm a hard core vintage amp nut.
    Tomorrow, I'll try a strat, and a Les Paul through it.
     
  6. irocdave12

    irocdave12 Senior Member

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    You can grab the Visaton r10s speaker off amazon for $10 and it absolutely transforms the Greta into an amazing amp. Throw in some quality tubes and it's a thing of beauty
     
  7. lowatter

    lowatter Senior Member

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    I'm trying to gather info on how to add a master volume to my Excelsior and I will probably do the tone control mod. I don't want to throw another $80+ at it to get the Eminence Legend but I hear that a lot of folks say it's the single best upgrade for these amps.
    Can anyone help me find information on adding a master volume? Thanks!
     
  8. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    I hear the Eminence model is a surprisingly good amp as long as you recognize what the amp can and can not do. I've been tempted myself to buy one more than a few times. I even went to a Guitar Center to pick one up, but then they decided to be Guitar Center with me and I walked.

    Mike Campbell of TP & The Heartbreakers has (or had?) one in his backline that he recovered in Tweed.

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  9. Matt_21

    Matt_21 Senior Member

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    Interesting. I have a Greta. Maybe I'll pick one of these up.
    Thanks Dave
     
  10. irocdave12

    irocdave12 Senior Member

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    You'll be glad you did it
     
  11. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

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    I remember these! they were hot a few years back... I tried a greta, but didn't keep it. Never tried the excelsior.
     
  12. irocdave12

    irocdave12 Senior Member

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    Don't forget the Vaporizer
     
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  13. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Nah, I never did. The Excelsior got boring pretty quick for me. I ended up getting in another hard rock/classic metal band, so the amp really didn't get used much. I gave it to my brother. He pawned it at some point.

    THIS was an amp I got and actually used live. It was AWESOME!! I was in a country rock band for a while, and the Vaporizer ended up being my amp, lol. I ended up getting rid of it, too, as it got boring - BUT, I have some good memories of it. I had a surf green strat with a surf green Vaporizer in the country band.

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    If you look in the pics, you'll see a single Vaporizer behind me. This particular venue was a 800 person theatre. We headlined the night and played to almost 500 people!! The Vaporizer was PLENTY loud enough....I could hear it behind me, even though it was in the wedges and side-fills.

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