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Finally getting to my 1962 Vibrolux. Time for a service.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by keithb7, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    I swore to myself I was going to take a break for a bit after I finished the 1976 Twin Reverb overhaul. I was thinking its time to focus on playing guitar for a while. Singing more. It turns out my brain thinks I've spent too much time on that stuff in my life. It wants more amp candy. I just wrapped up the 74 TR overhaul for a local musician today. Now it's time I get to this VLux. I picked up this 1962 Vibrolux in Mid January. I have spent a month looking at it. I would not allow myself to play it. It is an extremely clean specimen with very little intrusion except SS rectifier mod and a PT changeout. I assume the PT was changed to accommodate the SS rectifier idea. The caps are all original throughout. Caps are dated 52nd week of 1961. I think this is the cleanest vintage Fender I have ever been in. Definitely the cleanest vintage amp I own. I see 3 carbon film resistors that are new. 1 on bias board and 2 for the artificial center tap off the pilot light. Oh, and a new, death cap. Some one actually replaced the death cap. Time to rip out the SS diodes, replace the PT with a proper matched Classictone, and re-wire up the 5AR4/GZ34 rectifier tube. I put a 1964 C12N speaker in it. Here we go. If you want to follow along feel free to check back.

    [​IMG]

    Leather handle is not original. It does not hurt my feelings much.

    [​IMG]

    I don't recall seeing those little domino caps, the square red blocks on a circuit board in a Fender amp before. I have seen them up near the volume pot on my 1959 5E3. Just incase I have not mentioned this before, the Brown 6G11 Vibrolux is THEE AMP that Mark Knopfler used in the studio to record Sultans Of Swing. Which so happens to be one of my favourite Strat songs of all time. I have booked my calendar for the rest of 2017 to play Sultans on this amp. :)

    [​IMG]

    Here you can witness blistering B+ caps with secreted fluid staining the cardboard tube covers. Choke and OT are original. You can see the replacement PT. There is 606-414 number on it. A part number too A036958. A quick search on that Fender part number yields:

    Amps Used In: Hot Rod Deluxe**, Blues Deluxe**, '63 Vibroverb Reissue**, Custom Vibrolux**

    I will guess it a 14th week of 1994 Shumacher Transformer? Anyone need one? It's coming out.

    The previous amp tech who did the SS conversion filled the original rectifier tube socket with epoxy. It's rock hard in the socket pin holes. It has a nice mix old made in the USA, and Amperex made in Holland tubes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  2. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.

  3. RubyRae

    RubyRae Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Dec 8, 2009
    Cincinnati
    You can only look at an amp like that for so long before impulse takes over.
    That's like a super model Fender. Wow. I can't wait to hear a demo of that thing up and running post rebuild. I really want to be like you when I grow up Keith!
     
    keithb7 likes this.

  4. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Holic

    841
    Jul 1, 2005
    North Texas
    Looking forward to this thread. That's a major bucket list amp for me. I bet you're gonna love it.
     

  5. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    61
    Jan 6, 2011
    NC
    Great amp! I have a late '61 also. Mine is stock with the exception of the normal service of a three prong and fresh electrolytic caps. I also installed an internal 50k bias pot. Mine is also super clean and I've never come across another brown Fender in this condition.

    Picture 2342.jpg
    Picture 2343.jpg
    Picture 2347.jpg
    vibroluxch.jpg
    Picture 2345.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
    teletimetx, lewis, RodeoTex and 4 others like this.

  6. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2011
    Chicago
    Wow great amps! Serious fun.
     

  7. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jan 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    I'm really glad you took the leap and bought that amp and even more glad that you are going to bring it back to it's original glory. When you get it all fixed up PM me and I'll send you my address so you can deliver it to me :D
     

  8. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Actually that thing is in nice shape ! PT isn't a big deal to change. Does that one have a center tap on the B+? The SS rectifier looks like a different arrangement.
    Anyway I'll be watching this, keep thinking I need to build a brownface sometime.
     

