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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
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79 Vibrochamp "Project"

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by fender_freak, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    (Feel free to skip to pics....hell I find the narrative boring and I wrote it :D)

    My main amps for the past 5 years (been playing for 7) have been a Tweed Blues Jr, a Hotrod Deluxe and a 68 Super Reverb. I had always like the Super Reverb tonally, and had really taken a liking to it over the past year, playing it exclusively. But it's so loud for at home use...so my dad said I should look at a Vibrochamp, he had a 64 BF one when he learned to play back in the day. So, listed the Blues Jr up for sale since it just didn't sound like I wanted. No bites but just last weekend I found a Vibrochamp for sale an hour away. I texted the guy to ask if he'd be interested in working out a trade, and the rest is self explanatory.

    [​IMG]
    It had two mods when I got it. A switch to turn off the negative feedback loop, mounted in an extra factory hole in the back of the chassis. Not exactly sure what it does, but I've just been running it stock with the fb loop like God intended! The other mod was a Jensen MOD speaker, to replace the torn stock one. He also gave me the stock one. I put the stock but torn speaker back in and thought it sounded way better. More clear and crisp. Next up, the tubes were loose and would fall out if you looked at the amp wrong. Got the sockets tightened up. The tech also noticed a cap for the bass pot wasn't soldered, so he fixed that as well. So the only stuff that's not stock is the speaker and the switch, tubes and everything else are original.

    I ordered a Weber Signature 8s Ceramic speaker and installed it today...I love it! Has a lot of the qualities I liked about the stock one but tighter bass and more brightness.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Very happy with it for the time being. No other mods planned, will repair it as needed. Thanks for reading!

     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    teletimetx, theruns and bryan83 like this.

  2. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Aug 21, 2005
    Michigan
    Congrats.

    A couple of layers of tissue paper and watered down Elmer's glue may give that old speaker some new life.
     
    Zepfan likes this.

  3. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Congratulations! Champs and Vibro-Champs of all kinds are flippin' awesome. It's too bad the NFB was installed in a new hole in the chassis, but it would be cool for you to try it out without any NFB, which is the point of the mod. It might turn into a raging little monster!
     
    TheFlyingAlamo likes this.

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  5. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    Thanks guys! Actually the NFB switch was put into a factory hole, nothing was drilled. I wasn't clear enough!
     

  6. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Holic

    732
    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    Well done, that is a fine amp and a good trade.
     

  7. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Holic

    662
    Oct 24, 2012
    southern California
    Excellent trade and by far a much better amp.
     

  8. theprofessor

    theprofessor Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    That's a relief! Well done!
     

  9. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    Thanks everyone. I think it was a fair deal, I added cash on my end, but sure beats not getting it at all.

    One thing I was wondering about: caps and tubes. I see people talking about replacing the caps as maintenance...is that something I should be thinking about doing eventually? I just love the sound of it as is and don't want to start making it aftermarket like. Should I be expecting to replace the tubes soon since they're almost 40 years old?
     

  10. TheFlyingAlamo

    TheFlyingAlamo Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2012
    Lock Haven, PA
    Have a tech look it over.

    The tunes may last longer than you.
    My 72 VC has the original RCAs in it. I dropped an Eminence 820H speaker into it, as the original in mine was quite ravaged. It's smoking!
     

  11. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    When I took it in for the loose tube sockets and inspection, all he said was he fixed the bass pot and that it may or may not need a few tube sockets replaced down the road, so maybe he thinks the caps are ok for now.
     

  12. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Those sockets can be perfectly fine and the tubes will still be loose enough to make people think they have a problem.
    As long as the metal parts grab the tube's pins tight you're golden.
    Caps that should be changed are for sure the one electrolytic off the 6v6 that'll be right next to a big hot 470 resister. I don't mess with cap cans that old so I'd change that too. Actually I don't mess with any electrolytics that old so I do them all.
    If you do nothing else pull the fuse and make darn sure it's the right amp rating. Tech should've done that but sometimes they forget. (don't ask how I know)
     

  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    It's about 25 years overdue - and if your tech didn't replace the can filter capacitor you need a new tech.

    Those have a service life of approximately 12-15 years. In Champs/Vibro Champs you see lot of originals in use because they are a pain to replace -however, I've replaced many power transformers (and replacement significantly reduces vintage value) that fried because of blown filter caps.

    It should be serviced right away.
     

  14. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    I checked the fuse before I bought it.

    The shop is world renowned, so I'm not quick to write them off. Maybe it has been replaced and the PO or me don't know. What does the original one say?
     
    strat1744 likes this.

  15. King Fan

    King Fan Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    I can guess where you went -- there is a world-renowned shop where you live. But that also means you should be able to ask 'em what they found and what they thought regarding the cap can, the electrolytic caps, and so on. Don't be shy, they should appreciate the interest. Tell 'em a bunch of amp freaks on the internet were pestering you about those questions.
     
    Milspec likes this.

  16. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    I will ask them tomorrow or sometime this week! Thanks for the insight everyone.

    Probably should be looking at similar stuff on the 68 Super Reverb...my dad has had it since the 70s and it's all stock other than tubes.
     

  17. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    Talked to the tech today and he said on a 79, he wouldn't be rushing to do the job, he said if you hear a hum with nothing plugged in, then it's time. Or even take it apart and look for leakage. I don't have any hum so I'll let it be for now, I will keep an ear on it. He just did a 65 Super Reverb that was billowing white smoke, I won't let that happen to this one.
     

  18. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    United States
    Many amps don't start humming when the filter caps go bad. If they blow they can take your expensive transformers with them. Have the filter caps replaced.
     

  19. fender_freak

    fender_freak TDPRI Member

    Age:
    20
    35
    Jul 13, 2017
    WI
    Some amps, yeah, something that's not class A. He said like a Princeton won't hum but something as simple as a Vibrochamp would. I'm a newb to it, so I'm just trying to get all the info I can. Thanks!
     

  20. theruns

    theruns TDPRI Member

    25
    Dec 31, 2011
    Minnesota
    Glad to hear your enjoying the vibrochamp man! (Guy who sold it to you here) Cool to see it getting some much deserved love!
     

  21. King Fan

    King Fan Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    You're in a bit of a blurry area. Yes, you might get away with not changing them. But there's no reason not to -- no one thinks 1979 caps have special mojo. Replacing most of the e-caps would be easy and inexpensive. The cap can is harder, though.

    Good techs can be a blessing and a curse. Good: They know a lot. Bad: They may not know what you, personally, want.
     

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