Tweed vs. Blackface or Silverface Boutique Replicas

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Unadan, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Unadan

    Unadan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,799
    Location:
    Portland Metro
    I'm curious as to why it seems that there are a boatload of boutique amplifier manufactures that make faithful Fender tweed replicas, Victoria, Cox Amps, Lil Dawg, Clark, etc., etc., even Fender itself. However, when it comes to Blackface or Silverface replicas of, for example, a Vibro Champ, Princeton/Deluxe Reverb, it seems as if there are very few boutique companies turning out faithful reproductions of these classic amps. Any thoughts on why this is the case?

    Even Fender seems to constantly refresh it's Tweed handwired series - why don't they release a handwired DR or Vibro Champ (not counting the Tweed EC model)?

    I'd love to purchase a reasonably priced replica of a Fender Silverface Vibro Champ but am unaware of anyone that actually makes one.
     
  2. VicAjax

    VicAjax Male Supermodel Silver Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    7,368
    Location:
    NYC
    There are plenty of boutique BFPR clones out there, and a few BFDRs as well.

    Of course, the SF Vibro Champs are cheap enough that there's really no need for a bunch of BFVC clones. Allen makes the Chihuahua, though, which is an excellent mix of a PR and a BF Champ, with a "raw" knob that dials in some tweed action. No tremolo, though.
     
  3. Unadan

    Unadan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,799
    Location:
    Portland Metro
    Who makes the best BFPR clone as of now? Allen?
     
  4. atomicmassunit

    atomicmassunit Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,694
    Probably because it takes a lot longer to wire those up. Much more complex than the tweeds.
     
  5. humbuckerbrian

    humbuckerbrian Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    I think some of the reason you really don't see a lot of boutique takes on blackface/silverface era stuff is that by the time you built one you would have to charge more than the "real deal". Silverface Fenders are a pretty good deal at the moment considering they are still handwired and USA made. If you hunt around right now and take your time you can get a great deal on early silverface stuff.

    I think a lot of guys would have a hard time justifying buying a "clone" for the same price as the real thing. Who knows though, with what prices tend to do on vintage items someday that equation may be easier.
     
  6. Muzzy

    Muzzy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,496
    Location:
    Western, MA.
    Also, there are a zillion black and silverface amps out there. Not the case with tweeds.
     
  7. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,335
    Location:
    near Philly
    Allen, Headstrong, Vintage Sound, are a couple that come to mind...
     
  8. Norjef

    Norjef Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,038
    Location:
    Illi-noise - governors making license plates
    Just had early 70s DualShow w/Reverb head recapped. Used (gently) Philips 7581s. Can be found fairly cheaply. Just a flatout sweet, responsive clean and pedal board amp. Total price not much more than a JetCity or Asian Peavey/Marshall. So, don't need a clone if you look.
     
  9. Zounds Perspex

    Zounds Perspex Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,417
    Location:
    Beaumont, TX
    I gotta throw a vote in for the Magic Vibro Prince.
     
  10. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    3,062
    Location:
    Slightly west of Boston
    Yes
     
  11. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,155
    Location:
    Carmel, Indiana
    Part of the reason may be that Tweed was pretty instrumental (pun intended) with the birth of rock n roll from Chuck Berry forward. BF came around about a decade later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  12. wyatt

    wyatt Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,417
    One of the reasons has to do with labor and competitive pricing. Building a BF Fender is a lot more complicated, with more labor hours and a higher risk of making a mistake, compare to Tweeds. It makes it very hard to compete with real SF and even several BF Fenders, many of which sell for less than the cost of the parts it would take form one of us to make a new one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  13. smolder

    smolder Silver Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    10,752
    Location:
    up in the rockies
    Having restored a handful bf or sf fenders in the last couple of years, the labor is the big issue, but it's also about the cost of parts. For one offs, the math doesn't work. Witness the number of fenders being bought cheap and sold as parts on ebay these days. But even accounting for 20-30% off retail by buying wholesale or in volume, the math really doesn't work well. I'm pretty impressed that Allen amps can offer what they do.
     
  14. bluesmann8

    bluesmann8 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    522
    http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/amp-kits-blackface-style

    you may find what you want here. If you can't put it together someone there offered to do it for around 3/4 hundred. A big part of the magic with these amps are the tubes used. Go NOS
     
  15. Unadan

    Unadan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,799
    Location:
    Portland Metro
    Thanks for the detailed replies - this makes more sense to me now.

    I just picked up a near mint early 70's (two prong power cord) silverface Vibro Champ earlier today. Man this thing sounds great! Now if I could only find a footswitch for it...
     
  16. charley

    charley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,263
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Just to throw it out there, Tone King gives you both bf and tweed in the same box. And its a wonderful interpretation of these rwo sounds.
     
  17. bluesmann8

    bluesmann8 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    522
    Yes! I have a Imperial (20 watts). that is really nice for the blackfaced tones and the use of dual output transformers is something i've never seen in any other amp. With the addition of 6V6GT blackplates and preamp tubes, Marks amps are some of the best out there. Their not PTP either. I did notice a plastic input jack like fender does but then , there's one on the badger 18 as well. Like Suhr does strats Tone king does better Blackedfaced tones and tweeds JUST MY OPINION AND EXPERENCE GUYS. iN CASE SOMEONE GOES IN ATTACK MODE AGAIN.;)
     

Share This Page