Time to move on from my Rivera-Designed Fender Concert?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Clyde Bisbee, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    Just wanted to hear some opinions on my situation....

    I have an '83-ish Rivera-designed Fender Concert, or Concert II. As we all know, Fender's last mass-produced, hand-wired bla, bla, bla. Anyway, I do like it a lot. I consider it my first authentic Fender tube amp with that warm Fender chime. I put a Jensen Neo in it shaving off 15lbs from the EVML12 it came with, so it's about 54lbs now. It sounds great to me. I mess around with a lot of OD's & fuzzes, but the lead channel is also quite usable.

    Why am I considering moving on from it? Well, for one thing it's 60 watts. WAAAY more power than I'll ever need. I don't play out much these days, tho' I may start playing out more...even so, it's way more power than would ever be required at the gigs I tend to play. I play it at home quite a bit, but it's just so loud. That said, I've considered keeping it b/c it is mostly manageable, but maybe another amp would suit my situation better? I also like the idea of having a classic, truer-voiced Fender and one with tremolo as well.

    The options... vintage Silverface PR, SFDR, Silverface Vibrolux or boutique offerings, Vintage Sound, Louis Electric, Allen, etc. Not really interested in the Reissues. I tried the PRRI's, both 65 & 68 as well as a 65 DRRI and they just sounded thin and lackluster to my ears. I feel like quite a few folks here gig with PR's, miked if need be. But without a 2nd channel or master volume, they have to be cranked pretty loud to get some dirt. I suppose the same holds true for the other vintage SF's, even with 2 channels. Then there's the matter of reverb not on both channels.

    Finally, as of today my leading candidate to replace my Concert is the 35 watt Silverface Vibrolux Reverb. Still probably more power than I would need, but 25 watts less than the Concert. Tremolo and perhaps more importantly, a more authentic Fender circuit...more mojo. Vibroluxes also seem to fly under the radar as compared to PR's & DR's. I've seen them regularly for less than a grand in my area. So, if I can get $700-850 for my Concert (seems to be the market right now) I could get into a VR pretty easily. If I do sell the Concert, my budget would probably be less than $1200.

    Sorry for the long-winded post, I'm up in the wilds of New England and don't get many chances to play a variety of these amps. Oh, and I like to play blues rock, classics, maybe some ambient occasionally.

    Thanks!
    Kerry
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Kerry, if you can get 7/800 for your Concert 2 and a Vibrolux for in the 1000 range, go for it.. They're a great underrated amp....
     
  3. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    That's what I'm thinking...I'm a huge fan of 'sleeper' gear! Thanks Rod.

    Kerry
     
  4. Tall Dark N Dirty

    Tall Dark N Dirty Member

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    I put Groove Tube El 84 Substitubes in my Concert, reducing the the wattagge to a much more manageble 20 watts.
     
  5. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    Oh, cool. Using Yellowjackets? Can you tell me How it responds now in terms of tonal changes and breakup?

    Thanks,
    Kerry
     
  6. Jimmy MAck

    Jimmy MAck Member

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    I don't have the time to explain my case to you now, but I would not trade a Concert II for a Vibrolux Reverb. I will explain tomorrow. They are both great great amps, but either one of them will be too much amp for what you explain.
    Keep the Concert, add a Princeton Reverb to your arsenal, consider a speaker swap, get true vibrato, and tremolo with pedals, tune up the amp, but don't swap one for the other.
     
  7. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    Ok, you have my attention... I am covered for tremolo, etc. Have a Flint and a Tremolessence. I also have a couple of lower powered options: A Ceriatone TMB ef86 and a Silvertone 1483, which sounds great as long as I run an eq in front. Look forward to your additional input...

     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  8. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    I loved mine but ultimately moved on. Not sure I would have traded it for a Super -- I needed more gain. But if you want a Super, you should absolutely do that. The Rivera era Fenders are good amps, but there isn't anuthing magical about them. They sound good, and are the last of the hand wired Fenders. That's about the extent of their appeal. I prefer all of the amps I have now, including my Mesa Express and my Chinese AC30, to my old Concert.
     
  9. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    It's actually the Vibrolux I'm most interested in, not a Super. Love Supers, just too large/heavy. Also, they're 45 watts (until the late 70's I guess, then 70 watts) as opposed to the VR's 35 watts. I hear what you're saying, tho'. I'm not a 'cork sniffer' but if I can get into an early-to-mid 70's Fender classic for not much more dollahs I'm all over it. I do love the vintage gear.

     
  10. Jimmy MAck

    Jimmy MAck Member

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    Quickly: the Concert is now a "vintage" amp. It will become more and more valuable, you watch. Hand wired, and good components. Only a limited amount of them out there!

    More later.
     
  11. JackStraw12

    JackStraw12 Supporting Member

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    Boston CL had a SFVR in your range
     
  12. Mike H

    Mike H Member

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    The Silverface Vibrolux Reverb would be a great choice. They are the perfect size and power to play most venues. If you can find one for under $1K these days that's a bargain, especially compared to what you would pay for a new boutique amp with similar specs.
     
  13. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    Yeah, saw that one, thanks! Tremolo not working, but if the price takes that into consideration it can be fixed. I would have to sell my Concert first. They seem to be out there...
     
  14. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input! Are the vintage SF's like the reissues, reverb on the trem channel only?

    Kerry
     
  15. Muzzy

    Muzzy Supporting Member

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    Yup, no reverb or trem on channel one.
     
  16. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    Gotcha. Looks like a relatively easy mod to have 'verb/trem on both channels.
     
  17. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    OP, I use my Concert for rehearsals and smaller gigs. I use the "distortion" channel set clean with pedals. Volume is easily controllable that way with the volume, gain, and master controls on that channel.
     
  18. Muzzy

    Muzzy Supporting Member

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    I think it's only one wire and you can have reverb and trem on both channels but, personally I wouldn't do it. The first channel has more gain and it's own sound because it doesn't have the reverb or trem drawing on it. I have a 69 vibrolux and tend to use channel one for blues, rock, ect. For me channel two is nice for surf, slow ballads, oldies and the like.
     
  19. Clyde Bisbee

    Clyde Bisbee Supporting Member

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    Thanks, I'll give that a try!
     
  20. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    I used to love setting mine up that way too. You can get a very natural SRV-ish tone that way. It's like putting a tubescreamer in front of it without actually using a pedal.
     

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