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

NAD - Fender Vaporizer - Review, examination

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by sulaco, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. sulaco

    sulaco Tele-Meister

    Aug 24, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    I worked with BillM on this amp via email:

    I'll paste his most pertinent response:

    It's a little disappointing, since much of the voicing comes from the TL072 op amps, not the tubes. You could say that the drive tone somes from the tubes, but the clean tone is solid state, but warmed up through the EL84s. They're definitely cathode-biased, by the way.

    I'm sure it could be modded, but I don't know what improvement you'd actually get. You could definitely find 47uF caps for C25 and C44, as long as they aren't too tall.

    It looks like they used a version of the Blues Junior power transformer, so I'm guessing that the TP24 will work, too. I don't know about the bolt spacing, though.

  2. DeanIversen

    DeanIversen NEW MEMBER!

    May 9, 2015
    Lost Wages NV
    Hello, noob here

    I picked up a blue vapo bout 4 months ago for $180 OTD at GC, floor model it had 3 holes in the tolex where the goof ball who set it up for display punched the plastic tag holder right through the tolex instead of the handle, no probs there

    its NOISY tho, I mean it doesn't hiss full up with nothing plugged in must be my gear what I don-t get is how are you guys getting this thing up to 9 o-clock, cops definitely going to show up I crank it like that in the condo

    I will crank it to 11 july 4th for a Jimi H tribb, star spangled banner, be the first time throttled

    anyways anyone ever figure out the hot set up for this amp?

    sounds like a lot are happy with it completely stock I want to get a slightly larger higher end power transformer, maybe try some different tone caps, definitely different tubes, some hand made???? :).... dunno really but for the cost if I sink $250-$300 into it I should still be OK and have a decent amp?

    who knows maybe I run it stock if theres no real advantage upgrading, not liking the reverb unit already maybe I remove it altogether I never use em anyway and they all typically add a certain amount of noise FME so..???

    oh and yes I own a Tele just by chance I was looking for amp mods not Tele mods when I found this place but its a butterscotch classic vibe, plays great sounds so so, bone stock..

    anyhow Thanks for any tips!!


  3. DeanIversen

    DeanIversen NEW MEMBER!

    May 9, 2015
    Lost Wages NV

    guess I should have clicked on 19? I read up to like 17 and got tired, I read them all cept 18 19 in one sitting...

    still tired,

    welp maybe I do get a better transformer I got drill bits, Caps, tubes and remove the reverb spring?


  4. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2012
    Rocky Mount, NC
    The op amp preamp would be a letdown for those that want an all-tube audio pathway or for those that want to tweak the preamp circuit, but to my ears the Vaporizer sounds as good as many other all-tube amps. I have one amp that has a op amp preamp that sounds as good as my all-tube ones. And every time I use pedals I'm adding op amps to my tonepath.

  5. Rain-Maker

    Rain-Maker NEW MEMBER!

    Nov 7, 2015
    Richland, WA
    My Vaporizers are one of the best amps I have ever owned!!

    I adore my two Vaporizers! I run in stereo and these amps remind me of the old school Silvertones.

    I bought one on a whim from Guitar center. They had a sale and they were only 224.99. I figured I couldn't go wrong. I loved the first one so much I bought another and I added Celestion Golds in mine and I am very please with the sound and overall tone.

    I have a Modified 50 watt Plexi half stack, a 22 watt plexi style amp and a Marshall 18 watt 2 X 10 and I play my Vaporizers 99% of the time.

    After I bought the one I tried buying 10 of them from guitar center and that was a Huge NO GO! LOL! See what a six pack can do to someone?

    Anyways, they had completely sold out by that time so I talked them into selling me three floor models. Two of them were noisy and sounded badly but the one red one, like my original one sounded awesome and with the addition of the Celestion Golds they are incredible!

    I would love to be able to find a diagram to build a Vape hand-wired on a turret board with premium parts and some mods... Anyone know of anything like this out there?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
    dchwhite likes this.

  6. sulaco

    sulaco Tele-Meister

    Aug 24, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    the diagram? I have it.

  7. Telepathist

    Telepathist Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 19, 2013
    Bump - How's everyone getting on with their Vaporizers?

    ( ''""-.-"""-.
    !!!!=I===I=======(==) :
    ( ,,,,-..___.'

  8. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    I love my vap!
    I got one in a trade for a squier partsOcaster I made so I 'paid' about $150.

    The thing with the reverb is kind of weak but by the time
    the verb is buried the amp is overdriving enough not to need
    much reverb so its a non-issue for me.
    I too think its voxy.
    I use a klon, comp, and delay and get everything from early zep to brad paisley

    mine is red and its not as obnoxious in real life. Its a soft red, almost pastel
    not fire engine. Its not nearly as offensive as an orange amp.

    still, these would look better me thinks

    Achysklic likes this.

