Used an Excelsior I once owned at practice last night...

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Mike Eskimo, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    ...and loved it.

    I sold it to my bandmate probably 4 years ago because I hated it.

    It was a CL purchase, after dinner, 20 minutes away, $200.

    Played thru it for a week and could get no usable sound out of it.

    The bandmate I sold it to switched to drums soon after so I never saw it again.

    But last night's practice at his house w/ my dark-sounding Sheraton it sounded great.

    And it's completely stock. Crap Chinese lightbulbs, dumb two position tone switch, orig speaker.

    I'd switch it to "bright" for the neck pickup and "dark" for the bridge - best these pickups have sounded to me.

    And I know for a fact that 90% of the stuff that has been through that speaker in 4 years is modular analog synth, theremin, and keys at very high volume. Super-low lows, squealing highs - so it's beyond broken in.

    I almost got him to bite on a trade for my Waza DM-2 but he he hesitated - which means he'll think about it.

    But now I'm thinking of trying to find one if he doesn't want to do it but I do remember that people were having hard-to-track-down problems with these amps quitting. And, it seems there was never a consensus/agreed-upon cause ?

    Anyway, it was a weird night capped off by me hitting one note on guitar and him manipulating the DM-2 for 15 minutes at least with a forest of noise, oscillations, and blatting s-s-s-s-sounds...
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  2. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Mine, the Pro with the 1518 in it, took quite a while to break in. Really rigid and brittle sounding on Bright setting, muddy on Dark. Then I played a baritone through it, loud, for a couple of weeks, and it sure opened up. I'm also still running the stock tubes (until the tax return arrives), and had to go through it with a screwdriver to hunt out the rattles. But it's a great amp, indeed.

    You can get the Bright/Dark switch to sit in the middle, by the way. Sounds really good with most guitars.
     
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  3. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    It's on my list, when I find one in a cool color at a good price.
     
  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yep, my fave setting for the Exy
     
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  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    But you guys that own one haven’t had any problems with it ?
     
  6. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I've had mine for...five years now? Something like that. Not a moment's problem, and sounds better all the time. Can be a bit hummy/buzzy w/ single coils, and whooshy in its trem. Better/new tubes are supposed to help with all that, but I use a Humdebugger when I need to, and it's well worth its flaws. I do think its cab is ugly and somewhat sound muffling, though, so I'm swapping it into an floor radio.
     
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  7. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No probs here. Mine's stock.

    I've been intrigued by the mods that are available for it, mostly the Emi speaker replacement and cutting out the baffle to reduce vibrations.

    But, I've never gotten around to those. Always seems there are more important things to attend to.

    I did however replace the knobs with muted golden chickenhead pointer knobs.
    [​IMG]

    How cool is that? :cool:
     
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  8. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    I've played through a few Excelsiors and liked them a lot... not particularly versatile, but that doesn't bother me... neither am I. I'd probably own one if I didn't already have an old Standel with 6V6s and a 15" speaker.
     
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  9. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    The Pro's 1518 speaker is so efficient that it makes that model kind of a different beast than the honkier, raspier original, brown Tolex version. The 1518 can give you big almost brownface cleans, probably helped by the circuit being, I've often seen it said, much like the 6G2 circuit. You lose some character-rich rasp, but gain a lot of versatility, with the Pro.
     
  10. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf Tele-Meister

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    I got a couple. I kinda set them aside when i got into monoprices (monopriceses?) 15w. But i still like the Excys. I put 12s in mine. Great with a GB128.
     
  11. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I've had one brief problem with mine. For some reason it lost heater current to the tubes in the upper chassis. Couldn't find any reason for it and tried several things that didn't work. Just as suddenly the problem solved itself by the time I got back to it a few days later....no problems at all since then.

    I changed the tone switch for a simple out at first, and then later replaced that with a Bill M tone circuit which is nice.
     
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  12. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Something similar may have happened to the one I played on Thursday night.

    I remember it was soon after I sold it to him and he was still playing guitar in the band and it just quit at an out door gig.

    I asked him about it like a month or two later and he said it just worked the next time he plugged it in at home.

    If you Google “trouble with Excelsior” or “my Excelsior suddenly stopped working” a lot of stuff comes up. And I haven’t dove in deep enough to see if there was one thing that was more common than everything else.
     
  13. red57strat

    red57strat Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I bought one for $125. It had a bad screen grid resistor, if I recall. Easy fix (I offered to repair it for the guy I bought it from). I found the best sound with guitar was to balance the tone switch right in the middle, between each labeled position.

    I sold it to the harp player I jam with at a low "friend" price. It's a very good harmonica amp!
     
  14. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    No problems with mine so far. By the way shortly after I got it I clipped the wire on the bright setting so it’s the in-between open setting now, as I just didn’t need the bright setting. Still has the stock tubes, everything sounds great. Mine is the brown version with the lo-fi speaker.
     
  15. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    I spent about five years trying to find a used one on CL, before finally giving up a couple of years ago. Earlier today, someone on Reddit posted a NAD for a Vaporizer, which jogged my memory about the Excelsior. I made a little post about it, and someone mentioned a few available on Reverb. Having just spent around 1400 buying, fixing and improving a 79 DR, I need a fifth amp like I need a hole in the head. I live with my girlfriend in a one bedroom apartment.

    But, on a whim, I checked out CL. There was one available locally. FSOT. Long story short, I’m taking my Blues junior tomorrow in hopes of a trade. He’s probably getting a slightly better deal, but I don’t love the jr., and I’ve coveted an Excelsior since they were new on the market.

    You guys think I’m crazy?
     
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  16. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Not at all. The whole Pawn Shop line is quirky cool. If you’re crazy, I’m certifiably insane. I just bought a second and third Greta. Someone was selling two, and I wanted to have a backup. I lowballed and somehow managed to win!

    Now I have my backup, and another to either flip, or maybe re-cab! I still want an Excelsior as well. If it’s good enough for Mike Campbell...
     
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  17. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf Tele-Meister

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    About a year ago i found one at GC for about $200. Right after i bought it another showed up even cheaper. I thought hey ill have a backup so i bought it. Then another showed up even cheaper. That one i bought cause im sick. Then another showed up. I didnt buy that one. All at GC. They really aint that hard to find. So i got 3 amps for about $600. Then i got into monoprices. Dont guess how many of those i got.
     
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  18. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Just put money down on a 'blush' one at GC. It's about an hour and half away but I am going at the end of the month so I'll get to try it out and maybe pick it up.
     
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  19. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  20. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Speaker break in (and sometimes breakdown) can go a long way. We judge amps too quickly sometimes because of this.
     
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