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I picked up an Excalibur a year or so ago on eBay. It was in a bit rough condition. The push-pull knob that controls the noise gate wasn’t working. That was too bad I thought because I had read the noise gate being engaged was part of what made it sound more metal. I opened it up and found that a resistor had come desoldered. Soldered it back on and everything worked!

It has the heaviest tone of anything I’ve tried and is the closest thing I’ve heard to the Demanufacture tone. It loves downtuned guitars. I used an ESP with EMGs tuned to B. Sounds great!   Sounds killer

I never had any luck running a preamp into an amp. The line level signals were too much going in (I guess) Is the Elan a line level out?

It sounds like it matched up pretty good. Is the Marshall stock? I know you have some killer modded Marshalls.

Thats a killer combo, I guess I’m trying to figure out why. I’ve tried it with some different preamps/amps over the years with no success.

Just thinking out loud, any info would be appreciated

What it doesn’t like is an E standard guitar with mid-gain pickups, especially if you roll the volume knob on the guitar back.

Nope. And yuck. The Excalibur is pure metal. Put a guitar with high output pickups through it, tuned low, with the volume knob at max.

One thing is weird about it. It is extremely picky about tubes! I’ve never encountered anything like this. There are certain tube positions where swapping the preamp tube for another brand will cause one channel’s gain to change dramatically. In some cases in a very bad way. I did some tube rolling and settled on a combination that works well. But I could see how somebody would think this thing sounds awful just because of the tubes used, or because of one of the tubes in one of the positions.

It’s a unique preamp though. If you want metal it’s quite impressive with the right tubes and paired up with the right guitar.

I almost had one that was up on ebay 2 years ago…it was a JMP 50, late 70s that had an ‘unknown’ mod to it..guy wanted 850 shipped. It had that signature “urinal cake” inside the chassis….had the cash the next day but it was gone…

I have 2 Metalhead Marshalls and they’re awesome! They definitely bring something different to the table.

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This is what I know about Metal Head Electronics , it was Elan and His brother,

Initially back in late 2007 M@rk C@meron and I had been discussing a Fender twin head that he had been trying a new circuit out with. He was saying that it sounded killer and was similar to an ELAN mod. At that time I had no idea what that was, but after checking the amp out and playing it at his place I decided that’s the mod I wanted in my Marshall that he was going to mod. He had explained Elan and his brother owned metalhead electronics, and that he knew him and was going to work with him but then they went out of business. I attached a bad old cell phone picture of the fender twin that had this circuit in it, it was the best cameron mod I ever played to date. The high gain channel had 3 preamp gain controls just like this preamp does and they all sort of dialed in the gain voicing a little differently. Sadly, I never got the mod after waiting for almost 5 years but was able to at least get my amp back thanks to a friend, I did lose the money I gave for the mod though…

I know that Elan worked for yamaha as an engineer at some point and was doing marshall mods and made a few preamps of his own in the early 90’s , and then designed some stuff for german company excalibur and another company where he made a power amp for, i think it was called axis or something? I think that deal went sour and he moved to florida and is out of the game for many years, which I think is a shame.

This preamp is very ahead of it’s time for sure, killer clean channel, over the top hi gain channel with 3 preamp gain controls, DC heaters, built in noise gate, tube buffered fx loop , channel switching( clean, crunch, lead) blend channel feature and so on…

Ever since I heard that amp at C@merons place, I wanted this tone, and finally after many years i’m glad I have it!

Oh and I know Dino from FF used his Marshall mods which is supposed to be just like this preamp or very close, rare to find preamp and mods if you find one grab it ! pretty cool piece of history and killer sounding

Man, that sounds cool! Dino’s tone on Obsolete is my all-time favorite rhythm guitar sound and I can hear it there. Gotta find one of those now!

Very cool.

I take it that this is some old rare thing that is impossible to find?

thanks guys, this thing is so cool , was just playing it for about 2 hours, really unique sound a feel….
Dude that was a whole bag of thrashy goodness. Thanks for posting it. I dug it. HNAD!

That sounded AWESOME!!

The tone reminded me of this demo of a fortin modded marshall

killer sounding preamp man, i don’t suppose there are many of those around.

Got this in today and man I have to say I really love it ! A ton of different tones and features in this box, talk about ahead of his time , Elan is / was the man, great great great sounding preamp! DINO fear factory tones galore , plus killer cleans and crunch tones, you can blend the two channels if you want to which is pretty interesting, the fx loop and switching works killer to….

Elan from Metalhead Electronics is doing a comeback and reissue with the original cirquit and many improvements soon MK III is next 🙂
Reply • 1
dawnofadreamx97 7 months ago
Thanks! its really cool , very THICK! the schematic at slo clone is very close, there were a few things that were different…. the gate components are gooped into a little chip / receiver , its nearly impossible to get to it, and im afraid of breaking it… Cheers man! you should be able to get REA::Y close doing the mod to a marshall and just put a good gate like an isp decimator g string in front / loop ….
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jezuz12345 6 months ago
Killer tones, thanks for uploading!
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WillelmMacguyver 7 months ago
Hey man, this is the only video I’ve seen of anything by Elan anywhere, so thank you so much for posting this! This sound of this preamp is incredible, its too bad their so rare. So how are you liking this thing? If you’d be interested in helping a whole bunch of us amp builders/tweakers out, perhaps you could stop by the sloclone forum and help fill in some of the blanks of information we have on this thing? We have a whole bunch of info on it thus far (as in a schematic of the audio paths) but the one thing that is eluding us is the most is the noise gate circuit, which is absolutely essential to keeping this circuit under control.
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vinniedavega 1 week ago
OMFG!!! AWESOME NEWS 🙂 Thanks for the link Remmie. A long time coming! That looks to be the badass Excalibur preamp, but built into a head – NICE!
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WillelmMacguyver 1 week ago
+Remmie Ran Well, that’s certainly one way to go about getting things going. I love the look of the MKIII head btw; it’s similar to a concept I’ve been thinking of to have an amp that could either be placed in a conventional (wooden) head shell or used alone in a rackmount. Best of luck Remmie with the kickstarter idea and I’ll be around if you guys need anything….
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