December 12, 2023

Fender Pawn Shop

Fender Special amps, what makes a Fender Pawnshop special?

I personally love Pawnshops, it can be really surprising some of the treasures you can find in these stores. You might not be able to find a Fender PawnShop special amp, but I am sure you can find an old console or radio with the same look though.

Getting into the Pawn Shop…

What was Fender thinking when creating these new Pawn Shop Special edition amps? They were of course thinking on something cool looking, vintage of course and perhaps esotericism was on their mind too.

The Pawn Shop edition amps come in two different flavors full of color but with an old school look and feel which makes them really really pretty.

The Options…


Not a hotel, a college or a Newspaper… Alluringly refined yet harboring tones from polite to raw to raucous, the Pawn Shop Special Excelsior model is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive tube combo amps in Fender history.

Its covered by a brown textured vinyl, smartly stylish “E” grille design and bold crossed-swords front-panel badge convey a decidedly stately vibe with a marked air of cold-war cool.

Its sound is full of tone and power. The 13-watt Excelsior elegantly encloses a single 15” Special Design speaker, with a bottom-loaded primary chassis and top-loaded control chassis for operating convenience and low noise (powered by two 6V6 output tubes and two 12AX7 preamp tubes).

Features… Distinctive features include “guitar,” “microphone” and “accordion” inputs that each have individually optimized circuitry; tremolo circuit with speed control, bright/dark tone switch (for treble or bass emphasis), volume control and 1/4” internal speaker disconnect that lets the amp drive an external speaker enclosure.


(My favorite, not only because for its name but also for its look). In the playfully diminutive form of a vintage tabletop radio, the Pawn Shop Special Greta model is quite possibly the most unusual Fender tube amp ever.

The look… An amp is exactly what it is – a two-watt tabletop beauty with a 4” Special Design speaker, old-school VU meter with “clean to overload” indicator display and simple volume and tone controls. Its charmingly vintage-style enclosure has front and rear wood panels finished in bright red, gold-finished metal top and sides for increased shielding, “Greta” script badge on the front panel and tabletop feet.

Its sound… Under the hood and on the back panel, the Greta features a single 12AT7 output tube and 12AX7 preamp tube, with a 1/4” instrument jack and 1/4” line out jack (for preamp use with another amplifier). Greta produces a variety of low-volume clean and overdriven guitar tones.

The features… Even if you never plug a guitar into it, the 1/8” back-panel auxiliary input is perfect for iPod or other media player use, with great mono tube playback sound that’ll have you rocking right there at your desk.

How much…

Any of these two can be yours for less than $300 bucks depending where you buy it.
For more information about these little vintage jewels, price and details, visit

What is your favorite one?

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Learn more about Luis Tovar on his Google profile.

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