'64 Vibroverb

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by JazzyFunkyKool, Nov 28, 2005.


  1. JazzyFunkyKool

    JazzyFunkyKool Member

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    I just got an all original '64 Vibroverb. It's got the original RCA tubes and original Jensen 15" speaker. No footswitch though.

    I have a couple of questions. How much would it be to get some NOS RCA 6l6 GCs? Would it be worth it? If not, what are a good alternative?

    Where can I get a period correct footswitch?

    What is the best way to condition the speaker as the amp seems to have spent considerable time in a hot Houston garage?

    Finally, what's the best way to remove rust from the metal parts (tilt back legs, end protectors, handle ends, etc)

    Any and all advice/help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Vik
     
  2. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I can only answer a few questions.

    The footswitch is available frmo http://www.tubesandmore.com

    The amp is most likely in decent condition, but the paper filter caps may need replacing. If the amp has been sitting for a long time the tubes may be fine but the speaker may not be. The voice coils on these speakers dry up and seperate. You may want to go for a recone to restore the old tone.
     
  3. sdgvintage

    sdgvintage Member

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    definately should see a tech to replace all the electrolytic caps in it and put a 3 prong cord on.
    Probably could use the pots cleaned too.

    As far as the rust on the legs and metal parts, i am not sure I would change those out. Gives it a little character. I am sure tubes and more has those if you did want to replace them.
     
  4. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    There are lots of period friendly sellers of Fender type footswitchs on eBay too. Search for Fender footswitch
     
  5. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    I had a '64 Vibroverb for a long time. A friend now owns it (until I get it back eventually :) ) along with two others.

    As others mentioned, get a cap job and a 3-prong cord. You are better off putting the original speaker on a shelf and dropping something else in there to play. Don't recone it or take a chance on blowing it. Just use some steel wool and polish on the chrome parts.

    RCA blackplates sound great in BF Fenders. They are pricey. You can pay the going rate from a dealer or take a chance on an ebay set that may or may not sound good. I don't mind spending the money on a good set as I always have an amp that can use them. Just keep the tubes if you sell the amp.
     
  6. JazzyFunkyKool

    JazzyFunkyKool Member

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    are there any specific caps to go with? my local tech seems to favor sprague...
     
  7. Slick51

    Slick51 Colonel Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Sprague Atoms are my choice for the electrolytics; filter caps as well as cathode bypass.

    Slick51
     
  8. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's my take on it:

    You own an amp that you could easily get $2500 for, maybe more if it's truly all original. In that case, it makes sense to get it sounding the best it can. To do that you definitely need decent tubes, and for that amp to sound its best, that'd be blackplate RCAs. $280 for power tubes and $60-90 for preamps, retail. Might be able to find a bro price if you look around.

    As for the caps, get a tech to check them out, they may or may not to be replaced but should be checked. If you do replace them, you'll almost certainly increase the "thump" and clean headroom of the amp, but may lose some compression and breakup.

    That's a killer clean amp!
     
  9. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    Here's my '64. Note the grill cloth; wrong year, wrond direction ... I need to get on that one of these days.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. v-verb

    v-verb Member

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    Looks like my old one - I' sold it at Capsule music a year or 2 back...
     
  11. JazzyFunkyKool

    JazzyFunkyKool Member

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    This is exactly my predicament. Yes, the amp is 100% original sans footswitch and two rear panels...so i guess that really makes it 85-90%. But those things aren't "tone factors" per se.

    i've already decided to go with backplates as the tubes...and honestly, my intention was to immediately turn the amp to sell when i got it. I'm more a marshall guy anyways and am a working musician, so I would never bring something this rare on the road. However, just playing it with the the one RCA 6l6 in the amp (at a presumably 20 or so watts) sounded great...so, i'll probably end up keeping it, at least for a while. It'll never go on tour with me, but at least I know i have a somewhat desirable amp.

    point being, too many guys here in Austin, being that SRV is our patron saint, seem to know a lot about how to make the amp sound great, but the real question is how to make the amp sound great whilst retaining its collectability and originality.

    Which, in why in my earier post, I specifically asked about cleaning rust rather than getting repro pieces as well as finding a period correct (real 60's) footswitch as opposed to getting a repro.

    all of yall's comments have been tremendously insightful and i really am extremely appreciative for all of your expertise.

    the only one here in town to ever work on any one of my amps is Bill Webb at Austin Vintage, but he's so backed up and given that this seems to be such a niche amp, I really don't want to do it injustice in terms of time spent doing the work it needs.

    Thank all ya'll again.

    --Vik
    www.velvetbrick.com
     
  12. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    I know where you can buy matched pairs of BP RCAs that test new but with very light use from a very reputable dealer for $139 a pair. I already have some on the way. He has NOS GE's for $125 matched too. I think the NOS BP RCA's are around $250 as already stated but the light use pairs are a very good deal.

    Email me if you're interested. I'll send you the link. He's a great dealer to work with much as Mike at KCA. Top Notch.
     
  13. stekks

    stekks Member

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    You're running it on one tube? :eek: DONT DO THAT!!!! You might blow the OT!!
     
  14. tonemandan

    tonemandan Member

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    Nice find! Hopefully you got it at a good price. Vibroverbs have become so expensive because of the SRV factor!

    If you want to keep it as a collectors piece or investment I wouldn't do anything to it except retube it ( and hold onto the original tubes ). If you want to PLAY it I would seriously have it gone through and replace the caps and check out the circuit. I would replace the speaker with a new one and hold onto the original in case you ever want to sell it. It will devalue the amp to recone it unfortunately. I don't find that replacing the tubes detracts from the value of the amp at all. Replacing the caps probably does in an otherwise pristine untouched amp but not by very much. It shouldn't affect it at all but collectors are collectors and they would rather have something completely original than an amp that sounds good. Personally I set my amps up for playing and keep the original stuff that comes out of it ( speaker, caps, reverb tank if it needs to be replaced, whatever ).

    George Alessandro serviced all my blackface Fenders and he is terrific although I'm sure there are a lot of guys out there that can do it.

    Enjoy!

    Dan
     
  15. sdgvintage

    sdgvintage Member

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    Good advice.
    What I like to tell my customers is, if you are buying an amp to just look at, buy an original, but if you are buying an amp to use and take out on the road, buy a clone.
     

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