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Broken Excelsior

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by grim83, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. grim83

    grim83 Tele-Meister

    460
    Jul 14, 2014
    alabamy
    Stopped by a pawn shop on my lunch break today and they had one of the oxblood excelsior amps in the corner. Ive always been interested in these but hadnt had a chance to play one so i was excited. Plugged up flipped the switch and....nothing. Told the owner and he said he hadnt gotten around to sending it out yet. Bummer, it had $275 on the it, so i asked how much hed sell it for as is and he said $170. I can do basic stuff myself and my father in law did 20 years in the air force working on radios. Im tempted, the amp looked clean, but i dont know much about these. Any weak points of note? Any opinions on a fair price for a paper weight?
     

  2. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    $170 is pretty steep for one not working with unidentified problem.

    Could be something simple like fuse or tubes, or something complex like fried transformer or multiple fried components.

    Did the pilot light turn on? (if it didn't chances are it's something simpler, however the fuse can also blow if it's a serious problem)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    Wally likes this.

  3. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    The pilot light on those is an LED driven of the heater lines, so it's incredibly unlikely that the LED is burnt out. If you didn't get a pilot light, which I'm assuming because you said "nothing" happened when you flipped the switch, there is the primary fuse on the main AC input and there is a fuse on the heater line itself. However, I don't think they're going to let you do much troubleshooting in the store.

    Without getting a pilot light at all, I'd pretty much pass unless it was dirt cheap. Like $25-50.
     

  4. grim83

    grim83 Tele-Meister

    460
    Jul 14, 2014
    alabamy
    Interesting that the pilot is an led, and yes no lights didnt seem like it was trying to do anything so figure im in for atleast a fuse and maybe a new set of tubes.
     

  5. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    Actually that could be something simple like the power cable or its socket, or a surge that blew the fuse and didn't damage anything else (if lucky). I'd certainly pay 75$ for it.

    Keep in mind that the fuse would also blow if there's a short somewhere or something is seriously damaged.
     
    hamfists likes this.

  6. jarpat

    jarpat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    234
    Nov 1, 2017
    Helsinki, Finland
    My Ramparte went like that. Fuse blown. Reason - one small capasitor (around the diodes) dead. Cost - some work and about a quarter of an euro.
    So, check the fuse and use Your nose. If fuse blown and no bad smell, then probaply a simple fault. If a bad smell, then something really has burned there.
    If no smell and fuse not blown, check the mains cable. Oh yes, sometimes the pilot light of my Ramparte also does not shine. And yes, it is a led too. Tapping it with a finger makes it shine again.
     

  7. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    I guess my point is that it could be anything and the best we can do is guess without having the amp in hand. If they'd let you check and swap a main fuse that would be ideal. If you can confirm the main fuse is good and you still get no pilot light, you're back to "it could be anything in there"
     

  8. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Meister

    490
    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    How much do you like your father in law?
     
    teleforumnoob likes this.

  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    That's counterproductive. Puts new fuse in, amp works, they charge 375$ for it. Or you put it in, it doesn't work, means something is seriously wrong with it. You gain nothing either way.
     

  10. grim83

    grim83 Tele-Meister

    460
    Jul 14, 2014
    alabamy
    We are drinking buddies/ i havent been buried in the backyard yet, so id say we are pretty good lol
     

  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Buy it at a cost that makes the worst case scenario a no-loss situation.what is the worst case scenario.....power tubes are gone taking out a transformer or two. I would give $50 for it as it sits.
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    There's actually four fuses in these. PT, 250ma on the board. Heater, 7 amp. Plus the mains on the chassis which I think is a Fender style 2A for 120 volts. There's also an inrush thermistor not sure if it's actually a fuse so much.

    If there's no burnt smell it's probably tubes, with one of those probably the h/t or mains.
     

  13. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    I would not trust a pawn shop on any amp that didn't power on. I bet he knows more about it than he is letting on. I would take it for $100 like that, but no more.
     

  14. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    You're the highest bidder so far. Corliss bid 50 and I bid 75.

    The problem is they want 170$ for it as is, or 275$ functional. Given that a tech could possibly charge 200-250 to fix it, it is priced unreasonably high.
     

  15. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    It is priced high, but the speaker wasn't a bad one and the cabinet was unique enough that I would still use it for another build if it wasn't worth fixing. To me, the $100 is a good gamble for an amp that "might" only need a cheap fix or might end up being a project.
     
    radiocaster likes this.

  16. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    Excelsior or Excelsior Pro? Is it in good shape?
     

  17. Tele Slacker

    Tele Slacker TDPRI Member

    20
    Jun 28, 2009
    Aynor, S.C.
    I've got three of these... 2 have had issue with poor connection of V1 preamp tube (12AX7). Be sure to really "seat" the tube well. These are wonderful amps, but I wouldn't give >$100 in non-functional condition.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.

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