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

Amazed by a '74 Vibrolux

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

  1. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Meister

    460
    Apr 19, 2014
    SATX
    It's worth the beating... I have a '74 that my grandfather gigged for years and then I inherited. Still going strong and sounds fabulous. Can't imagine ever parting with it and not just for sentimental reasons.
     
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  2. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Yeah I just checked and my 81 has those caps. Experiment time. Mine is not necessarily dull sounding but will play with this to see what it does. Will check the previous version schematic first to make sure there is not some cascading effect.
     
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  3. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Ok, looking back historically at the schematics from the mid 60s to early 80s, those caps are already in play by AB568 at the end of the blackface era either directly off pin 5 to ground or later tying into pin 8 before going to ground. They were only absent in the early 60s models of the AA 763 so likely, cutting those and going directly to ground is an option but you would also have to make the modifications to ground for pin 8 as well which requires another cap and resistor. There is an earlier mod potentially where you only ground pin 8 but could require some additional changes.
     
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  4. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's

    Oct 1, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    I owned a mint '65 VR and I currently own a very early mint '68 black-line drip-edge VR. Both great sounding amps and as someone stated very 3D sounding.
     
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  5. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky
    the story goes on!

    today, the guy who originally owned the 335 sent word begging for it back. he misses it. he's offered me my money back on it. i really like the 335. i also really like the vibrolux. the thing about the 335 though, is, i'm pretty much a strat guy. and oh, how good strats sound through the vibrolux.

    if i let the 335 go back, i'll get the amp and have $500 left over, which i will have no problem finding a use for...

    a terrible crises at the thunderbyrd house.
     
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  6. snottyboy

    snottyboy Tele-Meister

    216
    Nov 5, 2010
    SCS, MI
    Sounds like a win for you all the way around. You know how much you like the amp, and you will use it. Being a strat guy, you will likely have feelings that the 335 is under-utilized and have difficulty justifying keeping it. You will also have an extra $500. And finally, if you realize you miss the 335 more than you thought you would, knowing your buddy's tendencies, you will likely get another opportunity to re-acquire it!
     
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  7. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky
    having slept on it, i have decided to keep the 335. i got this one at 4-500 bucks less than what used 335's usually go for. i'm not likely to see one at that price again. there is still some chance i could end up with the amp, but the buddy with the amp just got a tweed twin that's bumped everything else (for a while). he's also seeking out a Nash guitar. so he might be parting with the vibrolux any day now, on a trade. if he would just leave it sitting there, sometime in the next 6 months i could buy it. but he trades and trades ALL the time.

    also, my wife told me i was keeping the Gibson. so there's that.

    but i thank all of you for your support!
     

  8. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2010
    Switzerland
    I've got one (a 74 with cts alnicos)!
    Fantastic amp, perfect balance of volume, grit, clarity and thud. Even better with a single 12" extension cab.
     
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  9. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky
    well, this epic tale shudders to a conclusion...

    the Vibrolux is mine, sitting here in my living room. Fender amp nirvana is mine!

    my wife bought it for me for father's day.
     

  10. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Win/Win!
     
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  11. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    You are a lucky man in many ways.
     
    Steve 78 and thunderbyrd like this.

  12. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Ah, trickery... THAT is why she told you that you had to keep the Gibson.

    Enjoy your new amp!
     
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  13. dwh100

    dwh100 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    77
    Dec 5, 2016
    LA county
    Congrats! Epic acquisitions! Wish I had a buddy like that.
     
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  14. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

    543
    Mar 1, 2011
    Beltway, USA
    What a wife! You'll be thinking of her every time you turn it on. Love mine and you will to. The amp of course.
     
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  15. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    virginia
    Hey good for you
     
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  16. stratwilly

    stratwilly TDPRI Member

    Age:
    48
    61
    Sep 1, 2016
    germany
    Oh Lord, - I will print out that thread and lay it on our dining table...
    I hope my wife will read it and catch the message - I already own a '68 Vibrolux but I really want an ES335 :D
     
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  17. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 16, 2005
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I've got a '76 Fender SF Vibrolux that sounds amazing. My son has used it in church service many time.

