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Old April 18th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Inside Fender's Excelsior

I just put up a page with pictures inside both chassis. I like the Excelsior; it's a cool amp with some very usable tones and I think it will benefit from mods. It's well made; good value for the money.

http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1203

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Old April 18th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the schematic was posted a couple of days ago on gdp

http://gretschpages.com/forum/other-...m/50439/page1/

cheers
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Old April 18th, 2012, 06:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pretty clean. I wish folks would cut zip ties flush. Those things are like razors when they're left like that. If I had a nickel...
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Old April 18th, 2012, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In the age of throw away electronics it's refreshing to see mass production that's so simple.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the schematic was posted a couple of days ago on gdp
That'll save me some time!
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Old April 18th, 2012, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks Bill, can't wait to see what you do with it.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Only thing that immediately screams out to me that needs an upgrade - fix the board-installed input jacks, ie, take them off the board!
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Old April 19th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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fix the board-installed input jacks, ie, take them off the board!
That's not likely to be my starting point. I'd rather focus on stuff that actually matters to the tone and usability.

Right now, the biggest problem that people seem to have with the Excelsior is that it's too clean -- by the time you get to breakup, your ears are ringing and the neighbors are banging on your door.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Right now, the biggest problem that people seem to have with the Excelsior is that it's too clean -- by the time you get to breakup, your ears are ringing and the neighbors are banging on your door.
Sounds like my kind of amp, got to try one out for fun
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Loud and clean sounds like my kind of amp too.

What's the noise floor like Bill?
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's reasonably quiet. Well grounded and laid out internally.

Now don't go thinking "Twin Reverb" or something when you hear "loud and clean."

It's a 50s amp at heart, and has a straightforward, slightly strident, midrangey tone. And it's 13 watts. It's just somewhat louder than you expect it to be when you go looking for the breakup point. It breaks up more readily with hot pickups or humbuckers, of course.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Right now, the biggest problem that people seem to have with the Excelsior is that it's too clean -- by the time you get to breakup, your ears are ringing and the neighbors are banging on your door.
Good to know! Clean and a 15" speaker is what would attract me to it. For some reason, I thought it didn't have much clean head room. I'm looking for something like a Princeton (non-reverb) with a 15".
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I was thinking this amp would be perfect for me if it had:

1. Tone control
2. Spring Reverb

I wonder if there is any room to install a tank? Anybody?
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Is it just my end or is that schematic so blurry that itis impossible to read that small stuff??? Wiht the limitatiosn of what I can see there, it looks kind of like a tweed Deluxe with a larger tone--?more gain loss?-- stack and a bais vary trem circuit. Is that what is basically going on here, Bill? As I say....I can't read that schematic very well....no values, no small print are readable.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd be chomping for one of these if it had spring reverb too.

However, I do fully understand why it doesn't, and why, if it did, I'd be likely less interested , because I could no longer imagine justifying affording one.

But .. for smaller gigs (and it is surely a small/er gig amp), a dab of verb is so helpful.

I just dont like verb before an amp - therefore I don't particularly like 'verb pedals nor the unwieldy/ungainly wall wart they demand.

Cool that it has a swampy Tremolo though :)
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If you want tone controls and spring reverb, get a Blues Junior! It's a known quantity and the trip from ordinary to tone monster is just a quick mod or two away.

There's link to the PDF version of the schematic, too. The jpeg is useless.

It doesn't have a tone stack, just a treble bypass/boost one way and treble cut the other way. Very little lost, I'd say. With the gain/voicing, it doesn't sound much like a 5E3.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 03:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Wally, I had that trouble as well. What I did to fix it was to click on the "print" icon at the upper left. That opened it in my PDF viewer which let me save it and zoom without getting fuzzy.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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First stage looks cold biased.

Wouldn't take much to use the tremolo oscillator as a gain stage and sub in an LDN150 as the oscillator if you needed more gain without changing the character of the amp to much.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billm View Post
I just put up a page with pictures inside both chassis. I like the Excelsior; it's a cool amp with some very usable tones and I think it will benefit from mods. It's well made; good value for the money.

http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1203
Hey Bill.....someone pointed out to me that the center lug on the switching pot looks like someone in the solder department took a holiday...Izzat the case?
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Old April 19th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If you want tone controls and spring reverb, get a Blues Junior!
Yeah...except I've been gassing for a 15" low-watt combo because I find the 12" doesn't quite push enough air for the bass frequencies. Never thought it would happen from Fender and along comes the Excelsior. Just need to tweak it a wee bit...
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