1965 Vibrolux

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by hucklebee, Jun 23, 2006.


  1. hucklebee

    hucklebee Member

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    Guys:

    I have an opportunity to buy a 100% untouched '65 Vibrolux for a pretty decent price ($2600). I am interested mainly in tone, not so much collectability.

    I have read pretty great things on this site about the mid-60's vibrolux. Some have said "quintessential club amp".

    What makes them so great? I imagine, I wouldn't want to mod it at all... except maybe a grounded plug? Are there other amps out there that get me that Fender tone without the price tag driven by collectability/rarity?

    Or should I just bite the bullet and jump in to Fenderland?

    Jeff
     
  2. Fretts

    Fretts Member

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    That is a really nice amp. they are loved because it is more or less a chopped-down Super Reverb - two 10s instead of four. They don't weigh much, easy to carry. It's a compact, great-sounding 40-watt club amp with two speakers. One speaker is always too beam-y, it kills whoever is straight in line with it, but sounds dull off-center; two speakers spreads nicely. They look great, there's something about the proportions and the shape.
    I had a 65 for a couple of years. When I sold it, the guy walked in, tilted it back to see the tubes and the speakers, and handed me a big wad of cash. Never plugged it in. I said, don't you at least want to hear it? He said, no, I know what these are, it looks good, and I have a gig an hour up the road that I have to get to. And off he went. If you can get a really clean one of those, get it. If you change your mind, you can flip it in a heartbeat, and you should own at least one in your lifetime.
     
    mrfett likes this.
  3. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Great amps, more amp than you might need for some club gigs, great resale potential.

    You should consider having a cap job done at the very minimum.
     
  4. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    Now that is classic! :)
     
  5. opus

    opus Member

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    i had the pleasure of gigging with a 67 for a year...

    unfortunately i had to give it back to it's rightful owner who would take no amount of cash for it (I would've done the same thing). :eek: this amp sounds spectacular with every guitar i ever plugged into it.

    bottom line: if you've got the cash, buy it (while i sit and wait for mine to come around) :rolleyes:

    EDIT: I was referring to a reverb model (don't think they made them with out it in 67)
     
  6. nek

    nek Member

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    Are we talking about a Vibrolux or a Vibrolux Reverb? Don't spend that kind of money if it doesn't have reverb. Look for Jensen C10N speakers. They usually come with C10Q or Oxford 10L5. The C10N speakers would almost justify the high price.
     
  7. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a great 64 VR but it is too much for many/most clubs, I rarely need 40 watts for a club/restaurant gig, so the VR sits home alot while my 15-25 watters get more gig time.

    GREAT amp, though.
     
  8. Lance Long

    Lance Long Member

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    The blackface Vibrolux Reverb is one of Fender's most versatile and collectable amplifiers. These amplifiers hold their value very well so resale should not be a problem if you decide that you don't like the amp. I do not like the non-reverb Vibrolux nearly as much, and it should not command the price that you were quoted. I hope this information is helpful.
     
  9. hucklebee

    hucklebee Member

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    Guys:

    Thanks for all the insight and stories. The tonequest article was especially helpful. I'm gonna go for it. Even though it my be a little much for some bars, an attenuator can fix that problem, correct?

    Jeff
     
  10. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    I have a 66 Vibrolux reverb terrific sound especially the clean with a 12" speaker. Not modded in anyway as I took the original baffle board and Jensen speakers and put them away safe and sound. If you like pedals this is a terrific amp all around and of course with pedals you really don't need an attenuator.
     
  11. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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  12. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    man, now i want one after reading this thread!
     
  13. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    I own two Vibrolux Reverbs - a '65 and a '67. I picked up the '65 at a yard sale for around $450 about 5 or 6 years ago. It had the wrong knobs, was missing some metal corners and had a few other funky things going on with it. But these were easily remedied as part of a full cosmetic and electronic restoration project. It now looks and sounds fantastic and is fitted with WeberVST 10F150 speakers. I bought the '67 for about $650, but that was around 12 years ago, back when this was the going price for these amps (those were the days!). I love them both and plan to keep them forever. I agree that VR's are perfect for small to medium size club gigs.

    Some people think of VR's as being like Super Reverbs except with two 10-inch speakers instead of four (and no MIDDLE control on the reverb channel). But that's not really accurate. The VR's power and output transformers are significantly smaller compared to those on the SR, and the plate voltages on the tubes are quite a bit lower. Even though Fender rates the blackface VR output at 35 watts, I have a feeling it's probably more like 25-30 watts, depending upon what output tubes you use. Actually, VR's are not that much louder than Deluxe Reverbs, but they seem to have more headroom and don't get lost in the band mix like DR's. Probably the 6L6 tubes (compared with 6V6's in the DR) help in this regard, along with the wider sound dispersion you get with two speakers.

    The lack of a MIDDLE control can be easily solved by a quick and reversible mod. You simply replace the extension speaker jack with a 10K or 25K pot and wire it to replace the stock 6.8K midrange resistor soldered to the back of the reverb channel's BASS pot. Yes, it's a little bit inconvenient having the MIDDLE control on the back of the amp, but it preserves the cosmetics of the front panel. Nobody but you will even know it's there.

    If I were in the market today for a VR type amp, I would probably take a close look at buying a new Allen Old Flame or an Accomplice with the larger transformer set. The vintage Fenders, even the early silverface ones, are going for too much money these days. It's too bad, because these classic workhorse amps are now out of reach for most guitarists, and the reissues just don't compare.
     
  14. 6stringer

    6stringer Member

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    What is Fair Market Price for a 1964 Vibrolux (no reverb) with 1X12 speaker. All original, CAPs were replaced by a pro amp tech.
     

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