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Author Topic:  Steel King amps?
Steve Perry


From:
Elizabethtown Ky, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2014 8:46 am    
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I apologize in advance. I s#%k at searches. I'm looking for the general opinion on the Fender Steel King amps as far as power, tone, and reliability goes. I'm a new pedal steeler playing in a Rockabilly/Honky Tonk inspired band that at times can get a little on the loud side. I realized at practice this past weekend that my Custom Vibrolux Reverb is just not going to stay clean enough for me to play steel through it. So, this week I've been searching for a suitable amp. A local store has a Steel King that they are asking $499. A quick look at Ebay only shows 2 Steel Kings and both are in that price range. What do you all think? Is the Steel King going to be a suitable amp for me?
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Bill Moran


From:
Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2014 8:53 am    
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Good amp. Clean , powerful and great tone. The only weak link is the speaker. I put a Eminence EPS Neo in mine . Had a Black Widow in one of my Steel Kings. The Eminence Neo is the way to go when the speaker blows. It will happen ! Smile
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Karen Sarkisian


From:
Boston, MA, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2014 9:22 am    
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I like the steel king also. you will definitely notice that it is not a tube amp however. I like to use a sarno black box with mine, it seems to give it a little more warmth and dimension. I currently have a neo speaker in mine. the stock speaker sounded a bit fuller but the weight is a big issue. I also use an external reverb pedal with my steel king as I am not crazy about the onboard amp reverb.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2014 9:41 am    
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The Steel King amp is both greatly loved and abhorred. I like mine a lot. I would rate it third behind the Walker Stereo Steel and the Webb 6-14-E. I did try a black Widow speaker in it but went back to the stock speaker. The amp reverb is nothing like a Fender tube reverb so I use either an outboard RV-5 or Hall Of Fame for that. Some people have cited that the amp is not overly reliable long term and that if you crank the bass very high, you lose a lot of definition and the amp bottoms out.


http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Black%20Widow/Black%20Widow.html


http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Licks/Licks.html
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Ed Kelly


From:
Queensbury, New York, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2014 5:23 pm     Steel King
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I have 2 of those babys. One with stock speaker, the other with the emeninse 15c, I think thats the correct part #. The stock speaker has move warmth, more mids, and you can dial in just about anything you like. On the other hand, the other has not got the range of sound, its great for glass breaking highs, but lacks the warmth of the original. I am playing a Fessie through mine.
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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2014 9:00 pm    
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I love my Steel King. It is clean & I can dial it in to a perfect sound. It WILL get loud enough. Shocked
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Chris Bauer


From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post  Posted 14 Mar 2014 5:58 am    
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I have a Steel King head that I like a lot. Through a Black Widow, it has a smoother bass and more string definition than my Webb. I sit in a with a band sometimes that comes as close to ear-bleeding volume levels as I'll ever care to tolerate and the Steel King comes closer to keeping up than anything else I've tried so far.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 14 Mar 2014 6:12 am    
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Although there are some higher freqs that I have some difficulty taming the shrill out of, I do like the Steel King too. It was designed and tuned to have a big, easy to find sweet spot and I really like the control panel with its mid freq sweep and its tilt control.

I've tried several speakers in it (BW, an older Emi neo...Kappa?, an Eclipse) I returned the OEM speaker and I find it to be the best match.

I haven't driven it hard in a long time and I can't speak for how it handles high power situations.
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Rick Contino


From:
Brattleboro, Vermont
Post  Posted 14 Mar 2014 1:02 pm    
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Stephen...sorry to get slightly off-topic, but for $499 why not save your back and buy a Gallien Kruger MB200 and the 15" neo speaker of your choice. You could even throw it in a Fender Cabinet for that vintage look. I love the sound of this combo especially with Sarno's Black Box in front.
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Kevin Mincke


From:
Farmington, MN (Twin Cities-South Metro) USA
Post  Posted 14 Mar 2014 11:31 pm    
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I've got one of the original SteelKings as I bought the Jazzking before the SteelKing was out and traded up when they became available. Great amp w/ lotsa features great DI out etc but for some, reliability has been an issue. Mine has everything original including he wrapped foot switch and speaker & never a problem with it.
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Jimmy Gibson


From:
Cornwall, England
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2014 2:40 pm     12 Inch Black Widow in a FSK
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I just wondered about putting a 4 ohm 12 inch Black Widow I have into my FSK, the baffle board is no problem to make, would this work ok in a FSK?




Jimmy
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2014 2:49 pm    
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No reason it wouldn't. It wants to see 4 ohm & the BW can handle the power (rated for 200W @ 4 ohm)
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Larry Behm


From:
Mt Angel, Or 97362
Post  Posted 17 Mar 2014 3:46 pm    
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The one I had way to many high's even with the Treble turned off. Others I have heard were OK, maybe just this amp.

