Blackface Vibrolux Reverb 1x12 Conversion

TaoMan

Member
Messages
4
Just wondering if anyone has ever tried this easy swap?
Rogers Amps makes a 1x12 Conversion Baffle, I wrote him and He described the end result being something like a "Deluxe Reverb On Steroids"
Sounds interesting...

Any prior experience or comments welcome...

Thanks
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,605
4 Ohm tranny in the VR..........how is this handled in the 1x12 conversion? are there 4 Ohm 12" speakers available or do you live with the mis-match?
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,223
Before you go for the 1x12 baffle, cross the amp over to an open back single 12" cab. The key here is finding a 4 ohm 12" speaker to match the output transformer for optimum performance. Weber will build one for you.

I have crossed my VR over to a 4 ohm 15" Weber Blue Dog and prefer the 2x10 set up.
 

zenfreud

Member
Messages
1,130
If you have a 4-ohm twelve in mind that you prefer over the tone of your present tens, go for it. After owning a VR for many years I understand being curious about the change, but the 210 format is really nice, moves more air than a single 12.
 

TaoMan

Member
Messages
4
Thanks for all of the reply's... I emailed Larry at "Rogers" and he didn't mention anything about needing a 4 ohm 12"- He did know that I intended on using a 62' Jensen C12N 8 ohm speaker, so I guess he is assuming the 4 ohm to 8 ohm mis-match. I know this has been covered elsewhere, but its always been confusing to me. This would be an acceptable mis-match? The amp would have to work harder, less headroom, better/lower sweet spot?

Matchless- Is this what you are doing?

Thanks All!
 

blaster

Member
Messages
1,205
I ran an 8ohm 12 in my VR for years in gigging situations. It worked great and never had a problem with anything. It sounded great too
 

908SSP

Member
Messages
5,801
I converted my 1966 Vibrolux to a single 12". Just works better for that way. I had plenty of 12" to try out and still might try some more one day. The 10" just didn't cut it.
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,467
Not to hijack, but does anyone have a read on whether or not swapping out the 2X10s in a Custom Vibrolux Reissue for a single 15" is relatively doable?
 

soldersucker

Member
Messages
2,626
I made a 1x12 amp out of a Bandmaster reverb Head which is virtually the same.Deluxe on steroids is a good description.Didn't sweat the 4/8 ohm mismatch fender's eat 100% one way or another for breakfast.Used a Jd Newell cab though Larry's Rodgers cabs are fantastic i spare the extra expense for more accurate resto's.
 

TaoMan

Member
Messages
4
I just bought the 1x12 Baffle from Rogers Amps...
I'll post some photos and observations after I mod my 66' VR

Thanks for the Help-
 

LongBall

Member
Messages
11
I just did extensive speaker testing with a Vibrolux Reverb. It is not a Blackface - I think it is an early nineties blonde CVR. There have been some minor mods done to the amp. My biggest beef with the amp was that it was a little too "ice picky" for me and therefore did not handle over-drive pedals well IMO. Just too brittle. I played it at band practice and really struggled with the over-drive situations. (As I am the lead guitarist for my band, this was a potential deal breaker) The amp sounded great on the clean stuff and even handled my distortion pedal OK, as well as other effects, but the crunch and OD sounds just didn't cut it.

We (my amp tech and me) tried all sorts of things and ultimately solved the brittleness issue by swapping the 12AX7 in V6 (PI tube) for a 12AT7. WOW!!!! Just made the amp sound wonderful in every way. It reduces the power of the amp, but actually seemed to increase the amount of usable (for my needs) sweep on the volume pot. Interestingly, my amp tech had two different 12AT7s and one of them made the amp sound amazing and the other one did not. I'm pretty sure the original VRs had a 12AT7 in V6. After the experience I just had - Why Fender would change this is beyond me.

SPEAKERS
I have a 2x12 cab with JBL K120s, a 2x10 cab loaded with JBLs (not sure of the number), and there are two Weber 10" California speakers on board the CVR. In addition to the Webers, we tried the 2x10 JBLs, the 2x12 JBLs, a single JBL and a single 12" JBL with the 2x10 JBLs.

IMO this was not a fair fight. Both the 2x12 cab or a single 12" JBL blew the 10s away. The cleans were chimey and full bodied and the dirty sounds were just stellar. Both sets of 10s sounded dull and uninspiring in comparison. I know changing the baffle to handle a ten and a twelve is a common mod for the VR and I went into this exercise pretty sure that's what I would do. But after almost two hours of testing, I think I am going to go for a 1x12. I can always use an extension cab if need be.

As the 2x12 cab is an absolute monster (I think each K120 weighs almost 19 lbs.), that cab will never go on a gig. I am thinking of putting one of them in a good 1x12 cab. I could put the other in the CVR, but if I can find another 12" speaker that sounds good, I could save almost 10 lbs. and be a really happy camper. Does anybody have any speaker suggestions?? I play in a classic rock cover band. (Allman Bros., Steely Dan, Clapton, etc.) I am NOT looking for thin paper Jensen type speakers as I don't think they will handle higher gain situations that I like.
 

Jon C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,426
IMO 2-10 is part of the essence of VR sound. One may subjectively prefer 1-12 or 2-12 but it's a variant, not the classic VR sound. Ymmv.

For a 1-12 I'd try a Weber (or real Jensen or good recone if you can find it) C12N (Weber 12F150, light dope, 50 watt).
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,177
IMO 2-10 is part of the essence of VR sound. One may subjectively prefer 1-12 or 2-12 but it's a variant, not the classic VR sound. Ymmv.
Agreed. :aok
BTW, I play an old Vibrolux Reverb.

As a side note; 2 10s push more air and are fuller sounding than a single 12. IME.
 

