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Concordant Excelsior - who knows about history of this pre?

Discussion in 'classic' started by _webwasher, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    This great sounding pre came to me by accident but I really like the look and feel as the sound. Especially phono stage produces a warm but powerful sound, huge stage and fun.

    My version seems to be a later one: two bridge rectifier for the two output voltages of the external power supply. It includes one tube in high voltage circuit. Two blue Phillips caps for heater circuit, one “bare metal, naked” cap for high voltage output.

    This Pre is fully equipped with ECC83 tubes. Again a huge “naked” cap, don’t know what for. A Bypass switch connects the volume pot to phono tube preamp output or fixed value resistors or channel separated Alps pots to adjust line level. Volume pot is a blue Alps, too.

    Neatly build, maybe worth to change the RCA jacks and selector switches as they produce some cracking noises. The “naked” cap in the ps is leaking.

    Found some threads here but not about this later version. It seems to be a quite rare piece of British Hifi.
    Does anybody here know more about this Excelsior? Thanks for reading and your feedback!
     
  2. lordmortlock

    lordmortlock pfm Member

    I had one once, two box affair with a blue facia ... It had done the rounds a bit on hifi wigwam iirc. Maybe post up a picture of your unit?

    I agree with your description of the sound but there was a slight courseness that I couldn’t quite get rid of (tried several different valves brands) or live with long term.
     
  3. lordmortlock

    lordmortlock pfm Member

    Here’s a pics of mine when I sold it

    [​IMG]
     
    _webwasher likes this.
  4. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    I still have (and am now using) a clone I made of an early version. It had (has) a solid state psu, and ECC 85s in the phono stage.
    I went to see Doug Dunlop to listen to one, but managed to borrow one from the Music Room in Manchester and copy it. Around 1990, IIRC.
    This is my version, as standard.
    [​IMG]
    And the later version, which had the valve regulation psu.
    [​IMG]
    I am using a bastardised version, back with ECC85s.
     
    eastone and _webwasher like this.
  5. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    That’s really interesting feedback, very appreciated. There seem to be a lot of variation during the production time of this pre...
     
  6. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    But why are the main caps in ps and pre without isolation? To hide the brand or values? As said one is leaking and would be great to replace it...sooner or later :)
     
  7. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Only thing that occurs to me is they may be very old NOS. Back in the 50's and early 60's it was normal. If so then the brand and value would be "engraved" or "etched" on them.
     
  8. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    It seems Doug hardly made two the same!
     
  9. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    I read recently that changing the make of cap in the psu made more difference than changing valves. I will see if I can find that.
    Some pics of the internals would be useful; I am still modifying mine.
     
  10. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

  11. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    Thanks for the link, this Doug seems to be quite special :) guys like this are one of the reason why I love British Hifi.
    Changing caps is critical in my experience. Better to stay with the current ones if you like the sound, even if they are leaking. Will never be the same sound with new ones and the chances to mess it up are quite high.
     
  12. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    _webwasher likes this.
  13. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    Good stuff, thx! LCR are obsolete and nos hardly available. Bad news - next time the boxes are open I’ll measure and test the caps. Hopefully they behave well :)

    Does anybody know how many Concordant were build over the years?
     
  14. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Hifi Collective have some 50+50 uF LCRs, it seems. Maybe doubling them up would work?
    And here are some pics of PSUs. The first one is the original version of mine. But I went all solid state to get it going, with two heater regulators so I can change valves, ECC85 or ECC83, in the phono stage.
    [​IMG]
    And a friend's later PSU. Is the cathode connection on pin 3 correct?
    [​IMG]
     
    _webwasher likes this.
  15. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    The last picture posted looks very similar to the PS of my Concordant - but it´s equipped with E180CC tube in the high voltage part.
     
  16. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    That is an alternative to the ECC81, with slightly lower gain, and slightly higher heater current, according to my reading.
    And I have realised that the cathode connection on my friend's psu is correct, while the connection from pin 2 to pin 6 on mine is missing on that photo. It IS there, but in faint pencil. I am actually using an even earlier SS psu version!
     
    _webwasher likes this.
  17. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    Any advantage using the ecc81 or e180cc in ps? Same with ecc83 or ecc85 in phono stage/preamp - confusing as we are talking about a Concordant :)
     
  18. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    No idea if the 81s make a difference. And I went back to ECC85s because I had some good ones, but no good ECC83s. And the HT transformer I had is lower voltage than ideal, so I had to bodge it a bit!
    And this is the SS psu I had originally, I think it might even be pre Excelsior! But it was 30 years ago, and I have trouble remembering last week! I have used a separate 12V trafo for the heaters, so I can run 12.6 or 6.3 volt heaters.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Leaking caps need changing!. Cap choice is in fact not at all critical.
    You can't just change valves willy nilly... use the ones it was designed for. If you need ECC81's I have NOS Mullard Mil spec ones for sale.
     
  20. _webwasher

    _webwasher pfm Member

    So what available brand comes close soundwise to the leaking lcr caps in the high voltage supply? As said I’m not sure if they are lcr as they are not branded and the isolation cover seems to be peeled off....why ever this was done.
     

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