Victoria Bassman Clone, any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Glowing Tubes, Dec 19, 2005.


  1. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Anyone own or played through one of these amps?
    My friend just lent me his for a week. He's going to sell it
    Very nice amp. Surprising low end for 4 x 10's. I'm really liking the tone it gets. Clean is very 3D sounding very touch sensitive.
    It's got Mojo-Tone speakers in it. One is sounding not right, fizzy, even at very low volumes. Dont know if its blown or not.
    Wonder if I should make him an offer on it and how much it would be worth. My first experience with a Victoria amp. Im impressed! :AOK

    RC
     
  2. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    If it's the blue Frame mojotones, I think they fry the coils pretty easily.
     
  3. Profklamen

    Profklamen Member

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    These are really great amps - and many prefer the mojotone speakers over the later Jensens. I have one and it is amaizingly touch sensitive with a super rich and full clean sound. These sell for around $1200 - $1500 in clean condition.
     
  4. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Victoria makes some great amps but IMO the Victoria Bassman doesn't sound any better than the Fender Bassman LTD....which is half the price of the Vicky.
     
  5. sdgvintage

    sdgvintage Member

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    I am sure the vicky is nice. From all the pics I have seen of them looks like they are quality pieces of work.

    I just finished up building a bassman for a customer of mine and its sound was to die for. I used weber speakers rather than the jensen reissues.
     
  6. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Agreed.
     
  7. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    +2 on the LTD.....
     
  8. sideman

    sideman Member

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    I owned an early Bassman RI for a couple years before selling it and picking up a Vick Bassman. The RI, for $550 used, was a great value. But the Vick was a better amp. The (used) Vick came with Kendrick blackframes in it that sounded mucky. After screwing around with various components, and conferring with Mike Baier at Victoria, I wound up with a fine sounding amp: Tung Sol 5881s, a quad of Jensen RI P10Rs (after trying several others -- Mark Baier recommended the RIs), and a domino treble cap. It was more complex sounding than the RI, with creamier overdrive at stage volumes. Used it alot and loved it. Finally sold it and bought a real 5F6-A.
     
  9. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    Dude! :dude

    A real one eh....post some picks so I can live vicariously through you?

    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  10. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    I've heard amps upgraded to webers, a significant impovement IMHO. I think that which ever flavor you go for, they really never got it much better than this amp.

    IMHO,
    This circuit is the holy grail.:D
     
  11. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    Where does one get a domino cap these days??
     
  12. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I have to disagree with Tag on this one. The Fender Bassman is just plain harsh with an overdriven tone that is grating to the ears, I mean talk about ice pick it makes a blackface Fender sound mellow. I have owned the Victoria and have also played them side by side with Fenders, this is the difference in a nutshell.

    Victoria: Quieter, sweeter sounding less ice pick, more bloom to the notes, more complexity and an overdriven tone which sounds like the records recorded back in the day. This amp had the best overdriven tone I have ever heard coming out of a non-master amp. The only problem was I rarely played that loud.

    Fender: Easily louder, more treble content using the exact same amp settings, punchier with a little less sag to the notes. I like the Fenders, they probably are the best sounding amp they now make except for the 57 twin, the 57 twin reminds me more of the Victoria stuff because it's got a much sweeter tone.

    I sold my Victoria to Jeffnmoe, perhaps he will chime in on the difference, I know he loves his.
     
  13. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Supporting Member

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    I've owned an LTD, and have spent A LOT of time with a buddy's Vicky Bassman, I also had another friend with a couple of 5-F6A's The LTD I had was very bright, and it could be a little harsh. So I used some very extreme tone settings when I played it.

    Usually I'd set it up like this with my 335:

    Pres: 6-7
    Treb: 3-4
    Mid: 6-8
    Bass: 3-5
    Bright Vol: 4
    Normal Vol: 6

    This produced a very fat singing tone ala BB Live at the Regal or some of the Otis Rush stuff off of Tops, and it was also great for later Freddie King.

    The Victoria of my buddy's was a louder amp, and when he first got it, I was unimpressed with the tone. Then I found him some Tung Sol 5881's, then some GE preamp tubes, and then some Weber P10R's, and now that amp is a SERIOUS tone machine. Real, fat, smooth, just sounds gigantic all the time.

    Now then there's the original 1960 Bassman, hearing that amp literally changed my playing style. I was a rocker and a heavy metal guy that used only Mesa Boogie before hearing this amp. I heard this amp, and it was so beautiful sounding, it was like the voice of God. Just fantastic sounding, I've never heard any amp sound better than that one, and I doubt that I ever will.
     