    The set it in that back of the stage in an ISO box and crank it up.

    He get an amazing live sound with his pedal running through that amp.

    I've bought and sold quite a few amps over the years, but this will never go anywhere.
     
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  18. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Had a '76 with pull boost (which was interesting - just not a trad Fender sound, leave it unpulled). I liked it a lot - the 5U4 tends to a greasier sort of distortion than the GZ34. All the voltages in the amp matched an early Silverface schemo, so either rectifier would work. I added a bias level to the bias balance adjust - to be honest, it sounded better with a slight current mismatch and 'hotter' didn't improve tone. I also 'Blackfaced' the reverb channel and separated the two (split resistor) and 'Brownfaced' the Normal channel. I don't think either improved the tone much, just different nuance. I had a CTS alnico paired with a CTS ceramic and it had a nice tinge over two ceramics.

    It was a great size/weight/breakup combination even with the glued particleboard baffle and the Fender 'verb and roach trem both nice (especially with the one or two minor BF changes to both whih make them fuller and deeper) but in the end, I moved it on. Never thought I would either - but my needs changed and to be honest, it was sonically limited to the one great Fender 6L6 with reverb tone, and didn't seem to like pedals especially.
     
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  19. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 16, 2005
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I'm glad pointed the pull boost out to me.

    I've never realized all these years that I don't have a '76, but instead an earlier model.

    What was the last year before the introduction of the pull boost?

    Mine must be a '74 or '75 then, which makes it even better.
     
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  20. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Now I think of it, mine was a '78 - had '77 on the tranny as a date code and a '78 ink stamp on something or other. Some of the bits had sixties codes, shows how long stuff lasted on the shelf at Fender. I remember now- I had the VR, a SFPR and SFVC at the same time, all the same year. All of them had confounding things that were original to them according to the experts, only the VR was a Fender export model with multi-voltage trans selector. The PR I put a 240v transformer in, and the VC I used a step-down in the base.

    I think '75 might have been the transition point to both the pull boost and cabinet changes including MDF sides for VW. Silverfaces were inconsistent, some went earlier, some barely changed like Vibrochamps and Champs. I bet you'd find some amps with earlier components and pull boost, and some with later components. A friend of mine's got a '74 we think, it's got no pull boost but a later Fender badge and the dadoed baffle - and unlike America, VRs, DRs are a rare beast here so it's not some tech swapping chassis between cabinets by mistake or something.

    My power and output trannies had cloth covered wire, but plastic on the eyelet board. The pull boost wiring was overlaid on the normal layout - leave it unpulled and it was straight Silverface AB1169 or whatever the schemo was. It had blue Astron bipolar moulded caps and the better Sprague blue filter and black bypass caps on the board. I did have a 70 watt Pro - and it wasn't a terrible amp. Weighed a ton, way too loud almost all the time, clean, clean, clean, clean from here to Christmas.

    If I had the VR again, I'd change the caps on the board to do with the trem (makes the trem work across the entire soundwave, not just the top half IIRC) and there are two components on the reverb circuit, which makes it deeper and lusher, and you need to use a bit more (like if 3 was enough, use 5). With those changes it sounded like a real 'mini Twin' with massive reverb before breakup and really nice afterwards, about 6 on the volume and progressively warmer and harder. The actual Blackfacing produced a smokier amp that was a bit less distinct. Having bias level and balance adjust was great - a slight mismatch in tube current draw produced sort of a smooth warmth with undertones.

    It did sound very good - all RCA tubes in the preamps although when I got it someone had bodged the rectifier into a ss half-wave (errrrrgghhh!) with a couple of IN0047 diodes and was using some sort of no-name tubes. But it cleaned up beautifully with some new Svets which were the go-to modern 6L6 then.

    I wish I had a second CTS alnico, my friend gave me a frame I had reconed with genuine new CTS kit - still available apparently. When I moved it on, I put the ceramic back and put it in my '78 Silverface Princeton, what an awesome speaker! So efficient and pokey. It transformed that amp into a gigging proposition.
     
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