  9. goodguy

    goodguy TDPRI Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Detroit - Rock City
    Just picked up a Vapo and absolutely LOVE the tone (especially the Vaporizer circuit)..Just has so much character. The super wt reverb has alot to do with it. But the disto tone is soooooo awesome. To put it in perspective, I own the following tube amps (in addition to the Vaporizer) ... a Fender Bassman '59 RI, Fender 78' Musicmaster, Fender Superchamp XD, Bugera V22, Crate Palominio V16. And while I love my Bassman for clean tone and feel, I am thinking I like the Vapo better than all of them. It is just is great, has an incredible breakup tone, reverb is super slinky and makes me smile when I play it.
    Were I younger, I would think I could make a music career out of the Vaporizer tone. Its that cool.

    That being said, the Reverb SUCKS because of the hiss anywhere past 3 o clock. Did some experimenting and plugged in a 2 spring accutronics 4EB2C1B reverb tank (from my peavey classic 30) and connecting it with long high quality RCA cables. When I moved the tank a few feet away and above the amp, it was much more silent to the point of being normal. When I moved the tank closer or lower, it would start to hum, when I touched the tank, it would reduce the hum. When I put the tank behind the amp, it hums like crazy. When I had it away and set just right, it was silent and was awesome...the accutronics was much better than the stock reverb tank and sounded more lush.

    Unfortunately, the reverb is almost unuseable due to the hum when turned on...

    How could Fender have let this happen..A PERFECT amp which is seriously hobbled by a bad design....

    I dont want to have a my reverb connected about 5 feet away with rca cables across the room just so I can use the reverb....what can be done...Tried shielding it with metal, wood, cardboard, etc and no shielding worked..only moving the tank a few feet away and in a certain position did. I felt like I was back in the 70's adjusting rabbit ears, having to stand there in hold them to see the tv...

    Any ideas..anyone had success with fixing this issue and not having a seperate tank.

  10. rickvox

    rickvox Tele-Meister

    Jan 17, 2014
    West Allis WI
    Mine reverb works fine ,a little noisy at full on but nothing to complain about. However I use my Vaporizer most of the time with a Catlinbread Topanga reverb pedal so I can get the splashy tank sound as well as normal reverb sound

  11. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    My reverb isn't very noisy....

    Check your connections.


  12. kurcobrija

    kurcobrija NEW MEMBER!

    Mar 8, 2016
    Hi, I really need the schematic for the Vaporizer, could you email it to me please, it would be much appreciated. My email is, Best wishes, Igor

  13. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    Contact customer service at Fender.

    It's a D-sized drawing, so printing it can be an issue.....


  14. goodguy

    goodguy TDPRI Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Detroit - Rock City
    Update on my reverb issue, turns out it was a bad tube. Solved the crazy reverb buzzing...
    But after I replaced the tubes, I am now getting a ton of runaway reverb tank feedback...
    Any ideas, I assume the preamp tubes are 12AX7's, is that right? Should I change one of them to 12AY7 -or- 12AT7..any ideas?
    Would changing to a different tank work better. Would a ton of reverb feedback hum be from a bad tank (even though I can still hear and use reverb).
    If I put the tank in a bag and place it on top of piece of foam, I can pretty much eliminate the runaway feedback ..but just wondering how the original setup worked without a bag and foam, etc.
    Could it be a bad tank that would be more susceptible to feedback?
    Also, should I just give up on vapo reverb and get a Boss FRV pedal?

    Any ideas on mods on the Vapo with regard to putting a dwell type control or a send and return mod to have more control with the reverb (is it possible) one of the common complaints has been the reverb getting lost in the background when the volume is turned up.

  15. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    The normal operation (not vaporize mode) doesn't use the tubes for reverb. At least that's what the schematic suggests. I haven't poked around the circuit board on the bench yet.

    But, if it's feedback, the likely path is through the cabinet, into the receiver - where a dwell won't help you. Do you have rubber grommets to put under the tank around the screws?

    If you still want a dwell, I'd try installing a it here:

    Vapor dwell.png

  16. vr6pilot

    vr6pilot TDPRI Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    I've decided to let mine go. It is a very cool amp and i think I'm gonna hate myself down the road but A. I'm burdened with too much stuff and B. it doesn't really do my type of music. I have an old Peavey Encore which I just love and it can get pretty close to what the Vape does so I'm having to choose and I'll likely get more for the Vape than my old P-V.
    BBill64 likes this.

  17. Stone_Cutter

    Stone_Cutter TDPRI Member

    May 7, 2016
    Central Mass
    Seriously... I just dumped hundreds into my new 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb to get it to sound decent. Personally I wouldn't recommend one unless you plan on having work done. For a thousand bucks am I a fool to expect more? Lol

  18. goodguy

    goodguy TDPRI Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Detroit - Rock City
    Just pulled mine back out and changed the tubes...WOW love the vaporizer - what an OD tone...just cool.
    Telepathist likes this.

  19. ramonherver

    ramonherver TDPRI Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Puebla, México
    I send you and inbox dude!! Thanks!

  20. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod TDPRI Member

    Aug 27, 2016
    Hi guys,

    first post first question :) I'm from germany and a passionate Gretschplayer and now by chance a proud Vaporizer owner since this week. Can you guys tell me if it's possible to swap the stock speakers (16 ohm) for two 8 ohm speakers??? Thanks a lot!

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