Victoria 35310 advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GenoBluzGtr, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I have a shot at a nice local mint 35310 at a good price.

    I am somewhat in the Blackface camp, but like more mids (spent years with a Super reverb with the mid control between 7 and 9!).

    I have tried smaller 5E3 types and found them to be lacking in the headroom that I want.

    I love the Overdrive I get from my buddy's Bassman LTD, but the clean didn't quite have the clarity and highs that I wanted (it was really close, though!)

    For the past year I have been giggin with an Alessandro Rottweiler and love it. It's just the right mix of great fender cleans, and organic natural breakup.

    I played the Vicky and it seems to be what I am looking for, great cleans that have more highs than most tweed based amps I have tried (still has great depth and tight bottom that I miss with some BF amps) but will get into natural tube saturation and overdrive at lower volumes than the Basssman and a '57 Tweed Twin I tried in a store.

    I think I might get it unless you guys can talk me out of it. Any negatives or issues that I should be wary of?

    BTW, it's a mid-90s model. I also heard that the cab size was changed somewhere along the way. Early ones supposedly used a smaller "correct to bandmaster specs" sized cab and the new ones use a larger can (same size as the bassman version). Does anyone know when this shift occured and what the differences in size/weight might be?

    Oh yeah... if you can comment on pedal compatability, it would help alot... I gig in small club cover band so most times my OD will come from pedals. Currently using a Keeley TS9 and Barber Direct Drive.

    Thanks!
     
  2. stekks

    stekks Member

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    I don't know a Vicky, but I have a high quality custombuild tweed Bandmaster replica. To me it's the perfect club amp! Sounds a bit dirty in the highs, bass is not the tightest, but in a band situation it's perfect! The treble control is also a kind of a 'gain' control.

    Tube screamers sound cool with the amp. A Klon and EGDM even better! ;)
     
  3. TwoFeets

    TwoFeets Supporting Member

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    Mark Baier is a great guy and Vicky makes great quality stuff but for whatever reason the 5E7/35310 I owned.... and I've heard this from a lot of other guys I have talked to who have owned the same model... sounded really tight and somewhat sterile. All manner of biasing, tube swaps, speaker swaps never really solved the issue. I owned it for a couple of years hoping it would break in but it never really did. You do have less headroom than a Bassman, but their 35310 seems to have way more headroom than it should have. I had to use a Weber MASS with it if I wanted to be able to crank it without destroying eardrums in small to medium venues.

    They've been using the Bassman-sized cabinet for years. Mine was a very early model and had the Bassman-sized cab. The difference is slight - an inch here, a quarter-inch there - but noticeable when you're carrying it. (check the Fender Amp Field Guide for the actual cabinet dimensions of the Bassman vs. Narrow Panel Bandmaster)

    I don't use pedals, really, so I can't help you there... it sounds good with a delay for slapback doing rockabilly stuff, that much I can tell you.

    I wasn't unhappy with mine - I gigged it for a couple of years and never had a single problem, the thing was bulletproof... but my socks were never really knocked off by it. I like my Tungsten 5E5-A Pro much, much better.
     
  4. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    I've owned a Vicky Bassman, Bandmaster, and Double Deluxe, and they were all great. I only still have the DD. I love the bassman clean thing, and someday I'll own another bassman. If I came across the small box bandmaster, I'd seriously think on getting it. I just think it's a great sound, compact, and will do anything with a pedal in front. I've heard both box sizes, and cannot tell the difference in tone. Victoria's models with built-in reverb/trem (Victorette?) just don't have the same great tone as his standard tweed models, to my ear.
     
  5. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I've only heard the Vicky Bandmaster on disc (Bob Margolin), which set the hook for later. Cannot comment directly on that Vicky, but can on Michael Clark's version, the Tyger. If you like 10" speaker sound, the bandmaster delivers a distinct, useful flavor of that. It's in many ways the perfect compromise, a little less power than the bassman or SR, but (depending on speakers) more than enough volume for most stages. Sounds just as big as 4x10s to me. Mine has Weber 10A125 35 watt speakers, which are some of the best ever, IMHO. Big volume, plenty of headroom. OD comes in midway up the dial, develops a healthy snarl high up. It's a warm, clear and transparent sound, colored on mine by the best 3-knob reverb I've ever heard. I've never run the amp dry. Sounds too good with the reverb.

    So different than the softer, quieter compression I've heard from tweed Pros. That's the other essential tweed tone I need to get. Bandmaster for clarity, for a singing tone. Pro for PHAT tone cushion.

    I play only single coils. The tele needs nothing but a cable, though I do run delay. The strat may or may not benefit from clean boost. (My Klon is the one for this amp, but it is noisy if channel volume is high.) It's really a matter of taste, and how loud you play. I like it with the clean boost, like it just as much without. Different, equally beautiful sounds.
     
  6. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    I have owned a late 90's Victoria Bandmaster for four years now, and I absolutely love it. Tight and sterile are not words I would ever associate with this amp — however, I did change out two of the P10R's and put two Weber P10Q's in the bottom, which made a world of difference in the tone of this amp. With the original three Jensen P10R reissues, the tone was good, but lacked something overall in presence and depth, so maybe that is what TwoFeets is referring to. If so, then I would agree.

    I would use words like rich, warm, articulate, and swirly to describe the tone of my Vicky. It opens up a very alive sound stage around the amp, and I never miss reverb. This amp has its own natural sustain and kind of pulses on long, held chords. Just wonderful tone.

