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VibroChamp WTH?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by wblynch, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Don't believe what? I bought a late SF VC from America about 10 years ago for $250 American. I resold it for $450 US here in Oz two years back. And vintage stuff doesn't go for as much here. They are rare compared to a common production amp today. Even if you looked at combined CL, eBay and other online classifieds it's a rare bird, matched only by Valco, Gretsch, Tweed Gibson's etc. Arguably the Vibro Champ is still top of the pile in terms of sounding like a 'big' Fender. I only sold it because I scored a deal on a Clapton Vibrochamp. Got back the cost of a Weber speaker, caps and NOS preamp tubes I put in it.
     

  2. bryan83

    bryan83 Tele-Meister

    169
    Nov 25, 2006
    HI
    I just recently picked up a lovely 66' Vibro Champ for $740 on eBay. I've always wanted one. I'm very happy with it! These amps sound amazing. Nothing like natural OD at bedroom levels. And the tremolo is SO smooth.

    Worth every penny IMO. I went BF because I'm a BF nut and dream of expanding my vintage BF collection. I love the sound and look. Pure rock and roll history.

    Threw in a Jupiter speaker because the original was trashed. Amazing speakers IMO. They sound and look great.

    [​IMG]

    Moral of the story is, gotta pay to play what you want. Don't like it? Play something else.
     
    robrob likes this.

  3. wblynch

    wblynch Tele-Meister

    Age:
    65
    101
    Apr 24, 2017
    California USA
    So how would you compare your Vibrochamp to that Princeton? Both very nice amps.
     

  4. bryan83

    bryan83 Tele-Meister

    169
    Nov 25, 2006
    HI
    The 6G2 Princeton has some amazing clean tones. They stay clean way up on the volume knob unlike their Reverb brothers. And it's that brownface sound. Sounds lovely clean and with a little Timmy transparent OD pushing it.

    The Vibro Champ doesn't have a clean Tone anywhere on the dial. Especially with buckers. Volume knob usually stays anywhere between 8 and 10 :)

    Two excellent amps. But yet I still gas for more. Ugh.
     

  5. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    They're quite common in the US, except when they're sold on ebay, they're usually "rare".
     

  6. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Just did a search 22 world-wide. Half of them for $AU1000+ including the only one in Australia.

    I'll agree people are asking some stupid prices especially for Blackfaces and I bet those ones don't sell. Given a lot are dealers that's not exactly every street corner or surprising. Be interesting to look at completed auctions.
     
    wblynch likes this.

  7. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Meister

    460
    Dec 14, 2009
    Latrobe PA
    This subject pops up every so often. I have myself responded in this and other sites about similar hand-wired 5 watts combo amps.
    Swarts: $1050+
    Victorias: $1300+
    Dr Z: $1000
    Tungsten: $1100
    Milkman: $2400 (!)

    A well-maintained Fender Champ or VibroChamp is well worth the $500 or above asking price.

    Sure, you could build your own for far less. But you will not have anything close to the resale value of an actual Fender. I happen to own a 65 BFVC as well as a fantastic clone that has the best possible upgrades one could hope for. Each brings its own advantages. The clone is amazing, but I am holding onto the Fender for the rest of my days.
     

  8. bakersfield2014

    bakersfield2014 Tele-Meister

    120
    Nov 1, 2014
    Helena Montana
    You just need to find the right auction. I picked up a Silverface Vibro Champ in real clean condtion for $350 and a SF Champ for $320 or so last year. Just don't do the ridiculous Buy it Now prices
     

  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    There is about 26 on ebay.com, Silver- and Blackfaces, with more Silverfaces. That's pretty common in terms of gear rarity.
     

  10. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Meister

    248
    Mar 2, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I think the prices for Princeton Reverbs have gotten out of hand - and in turn it has probably driven up the costs of Champs and Vibros. People are looking for smaller combos.
     

  11. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    I just checked, and a complete kit for a Vibro Champ from Mojotone is $630, $950 if they assemble it for you. If I was building one, I would do the cabinet myself, so that would save a good bit. But, a quick look and estimate for parts looks like roughly $500 to build one yourself, including the cabinet from scratch. So, there gives you an idea of what the alternative to an original costs.

