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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by doublee, Jan 6, 2008.
Both '65 ish blackface, no mods. What differences do you hear apart from speaker size?
DR is more compressed, more mid dipped, spongier with a looser low end and a healthy amount of natural overdrive on 4, or so. The overdrive has that 6V6 squish and swirl to it.
VR is louder, not quite as mid dipped and has substantially more headroom. It can handle most any gig situation with headroom left and takes pedals pretty well. My 67 always sounded 'hard' compared to my 68 DR. It's quite loud when driven to overdrive and has more of a bark to it, with less sustain and compression, typical of 6L6's.
I greatly prefer the DR. I can run mine 'stock' and get that great classic tone or bypass the trem, put it through a bigger 1X12 cab and have nearly as much volume and headroom as the VR, but with a sweeter tone, at least to my ears.
Thanks for your reply. I am hearing 'hard' as well in the VR. The DR is smoother, sounds creamy and softer. I also think the VR is more touch sensitive. Disclosure I forgot to add in my OP: the DR is 1990's and the VR is brand new though hand wired to '65 specs. Do you think speaker break-in will make that much difference?
Oh and one more thing: the DR has great NOS tubes, whereas the VR has new JJ pre's, and new Tung Sol 6L6's.
That "sweeter", "smoother", "creamy", "softer" sound you hear is because of the 6v6's, IMHO....
I think the smoother sound can also come for the original speaker/tubes. You can change the speaker in a Deluxe and get a harsher tone with more headroom. I put new tubes and a Cannabis Rex in my 69 deluxe and it doesn't really start to get a bit crunchy until 6. It used to start breaking up at 4 with the original Oxford speaker.
I was playing with my band last night with my 68 DR and completely agree with the 'spongy' aspect of the DR. I have NOS tubes and a nicley broken in Jensen c12k speaker in there. The 6V6 tubes are 1960s RCA. I think it sounds terrific with lead playing but with rhythm parts for power pop it can tend to be too loose and saggy at times. I think boosting the upper mids might help me. Currently running an OCD on LP setting with an EQ to boost certain mid frequencies, but I think I'm switching to HP because it even though it sounds harsher in my bedroom it might be tighter and cut better in a live setting.
I had a 69 that was just the opposite. Not much headroom and very early compression. VERY sweet sounding amp.
ps: It was all original including the Oxford speakers and RCA 6L6's.
Are you talking about the current production "Custom Vibrolux Reverb?" This is a different circuit than the old Blackface/Silverface Vibrolux Reverb. Although it may have been rewired to "'65 specs" it probably doesn't have a tube rectifier, which will mean it's going to be punchier with a faster attack than the original design. Also, I think these have alnico speakers as stock (but I could be wrong), whereas original Vibroluxes typically had ceramic speakers. So take these things into consideration when people offer comparisons between the two amps. They may be refering to the original and not the CVR.
the CVR has little resemblance to a real BF VR IMO after owning & playing several of both...
As the former owner of a 1974 SFVR (Blackfaced), I agree wholeheartedly.
I am surprised that no one has yet mentioned that a DR is much brighter than a VR because the DR has an "always-on" brite cap. To me the DR is way too brite sounding, and so, I greatly prefer the VR. I have never had a chance to play through a DR with a clipped (i.e., disconnected) brite cap, but, would like to try it some time. Then, maybe, the DR would be useable for me. I have a strat, and it already tends toward brite., So, the DR is an ear piercer!
The VR can me made less "stiff" by using Alnico speakers. I have tried a weber 10A125 and it had a nice "feel" to it. That is, if you dug-in harder to the strings the speaker compresses and this gives it a little "give."
I have heard (but not tried) that putting in a rectifier tube with more sag (instead of a GZ34) can make the VR break-up at slightly more lower volumes.
My 2 cents.
I have a '66 Deluxe Reverb and a '70 blackfaced Vibrolux Reverb. The DR has Brimar output tubes and Mullard preamp tubes, and a Celestion Greenback speaker. The VR has JJ output tubes and Mullard preamp tubes with EMI Copper Head and Ragin' Cajun speakers.
First, the VR is much louder with much more headroom.
Comparing them tonally, the DR is punchier, spankier, fatter, and rounder. The VR has a more lyrical top end and a tighter mid-range grind. They both have that Fender sparkle top-end in spades, which is why these amps are so desirable.
Alot of people claim that 6V6's are warmer than 6L6's. This is not so between the DR and the VR. I would say that they are equally warm. However, they are both significantly warmer than my '72 blackfaced Super Reverb. However, the Super Reverb's thick, rich punch, even at low volumes, somewhat compensates for the lack of warmth.
The tubes and speakers in these amps have alot to do with their tone. For instance, the VR with the original Oxford speakers sounded sweet but very weak: no punch. The EMI's corrected that problem.
Which is my personal favorite? If I had only one amp it would have to be the DR. It does everything very well. I have heard that the BFDR is the most recorded guitar amp in recorded music history. I don't know if this is true but I can see how it could be. The DR is versatile and excels in the studio.
Many, many years ago, I owned a BFDR and had access to a BFVR. The two of them stacked was amazing.