    BTW, it's worth noting that Michael Clark has been using the Weber P10Q in his tweeds for some time now, for the same reasons I made the swap — better overall depth and definition of tone.


    The Vicky is a fantastic club amp because as you said it goes into its gorgeous power tube overdrive at a sane volume level. I can't think of a single negative reason not to get the amp other than the Jensens.

    Also, I don't use many OD pedals with mine, but when I have, the Keeley BD2, AC Boost and RC Boost sounded very good. The Vicky loves my Keeley Compressor too.


    Nothin' but big thumbs up from me on the 35310!
     
  7. TwoFeets

    TwoFeets Supporting Member

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    I have played a friend's Clark Tyger and it was significantly better sounding than my Victoria 35310. The Tyger had the P10Q's in it, vs. the P10R's in my Vicky... so I figured Eureka!.... went home and immediately bought a set of P10Q's for the Vicky. There was a small improvement but, overall, something was still lacking.

    I talked to Mark about it one time and he was very helpful. I seem to remember him telling me that in the earlier 35310's he had used different transformers than he uses now. Mine was pretty early; I recall giving him the number and he was surprised that I even had the P10R's in the amp, because he used Mojotones early on. The transformer thing may be part of why mine was stubborn and didn't want to give it up. I haven't played a more recent one. So you may want to look into that. However if you're using overdrive pedals it's kind of a moot point I guess; I tend to rely purely on the amp's breakup.
     
  8. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    That must be it, because mine gives it up beautifully. That's why I don't use OD pedals very often with the Vicky — it has its own perfect overdrive.
     
  9. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I owned a Victoria Bassman and Deluxe and have played the Bandmaster directly next to them, here are my comments. Due to 3 speakers much less apparent low end when next to the Bassman. Has the same type of gain adding tone controls like the deluxe. This helps to almost make the amp have a master of sorts because you can get (some to a lot) hair on the notes if you want. In general I dislike the Jensen reissues and my Bassman had the mojotones which were more then adequate. It has less head room because of the preamp design and to my ears behaved more like the tweed deluxe but with 3 -10 inch speakers. I like them they are nice and they are not lifeless, I would recommend proper biasing and tube selection.
     
  10. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Well, I went to try it out and ended up not getting it.

    I played it yesterday, loved it. Today, went bacl with money in hand and asked to remove the backplate to check the innards. Looked good except there was a wrap of aluminum foil on a support bracker and along a screw that went underneath the eyelet board. Figured it was just a quick fix for a past cab rattle and unwrapped the foil to see. It looked to be simply a support bracket and screw, so I thought nothing more (except that I would likely used duct tape instead of foil).

    After this discovery, I decided to play it again after putting the panel back on. Immediately it started to snap/crackle/pop and wouldn't stop. Tried a different guitar/cable/plug in etc... even with the guitar cable removedfrom the input jack, it kept getting worse. Tapped a couple of tubes... didn't stop the noise at all.

    It could simply be a preamp tube, but the coincidence between the aluminum foil removal and the start of unctrollable noise was enough to scare me into nixing the deal.

    I am pretty disappointed. I was all set to feel the need for tweed, but will wait until I find one that is ready to plug in and play for at least more than a couple minutes.

    Thanks for all the advice and help, it seems like a great amp and when it was noise free, it exhibited all the wonderful character you guys described.

    if anyone is interested in the whereabouts and price of said item, pm or email me and I will guide you there. Someone with more technical prowess myself could get a great deal.
     
  11. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    These are great amps ... I may even prefer this Bandmaster over a Bassman due to the phase inverter design where it is pushed by the tone control and lets you do some great things at lower levels and higher levels as well.
     
  12. UconnJack

    UconnJack Supporting Member

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    My Vicky 4-10 Bassman does the real staticy "snap crackle" thing every now and again. I use a little contact cleaner on the 4-input jacks and it clears up. Probably should replace them with gold contacts but i'm lazy like that.

    I also jumper the normal and hi channel, so that only leaves one "unattended" jack.

    Great amp btw.
     
  13. cameron

    cameron Member

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    I'd have used the noise that came on after the removal of the magical foil as a bargaining chip, and tried to reduce the price somewhat, since the amp obviously needs some work.

    I'm sure whatever the problem is could easily be resolved by a halfway competent tech. I'd have said something like "My tech costs $65 an hour bench time - with a one-hour minimum bench time charge. So you should knock the price down at least another $65."
     
  14. rhollyday

    rhollyday Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a Vicky 35210. One great amp! If you crank the tone controls and jumper the channels, you will get more gain. I now have a Bandmaster Tweed Clone by a company called Headstrong Amps: www.headstrongamps.com. Best sounding amp I own. It has more volume than the Tweed super vickey (35210) and a more 3-D sound to it. It has the same Webers as the Tyger, only I swapped out one for a Weber Weber 10150 - ceramic to get a little more high-end. (Just a personal preference!) It puts out enough volume for my use with the 3 10 inch speakers. It starts to get overdriven at 5 on the dial. The Headstrong has a variable negative feedback control which allows you to dial in more or less gain. (I don't believe the Vicky has this feature.)

    I have both a Klon and Barber Direct Drive and they both sound great with the amp. When the channels are jumped and the tone controls are set to 9-10 it sounds very similar to my Aiken Invader in "Plexi Mode", only better! I play mostly a strat and Teli through it.
    I don't feel the need for reverb. However some delay sounds good.
     

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