Fender Ramparte

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Stax1, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Stax1

    Stax1 Tele-Meister

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    So I just nabbed myself a Fender Ramparte amp - 9w, single 6L6 class A, 2 x 12ax7 preamp, into a single 12" speaker. Has 2 inputs (hot and cool) and 2 corresponding volume controls. No tone control or anything else. Part of Fender's 'Pawn shop' series.

    Gotta say, these things are freakin great! It has a vox sorta vibe, but also has that big 6L6 thump in the low end, and the Fender style breakup.
    The cool channel is brighter and more chimey, whereas the hot channel gets dirty quickly and has pushed mids.

    In the past I've owned the Excelsior and also the Vaporizer - both also amazing amps. The Excelsior was amazing for cleans and had a beautiful tremolo, and it worked in quiet band situations, but I think the Ramparte is better for dirtier tones. The vaporizer had amazing reverb and looked way cool, but it wasn't practical to lug around, and tone-wise it didn't fit anything I was doing outside of just playing with sounds at home.. Didn't suit a live situation.

    Anyway, these are great little amps for anyone wanting something compact and a little angry, but beautifully chimey when wound down a little. Anyone else here have/had one of these?

    MF link (discontinued) - https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amp...nnel-tube-guitar-combo-amp?_requestid=1986214
     
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  2. Tele Slacker

    Tele Slacker Tele-Meister

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    I’m a big fan of the Excelsior... had 3 at one time, prior to ”the intervention”. Trying to get down to one now (bit not trying very hard, admittedly).

    Haven’t had any experience with the others, but i love the idea of 6L6 in class-A. Been thinking of building a champ on 6L6.
     
  3. Stax1

    Stax1 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah I liked the Excelsior a lot, but I always found I was reaching for an OD pedal in front - which is fine, but I decided to move it on. Probably regret it someday..

    I was half expecting the Ramparte to sound a bit stiff or sterile, given that 6L6 is only pumping out 9w, but its surprisingly sweet and very musical. I'd say its more musical than the Excelsior was, mainly because it has that little bit of edge on the tone. Just my opinion of course.
     
  4. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I always thought they looked the coolest of the three.
     
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  5. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

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    I dig the ramparte and the vaporizer with the atomic 50's rocket red.
     
  6. Stax1

    Stax1 Tele-Meister

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    The vaporizer I had was in rocket red, but I preferred the surf green colour... But the paisley brown and gold on the ramparte is pretty bad ass. You know, the word is that if you look at it for too long you get pregnant... Just sayin.. :D

    I really dig the whole series of these amps and am happy to have had one of each at various times. I hope Fender pull some more little gems out like this again!
     
  7. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had the Ramparte, but didn't get on with it too well. I think now I didn't give it much of a chance at the time. I've regretted it since to be honest.
     
  8. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was tempted to get a Ramparte, and still may if one pops up locally. Still love my brown Excelsior though. Don't use an OD pedal, just a Weber micro-mass attenuator when I want dirt at lower volumes. Still have the stock tubes in it. The entire Pawn Shop series was very cool IMO.
     
  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thought it was way too bright stock and I modded mine.
     
  10. Stax1

    Stax1 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah the dirty tones came out of the Excelsior when it was wound way up - sounded great, very brownface style to me. It didn't have any speaker breakup though, it was all from pushed power tubes. So an attenuation would've suited well with these. The Vaporizer was similar, though it had the EL84 flavour, which is a little darker to me. The Ramparte seems to have more preamp breakup by design, and possibly some speaker breakup when cranked up. I do love the pushed 6L6 tone though, just has that nice balance of compression, dirt, and bass thump.
     
  11. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah the Exy does sound pretty good with the Weber. I recently played my old SF Champ with a stock Oxford next to it dimed out, and the Champ wins the dirt race IMHO, but for overall home playing, the Exy gives me a lot to work with as far as clean, tremolo, and dirt in one package. 6V6 are brighter overall, and I get better dirt with the Weber on the Exy than on a PJr, which gets a bit muddy with an attenuator.
     
  12. Stax1

    Stax1 Tele-Meister

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    The tremolo on the Exy is superb. Can't beat a good Fender trem! Though I much prefer it with reverb mixed in..

    Had another play with the Ramparte last night, still digging it! The Hot channel sounds a lot like the cool channel with an ibanez tube screamer in front. I tried the cool channel with a TS9DX and was recognising the similarities straight away.
     
  13. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I kind of regret selling mine. It sounded dull and lifeless to me but I never even tried changing the tubes. A speaker swap would have helped a lot too. Could have been a fun amp to play around with.
     
  14. Stax1

    Stax1 Tele-Meister

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    I'm not getting anything dull or lifeless out of this.. Maybe there's a break in period with the speaker..? It sounds really musical to my ears.. If I was to nit-pick, I'd say it does suffer from the 1x12 combo 'boxiness' in the same way a Blues Jr does, but when its cranked up a bit this isn't really noticeable.
     
  15. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I am always on the prowl for a Ramparte...I love my Exys and I love my Epi Valve juniors (I presume Single-ended really appealed to me) and the Ramparte looks like a nice flavor in the SE realm.
     
  16. bluespenny

    bluespenny TDPRI Member

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    I picked up a mint, un-played Ramparte before Christmas for very cheap. It was pretty good, as stock. Much nicer sounding with a P-90 guitar than anything else I own. And much better than the many reviews I'd read would suggest. Solid build, no buzzing or rattles. Great volume, even with a full band. And of course it looks great.
    Then, a few weeks ago and out of curiosity I swapped the speaker, as so many have done before (blue-label Eminence Fender from the 1970's) and damn. Suddenly it's a gem. Really nice, assertive cleans, with that tube warmth of a vintage amp. Next, I dug up a splitter cable, so I could play through both channels at once. Clean at one o'clock, dirty at the point where it just starts to bite, like 8 or 9 o'clock. And holy ****.
    I wouldn't surrender this amp now for anything short of a '65 Twin Reverb, and even then, I'd have to think hard. It's light, gig worthy, and looks like nothing else out there.
    If I see another, snatching it up. Eventually this will die, like every relatively cheap amp does after too many shows, and because so few people appreciate them, $200 or less will buy me a sweet back up.
     
  17. Stax1

    Stax1 Tele-Meister

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    Oooh, a splitter cable is a good idea! I better try that..
    I'm not bothered swapping the speaker out yet, but maybe someday I will if I get tired of it stock.. I've read online that some folks like running a 5751 in the pre as well. Could be a good amp for tube rolling.
     
  18. bluespenny

    bluespenny TDPRI Member

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    Well take heed that getting the speaker out does suck thanks to Fender's use of lock-tite. Once done though, and with some decent mounting bolts, it makes future swaps easy.
     
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