Matt Sarad

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I have a 1964 Deluxe and a 2000 Victoria Tweed Deluxe
The old Fender has a more raw sound.
At 3, both amps are pretty close. The Victoria is a bit brighter.

The '64 is the transition year where fender used black tolex instead of Tweed. I had a Tweed cabinet to put the amp in. It has that beat up look i find so appealing.
Given that the Fender is worth 3K+ and the Victoria is about $1,500, I tend to take the Victoria for gigs.
 

TeleUpNorth

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If prices are equal, I prefer vintage. Though I own a boutique head and the builder is in my city. I get free support on it with no questions asked for as long as he's alive. That's a huge perk and I imagine lots of boutique builders offer the same level of support.
Same with my one boutique amp! It's at the builders house right now because it kept blowing a fuse....no charge and it gets fixed.
 

Sax-son

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I just like something that is dependable and sounds good. It could be stock, vintage, boutique or whatever. I never subscribed to the "buy as an investment" idea as you never know what that market is going to do and if you paid top dollar, you could take it in the shorts. I don't trust these vintage "hucksters" as they are businessmen trying to separate you from your money.
 

Wildeman

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I've been playing vintage amps since i started (30 or so years) and haven't had alot of problems with them. They are way more durable than internet chatter would have you believe. I have a minty 1965 Supro Tremo Verb that is 100% stock and works perfectly, i know some will say "OMG, you need to change ----- immediately! are you crazy?" Nope, no i dont and, no I'm not, i will know when it needs servicing.
 

JKjr

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I haven't sold an amp in 40 years. At last count I had 1.4 bazillion, of all ages and prices. Which is better, boutique or vintage? The answer is "yes".
Just a couple observations:
Often the feature set is what determines the right amp. Effects loop? Channel switching? Master volume? Line out?
My "magic" amps are a mixture of vintage and boutique. The vintage have an aged sound that can't be replicated. The boutiques tend to be more crisp and new sounding. Both are fantastic to my ear. Speaking of ears...
As a few have said, a major advantage of boutique stuff is that you have one man's vision, experience and expertise, as opposed to random examples from the assembly line. I don't think this can be overstated. OTOH,
Most vintage amps were designed to last forever, with easy service in mind. Tubes and caps are like brakes and tires, maintenance items. All of mine have been serviced by now, and none have given additional problems. But the who has been the difference for me. Some guys have a gift for finding the magic in a circuit. They have a solution for every problem, and your amp comes back the best that it can be. Just like boutique. And guys like Todd Sharp, Lee Jackson, or Dave Bose aren't much more expensive (if at all) than the local guy. I've had average amps transformed.
So the answer is "yes".
 

Tommy Biggs

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I'd say it depends on what you want the amp to do.
Yeah you'd have to service a SF Fender, but it'll be a workhorse. But no effects loop, and not the best Master Volume (if there is a MV at all)
It also depends on if you've got a solid Amp service shop nearby.

I'd still be happy enough with an older amp…
But
I’d be just fine with a nice clone 5e3, or a copied Marshall with some enhancements.
 

The Ballzz

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Well folks, one problem in today's performance environments is that lower wattage/lower volume capabilities can be an important factor. Typically, when "mass market" companies design their amps, quite often as the wattage goes down so do the features and most "vintage" amps have few, if any modern desired features. One benefit of a "boutique" amp is that it can be designed and built with "vintage styled" circuitry and modern features added. The downside of a true "vintage" piece is that you would NEVER want to destroy its $$$$ value by adding say, an effects loop, boost circuit, power scaling, master volume or any other invasive and irreversible modification.

A one off, boutique amp build, with any added features you may desire, likely won't cost much, if any, more than a similar "vintage" unit that lacks those features. Also, the boutique amp will be new, with new components and as mentioned earlier, the likelihood of pretty robust product support and customer service.