Larry Behm
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Adrian Pounce


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 10 Apr 2018 5:49 am    
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Hi Guys,
Bit of a weird long shot but ... has anybody got a 'STEEL KING' speaker they want to sell.
I see a lot of people have replaced theirs and I'd love to put one in my Fender Excelsior amp for guitar as I hear they're a really good match.
Thanks
Fingers Crossed
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Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post  Posted 10 Apr 2018 7:17 am    
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Seems most here liked it. I had mine for a little over a year and just finally gave up on it. To me it had a thumpy compressed sound. I did not like the mids or the shrill highs.Out of all the amps I've ever owned,I could not find the sweet spot no matter how I set it.

I purchased a Quilter and life's good.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 10 Apr 2018 12:30 pm    
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Dick Wood wrote:
Seems most here liked it. I had mine for a little over a year and just finally gave up on it. To me it had a thumpy compressed sound. I did not like the mids or the shrill highs.Out of all the amps I've ever owned,I could not find the sweet spot no matter how I set it.



Same here. Except I also didn't like the farty lows.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 10 Apr 2018 12:47 pm    
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My Fender Steel King has performed flawlessly since day one and sounds great with all the knobs turned straight up. I usually just use the EQ TILT knob to adjust as needed from venue to venue.

I like it every bit as much as my old Evans FET-500LV.
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Gary Preston


From:
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 10 Apr 2018 2:08 pm    
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Well the one i heard wasn't all that to my ear ! Didn't care for the tone at all . I'm glad you guys are liking yours . Maybe i am just to use to the sound of my amps ? Sorry .
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Steve Spitz


From:
New Orleans, LA, USA
Post  Posted 14 Apr 2018 3:22 pm    
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I have a steel king speaker to sell. $95. And I pay shipping fedex to your door.
Oops, sorry, the Free shipping is for the US.
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Billy Carr


From:
Seminary, Mississippi USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2018 12:17 am     Psg
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Bought a new FSK when they became available. At the time, I was playing Carter guitars and was using a U-12. Speaker went the first night. I talked with Bobbe Seymour and asked which speaker to use. He said put a Peavey BW, 15" in it. I did and it sounded like a completely different amp and had no more problems with it. Bought a used one later and went ahead and replaced the speaker with a BW. No issues. Since then I've always kept at least one Peavey steel amp. Even now, I've got a NV-400 w/ Ken Fox mod. My main amp is a Tommy Huff built.
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Reilly Graham


From:
Vermont, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 11:23 am    
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I read somewhere that the Steel King doesn't do well with single coil pickups with hum etc- can anybody confirm or deny this claim? My main guitar is an old Sho~Bud with original single coils, so the claim spooked me from buying one of these amps.

Last edited by Reilly Graham on 3 Feb 2019 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Derrick Unger


From:
Newark Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 12:12 pm     Fender Steel King
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Hey Steve..can't believe no-one has not suggested taking that $500 dollars and look for a peavey session400..Nashville400 or Vegas400 with 200+ watts..they are steel amps and will keep up with the band or maybe a Nashville 112 and save your back plus put a hundred-fifty smacks back in your billfold!! Plenty for sale on here
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Carl Mesrobian


From:
Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 1:02 pm    
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I had a Peavey LA 400. About 200 watts into 12 in. Black Widow, with channel switching, reverb, pre and post gain adjust, effects in and out.

With a Black Box in front, it had plenty of sound, clean or hairy. And they are cheap , if you can find one. I paid around $200- $250. plus a used Black Box.
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George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 2:06 pm     Steel King already. K
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I bought a new one and like already noted, it was pretty bright. There was a rumor going around that Fender had an Evans that they were using as a model to emulate the sound. If that is true, it would explain the brightness. Mine had a reliability problem. Had to be repaired twice in the first year. After it was repaired the 2nd time and was good to go, I sold it and then it deve!oped a hum on the 2nd owner. I am with others, put your money somewhere else. If it were me, I would get a Katana 100. Ron Hogan has a video demo of it on the forum. I have the 100 head only version and like it a lot. About half what you are looking at paying for the SK.
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David Nugent


From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 4:09 pm    
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A note on the reliability issue. Local player purchased one when they were first introduced, spent more time in the shop than on the stage! Had it repaired a number of times and it was finally sold. Would think by now that any issues with this particular unit would have been addressed but on the other hand, chronic unreliability may be the very reason that this amp is for sale. Agree with Derrick, for around the same price (or less) a Peavey Nashville or Session series is a far better alternative (JMO).
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