Other Amps

Excelsior Schem

1

Well I asked, Fender said it was cool if I shared. I don't have time to jump into the discussion, but thought I'd get this up quick!

2

Dang! No discussions on this one yet?

How am I going to figure out how to make it cool and hit 20W if cool guys like Michiel, Tavo or Jayce don't do if for me??

Here's a link to the pdf: https://docs.google.com/ope...

3

thanks for posting the schematic and of course inexpensive mods can be accomplished in this circuit and I am going to assume many will be able to profit from forth coming mod kits, but .......sigh. I'll zip my lip for now :) :)

4

Read on the Tele Discussion Forum that BillM ordered one and has some mods in mind.

5

Ha! Jump in there Tavo! Nocturne Amp Mod Kits.

$$$$

6

man that sounds about as unfun as trying to smile when my wife makes me a freakin salad for dinner and I want to throw it under a bus. :)

8

Ha, just found this thread! Will look at the schem later.:)

10

Man, I just found out we won't see one of these until June 15! Daaaaang. :|

Tavo, maybe you'll come around on those mod kits! Heck, look how long it took us to talk you into making new pedals. :D :P Product, my man! You're the entrepreneur extrodonaire!

I want the "excelsitive" mod kit.

Michiel, get to scrutinize the schematic yet?

11

Butters you know me, I wouldnt make or sell anything I didnt love for myself. If I cant believe in it why should anyone else.

as a side note, a person stands to learn 10x more building an amp kit from the ground up and spends less than someone buying a crap built chinese amp and trying to make it into something worthwhile.

excelsior =$300 affordable replacement 15" speaker= $150 upgraded output transformer= $100-150 upgraded caps (bias,coupling,filter)=$75

lets not even mention the seriously horrible cabinet that was never meant to do anything for a 15" speaker other than make it stand up on end.

this all sounds negative, but I just pointed this out to show that I'd rather point a friend to a weber amp build kit than to fool around with these amps. That is, for someone wishing to get their hands into a project.

Through the paradigm of just owning the Excelsior to have a fun little amp and maybe swap in a new speaker, then its brilliant. 'n for a company that is exclusively about parts and mods, its not to hard to suss out a parts kit from their inventory.

(thinking I should just be quiet and sit in the corner)

12

:D Big T: Hey man, fair enough.

I always find myself wrestling with my inner cheap bastard. So, things like a modded excelsior always turn my wheels. I can't swing an Exec, but I could swing a modded Excel. Plus the get in an wrench on it factor.

Building an Exec or similar amp from scratch would have to cost $1200 wouldn't it?

Also, as a guy who appreciates what you do and are doing, I'll never stop throwing product ideas at you when I think I see them!! :D (tough shizz on that my man).

So, anyone have any mods brewing for the Excelsitive?? :P :D

13

Having spent some time with an Excelsior, I really get the points Tavo is making. This Tavo quote really struck home

..."Through the paradigm of just owning the Excelsior to have a fun little amp and maybe swap in a new speaker, then its brilliant. 'n for a company that is exclusively about parts and mods, its not to hard to suss out a parts kit from their inventory." * *

I immediately thought of the Fender Champ 600. I remember all the mods folks posted on that one. New grill cloth, new tubes, new speaker, new on/off switch, etc. By the time the mods are complete the dollars add up to a silver face Fender Vibro Champ. In some cases, Fender seems to be throwing the shell of an amp out on the market and saying, "OK, let the mods begin."

14

Lol, so does this mean we aren't going to talk mods?

15

I'm not trying to argue, but defend the original purchase...the Excelsior has its own sound, and it's fine. As a bedroom amp, leave it at 3 or lower and you will get a nice clean sound. I have given it a good side by side workout next to a Deluxe Reverb, which could be the best overall amp ever, and the Excelsior sounds different, but it does sound good. To buy an amplifier and immediately talk of modifying is similar to buying one guitar, but then always being on the lookout for something else, or wanting to add new pickups, etc. I have been using a very sensitive guitar with lots of sounds due to the phase in/out switching capabilities and multiple strings. The Ovation Deacon 12-string is a super cool guitar, with many sounds. I do prefer the Deluxe Reverb with the Deacon, but the Excelsior sounded fine upon immediate comparisons. I switched a lot, different pickups combinations, phasing, strumming, picking, etc. and I quickly learned to appreciate the FenEx as is. Of course, we are all different, and can opine with the best of them, but the Nation accepts the FX right out of the box...as usual, I may stand alone!

...wisdom

16

For anyone who may actually jump in with some mods, thanks to Marz for posting this pick of the guts: http://billmaudio.com/wp/?p...

In looking at the pics, it looks like a very simple amp to tweak on. I can't help but still see a cool platform for mods and upgrades that contains a 15” speaker. And that's just not something we see often.

So, I'm going ahead! Mua-ha-ha-ha! I'll start w/ JJ tubes, Hammond transformer upgrades, pot upgrades, tone stack upgrades, carbon resistors on the plates and a speaker.

Still looking to see if anyone with the math skills will help bump the power rating up. Or, discuss how this and an Exec run 2 6V6's and be rated 13w and 20w respectively. And how this affects clean head room.

I would like to politely ask if that if you want to wax on about the morality of modding one of these, you do it on one of the 15 other threads. I'd really like to pull the guys together who are going to do it, or are interested in it or like discussing amp mods. Thanks gents.

Unfortunately, my location won't see the amp until June 15. Dang!

17

I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing your mods, M.

