1973 Vibrolux Reverb - v - 1966 Vibrolux Reverb Amp

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by kavalero, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. kavalero

    kavalero Tele-Meister

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    Guys, just wondering how different are these two amps in terms of their respective circuits.

    Someone mentioned that Vibrolux was the least CBS butchered amp of all original Leo's designs, and I'd like the opinion of you guys who are familiar with the topic.

    Cheers ..!
     
  2. Road King

    Road King Tele-Holic

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    I know nothing of the circuits, but I saw Redd Volkaert play through a blackface Vibrolux last weekend. And now i need one BAD.
     
  3. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    How comfortable are you reading a schematic? Here's a BF vs a SF.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Pretty different, in that I reckon the '73 needs a splash'o'paint and she's good to ride.
     
  5. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    I see the voltages are up a little in the SF model. I would expect the BF to break up maybe a hint sooner than the SF.
    I have never played a BF, however I own a 71 Vibrolux Reverb and it is a killer amp. I love it. Nice chimey Fender cleans for days.
    Great value in the SF line. I would not hesitate to buy one. I estimate the SF can be found for up to half the price of a BF. No brainer there
    for me. SF and lovin it. Yet being as I have never played a BF VR take my opinion for what its worth. I have other BF amps just not the VR.
     
  6. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I owned a really nice BF '65 VR with '67 Jensens. The amp sounded like the voice of angels with the volume past 4.
     
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  7. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Perceived value. Biggest difference. Because it has a blackface control panel, it must be worth more! LOL

    I had a '69 and did quite a bit of reading... But, I am not very bright when it comes to electrical stuff. The big complaint a lot of folks make is the change to bias balance instead of regular bias stuff and the lead dress became much less neat. There were some small additions to the power tube circuits to make up for the extra noise created by the lead dress stuff...

    But, honestly, they don't sound that different. Everyone I know who owns a silverface Vibrolux Reverb swears by it.
     
  8. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    The 73 will have the bias balance circuit instead of the BF bias. This lets you balance the current draw of the tubes, but doesn't allow as much flexibility with the baseline bias. The BF bias circuit is better for using matched tube sets, although it's not hard to modify the 73 for the best of both worlds - BF bias with a balance circuit.

    I know my '68 had some suppression caps on the power tubes. See those 2200 or 2000 pf caps on the power tubes where the bias voltage comes in? That's them. They can be clipped out. Minor stuff. As Keith mentioned, the voltages are higher in the SF, which increases headroom. Not an issue for me - I prefer a clean baseline for my Fender amps. If I want tube breakup, I'm going to a Marshall circuit.

    All in all, best value to me is to buy an early (pre-78 which is when the pull boost got added) SFVR, then do the minor mods to blackface the circuit. At least doing the bias circuit is a good idea IMO.

    VR is the least modified 6L6 amp, but the push-pull 6V6 offerings were changed to about the same degree.
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The 1976 VR I had yielded exact BF voltages when it was in proper running condition. I recently overhauled another '76..... Same story....BF voltages....right around 410Pv when biased in the 60-70% range. These are maybe my favorite BF/SF Fender Reverb amps.
     
  10. kavalero

    kavalero Tele-Meister

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    The OP here,
    Thank you all guys.
    I have played a 1966 years ago and liked it very much.
    I have started this thread as there is a 1973 VR available locally.

    Hopefully it'll sound close to the BF VR once serviced properly ..
     
  11. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Buy it!
     
  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The later pull-boost ones are even cheaper and I'm pretty sure the circuit is the same, save the pull boost.
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +1 with Charlie's observation. The VR is the only 6L6 Fender reverb amp that did not undergo the MV and Ultralinear changes. That makes any SF or even the 1980-1981 BFVR's a bargain, IMHO.
     
  14. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 79 with boost and for $600 it is a great amp!
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That is a steal unless it is in sad cosmetic shape.
     
  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Oh, man...mine was $700.
    But it's a creampuff ;)
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Where do you folks find these sellers who have no idea what they have?????
     
  18. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mine was $600 but it was completely non-functional. It was blowing fuses on power up and took out a Mullard GZ34 in the process (cry face). Luckily the black plate 6L6s made it (win face). Wally, Bobby, Clint and others talked me through the repairs and it has been solid for 2 or 3 years now. I figure I didn't steal it, I rescued it - with plenty of help from TDPRI.

    Deals are out there if you want to get your hands dirty.
     
  19. Thin69

    Thin69 Friend of Leo's

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    Fortunately completely non-functional units are generally easily repairable. I just would hate to have to replace iron.

    Not that I need another amp but I've been looking for a deal too but have had no luck with a decent price.
     
  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I am envious of someone who buys a clean one that is functioning for the prices mentioned in these three cases. I would not give $600-700 for one that would not fire up and give loud sounds. IN such a case, I fear that one or two trannies are bad....usually that is not the case, but a $6-700 expenditure on a BF/SF VR that has to then have a replacement tranny moves things in to paying too much money for what will be a non-original amp. jondanger got lucky....but sometimes Lady Luck looks the other way. I cover mine when buying.....for me, a silent SFVR is worth about $200-250. IF they won't take that, then I offer to get the amp making sound and then buy it minus the repair costs.
     
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