  9. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    The center tap is artificial off the pilot light on mine. Looking at slider313's amp above, it does appear to have built in CT. I see two grounded wires from the PT. No?
    I am kind of amused how simple the guts of this Vibrolux are. It's really not that different than the 6G2 I built. Pretty much the same except dual 6L6 power tubes and a 12" speaker. A separate treble and bass pot, and two channel. Otherwise basically very similar amps. 6G2, 6G3, 6G11, that'd be really tough call on which clone to build. The Brownie era of Fender amps seems to be the silent killer, or maybe not understood (?) or not that popular (?), among the masses. I suppose there just were not that many brown amps built compared to all the other series of vintage Fender amps. The numbers are just not there. There must be 1,000 posts a day on the internet somewhere talking about the BF deluxe Reverb, or PR. Not too many brownie posts out there it seems. It took me considerable time to find one in this neck of the woods.

    I too look forward, very much, to hearing it when it's done. I have a delay on the PT. I won't have it for a week or two. So I will have to wait.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017

  10. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Not much new to share but in the spirit of keeping the throttle down for GAS infected TDPRI members, here are the new caps. The 10K dropping resistors tested as new. I'll guess someone bought this amp to learn how to play guitar in 1962 and after 6 months of aching finger tips, it just sat. For decades it sat, in a closet. Then in the year 2000-ish someone sadly died, and someone else got this amp who knew very little. That person was somehow convinced a SS rectifier upgrade was WAAYYY better. I know I'll feel a whole lot better knowing that deep within the amp, under the doghouse covers, the F&T caps are all aligned and straight, with their lettering all legible. This fact alone adds about a 3% increase in satisfaction when playing the amp. It's not much, but when you add up all the little things, it accounts for a large part of the shat eating grin you display every time you plug it in and hit that filthy, dirty, overdriven E chord.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    61
    Jan 6, 2011
    NC
    I believe I went with 20uf@500v on the first two nodes. Mine also came with a 56k negative feedback resistor as found in the 6G11. I updated it to the 100k found in the 6G11-A.
     

  12. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Not a bad plan slider313. Dual 20uf would maybe stiffen up the bottom end a little, and offer a little more voltage protection. Perhaps change the rectifier sag, and bloom a little? For some reason I decided to go with stock published cap values in here. My NFB resistor measures 1.5K. I may play with that at a later date.

    Studying the differences between the 6G11 and the 6G11-A I found
    the NFB at 56K vs. 100K. Bias resistor from 43K to 33K. Bias voltage changed from -45V to -36V. Only one other change: A .003 cap in parallel across the first triode of V1 plate dropping resistors in 6G11, changed to second triode of plate dropping resistors on 6G11-A. I wonder why they did that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017

  13. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Center tap I was referring to is for the high voltage windings. Without it a tube rectifier doesn't work, you need a bridge, half bridge or something like that rectifier. My memory's a little scetchy on the details but I think two diodes go to ground and two are where the B+ goes out.
    Not something you'd see in a real Fender amp but maybe in the ones made later ones that just say Fender on the front. (snob alert. lol)
    All academic anyway since you'll be putting in a proper PT and rewiring it the way it should be.
     

  14. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    Minnesota
    You gotta wonder what the discussion was in the lab when they did those -A changes. "Hey, why did we put the bypass across the first stage plate resistor? It sounds better on the second stage. Here, listen!"
     

  15. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    61
    Jan 6, 2011
    NC
    Yes, that was my intent. The 20uf's would tighten it up, just a bit, and the 500v rating is something I thought would be a must with today's higher ac voltages.

    I believe you have to read the value, of the NFR, out of the circuit.

    I'm not sure why they switched the .003 cap placement. I would think it's there to "tame" the high end.
     

  16. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
     
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  17. jguitarman

    jguitarman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    63
    Oct 14, 2003
    No CA
    Very nice amp there. My one any only brown is a Super. Like yours, it is in almost new condition. Looking forward to the updates.
     

  18. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Did I order the right transformer?

    http://www.classictone.net/40-18041.pdf

    I just noticed the 650V secondary leads. I have little confidence in my tranny theory. 325V per wire? This is the only one I saw on the Classictone web site for a Vibrolux. They list it as "**Vibrolux". Not sure if that implies something. Can't find any fine print. Thx.

    ***Edit. Got home sorted my brain out. 325V AC per red wire to the rectifier tube.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017

  19. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    The one on the right is coming out. Left is going in.

    [​IMG]
     

  20. Marshallfender

    Marshallfender Tele-Meister

    186
    Mar 28, 2011
    Ct
    Sweet amp. I love mine. Once I got the black paint off it!! IMG_4850.JPG IMG_4851.JPG IMG_4852.JPG
     
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