  14. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Im glad you dug it, its a great sounding amp, but this is my experience.
    I must note that as soon as I bought mine, I installed a NOS TUBE rectifier in place of the SS one. All you do is unplug it, and plug in the tube. I dragged my old RI to Ultrasound, and A/Bd the heck out of the Vicky and fendr. I LOVE the 59 bassman, and thought so much of mine, I said I HAVE to get a Vicky, its a boutique, and has to sound better than the fender. Well, after A\Bing them, to my ears, it did NOT sound better. The only difference was the fender had slightly more headroom, which I preferred. It was not any brighter, had every bit the "harmonic complexity", and had as much or more sag than the Vicky. (Probably due to the NOS rectifier tube) I also had a chance to A-B-C-D the 59RI with THREE original 59 bassmans. Each one sounded slightly different, with none sounding what I would call "better" than any others. As a matter of fact, the older ones seemed to lack detail compared to the new one. While they were "looser" sounding to some degree, I liked the detail of the newer one. The older ones just sounded like old ones. Same tone. The only boutique clone I have heard that nails that old, loose, feel and vibe, AND have the detail, is the bruno tweedy pie 35. This thing KILLED the Vicky and Fender side by side.

    I just want to say I love the Vicky as well! Its a great sounding amp, no doubt about it. However, the new LTD sounds better than my old one, which was every bit the equal to the Vicky to my ears.
     
  15. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

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    I picked up mine years ago and was pretty dissapointed at its tone.

    Of course, with a few mods here and there I've gotten it
    to sound sensational.

    I tweaked the caps and put in a couple of mine.
    I removed the metal oxides someone
    had put on V1 plates (this made a big imrovement).

    I picked up some OS speakers, vintage Jensens and finally
    run with the Legend 105 from EMI. These sound just as
    good as the Hi dollar Jensens and I don't need to worry
    about cranking the amp.

    The Legend 105s are great sounding speakers!

    NOS Tubes, Tung Sol 5881, and GE 5 star in V1 (12AY7).

    This baby sings now!
     
  16. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    Are talking about a reissue, LTD, or Vicky?
     
  17. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    RC

    These are amazing amps. Victoria has been around a LONG time and they are sort of an icon in the amp business. The 45410 (Tweed Bassman) that Mark Baier at Victoria produces is considered to be one of the best if not the best. Mark Baier does a number of things that are unique to Victoria such as transformers and caps that are designed and produced specifically for him and nobody else which have the qualties of aged components which are found in the best sounding original examples of these amps. His build quality is nothing short of stellar.

    On the low end ... remember .... the Tweed Bassman was originally intended to be a bass amp when Fender had complaints of the low strings being flubby with a single 15" speaker.

    The Tweed Bassman is considered by a lot of folks to be the "ultimate guitar amp". Jim Marshall agreed ... that is why he copied the Bassman for his first amp which became the JTM-45.

    A Tweed Bassman is a very versitile amp that can play with great clean tones or get some amazing blues and rock tones when pushed.

    Happy playing and if your friend wants to sell it for anything up to retail cost it is still a great deal as a new one would have a bit of a wait unless you found one in stock in a dealer.
     
  18. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    I prefer the stock P10Rs and these are easily available. The reissue Jensen P10R may be the most accurate reproduction of a vintage speaker that Jensen has done. It is a great speaker.
     
  19. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    The Fender amp is a great deal for the money but there are many differences. The 12AX7 in v1 of the Fender is just the start and the transformers are quite a bit different.

    If you would like to play these two amps side by side and compare dynamics and touch sentivity and are near So Cal I would be happy to let you play my amps.

    The Fender LTD is a great amp but it also uses metal film resistors, changed values on many components, different caps and plays, sounds, and feels different. The Fender is a very nice amp and we used three of them for the recent Loggins & Messina tour with great success.

    These are both great amps but comparing them is somewhat like comparing a nice mid priced four door sedan and a BMW M5. They are different but similar in many regards.

    If you want a Tweed Bassman and are on a budget the Fender is a great amp and it may be the nicest of the Fender reissue series and most close to the original amps.
     
  20. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    Bluesbreaker,

    One fast fix for the reissue is to replace V1 (Sovtek 12AX7WC) with a darker preamp tube. You can also pop a 12AY7 in V1 which was originally used although the cathode bias resistor value in the RI is not the same as in the original.
     

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