BF vibrolux reverb tone observations with ES-335

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by rhollyday, Jan 31, 2008.


  1. rhollyday

    rhollyday Member

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    Yesterday I went out to Long Island to pickup a very nice es-335 guitar I purchased from www.verycoolguitars.com. The owner let me plug into his personal 60's BF vibrolux reverb. (Not sure what year it was?)

    I have to say I got religion! That combination of the ES-335 Historic with Tom Holmes pickus into this vibrolux amp was just breathtaking, especially the edge of breakup and overdriven tones.

    Now I have owned a Tone King Meteor II as well as a Carr Rambler. Both of these amps have more flexability than the vibrolux reverb in terms of tayloring and shaping the tone. But neither of these newer amps could touch the overall sweatness and complexity in tone, especially the edge of breakup and overdriven sounds I was able to get out of the vibrolux.

    I am sure that one advantage the vibrolux reverb has is the overall adging process of 40 + plus years which contributes to its very sweet tone. I also think I played a very good vibrolux.

    Just wondering if anyone shares the same thoughts or different ones.

    Also, I would be curious if you have been able to achieve with any of the newer fender inspired amps, that same tonal sweetness with a ES-335.

    These are just my observations.
     
  2. buddyboy

    buddyboy Gold Supporting Member

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    I know the guitar you bought and the amp you played through (I'm buds with Gary and the guys there). That's a great 335! Congrats. The BF Vibrolux is a decent one. The BF Dlexue Reverb he has is fantastic! Unfortunatley, he won't sell it.

    That particular 335 will sound good through any good BF Fender. I was very close to buying it to use with my BF SR. Alas, kids' tuition comes first.
     
  3. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Member

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    Tough to beat a Vibrolux. I like them better than the more popular Deluxe Reverbs.
    Look for a SF Vibroverb. A relative value compared to BF, but still great tone. I assume one could be easily modded to Blackface specs.
     
  4. Zelmo

    Zelmo Member

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    Yep - I've got a '65 BF Vibrolux Reverb with a Heritage 535 and Seth Lovers. It's hard to beat.
     
  5. John55

    John55 Member

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    Hate to go against the grain, but I've had two BF 'luxs and didn't like either one. I play 335s and LPs almost exclusively and much prefer my Pro Reverb with it's 2x12 speakers, or the BFDR when volume has to be kept in check. I think it's just the 10" speakers I don't care for as the circuits are all much the same.
     
  6. Free

    Free Member

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    That's the best sounding humbucker into blackface tone in existence IMO. So many forget the virtue of Les Paul and especially 335's into a good blackface or silverface. Most plug in their Stats and Teles and think that's all the tone they need. You hit a magic combination indeed.
     
  7. rhollyday

    rhollyday Member

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    Sorry I did not get a chance to plug into the Deluxe! I did own a near mint 67' Deluxe which I regret selling!
     
  8. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I really like old VRs myself. That's probably the one later Fender I should have gotten but didn't. Even so, my tastes have gone much more to 2x12 and 1x15 formats lately. So I've been thinking about an Allen Encore kit, to get that 15 Phat sound with the a more or less equivalent amp behind it.
     
  9. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Rholly -

    I own a BFVR, a BFPR, and a TK Meteor II ... And a '59 ES-335. I love the sound of the 335 through all of 'em, but the TK Meteor II is so much more versatile than either Blackface amp, I haven't used either BF amp at a gig in several years.

    I agree, there is a sound that my '64 1/2 Fender Electric Instrument BFVR gets that no other amp gets, but to me, it's a one trick pony. Same with the BF Pro - great amp, but overall I prefer the Meteor II.

    Both BF amps are on the block. The ES-335 stays (GRIN). Glad you're stoked with your new ES-335. It's my favorite guitar overall, and Robben sounded great playing his last night in Santa Barbara (GRIN) through that POS Dumble rig he has ...

    Congratulations on the new guitar, Dana O.
     
  10. rhollyday

    rhollyday Member

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    Thanks Dana. I really love the ES-335. Many years ago I had a 67 Les Paul Deluxe with the thin buckers. I never really bonded with it, sold it, bought a number odf PRS's and sold them.

    I switched over to single coils. Strat and Suhr Tele which i still have and play alot. But I had recently started to play some of the ES-335's and for me the love is back with humbuckers.
     
  11. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm a big fan of the VRs. They fit the local gig scene better than a DR (too small) or a SR/Pro (too big), they pack easily and those 10" Jensens can sound scarily close to a Celestion when you crank them. One of Fenders great triumphs (but then, he had a LOT of triumphs).
     
  12. jb1984

    jb1984 Member

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    I've got an '81 335 with the stock PAFs and a '57 RI Goldtop that I play through my SF VR, with EL-84s to break it up REALLY early.

    Inevitably, there's always one guitar player at every gig that's commenting on what a thick tone I've got. Sometimes, I really want to sell the VR and get a /13 or other boutique-y amp that might be more flexible... but I think I've got a good rig on my hands.
     
  13. cander328

    cander328 Member

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    I did not know that the SFVR could run EL-84s!

    My experience: I have an early 70's stock ES-335 TD and I have not used it much with my BF Fenders ('65 PR, '64 Deluxe non-reverb, '65 VC and '64 DR) because it just didn't work for me as well as my Strat, Tele or the HB on my LPs. I however just got my '65 VR back from getting caps changed and some other tuning up and this is for me the best I have heard my ES-335 through any of my BF amps. I also installed some TungSol 5881s (highly recommended). Next closest would have to be the '65 PR. It seems that the ES335 benefits from something that can reproduce some bottom end. The 2 - 10's (Oxfords replaced with Reverend All-Tone 1030's)seem to deliver the bottom end and stay pretty tight at breakup volume. The DR was a bit bright with this particular ES335 and it's tone just did not seem to be as balanced (the DR also has an All-Tone but a 1250).
     
  14. Brien

    Brien Member

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    Vintage Fender amps are not hype. There is a reason why they are so in demand, and copied.
     
  15. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    +1 A good sounding humbucker guitar in a VR is nothing short of amazing. You can get Carltonesque tones all day.
     
  16. jb1984

    jb1984 Member

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    Groove Tubes Substitube, or Yellow Jackets.
     
  17. bluenote04

    bluenote04 Member

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    I played my Allen Encore head through a Weber Chicago 1x15 cabinet first, then a 2x12 with one Emi Swamp Thang, and then through the same 2x12 with the ST and a RWB. I prefer the 2x12 with 2 speakers than either of the other two. I do plan on playing it through a friend's Emi Legend 151 at some point, but I'm more than happy right now with the 2x12.
     
  18. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    a good 335 is also going to sound fantastic thru a good tweed Deluxe too, among others...
     
  19. rhollyday

    rhollyday Member

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    I have a tweed bandmaster clone (Clark) which the es-335 sounds pretty sweet thru.
     
  20. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    I have a very good '66 BFVR - as well as what many have said is the best sounding '64 Deluxe Reverb they've ever heard

    If I had to choose - I'd take the Vibrolux - in a heartbeat.

    If it IS a one trick pony - it's a trick I NEVER tire of :AOK
     

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