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    Great News about Bill Machrone (billm)

    Thanks to all my good friends (and yet-to-be friends) on TGP for your prayers and good wishes. You can never have too many people cheering for you or praying for you! Your positive energy lifts my spirits. FYI, I've temporarily closed the new-orders page on billmaudio.com, otherwise I'll never...
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    Who else got the THD 10" blowout speakers?

    I bought four, have used two in Pro Juniors. - Bill
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    Your input needed: Excelsior Tremolo Depth Mod

    I got a suggestion to make it a two-range control, from stock to middling and from where it starts now to pulse-y. I need to try that; it's a good idea. I've got another project that will eat up the next week or so, but I should have time to develop it further after that. Producing it as a mod...
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    Your input needed: Excelsior Tremolo Depth Mod

    I never turned the speed down less than halfway in the the video, but with the extended speed range, it's pretty slow--about 2.5Hz. Nice and pulse-y Slower than stock Excelsior.
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    Your input needed: Excelsior Tremolo Depth Mod

    I'm trying out some ideas for an adjustable depth control for the tremolo on the Excelsior. I put up a quick and dirty YouTube video and would appreciate some feedback from you Exy players (or just people with an opinion. :) ) My "manifesto" for Excelsior mods is that anything in the top...
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    Who Makes a Good 6L6 Tube?

    One of my customers sent me a pair of Black Magic (I think that was the name) Winged C cryogenically treated 6L6s for his Blues Junior that I was converting to octal. They had maybe a tiny bit more brightness than the JJs that I normally use. Other than that, I couldn't tell them apart.
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    Inside Fender's Excelsior

    I finally came up with a tone control that sounds good and is easy to install. Nothing to clip, just two joints to solder. Pulling up on the control bypasses it completely and gives you the amp's raw tone. The brown vintage-style Fender knob works for me; the difference in color isn't as great...
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    Paging Billm

    I'm not that hard to find!
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    Is "low power" setting on an amp harder on tubes?

    It depends on how they do it. A schematic would help. The usual way is to switch to triode mode--connecting the screen grids to the plates. That increases screen current, but makes the tube less efficient overall. I could see it perhaps wearing out the screen grid more quickly, but even that is...
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    tube testing equipment

    I would be much happier with the VT1000 and would probably buy one if it had a USB output and an application for displaying and recording the readings. Blinky lights only go so far.
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    Primer on EL84 to 6v6 conversion wiring?

    6V6s like a bigger coupling capacitor than you find in most EL84 circuits. I use .1uF. Also, bigger,non-shared screen resistors.
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    Blues Junior: Tube location disaster

    Here's what happens when you put the EL84s where the 12AX7s belong, and vice versa: A customer installed my basic mods kit and then reinstalled the tubes... and misremembered where they were supposed to go. The first power supply resistor and the two screen resistors burned before the fuse...
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    60 cycle type hum when amp's master is turned up, what could this be?

    And "buzz" is most likely 120Hz. 60Hz is pretty low, and if it's the actual sine wave getting through it's not buzzy unless it's thoroughly thrashing the speaker. Problems could be a bad diode if it's a solid state power supply, bad ground, bad main filter capacitor. If you have the schematic...
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    Here's an odd one for ya... what speaker for a SF Champ for playing flute?

    I read your original message too quickly and missed that he also played guitar through it. I'd recommend the Eminence 820H. Hemp cone, like the Cannabis Rex, efficient, and nice tone.
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    Here's an odd one for ya... what speaker for a SF Champ for playing flute?

    Can you fit a 10 in there? An Eminence B102 (not BP102) is an excellent choice. Although it's nominally a bass speaker, it has a whizzer cone and extended response, and it's really sweet for acoustic applications. There are some 8-inch full range speakers with whizzer cones too, but I haven't...
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    4x10 Bassman clone down to deluxe volumes?

    I like the idea of a master volume. A ganged-pot post-PI MV would retain the tone and character best. Yep. That's why I came up with a conversion kit. :)
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    Blues Jr into a cab with missing speaker?

    Several years and you're still dithering? Or did you buy a 4/8 ohm OT? :) Fender's answer is printed on the label inside: 8 ohms minimum. When you go off spec in impedance, you lessen the efficiency with which the output tubes can transfer power to the speaker(s). The inefficiency causes the...
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    Blues Jr into a cab with missing speaker?

    From long experience with many Blues Juniors, I can assure you that the amp will drive two 8 ohm speakers in parallel all day and night without problems. It will handle a 16 ohm load without difficulty, too. There are several mods you can do to make the Blues Junior far more flexible and better...
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    4x10 Bassman clone down to deluxe volumes?

    Two thoughts: A tweed Deluxe (5E3) or a modded Blues Junior. Both are 15 watts, both break up easily at tolerable volume. The 5E3 has its idiosyncrasies--the interactive volume controls and the decidedly tweed tone control, plus some extra natural compression from the cathode-biased 6V6s. It...
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    Fender's Vintage Modified '68 Custom Princeton Reverb

    I'll bet one of the output tubes was dead or halfway out of its socket. Push-pull amps running on one tube sound pretty ugly.
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    Variac vs attenuator to lower an amp's volume?

    Do you guys park your cars by ear, too? There's no doubt that out-of-spec voltage shortens heater life and can lead to cathode stripping. Lowering voltage, depending on the circuit, will often lead to increased current, possibly causing early transformer burnout. Line voltage is not a tone control.
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    Headphone Signal Tracer

    Here's my probe: I used a nail as a probe and a .01uF 630V tubular cap. There's a video on how to make one here, and another video of it in use: http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1254
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    Wattage difference between PRRI and PRRI Limited Edition

    And when you test them on the bench with something that can measure THD, they all manage to put out 15 watts at around 10 percent THD.
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    Fender Excelsior Pro Tube Upgrade

    Go with JJ 6V6s. I have a TAD 7025 WA select in my preamp, the stock tube in the PI/tremolo. There was no audible difference in changing V2. The TAD is nice and smooth in V1.
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    Inside Fender's Excelsior

    I've never seen and never played a Greta. It doesn't seem to have grabbed people the way the Excelsior has.




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