Another avenue is to simply study a bit, practice your soldering skills and build your own "boutique" style amp! This of course is dependent upon the complexity of the amp you want to end up with and its intended usage. Be forewarned though, building amps can become quite the addiction, as the process and rewards can be very pleasing and fun!

Just My Thoughts,
Gene
 

telemnemonics

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I don't consider new copies of old amps to be "boutique".
Those are reproductions.

Boutique amps are newer designs,IMO.

That said I moved from vintage to reproduction when all my vintage amps got too damn valuable to use as tools.
They were not a problem in terms of age making them unreliable though.
 

telemnemonics

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I have a 1964 Deluxe and a 2000 Victoria Tweed Deluxe
The old Fender has a more raw sound.
At 3, both amps are pretty close. The Victoria is a bit brighter.

The '64 is the transition year where fender used black tolex instead of Tweed. I had a Tweed cabinet to put the amp in. It has that beat up look i find so appealing.
Given that the Fender is worth 3K+ and the Victoria is about $1,500, I tend to take the Victoria for gigs.

But, by 1964, Fender had replaced the Tweed Deluxe circuit with the new Brown Deluxe circuit and chassis, then replaced the Brown Deluxe circuit with the BF Deluxe, so it's far from a Tweed Deluxe circuit, right?
 

Killing Floor

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Which one sounds the best to you? I like the idea of a warranty and replacement parts a little more than the real deal vintage if the sound and cost are equal. That said, I would play it and put my beer on it. I would probably not be prone to treat it as irreplaceable. Just me.
 

beninma

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I always think back to old bands. Many of them just rented gear wherever they were playing, and therefore didn't have a personal amp. That always tells me that it's definitely more about the musician than the gear.

John 5 was just in like a Rig Rundown or something with Premier Guitar and he pretty much said the same thing and that he's still that way. "It doesn't matter, I sound like me if you give me anything I can plug into.. as long as I have my #1 Tele".

He wants a Marshall but if he can't have it that's fine. He apparently took a loaner that wasn't even the right amp for a show a while ago when his road crew had an amp disaster and said the show went off fine.

Hi did go on and on about really only playing his #1 Gold metal top Tele 99.99% of the time though and not wanting to play anything else really, including his massive Tele collection.. he basically wants his collection to stay pristine.
 

The Ballzz

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I also wonder why Fender has not chosen to include an Effects Loop in more of their amps, even if just a properly placed passive loop with no buffers and/or other circuitry. It has more uses than just for effects. For example: It allows the use of the preamp fed to a different power section, or the use of a different preamp into your power section. It also provides a fairly handy test point for determining if you're having a problem with power tubes or preamp tubes.
Just My Take On It,
Gene
 

telemnemonics

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I have no idea. It's a top panel Deluxe that fits in a Tweed cabinet.

Interesting, how did you determine it was made in '64?
I know the Tweed champ was made through the brown era until the BF champ appeared, but I thought the Tweed Deluxe ceased production when the Brown Deluxe was introduced in circa 1962?
Then the Brown ceased when the '64 BF appeared?
 

KC

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both! neither! it depends! I have a hard time in a lot of playing situations, including my living room, dealing with an amp with no master vol or power scaling. I can make it work with pedals but it's just a lot easier if you can dial the amp back some. and good-sounding master volumes are a modern invention. I would dearly love to have a blackface Super Reverb but I suspect it wouldn't get a lot of playing time. lately I've been playing a Bad Cat Cub with a switchable EF86/12ax7 front end and their own "K-master" volume and I can get a good sound out of that at any volume level. so I guess, for myself, that I would go boutique.
 

Matt Sarad

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Interesting, how did you determine it was made in '64?
I know the Tweed champ was made through the brown era until the BF champ appeared, but I thought the Tweed Deluxe ceased production when the Brown Deluxe was introduced in circa 1962?
Then the Brown ceased when the '64 BF appeared?
My brother got the amp 30 years ago. His research determined it was a '64 Transition between Tweed and brown tolex.
Blame him.
 




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