Jon C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,426
Agreed. :aok BTW, I play an old Vibrolux Reverb. As a side note; 2 10s push more air and are fuller sounding than a single 12. IME.
My thought, too. Tighter, more focused, fuller. ;-)


BTW, hope OP realizes that a CVR has little relationship to a BFVR.
 
Last edited:

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,442
I just did extensive speaker testing with a Vibrolux Reverb. It is not a Blackface - I think it is an early nineties blonde CVR. There have been some minor mods done to the amp. My biggest beef with the amp was that it was a little too "ice picky" for me and therefore did not handle over-drive pedals well IMO. Just too brittle. I played it at band practice and really struggled with the over-drive situations. (As I am the lead guitarist for my band, this was a potential deal breaker) The amp sounded great on the clean stuff and even handled my distortion pedal OK, as well as other effects, but the crunch and OD sounds just didn't cut it.

We (my amp tech and me) tried all sorts of things and ultimately solved the brittleness issue by swapping the 12AX7 in V6 (PI tube) for a 12AT7. WOW!!!! Just made the amp sound wonderful in every way. It reduces the power of the amp, but actually seemed to increase the amount of usable (for my needs) sweep on the volume pot. Interestingly, my amp tech had two different 12AT7s and one of them made the amp sound amazing and the other one did not. I'm pretty sure the original VRs had a 12AT7 in V6. After the experience I just had - Why Fender would change this is beyond me.

SPEAKERS
I have a 2x12 cab with JBL K120s, a 2x10 cab loaded with JBLs (not sure of the number), and there are two Weber 10" California speakers on board the CVR. In addition to the Webers, we tried the 2x10 JBLs, the 2x12 JBLs, a single JBL and a single 12" JBL with the 2x10 JBLs.

IMO this was not a fair fight. Both the 2x12 cab or a single 12" JBL blew the 10s away. The cleans were chimey and full bodied and the dirty sounds were just stellar. Both sets of 10s sounded dull and uninspiring in comparison. I know changing the baffle to handle a ten and a twelve is a common mod for the VR and I went into this exercise pretty sure that's what I would do. But after almost two hours of testing, I think I am going to go for a 1x12. I can always use an extension cab if need be.

As the 2x12 cab is an absolute monster (I think each K120 weighs almost 19 lbs.), that cab will never go on a gig. I am thinking of putting one of them in a good 1x12 cab. I could put the other in the CVR, but if I can find another 12" speaker that sounds good, I could save almost 10 lbs. and be a really happy camper. Does anybody have any speaker suggestions?? I play in a classic rock cover band. (Allman Bros., Steely Dan, Clapton, etc.) I am NOT looking for thin paper Jensen type speakers as I don't think they will handle higher gain situations that I like.
I have an Allen Old Flame combo (based on a BF Super Reverb). I bought it used as a 2x10 combo, had David Allen make me a 1x12 baffle and put a Weber Legacy M 75, 65 Watt 12 in it. I felt the two 10s were as you described your's were. The one Weber Legacy 12 in the combo now sounds outstanding.... clean and overdriven.

Also... let me ask you. You mentioned in your post that when you replaced the P.I. tube that one of the two 12at7s sounded great and the other did not.
Specifically which 12at7 did you finally put in the amp which made the amp sound great in your opinion ?
 

jonnytexas

Member
Messages
4,056
I sort of have experience. I turned a 4x10 super reverb into a 2 10. I also had to consider impedance changes, as the super's OT is 2 ohm. WGS built me 2 4 ohm 10's at no extra charge. Amp sounds killer. I'm sure they could make you a 4 ohm 12
 

LongBall

Member
Messages
11
I know for sure that the 12AT7 that did NOT sound good was an Electo-Harmonix. I believe that the one that DID sound good was an NOS GE 12AT7, but I will check to make sure. We talked about finding a current production tube that sounds as good, as he wants to sell off all of his NOS inventory.

I see that there are plenty of the GEs for sale on eBay. And, he does have more, so I feel comfortable that I can continue to get the sounds that were so great (should this tube fail), but we both agreed that it would be nice to find a current production tube for the amp.

I appreciate everyone's input, but I should make clear - I am not going for a classic VR sound (I am not even sure I would know what that is) - I am going for a clean that sounds fantastic on its own, but also serves as a platform for my pedalboard. If I push this amp to overdrive on its own, it is easy to do, but is simply too loud for my needs. As I mentioned, I play in a cover band, so versatility is a major priority for me.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,523
Also... let me ask you. You mentioned in your post that when you replaced the P.I. tube that one of the two 12at7s sounded great and the other did not.
Specifically which 12at7 did you finally put in the amp which made the amp sound great in your opinion ?
Kenny, let me hop in on this.
My take on the phase inverter swap is the success of any given tube depends on the balance of the output tubes it's driving.

The PI has some balance one way or another, the output tubes are more or less balanced or not.
That's what makes it better, one makes up for the other.
You can't attribute "brand name" under the circumstances.
A perfectly balanced 12AT7 can't do any better than further illuminate the relative balance of whatever's downstream.

The punch line is "perfectly balanced" isn't always the best sound.
I put a matched set of 6L6's in my Supro along with a fresh PI and hated it.
Put the old stuff back in the original positions, glorious.

Anyway, in my opinion, you can't really give or get a specific recommendation for PI in terms of function and preference without considering the output tube matching. If everything's matched up for me, I tend to prefer things cleaner and lower gain so I'll start with a Telefunken, but it's just as likely I'll dig something else better if I start swapping.
Right? That was not a recommendation, just an observation.
I'd consider GE proper for a Fender. . That'd be what you call a report.:)

It's one of those deals where you just have to try a couple and see what you like.
 




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