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Vintage Vibrolux vs tone king sky king vs other ideas

jamminoutloud1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,331
So I did a recording session in an amazing studio this week. They had a blackface vintage vibrolux there that sounded awesome. Truly authentic, and beautiful feel.

It's been haunting me how good it tracked and I think I am ready to buy a vintage fender amp. I am checking out a 1964 vibrolux, but see some other years such as 1967, silver face 1968 available in my area as well.

A few quick questions.

1) Is the 1964 year any better or worse than other years in the 60's?

2) If the speakers have been changed, obviously that's a shift, but if everything else is original besides maybe some caps, would this be anything to be concerned about?

3) I have a tone king sky king, but as amazing as it sounds, I'm not sure if it would record as well, and it seems like it has more of a modern tight feel, which to me isn't a loose and easy to play as the vibrolux

4) There are also some vintage deluxes in my area, but is the vibrolux an all around better amp for tracking and live?

Any help or ideas would be very much appreciated!
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,173
Get a SF VR and have it serviced. One really only needs to BF the bias circuit IMO. If one feels the need.
I've owned three VRs , one being a BF. My current and keeper is a '78 non master vol that Alan Philips BF'ed and slightly tweaked.
The VR has always been and will always be my favorite Fender amp.

I've also owned a few Deluxes. They are not in the VR league IMO.
While great at what they are and do , the big bottles is were it's at.
The BF/SF Deluxes simply don't have the thump , fat mids and fullness that the VR has.
 
Last edited:

davidespinosa

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,685
Speakers make a huge difference.

Old amps vary a lot from one to the next. Make sure the amp you buy has the mojo you're looking for.

Your Sky King is probably not as bad as you think. I would A/B the amps right next to each other. You could also try running each through the other's cabinet.

Try a VRRI and see how it sounds. Also might not suck as much as you think.

Several boutique builders have Vibrolux clones. Allen, Vintage Sound, Louis, Gries, etc.
 

arcey

Member
Messages
420
Look at the speakers in the Vibrolux you played. The old ones sound and feel amazing with vintage Jensen C10N's. Davidespinos is right on...speakers make all the difference in the world in those amps. Happy hunting!
 

rockinrobby

Senior member Professional musician ...
Double Platinum Member
Messages
3,533
I have a original 67 Vibrolux w/ Oxfords and it's a great sounding amp however the speakers are original and have been in the amp for almost 50 years I think their broken in now.. My point is speakers sound best after their broken in perhaps your Tone King just needs to be broken in ?
 

JES1680

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,898
Your Sky King probably has a creamback in it which is a more "british" sounding speaker than the VR would have. Two very different types of speakers. Also your King will be pushing a lot more mid-range than a VR as they tend to be pretty scooped. I had an early silverface VR. My favorite Fender.
 

jamminoutloud1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,331
Makes sense. The speakers in the amp I want to check out has blue fender speakers in them. I know kind of vague, but anybody have those speakers in their vibrolux?
 

Krausewitz

Member
Messages
3,042
I have a Sky King and have had vintage Fenders in the past. They don't sound identical, but I found the Sky King to be far more convenient. 1x12 is nice, the attenuators and controls means that the Sky King can perform multiple functions (it is my practice amp and my gigging/rehearsal amp at the moment), and the cathode bias is actually a nice little feature (if you ever have to replace output tubes in a panic situation it is dead easy). In other words: I went with the Sky King because it is practical and gig worthy. If there is a trade-off in tone (which is debatable at best!) it is one I was happy to make.

Now, if you already have a bunch of amps for different roles then a vibrolux would be a great addition. I'd love to have one, but vintage Fenders are rare, pricey and typically in poor condition over here (vintage Marshalls, on the other hand, tend to go pretty cheap: I saw a 1972 50-watter go for about $1,100 recently!).
 

deeval

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,165
I also Have the Sky King and a 65 VR and I have Vintage Celestion G10,s in the VR, and it sounds great the G10s give it a little more Mids,I also have swapped a Ragin Cajun with a G10 mix and that really make it even louder and a little more clean headroom so speakers change the amps character Both are killer amps!
 

JES1680

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,898
I had the blue labeled speakers in my VR. I'm thinking they were Oxfords. Worked well in that amp a little soft on the low end, but I ran that amp mostly clean anyway and the cleans were beautiful.
 




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