Sunday, June 8, 2008
Fender Ultra Chorus
Continuing on "amp week," here is an amp that was actually a pretty decent amp despite the fact that it was solid state. These were made from '92-'94 from what I can tell and were replaced by the Fender Ultimate Chorus. It has built in chorus and channel switching with a distortion sound that's okay. It's a 2x65W stereo amp with chorus, reverb, two inputs, and mono and stereo send/return loops. The footswitch switches channels and turns the chorus effect on/off. Plenty of power for small gigs, came with casters and 2x12" Fender Eminence speakers standard.
From a distance you could easily mistake it for a Twin Reverb.
I found this amp in a pawn shop in Redmond, Oregon. I had driven up to visit friends for Christmas who live in Bend and decided to take a drive around the area one afternoon to look around. Redmond is nearby and I came across a pawn shop...the dustiest pawn shop in America. They had a bunch of weird stuff in there including what must have been the very first solo musician's personal PA ever made. I would have bought it too if I'd had enough money. But this amp caught my eye and so I made my way over to the corner of the room to check it out. It was literally covered in dirt and dust and I have no idea why a business would let something get so dirty and think that it doesn't hurt business. Although this amp turned out to be in excellent condition once it was cleaned up, it definitely didn't look like it and made me question whether is was a decent amp or not. The good part was that I was able to bargain the price down from $250 to $150 and we had a deal. I also bought a couple of effects pedals they had for super cheap as well...all of it destined for eBay or Craig's List.
I put it all in the back of my rental van and made my way back to my friend's house. After borrowing some paper towels and some windex I was able to clean it all up fairly well. That night I watched my beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat Oregon in their bowl game, which was especially sweet given that I was actually in Oregon at the time and surrounded by bearded guys in Oregon football jerseys. Once I got home from the holiday trip I was able to test the amp out and discovered that this amp really wasn't too shabby. I'm one of those guys who has got to have tubes, so I wasn't really thinking at any point that this was going to be a keeper. But, after plugging in and playing for awhile, I have to admit...if it was the only amp I could own, it really wouldn't be the end of the world. The clean sound was nice and crisp, the channel switch over to distortion was okay...very rack system, programmed Top 40 band sounding distortion. But it was plenty powerful enough and was...let's see...non-offensive. Not my number one choice, but again, not bad.
I finished up the cleaning job and listed it on Craig's List for $300 and had it sold later that afternoon. A nice little $150 profit just for taking a cruise around town on a cold Oregon day. I'll take that in a heartbeat.