Inside Fender's Excelsior

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Billm, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm currently sampling a vintage Altec 15" in my Exy and the speaker is 16 POUNDS heavier than the original unit and is so close to the tubes I believe it is causing/exacerbating some microphonics in V1. My vintage Jensen P15 seems to weigh about the same as the stock speaker.

    Sounds killer though, playing bass through it! Doesn't like the piezo in my AEB much (which is a shame, because that's what I really want it for), but loves magnetic p'ups.
     
  2. Little Ricky

    Little Ricky Tele-Holic

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    The stock cabinet without the speaker is 19 lbs.
    I made a simple butt joint 1x10 pine board cab with a 1x1 braced 0.20" ply baffle, and it weighed 9 lbs.
    The stock speaker is 5 lbs
    And these can't be changed, but just FYI, the upper chassis is 3 lbs and the lower is 7.5 lbs.

    So, end result? New cab saves you 10 lbs.

    Here's a few pics of the stock cab and the new one. I think I spent about $20-30 on the wood, the ply, and the nuts, bolts, and washers. The nuts I used sink into holes drilled in the baffle and since the baffle is so thin, they barely came out of the backside where they meet the speaker, but the lip on the speaker provides enough space for them. This cab seems to resonate on the E note (might be Db, Not sure how I had the guitar tuned.) As you can see I haven't cut out the speaker hole on the baffle yet, so maybe that is creating that weird resonance (that particular note is just a little louder).

    Also, it's a really good idea is to have the guy at the store cut your 1x10x12 board to the lengths you need before you leave. The only cuts I made at home were the chassis cutout on the top and the speaker clearance cutouts in the baffle supports. The store has a saw on runners so the cuts are nice and square compared to what I could have done at home with a jigsaw or a circular saw.
     

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  3. evilizac

    evilizac TDPRI Member

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    Sorry to bring back such an old thread. . . and wow, first post.
    But now that these are on the used market, and I'm interested.

    How hard/where can I get the supplies for a tremolo switch mod?
    Years in do any of you all (that are still out there in internet land) still like the Excelsior?
    I'm thinking of getting a pro model for the speaker, but also for the color, so my GF will be happier with it sitting in the living room. Any thoughts on the Pro?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  4. Synchro

    Synchro Tele-Meister

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    I can't address the tremolo switch question, but can state that I still like my Excelsior.
     
  5. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Still like mine
     
  6. evilizac

    evilizac TDPRI Member

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    I'm a bass player that's getting back into guitar due to lack of compatible (style-wise not personality-wise) musicians in my area. So I'm not really on my game as far as amps and tone and skill. . .
    Bass and bass gear is so much easier in my opinion (for me: does it thump or growl. . . I like thump). I've been playing strictly acoustic for the longest time so honestly I'm a little anxious about delving into electric guitar and gear.

    I know this is sort of subjective. . .
    But what kind of music do you all like to play through your Excelsiors?

    From a songwriting/guitar playing standpoint I write kind of garagey alternative-esque songs but also like playing vocal jazz-pop or even jazzy showtune stuff (think: "Whatever Lola Wants" "Beyond the Sea" "More I Cannot Wish You" "La Vie En Rose" I am dying to play that on electric with that tremolo). I'd also like to play some 50's/early 60's style R&B/Rock n' Roll ala Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Early Stones (pretty much playing Chuck Berry) and old/alt-country. I'm not looking to nail anything tone-wise just make a pleasant noise. Am I getting to far ahead of myself pining for what is essentially an aesthetically different yet pleasing and anecdotally "good" sounding amp?

    I'm sorry for having such bad forum etiquette, I'm just on a manic music kick lately, am tired of just playing acoustic guitar by myself when nobody's home.
     
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  7. evilizac

    evilizac TDPRI Member

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    Opinions, would an "excellent" condition excelsior pro at $325 be considered a fair deal?
    When I first started gas-ing for one it was local and a guy was selling it for $250, missed out by a day or two, then there was one for sale through guitar center online for $200, missed out by a day. Is it worth waiting (I'm more anxious for an amp than in need) for another to hopefully pop up at a lower price, or is $325 a worthwhile value?

    I am just the king of subjective questions. . .
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  8. dragonfly66

    dragonfly66 Friend of Leo's

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    The Pro is $399 new, but they aren't being carried anymore at big retailers. $325 is about 18% which would be good deal if you were getting that discount from a store where you could return it if you don't like it or if it breaks. I'd try to get to $300 or lower if you can. It's worth asking.

    The question is, do you want to the amp right now? No need to feel bad about getting something that is practically new for 18% off the new price.
     
  9. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love mine, but the feature set could be kind of limiting to a new-ish guitarist. I use mine for swampy, growly, mildly dirty blues and slide tones, though I can conjure facsimiles of a few other things if I need/want to. I hate to seem like I'm trying to talk someone out of getting an Exy, but maybe a mid-power modeler would help you find 'your tone', which could help you better choose your amp...
     
  10. hoiguy79

    hoiguy79 TDPRI Member

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    What about the Celestion G15V-100 Fullback? http://celestion.com/product/153/g15v_100_fullback/
     
  11. Unadan

    Unadan Tele-Holic

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    ZOMBIE THREAD!!!!
     
  12. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    whoops
     
  13. hamfists

    hamfists Tele-Meister

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    Hi, can anyone give sound advice on speakers for the excelsior. I'm looking of a new speaker but i just want better quality not more volume. I've narrowed it down to the celestion fullback (which would make it louder) or the jensen P15n. I play mostly white stripes and black keys stuff with this amp but I'm not sure which would be better suited to me.
     
  14. hamfists

    hamfists Tele-Meister

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    Hi guys, I'm thinking of doing the sag resistor bypass but just want to make sure I understand it properly. I'm thinking I just put a jumper cable to each leg of the resistor(large white ones in the lower chassis. Hope that's right
     
  15. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, literally just bypass the resistor with a piece of wire. A switch would work fine too.
     
  16. hamfists

    hamfists Tele-Meister

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    Ok guys I need some help. My excelsior has stopped working. The light comes on, the tubes glow and there is a hum from the speaker when the amp is turned up but there is no output when the guitar is plugged in. Any help would be appreciated thanks
     
  17. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Troubleshooting:

    1) try a different cable, ideally one that you know works in a different rig.
    2) try a different guitar, just to be sure.
    3) try a different input, just to be sure.
    4) make sure the speaker cord is plugged in...actually, check this first, but if the speaker hums, it's probably good.
    5) try different tubes, one at a time, to see if any of them are bad. Ideally a set of power tubes should be close to matched, but for these purposes, any pair of 6V6GTs should work. Might not sound great, but we're looking for function here, not tone.

    That's probably the end of typical 'user serviceable' things you can check.
     
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  18. hamfists

    hamfists Tele-Meister

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    Ok I think I've figured it out I can only get 1 GT 12ax7 to work in the v1 position but no others not even new tubes any idea why this is the case and what I can do to fix it? Thanks in advance.
     
  19. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  20. evilizac

    evilizac TDPRI Member

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    I love the tone of the excelsior so thanks to all for the insights.
    Only one problem, I hadn't played electric guitar in about a year and went to use the excelsior last week and no tremolo. . .
    No change in tone with knob on or off, no sound of tremolo. Tube all seem fine.
    Any ideas? Whats the usual order for troubleshooting an amp's tremolo?
    Thanks.
     
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