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Old 03-27-2013, 07:03 AM   #1
radarlover
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Excelsior biasing

I ordered a Fender Excelsior for a portable tube amp and have already ordered replacement tubes too. It was so easy to do on my ac30 that I forgot if the excelsior is self biasing or not. If not what does it entail and is it hard to do for someone who does electrical work or do I need specialized tools?
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:08 AM   #2
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Pretty sure 2x6V6 at 13W is gonna be self biasing
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
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^ yeah i'm pretty sure it's cathode-biased. email fender to ask, i suppose. there's a schematic floating about online, too.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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well the amp showed today but not the replacement tubes. I am missing one 12ax7 so I will either use the stock one along with a replacement or use one of my stock ac30 tubes.
my first impression of it is its a good bang for the buck basic tube amp. some tones sound really mean and some miss the mark imo but to be honest I did not play it long. yes I did hear some tube rattle but for some reason it went away, maybe because it got warm? I do dig the tremolo, its very nice and easy to adjust. I would love to put something like an old Jensen 15" speaker in it but the ones I like are pretty spendy. I do like how it digs down to a really low growl. to me it got pretty loud before real noticeable crunch sets in. I will take some pedals out to it either tonight or tomorrow and try it again for a while and see what I see.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radarlover
I would love to put something like an old Jensen 15" speaker in it but the ones I like are pretty spendy


weber has a number of designs around the 100 to 150 range based on jenson 15" designs. here is two, they have like 10

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/15a150.htm

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/15a150a.htm
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbilicious
weber has a number of designs around the 100 to 150 range based on jenson 15" designs. here is two, they have like 10

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/15a150.htm

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/15a150a.htm


Awesome! thanks so much for the links! the Jensen I like is the D130F, sounds like the weber vintage Chicago is the one I am looking for or is there another one that resembles the d130f more closely?
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
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It's cathode biased. Just plug and play.
Here's the schematic.
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B94...Ydlk/edit?pli=1

May be a wise idea to save that, it could disappear from there at any time.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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cool, I will!
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radarlover
yes I did hear some tube rattle but for some reason it went away, maybe because it got warm? .


I've found that it comes and goes with mine. However if I have it on for a long time (>30m), the rattle disappears (stock tubes). Plus, you can only really ever hear it when you hit a "D" note hard.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:36 PM   #10
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Tubes shouldn't rattle. If they do that's not a good thing. Either it's dead, about to die or they are crap manufacture.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radarlover
Awesome! thanks so much for the links! the Jensen I like is the D130F, sounds like the weber vintage Chicago is the one I am looking for or is there another one that resembles the d130f more closely?


best bet would be to email weber

if you don't need tons of volume from the speaker, weber does a couple of cheaper 15" alnicos with small magnets- might be worth considering (but again email weber to check they'd be suitable). EDIT: they're the chicago series 15A100A and 15A125A and the vintage series 15A100 and 15A125. those two series may well be pretty similar, I have no idea, certainly the model code is almost identical... As i said, though, I haven't tried any webers and I don't know anything about vintage jensens, so whether they're suitable, I dunno. But it'd be worth an email, at least...

and yeah the rattle seems to be a luck thing. sometimes it's the tubes, sometimes it's not.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc : 03-29-2013 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:46 PM   #12
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ok first negative to report.....the power tubes are surrounded by a little sheet metal cage that is secured with 3 wood screws into the mdf or particle board the amp housing is made of. well 2 of the 3 would just spin while the other one came out ok. I had to pry one of the screws while rotating it to get it out. the last one would not budge so I just bent the housing out of the way and replaced the 2 6V6 tubes. I then bent the housing back into position and put the screws back. I have not received the preamp tubes but they are easy to get to with shield sleeves on them. So the housing is definitely cheap but for 255 bucks what could I expect?

The tube change did definitely get rid of the rattle I heard before and it changed the tone for the better. I would love to put a Jensen d130f in there but that would cost almost as much as the amp itself. This dude is just the ticket for a nice little portable blues amp. I still have not tried any pedals as its at another house. I will keep it and eventually do a speaker swap because I hear there is tone and volume left on the table with the stock 15. anyway it might have been a pain in the azz to change the power tubes but the genalex golden lion 6V6 tubes are really nice, noticeably better than stock.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:19 AM   #13
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You're talking about wood screws, yes? Or is it a bolt? If it's a screw could you possibly grab hold of the head of the screw with a pair of pointy nose vice grips so you can pull as you turn? They've got me out of a lot of trouble in the past. Replace with a slightly larger screw if you manage to get them out.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:38 AM   #14
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yes they were wood screws. I just put them back in, I doubt that I will change the tubes again anytime soon but when I do it next time I will change out the screws. I just realized I have been calling the speaker I heard a Jensen when it appears it is a JBL. ewps.....
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:16 AM   #15
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yeah the stock speaker is pretty low effficiency- which is great if you're playing at home and want to get overdrive out of it at not-totally-deafening levels, but if you were playing live and wanted more headroom, as you said, you can get a fair bit more mileage out of it with a louder speaker. I tried mine (when i still had it) with a 12 inch eminence legend 1258 which i had in another cabinet and it was a lot louder (though i also thought it lost a little of the quirky charm which the stock speaker had- the eminence was a better speaker for sure, but maybe didn't suit the amp as well). You could sorta crank the amp in a home situation (if you didn't share walls with neighbours) with the stock speaker, whereas there just wasn't a chance of doing that with the eminence legend.

i also thought it took pedals pretty well.

no worries about getting the speaker wrong, either. I could be wrong but I would guess weber does a jbl copy or two as well. How cheap it'd be, though, i dunno. certainly those small magnet ones i mentioned are the cheapest (alnico) option by some margin. Of course, you're not saving anything if they aren't suitable for the type of tone you're after, lol.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #16
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yeah after looking around and listening to different speakers and cabs I settled on the Weber California 15 ceramic with the paper cone which lends itself well to what I want to get out of the amp. I did find out the 100 dollar more pro has an eminence speaker, I just thought it was 100 bucks for colored tolex lol. anyway I got the 12ax7 tubes in today and will install them later. I will have to almost totally break the amp down to get the speaker changed out but I am thinking it is gonna be well worth it in the end. If not I guess I can put it back stock and I will have a kick azz speaker to make a 1x15 cab with.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #17
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yeah it's a pain you have to take the chassis out to swap the speaker.

and yeah those coloured ones have the eminence legend 15" speaker, but then the colours (IMO) look horrible i'd rather have the brown one (which looks cool, imo) and swap the speaker myself
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