Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Amazed by a '74 Vibrolux

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by thunderbyrd, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. RubyRae

    RubyRae Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2009
    The bottom line is most of the earlier ones have great potential regardless.
    Easy to work on and hand wired. Many of the silver face amps I have played sounded good, and when they have some decent old tubes in them even better.
    I have a 1968 silverface Pro Reverb that absolutely kills. Original Utah speakers, but new reverb tank, caps, and tubes. Had it blackfaced and never looked back.
    Congrats! The VR is one of the best.
    thunderbyrd, rebelwoclue and TakkOne like this.

  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I have a friend with an old SF Vibrolux.
    He put in a pair of mismatched Webers and it just kills.
    I put on a DPDT switch on one speaker to reverse the polarity. Goes from big round warm sounds to tight, laser focused notes.
    I liked it so much i built myself the same cabinet.
    thunderbyrd likes this.

  3. Mike H.

    Mike H. Tele-Afflicted

    May 19, 2003
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I think the BF/SF Vibrolux Reverb is the best club amp Fender has ever built. My '67 is my holy grail amp. I will never sell it.
    It has the original Oxfords and they sound amazing.
    MrGibbly, nocastermike and Paul G. like this.

  4. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    The 1970 Vibrolux I recently acquired came with an original Oxford ('70) and a '73 CTS Alnico.
    At first I wasn't sure about that mix... but it sure sounds nice!
    thunderbyrd likes this.

  5. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    Some years ago at the live music venue where I used to work, the local entertainment rag sponsored a Christmas party with something like eight or ten bands. Backline was provided, all the amps were borrowed from a music store and had price tags hanging from the handles. It was an anonymous motley assortment of JCM800 combos, Hotrod Devilles and the like, and an early '70s silver Vibrolux. After the first set, I started steering players to the Vibrolux, it was a particularly good one. By the end of the night there were about six guys who wanted to buy it.
    thunderbyrd likes this.

  6. D'tar

    D'tar Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 11, 2013
    It's threads like this that are ruining MY chances of ever owning one of these. I serviced this '79 and it is now my favorite amp I have played through yet! Also thought this thread was lacking pictures:)


  7. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    I've got a 1979 that I really like...its got me thinking of selling my 78 deluxe reverb ut I'm in no rush
    thunderbyrd likes this.

  8. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted

    Here's my clone, the best amp ever:

    tomtama and thunderbyrd like this.

  9. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky
    the one my buddy has looks about like this one. he still has it. if everything can hold on, it might be mine in a month. i can scratch the cash together, i think. my wife will beat me with a stick, but it's worth it.

  10. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    I will admit that last year I was staring at two great vintage amps that I owned.

    A 1966 Deluxe Reverb and a 1971 Vibrolux Reverb. One worth quite a sum. The other considerably less. They both sounded great. I decided they were too similar to warrant keeping both. I honestly preferred the tone of the Vibrolux. The 1966 DR was shipped out shortly after. I still have the Vibrolux today.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
    t guitar floyd and snottyboy like this.

  11. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Holic

    May 24, 2016
    Here's mine:



    It's a 78 IIRC. I didn't really know anything about these when I bought it but it was on Craigslist at a price I couldn't pass up. Once I got it home and replaced some bad bypass caps that made the reverb squeal, it blew my mind how good of an amp I had stumbled into :eek:. Definitely a keeper!
    thunderbyrd, t guitar floyd and D'tar like this.

  12. nocastermike

    nocastermike Tele-Meister

    Apr 25, 2015
    I have 2. An original 65 and a 72. Both sound spectacular. Best amps ever.

    Attached Files:

  13. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Which model # is the overall fav Vibrolux? I see 4 different schematic model numbers: 5F11, 6G11A, AB763, and AA964... confusing! (only the last has the "Reverb" in the name though)
    thunderbyrd likes this.

  14. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    • 5F11, 6F11A, AB763 - Non reverb early models, single speaker in most cases.
    • 1964 – 1967 blackface circuits AA964, AA864, AB568
    • 1967 – 1978 silverface circuits AB568, AA270
    • 1978 - 1982 silverface circuit with master volume boost, blackface cosmetics in late 80 to 82 models.
    They're all desirable because the AA models are pretty much the same from any year. To a collector the early models of course would be desirable but any of the AA models will serve you well.

  15. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    5F11 was pretty much a Harvard-Amp with trem. It filled the gap between a Princeton and a Deluxe.
    6G11A got bumped up the line to fill the gap between a Deluxe and a Pro/Super, still true for the non-reverb blackface Vibrolux-Amp. Vibrolux Reverb-Amp once again plugged the gap between the Deluxe Reverb-Amp and the Pro Reverb-Amp.

    For many, that gap that the Vibrolux plugged is the "just right" spot.

  16. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky, did i buy the vibrolux from him? no, because he offered me his Es-335 at a once in a lifetime, blowout price. seriously, once in a lifetime. and the 335 has been on the bucket list longer than the amp.

    but he still has the amp, so check back for more thrilling developments in a couple of months!

    and another thought: what is wrong with us???

  17. snottyboy

    snottyboy Tele-Meister

    Nov 5, 2010
    SCS, MI
    Perfect! Now you have time to squirrel away a little more disposable income to buy the amp. Congratulations on the 335 acquisition!

    ***Not sure what could possibly be wrong with us, though..
    thunderbyrd likes this.

  18. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    One problem with SF Fender amps is that as the '70s wore on, construction got sloppy. Eventually lead dress got so bad that it was causing HF oscillation. Instead of retraining their workers to do their job correctly, CBS decided to install "stability caps" on the power tube grids to roll off the high end. It's said that getting rid of those caps helps brighten the high end, but I've never personally tried clipping them out. I have encountered SF Fenders that were dull sounding though, and I wonder how much getting rid of those caps would have helped.
    thunderbyrd and TakkOne like this.

  19. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

    Feb 4, 2016
    sw US
    Nice thing is that you can trade back the 335 (uncomfortable - heavy) for the Vibrolux, when he's ready to let go. :)

  20. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    I never really think of my 63 Brown Vibrolux, and my '71 Blackface Vibrolux Reverb as even being close. They are very different amps. Only alike in name, mostly.

    The same could said I suppose for many Fender amp models. The Princeton, the Deluxe, and many others changed very much over the decades.
    Last edited: May 19, 2017

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.