For caps, I'd concentrate on swapping

  • C1
  • C3
  • C15
  • C23

Silver Micas or Orange Drops will make the amp a bit brighter. Sozos (or any mustard Cap) will pronounce the mids more. POI or Ajax blue molded caps will improve the transparency of the amp, much like the ODs and SMs. In playing with caps in my amp I have to say I still like the (well broken in) Ajax over the (new) ODs and PIOs. The Ajaxes cost a small fortune though. Think 5-10 bucks each for good tested ones.

C21 and C22 are snubber caps to avoid oscillations due to all the extra wiring. You could try to clip them, but be prepared to put them back if the amp stops working or sounds throttled. Alternatively put in a smaller value.

The executive schematic I could find doesn't show any voltages. Also, the executive as a fixed adjustable grid bias, while the Excelsior seems to have a fixed (non-adjustable) cathode bias. These two will probably cover the biggest difference in rated output power between the two.

And finally, the executive has a fixed NFB loop, while the Excelsior doesn't,

18

Thanks, Super M!

I'm going to dig in on this. I'll take your advice on those caps.

I'll want to look at those inputs as well. They look funky. And I don't need inputs staged for mic and accordion.

Also, like to put a pot in place of the tone switch. Think a 250k is a good place to start?

Think if I just bias the JJ's hotter I'll see the headroom I'm looking for?

19

I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing your mods, M.

For caps, I'd concentrate on swapping

  • C1
  • C3
  • C15
  • C23

Silver Micas or Orange Drops will make the amp a bit brighter. Sozos (or any mustard Cap) will pronounce the mids more. POI or Ajax blue molded caps will improve the transparency of the amp, much like the ODs and SMs. In playing with caps in my amp I have to say I still like the (well broken in) Ajax over the (new) ODs and PIOs. The Ajaxes cost a small fortune though. Think 5-10 bucks each for good tested ones.

C21 and C22 are snubber caps to avoid oscillations due to all the extra wiring. You could try to clip them, but be prepared to put them back if the amp stops working or sounds throttled. Alternatively put in a smaller value.

The executive schematic I could find doesn't show any voltages. Also, the executive as a fixed adjustable grid bias, while the Excelsior seems to have a fixed (non-adjustable) cathode bias. These two will probably cover the biggest difference in rated output power between the two.

And finally, the executive has a fixed NFB loop, while the Excelsior doesn't,

– Michiel

I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing your mods, M.

For caps, I'd concentrate on swapping

  • C1
  • C3
  • C15
  • C23

Silver Micas or Orange Drops will make the amp a bit brighter. Sozos (or any mustard Cap) will pronounce the mids more. POI or Ajax blue molded caps will improve the transparency of the amp, much like the ODs and SMs. In playing with caps in my amp I have to say I still like the (well broken in) Ajax over the (new) ODs and PIOs. The Ajaxes cost a small fortune though. Think 5-10 bucks each for good tested ones.

C21 and C22 are snubber caps to avoid oscillations due to all the extra wiring. You could try to clip them, but be prepared to put them back if the amp stops working or sounds throttled. Alternatively put in a smaller value.

The executive schematic I could find doesn't show any voltages. Also, the executive as a fixed adjustable grid bias, while the Excelsior seems to have a fixed (non-adjustable) cathode bias. These two will probably cover the biggest difference in rated output power between the two.

And finally, the executive has a fixed NFB loop, while the Excelsior doesn't,

– Michiel

why not Sozo blue caps?

20

why not Sozo blue caps?

No reason not to! I just don't have any experience with them, so I can't tell how they affect tone. Good that you point that out though: I'll need to try those on my nutty professor switch.:)

21

So, a NFB loop could make the amp brighter? Maybe fit it with a presence pot?

22

The NFB will make it brighter sounding, but it mostly affects only the picking attack (in my playing style).

The excelsior doesn't have any NFB facilities now, so this will take some carefull tuning.

23

NFB is running some of the highs back through to help with stabilizing (right word for that?)?

So, the presence control adds highs to your sound by not sending them back through, right?

So, NFB would darken the amp, wouldn't it?

24

The NFB varies with the amp you're looking at.

A very gross generalisation: On tweeds it's a lowpass filter that feeds lows back into the PI. On blonds it's a bandpass. And on black and silverfaces it's, as you M, a higpass filter that feeds highs back.

The high feedback of the blackfaces and silverfaces doesn't necessarily darken the amp. It that it keeps the amp cleaner for longer time. Essentially what happens is that once the amp' power section -starts- to distort, it starts to produce more highs than there really are. More highs means more NFB, reducing the highs again.

From what I understand of em, the feedback loop couples those higher harmonics of the distortion back into the circuit and counteracts them, keeping the amp cleaner for longer. But some stage though, the NFB can't keep up with the distortion and the function collapses, giving a sudden sharp increase in distortion.

I'm intrigued by the tweed NFB. I haven't had a chance to spend quality time with one yet, so I can't really comment on what it does.

The bandpass NFB of the blond seems to do a pretty good job at keeping the lows and mids clean, while allowing some distortion in the high end. I experience this as some extra 'sparkle' or 'snap' on the picking attack.

The NFB of the blues deluxe seems to be more like the blonde NFB actually, now that I check it.:)

25

The range of the Bright/Dark switch was too broad for my taste, i.e. the bright was too bright, the dark was too dark. I paralleled a 100K resistor across R8 (470K). This slightly darkens the Bright side and brightens the Dark side.


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