1964 VibroChamp untouched,,,,

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Marcusin, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. Marcusin

    Marcusin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    11
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Location:
    Biloxi Ms
    I bought a 1964 vibro Champ, the guy said it worked when he plugged in no sound. I took it home and opened it and it is untouched, everything dates, I dont plan on keeping it . One of the caps is just started to leak and the the power cord is stiff, Im not going to power it up unless I fix it. should I leave like that for someone who really wants it and wants to repair their way or fix it my way ?
     
  2. Jon Snell

    Jon Snell Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    190
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2015
    Location:
    Jurassic Coast. UK.
  3. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,845
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    If you don't work on vintage Fenders every day, here is an emphatic leave it alone.

    Don't mess with it.

    Last one I sold "original and untouched" went out for $400. If anyone is qualified to touch it, I'm that guy. Using great restraint I didn't.
     
  4. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,470
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    If you're just going to sell it I'd say sell it as is.
    Servicing a Vibro Champ so it won't go up in smoke while playing isn't really hard. However people often screw things up in the process, even people calling themselves techs. So most people that have been inside a few old amps prefer the untouched ones.
    Sounds crazy to some I'm sure, but if given the choice between an untouched amp, that'll need service to use very long and one that just had it done by someone I don't know. I'm gonna grab the untouched one every time, even if it costs more. Then I'm going to go through it myself. Just so much easier than potentially having to weed through some guys mess.
     
    wrvond, EsquireOK and LuthRavin like this.
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    34,723
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Ime, such an amp as the one you have bought, Marcusin, is an unknown. And....asking what to do indicates that the work should be left to an experienced tech. Best case scenario would be that a recap and good, thorough service will bring the amp back to full and correct operation. The worst case scenario is that the amp has a dead transformer...not likely but possible. That small possibility is why a silent vintage amp is worth much less to me than a working example...even if the amp is all original and in excellent cosmetic condition.
    It is more than likely but not guaranteed that new electrolytics will bring the amp back to life. I once bought a ‘59 Bandmaster that was making sound...not good sound but sound. I figured that a recap was the cure. My tech called me after the recap and service was done to let me know that the OT was making all of 8 watts.....and not a good sounding 8 watts at that. That was early on in my vintage amp experience over 25 years ago and was my first encounter with an OT that was not dead but not worth anything, either. Find a good tech to get the amp going.....and hope that you did not give too much for the amp. That tweed Bandmaster was not a top dollar amp as I bought it. The tweed had been replaced in the early ‘60s with a badly done brown vinyl...car upholstery type of vinyl. So, I was out a new OT, but I did not give big money for the amp....and having to replace the OT was not something that would devalue the amp anyway since the re-tweed cut the value in half at that time anyway.
    Good luck with it.
     
  6. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,845
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    In my experience Champs and Vibro Champs are more likely to have a dead PT than any other Fender aside from Princeton Reverbs which use the same transformer.

    I think part of the problem is a Champ is a "beginner" amp. Beginners haven't gotten the memo not to run the amp without the speaker connected or not to replace the fuse with a bigger one when the fuse blows.

    Champs are a lot more frequently messed with until they won't work anymore of it they didn't work before they were messed with... they develop two or three permanent fatal errors from ham fisted wannabe "technicians".

    It's easy to pop the speaker connection loose in a Champ simply by shoving the cord into the back. Unlike larger Fenders the OT isn't protected. And... we all know it was running at or beyond 100% dissipation before someone did something horrible to it.
     
    dan40, LuthRavin and BobbyZ like this.
  7. LuthRavin

    LuthRavin Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    275
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Exactly Muchxs...like mine "back in the day"..circa 1966 we learned on these things and knowing we all wanted something bigger...we put these Champs thru hell..after 6 months we were ready for the next step up and it wasn't going to be a Princeton..it was going to at least be a Bandmaster/cab or bigger(depending on what jobs we had, real jobs) in Oregon that meant working in a mill or setting chokers in the woods..I chose the mill..anyway..tranny went on the Champ..and was left in the dusty closet for years..looking back now, those were righteous times..indeed..and the price those small amps are getting these days..i was lucky to get a grand for my "real" 65 Super Reverb while I see Champs and Vibros receiving nearly the same prices, and Princeton's... I still have a minty late 65 Vibro-Champ and will hang on to it just for remembrance of the Good ole Days!!
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    9,573
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    If just reselling I would do the same. There are some collectors out there who dont want anything changed. Be sure to say it's original vintage and may need some maintenance...
    If you want to sell it as a player, then fix those things. It may be worth a touch less and cost you to do.
     
  9. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,950
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    Yeah - no reason to fix it unless you plan on keeping it. If you don't, just flip it in its current condition.
     
  10. LPBlue

    LPBlue Tele-Holic

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    772
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    Location:
    Markdale, Ontario
    I have a pair of the little brutes... a 75 Champ dead stock and a 72V Champ modded to the eyeballs. it will do tweed to most modern wIth but the turn of a knob or the flick of a switch Pentode/triode mod as well. LOVE IT! 6V6/6L6 to boot.Great little amp that I bought cheap35yrs ago.:cool:
     
  11. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    570
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Latrobe PA
    Guess I have a few issues. I am a multi-vintage-VC owner, and a huge fan of this amp. Especially the BF ones.

    I understand people buy and flip these, and worry about the "untouched solder" thing MuchXS talks about.

    But this is a fairly easy amp to bring up to perfection, and enjoy more than many exotic small-vendor-uber-expensive amps now available. I've posted ad nauseam the boutique 5 watt amps that retail for far more and deliver less. And certainly don't have the vintage transformers.

    I had a moment of stupidity and listed my 65 VC. For more than I thought reasonable (> $1k). I had multiple offers and almost accepted one until I came to my senses.

    Play the damn thing!
     
  12. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    12,087
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,405
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    I’m interested if it is left alone. I’d rather take it to a repair man who I know and trust than to buy it after somebody else’s repairs that they made just to sell it as “working.” PM me if you want.
     
    BobbyZ and Wally like this.
  14. Jon Snell

    Jon Snell Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    190
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2015
    Location:
    Jurassic Coast. UK.
    Very wise. They can bite if you are not 100% sure.
     
    BobbyZ likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.