Other Amps

Fender Excelsior ticking sound


Hi all,

Long time since I've posted, but I'm looking for some advice. I have a stock Excelsior which has been sitting unused for quite a few months. I actually listed it on craigslist and of course when someone showed up to try it I fired it up and heard this TICKING sound.

I can't find anything specifically related to the Excelsior with this issue so far in my Google search. The ticking starts once the amp warms up. It is very pronounced when the guitar is plugged in and my hands are off the guitar. It is much quieter when playing but still there.

I read something about this likely being one of the 12AX7 tubes, and related to the tremolo. It makes some sense given the rhythmic ticking, but it doesn't change it's speed or volume when the tremolo is on, nor does it go away when the tremolo is off.

I will likely just start by trying new 12AX7's, but curious to know if anyone else has experienced and resolved this same issue.

Thanks for any help!

p.s. I posted this exact thread on the TDPRI to see if anyone there has seen this.


How about when you change the tremolo speed?

Are you turning the tremolo off with a foot pedal?


I'm following this topic because I have the exact same problem.

I have a stock Excelsior that I bought when they first came out, but like you, I had not turned it on for 1.5 years until the other day, then "tick tock, tick tock."

I did not notice if the speed changed when I turned knobs, but the sound was pronounced. I'm going to mess with it later or this weekend.



Did you have a cell phone resting near it whilst you were playing it, in your pocket, or resting on top of the amp?

I found that to be the culprit with my two Excelsiors.


This can happen if the lead carrying the tremolo LFO signal is too close to a signal lead inside the amp. If you're familiar with the proper precautions about live voltages, you can open it up and push the wires around until you find a silent configuration. If that fails, I've had success with this:

Edit: Looks like the Excelsior doesn't have the opto-trem. So that fix won't apply. This guy seems to have had some success by fixing the lead dress: http://www.tdpri.com/thread...


Hi all,

Thanks for all the info and I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. I think I've read most of the threads around ticking tremolo Excelsior or otherwise but anything super technical is beyond me. I may end up taking it to a shop and have someone check it over. Oh, and good call, but there were no phones or anything else near the amp. It just ticks....


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