Best BF Vibrolux Clone. Allen, Gries, Blankenship, ??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 10strings, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    Looking for that BF Vibrolux tone but maybe a very slight modern twist to sit slightly more forward in the mix without loosing that Vibrolux bell-ring and chime. What should I go for?
    Although not a Vibrolux, I love this tone....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7uvQlONNNM&list=UU1buMhMltS1aydO8yzoqSVw&index=20&feature=plcp

    and I love this sound a modern custom vibrolux, but the guy in this video said he sold his because it was the most hissy amp he's ever owned.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36sCk3DlxFw

    Not sure I want to pay the price or deal with the maintenance of a BF or BF'ed SF Vibrolux. Looking for something new but quality.
     
  2. Zounds Perspex

    Zounds Perspex Supporting Member

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    Vintage Sound Amps Vintage 35. Get channel 1 re-voiced for mild high gain/compression. Boom.
     
  3. kelvinator60

    kelvinator60 Member

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    I used to own a blackface Vibrolux. I now have an Allen Encore. I like it a lot!
     
  4. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I am giggin' with a CVR. I absolutely LOVE the sound of this amp. It is one of the best sounding Fenders I've ever played IMHO and I've owned almost 20 Fender amps in my 25 years of playing. Yeah it hisses, but once the amp is in a band setting you can't hear it... in fact, you can't hear it in a bar without the band playing as the standard bar sounds drown out anything the amp produces. There are mods that can tame the hiss too, but I hear that some of the mods kill the vibe of the amp. I am going to do one mod now, and that is removing the reverb from both channels. I've read this causes more than half the hiss. The other mod is adding a NFB loop to the circuit. I only paid $550 for mine and think it's a steal.
     
  5. JStotes

    JStotes Member

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    The Fromel mods for the CVR turn a good amp into a really good amp. No more hiss and much better tone. And the mod is not very expensive.
     
  6. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    :facepalm
     
  7. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    Why the face? I see so many Vibrolux's with replaced this and that, bad power, caps, resistors, speakers, and with many of the being upwards of $2500 that would probably need maintenance I don't know if I am up for that.

    I didn't know that!! It has an effects loop right? I'd never use the reverb and if taking the reverb unit out removed half the hiss I think it would be one of the most cost effective routes to go. I need to look into this. I'd like some details about removing the reverb unit.


    I am going to have to talk with Fromel and see if this removes any of the character of the Vibrolux as mentioned in an earlier post.
     
  8. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    If you can't find a good silverface VR for $1300 or less, I'd be very surprised. And if you take it to a good tech when you get it and have them do a thorough once-over, you'll more than likely not have it back with your tech for years.

    I've gigged vintage Fenders heavily for years. They are my most reliable amps. Sure the tubes burn out sometimes, but that's the case for ALL tube amps.

    I'll NEVER understand the stigma attached to these for some reason. Never ever.

    Old Fenders may not be perfect for everyone's needs, so maybe there's room to disagree there, but reliability has never really been a weak point.
     
  9. 10strings

    10strings Member

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    Thanks man. :) I am currently on the prowl for a SF Vib. :)
     
  10. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    Sweet! I don't think you'll regret that. I got one a while back and have been gigging with it a ton. Threw in a Celestion 10" Gold and a 10" Greenback and that thing just rips. If you search around here, you'll find that there's a whole lotta love for those.

    The other upside I almost forgot to mention is that if you buy a vintage Fender now, it won't decline in value like a boutique amp will. If anything, should you decide to sell it down the road, you'll probably end up making a profit. Which effectively means that the amp is renting you as its player for that period of time that it's in your possession, not the other way around. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
     
  11. fred_

    fred_ Supporting Member

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    I can't attest to the reliability stuff, as i mostly play at home, but, man, my '81 Vibrolux, which supposedly David Allen blackfaced, sounds just ablsolutely flat out amazing. Chime chime chime. I made a head cabinet for it and play through 2 12 inch speakers. Just did not like the 10 inch speakers i had tried (Tone tubbys, Weber Cali 10's -though i LOVE the Weber 12's with the H-screen dome cap- and Jensen mod 10's).

    I almost sold it awhile back, until a guy recommended gettin' different speakers, and I am glad i took his advice.

    I heartily agree with Kitten Cannon: get one and use it. Just really really nice put-your-head-down-playin'-and-get-lost-in-it-tone.
     
  12. kelvinator60

    kelvinator60 Member

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    I never had a reliability issue with my old Vibrolux but I like the 12'' in the Encore (I asked for this), I like the bias vary tremolo better in the Allen, I like the flexiblity of the Raw knob and the master volume. I also can bias on the fly with the bias ports on the back. Just a great amp. Wish I could have kept the blackface AND the Allen. Maybe I will pick up another one day but happy enough with the Allen to not need to.
     
  13. B Bent

    B Bent Supporting Member

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    This is so true. I have had my 75" Vibrolux Reverb since 2006. I brought it in at that time and had it gone over by my tech and it has operated flawlessly for years now. It's my old faithful amp. Old Fenders are built like brick crappers!!
     
  14. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    No... not an effects loop, but a negative feedback loop which is part of the layout/circuit design. The reverb is shared across both the normal channel and the bright channel. This design is not normal for Fender. When I say "remove the reverb" from the normal channel, you're not actually removing the tank from the amp... you're removing the shared reverb sound across the two channels, which is a source of the hiss. You'll end up with a channel that has no reverb and one that does have reverb. I'm having this mod done by a tech next week and it is part of the Moyer mods. The Fromel mods include the Moyer mods and then some addtional ones as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  15. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    With all due respect,that's easy for you to say. Trying to find a good amp tech in my neck of the woods is akin to trying to find Bigfoot.
     

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