Fender Excelsior Shifts from Clean to Garbled/Distorted and Back...a problem

stormsedge

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 7, 2012
3,487
East Tennessee, USA
The thread title pretty much sums it up...my newly acquired Excelsior occasionally shifts from a nice clean tone to an unusable garbled/distorted mess...then a bit later (if I stay with it) it goes clean again. I had some pre-amp tubes, so I switched them out--no change. I'm thinking about ordering new power tubes. I also tightened all the screws. I really do not want to send it back.



Thoughts?
 

Stevem

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 3, 2014
1,526
NY
Is it just distorted, or is the audio cutting out also?

I would check the connections ( if there slip on ) on the speaker and make sure they are tight and do not rock around easy.

You might try the amp thru another speaker also.
 

stormsedge

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 7, 2012
3,487
East Tennessee, USA
Is it just distorted, or is the audio cutting out also?

It is/was just distorted/garbled. Folks on another site suggested it was tube rattle, which is fairly common for this amp and that I put a tougher(?) tube in V2. It turns out I had a JJ ECC83S--which is billed as a ruggedized tube, so I popped that dude in there and changed the V1 to a JJ ECC83MG to ensure new (maybe better tubes) in both spots.

I ran the amp yesterday for ~1.5 hours with no issues, even setting volume up to 3 o'clock (not in the same room with it ;)) and pushed it with a couple of different overdrives and fuzzes. Bonus--it sounds better, too. The jury is still out and I'll push it some more today while Mrs is on errands, but it looks to me like it may be good to go.
 

Torren61

Strat-O-Master
Dec 28, 2008
538
Humboldt County, CA
You didn't initially say you got it from a Reverb seller. Whenever I buy a used amp, I first test the tubes on my Orange tube tester and then I dab the tube pins with a deoxidizer and work them in and out of the sockets. If the tubes are good and the pins and sockets are clean, that eliminates the tubes from being the culprit if a problem arises.
 


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