JamBand Amp - Smaller Vibrolux Reverb?

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753
I briefly used a '68 drri with my jam band, it sounded good but I did not find it to have enough headroom to stay clean with a drummer. Hell even my '65 bandmaster didn't have enough headroom for me. I now have a Twin that has endless headroom but certainly isn't easy to move around lol. In that project though I settled on a Mark III which had all the headroom I needed. But again not quiet or light

I'd echo the mesa fillmore suggestion, I dug them with my limited encounters with them. Power scaling and the combo weighs only 45lbs
 

hunter

Supporting Member
Messages
6,452
You are not gonna like it, but I went from gigging a SF Vibrolux Reverb (I had 2 of em), to gigging a Roland Cube 60 on the Black Panel model. I sat em side by side and ran the volumes up. The Cube held its own until the volumes got really high. By then I was playing louder than I ever got to play anywhere that wasn't an outdoor festival stage. And at lower volumes, the Cube's master volume allowed me to add a little compression and spring that wasn't there in the V'lux until much higher volumes.

The Cube is closer than you might think.
 

hangten

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,106
In my opinion the Vibrolux and the Super Reverb are the two best amps Fender made - I sold my first Vibrolux in the 90s, what a massive mistake!

Found a deal on one a couple years ago and that one is staying forever.

I love Swarts (and I own one) but they sound totally different...they are great, don't get me wrong.
Just depends on what sound you are going for.
 

harvey j

Member
Messages
1,275
Sounds like a tone king to me.

for what it’s worth, I just got a Swart Atomic Space tone, I play that same kind of music and this is exactly the tone I’ve been hearing in my head all these years. So I definitely recommend it, but it doesn’t have power scaling and the tone king metro does.

another great option is a Mesa Fillmore 50
Why not by a power soak?
 

aeolian

Member
Messages
6,306
A Suhr Bella won't save you much weight but it will sound nice at lower volumes. Some Vibroluxes can be kind of dry unless they're turned up.
Might push the budget a bit but I've seen used Milkman Pedal Steel Mini's in the low $2k range. Won't break up, but sounds great at all volumes and has more headroom than most Vibroluxes. Fantastic reverb as well. Princeton sized, 32 lbs and holds together at volume.
 

easyed

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,405
I say checkout the Allen Sweet Spot and Accomplice.
I have a Sweet Spot with an Emi Li'l Texas neo 12. It weighs 28 pounds and sounds big. I had a Z MAZ Jr with a Brakelite attenuator. Cool thing about the Brakelite is that it's built to be installed inside the cab (one less piece of gear to schlep and hook up). Very effective with minimal change in tone unless set to max attenuation - weighs about 1.5 pounds.

Back to Allen. Top quality components (somewhat overbuilt), very good design, excellent customer service. I assembled mine and it's been trouble free for 10 years.
 

pattste

Member
Messages
1,635
I play the same styles and at bedroom level usually play through my Matchless Spitfire, a 15-watt 1x12 wide combo with reverb. I paid less than CDN$2K for mine used/mint. I also have a Swart Atomic Space Tone Jr. , which is a small 5-watt combo with an 8-in speaker. It's a fun and ultra-portable but has essentially no clean headroom to speak of and in my opinion sucks with pedals. The non-Jr version recommended above may fare better.
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
10,323
As the others have said, you're not really gonna save too much weight over a Vibrolux at a similar ouput power, maybe 5 to 10 lbs at most. But a combination of saving a couple lbs plus an overall smaller cab might make it easy enough to carry, only you can answer that.
 

DV52

Member
Messages
5,316
I have played in similar styles and have used BF / SF Fenders on 2, 2.5, or 3 at home without an issue, but, as for something actually useful...

... Mesa Fillmore 25 or 50 should do the trick! Or California Tweed?!
What were your thoughts on the Mesa Fillmore and Tweed versions that YOU tried out ?
 

magilla

michaelggguitar (IG)
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
989
What were your thoughts on the Mesa Fillmore and Tweed versions that YOU tried out ?
I thought the Fillmore sounded good and appreciated the flexibility of the two channels. The first time I played a California Tweed I didn't click with it, for whatever reason, but having revisited that amp a few times since, I dig it. They seem to be getting quality tones out of the California Tweed on That Pedal Show. I liked both but didn't spend a ton of time with them.

I'm particular about feel, dynamics, and a certain sponginess, and they were a bit lacking in that department compared to my usual suspects of Blackface Fenders, Tweeds, and Carrs, but they did have an added level of flexibility.

