Differences between Pro Reverb and Vibrolux Reverb - Has anyone done the Homework?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by remocity, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. remocity

    remocity Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Besides 12" vs. 10"s, has anyone done a comparison of the electronics and transformers between the Pro and the Vibrolux.
    Are they the same otherwise?
  2. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    I wouldn't call it "homework", but any amp tech that's been around a while can tell you: No, they're not the same.

    The circuits are indeed nearly identical (what BF fenders aren't??), and they use the same OT, but they have very different PTs, the V'lux being a much lower VA curve. That's why the PR is a stout 45W amp, and the VR is a more modest ~~35W amp.

    That said, while the PR can punch holes in a wall (and it's not altogether wrong to think of it as a mini Twin Reverb), the VR has a sweetness that makes it one of the most perfect amps ever invented.

    I'd take a VR over a PR any day of the week & twice on Sundays

    EDIT: another thing to think about:

    BFPR as well as BFVR.....neither had a "mid" control on either channel.

    SFPR....mid controls were added to both channels in the '70s, but the SFVR never had mid controls added.
  3. pula58

    pula58 Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Pacific Northwest
    Also, the Pro reverb has a larger choke and slightly larger power supply filter caps.

    I have had and played both. The vibrolux got a little more "hair" on the notes at a given perceived volume. The vibrolux seems easier to carry around due to its smaller size and generally lighter speakers. I liked the sound of the Pro Reverb better, I think because I like 12's better than 10's. But, the VR is more grab and go since it is easier to tote around.

    As an aside: A Vibrolux reverb with a single 12" speaker baffle would be possibly ideal IMHO (your opinion may vary!).
  4. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    I've had two '65 Pro Reverbs and 3 BF VRs.

    The Pro is louder, darker sounding, heavier and more clean headroom.

    The VRs are brighter, perfect club volume (for me) with a slight hair on the cleans that I love.

    I currently gig a '64 with Celestion Greenbacks.
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    near Philly
    How do the Bandmaster and Tremolux fit into the picture (with the obvious lack of reverb)........Bandmaster like the PR and Tremolux like the VR?
  6. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Supporting Member

    May 15, 2005
    Lowell, Michigan USA
    Yes, indeed. Since I built a BF Vibrolux Reverb clone, nothing else comes close for me.

    Bob Arbogast
  7. tiptone

    tiptone Member

    May 23, 2004
    Montgomery, TX
    That's a fairly close description of a Gries 35. From my cold dead hands...
  8. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    yep, PR is darker/warmer and louder, like the smallest Big Clean Fender out there. The Super Reverb is the Biggest Dirty Fender in comparison, and the VR is more like the SR's baby brother in spirit, and the PR is the Twin Reverb's baby brother in spirit.

    Unlike a Twin, a Pro Reverb WILL give up the goods at a somewhat reasonable decibel, haha. It'll still be loud tho! The dealbreaker for me between the Pro Reverb and the Vibrolux Reverb was a strange one I admit - my Bass VI and baritones totally flubbed out and flopped around on a VR, but a Pro Reverb's stoutness keeps it all together, and breaks OH so nicely if you want to put some hair on the low end (wow that didn't come out the way I meant. neither did that.)

    I tend to choose effects the same way. There are some very nice chorus, vibrato, and delay pedals out there, but ones like the Boss CE-1 and Deluxe Memory Man keep crap together even when the low freqs hit.
  9. matchless

    matchless Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2007
    south east
    my '64 vibrolux single 12 is an ideal amp (IMO) for most needs.great tone, good firm bottom and enough giging volume to get some hair on the clean tone and not flub out.great amp to mix with classic marshall/matchless chieftain tones
  10. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    45w? the pro still had the undersized OT, so it wasn't as strong as the super or the bassman, and weren't those 45 watts?

    i thought the whole point of the common pro reverb upgrade to a 4Ω bassman OT was to get it up to the same "weight class" as the SR or bassman, since it already had the bigger power tranny.
  11. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Silver Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    One thing that happens when you use that really big iron OT in a BF or SF Fender is that you have an amp with extended low frequency response. Unfortunately when you use your Bassman for guitar and/or turn the amp up to the point of distortion (which Fender still thought was a bad thing into the 70s), you end up with an amp that has a lot of bass, but it is a mushy bass, so you have to be really careful and creative with your tone settings to keep the tone crisp. The smaller OTs would naturally sound better overdriven. I used to use a SF Bassman head and a BF Bandmaster head interchangeably. Both sounded similar and had essentially the same volume levels but the Bandmaster sounded great stock, and was much more tolerant of control settings. The Bassman had to be set just right, and had a couple mods to shelve the low frequency response. I have observed similar aspects throughout all the 60s and 70s Fenders. If you are turning the amp up and getting a bit of overdrive, the smaller OTs and smaller amps seem to do better naturally. If you are playing very clean like bass or Steel Guitar, then the bigger iron is your friend. Every instance where Fender made "improvements" on a particular model with larger power transformers, output transformers, etc, it just made the amps less musically pleasing and harder to dial in.

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