    After I started hanging out at Shock Brothers page on here and building my own, I seriously doubt I'll ever own a vintage amp unless it's some awesome deal I can't pass up. Besides the satisfaction I get from playing something I built, I don't have to worry about ruining any kind of collector value if I do something to it. And, I can save a bundle. My 5F11 Vibrolux I just finished cost me less than $500 to build, and it's the sweetest amp I've ever played or owned.
     
    robrob, wblynch and SnidelyWhiplash like this.

  12. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 18, 2009
    Hogtown,KY.
    You can ask any price you wish. The ones on Reverb don't seem to be flying off the shelves.
    Over priced & over saturated. Fender made a **** load of these. They are not by any means
    " rare ". I also remember a time when you couldn't give these away.:cool:

    Please don't think i am disparaging the VC. I own a '67 BFVC myself. But there's no way
    in hell i would give $800-$1000 for one! :eek:
     

  13. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    I 'gree with you - but by the same token you couldn't give away old cowboy guitars like Teles in the sixties, and Seymour Duncan said himself he drove around guitar shops picking up Strats, Teles and Gibson SGs for $100-150 bucks in the eighties that no-one wanted, that's how he learnt to fix broken pups. Made a mint out of them later.

    So it's all relative. Yes they made a lot, but 2-3 dozen worldwide - doubled up in Reverb and CL and others is not exactly every street corner. A lot of people are like you and sitting on one. I moved my late SF on in favour of a EC Tweed Vibrochamp and regret it in retrospect. EC had the tone, but not the build unfortunately. Mine had a Weber Sig alnico flat cone speaker, some old, old tubes and sounded awesome.
     

  14. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 18, 2009
    Hogtown,KY.
    How did you come up with the # 2-3 dozen world wide??? I would be willing to bet that there are many more than that. The world is a mighty bigg place. ;)
     

  15. wblynch

    wblynch Tele-Meister

    Age:
    65
    101
    Apr 24, 2017
    California USA
    I have thought if the prices get too out of control I would just build one. I don't care about resale as I never sell anything. I give stuff away from time to time though.

    I have seen some nice ones go for $300-$350 lately when they are described as 'needs repair'. Just fell asleep at the bid and lost out to snipers.

    I'm going to wait for one to come to me. It will...

    :)
     
    jsnwhite619 likes this.

  16. Festus_Hagen

    Festus_Hagen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    51
    96
    Jul 6, 2016
    Jeff City, Mo.
    I ran across a "basement find" that was a 1965 Reverb 12 by Kalamazoo, made in Illinois. I gave the guy 50 bux because it came on and made sound.

    I took it to my amp guy, and everything, caps, tubes, speaker ... the whole lot, are all original, and everything worked but the reverb. I got a new tank, 3 wire mod and she rocks with a sound I can't buy in a store. Hard to explain as I have many tube amps I "like", but that one is ... special.
     

  17. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    That's an awesome deal. People are waking up to these nearly-Fenders. I have a couple similar little gems. A little push-pull 6AQ5 PA head probably from a shop or office with 6AU6 preamps. Does a psycho mini-Vox thing through an original Wharfdale Red Alnico speaker - with pencil date and signature on the cone, Nov 1962.
     

  18. craigs63

    craigs63 Tele-Meister

    470
    Aug 23, 2009
    Naperville, IL
    I think the question would be why someone would pay that much. Charging as much as someone will pay just seems natural.
     

  19. papa32203

    papa32203 Tele-Holic

    576
    Nov 4, 2011
    Surprise, AZ

    You are absolutely right: I couldn't give you $1000 for it.
    And I believe you about the tone.
    Enjoy.
     
    SnidelyWhiplash likes this.

  20. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    46
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Having owned a '68 VC, and built several amps. As well somewhat in tune with the vintage amp market, I'd say $500 is fair value for an original Fender 70's and back, SF Champ or VC.

    Good amps. Not amazing. Good value compraed a new $500 tube amp offered today.
     

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