But, I really do have no problem playing quiet when I have to with my '67 Deluxe Reverb or '64 Vibroverb ... just running the amp on 2.5 or wherever it kicks in and using pedals for dirt ('80 TS-808, Duellist, Jan Ray, Kingsley Page, etc.), even lowing the volume on pedals and using the attenuated second input on amps if I have to be quiet quiet. We're talking considerably less than casual TV volume at that point, and still dynamic and fun to play.

The Auralex Gramma isolation pad helps avoid sound transferring through walls and floors, it's come in handy at times when I really needed to be volume conscious, along with some strategically placed pillows to control the sound.
 

drbob1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,851
You're keeping the Vibrolux for the bigger venues, right? Then you're doing exactly what Leo intended-buy the amp sized for the venue. For my money, if I wanted EXACTLY the same tone, I'd buy a SF Princeton Reverb and either use a pedal (a V3 Timmy is perfect) or an attenuator to get crunch. Clean, it's my perfect Fender sound. Of course, if you want to branch out a little and try something different, then the Princeton Reverb II is the answer-reverb isn't as good, but the clean is a bit more mid-heavy (although there's a mid control to turn it down) and the overdrive sounds really smooth-like a mini-Boogie. And it's well under your price, even if you do upgrade the speaker to an EV/ALtec/JBL...
 

mlj_gear

Member
Messages
2,907
Living in an apartment makes everything harder :cry:
But if you play with the amp fairly clean and get your drive from pedals, why isn't just turning the amp down further as good as an option as getting a different amp with a master volume? I guess I'm not seeing the benefit of getting a different amp, although folks have suggested some fine sounding amps.
 

blueslover16

Member
Messages
398
If you like your amp, here's my suggestion:
1. decent attenuator
2. put the amp in a head cab.
3. buy 1x12.

I play a 70s SF vibrolux with an attenuator thru the 2 10" Fat Jimmy speakers in the amp OR thru a 1x12 with a FJ.
Works great for me.
I also play fairly clean, like to have the amp cranked up at least to 3-4 (which is too loud for MOST gigs) and the attenuator makes it happen!
Also the FJ speakers are great with Vibrolux...

good luck!
Thanks for this recommendation, what attenuator are you using with your vibrolux?
 

caspersvapors

Supporting Member
Messages
2,230
If you like your amp, here's my suggestion:
1. decent attenuator
2. put the amp in a head cab.
3. buy 1x12.

I play a 70s SF vibrolux with an attenuator thru the 2 10" Fat Jimmy speakers in the amp OR thru a 1x12 with a FJ.
Works great for me.
I also play fairly clean, like to have the amp cranked up at least to 3-4 (which is too loud for MOST gigs) and the attenuator makes it happen!
Also the FJ speakers are great with Vibrolux...

good luck!
what attenuator you using? I also have a Vibrolux and fat jimmy speakers over here!
 

hangten

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,106
Thanks for this recommendation, what attenuator are you using with your vibrolux?
what attenuator you using? I also have a Vibrolux and fat jimmy speakers over here!
Dr Z Z-brake
colors the tone a little bit if you are trying to play super quiet (like bedroom) but at a gig I usually just do 1 or 2 clicks down from wide open and I can't hear any difference in tone. Sounds great, and I can crank the vibrolux up enough to where I could play a gig with nopedals.

I bought it a long time ago (like when they came out) and I haven't done much shopping for attenuators but seems like there are other good options out there.
I saw Jimmy Herring in a club a few years ago and he had just an incredible sound - the best live guitar sound I've heard. He uses a THD hotplate.

I think the Z-Brake can handle different impedances no prob where the THD you might have to buy a 4 ohm att. vs an 8 ohm but I would def double check that....
 

strumminsix

Member
Messages
4,021
Dr Z makes some Fender-esque amps, but the Maz 18 isn’t one of them. It’s very Vox sounding.
My experience is different. When I hear the Maz 8 or 18, currently only own the 8, which I L-O-V-E, I hear: Fender round and clear preamp + with the Vox chimey bright and bounce poweramp. Why I'm recommending to the OP: that chime of the poweramp really helps at low volume where many amps feel bland. Plus the good Dr uses good sized iron in his amps so the clean headroom exists.

Prior to COVID, I was gigging regularly with a Dr Z Maz 8 in jambands live around Chicago and finding those great Fender tones that I need with a subtle chime that sits wonderfully in mixes.
 




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