Fender Vibro Champ EC OTW

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Kitarkus, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    I remember when these were released and I both lusted for one and thought it was far too much money. I have continued to lust after them and I have watched their values maintain or increase. I have also watched the Atomic Jr, Victoria 518's, Valvetrains, Lil Dawg's etc through the years. I finally decided that it is not too much money for the feature-set.

    I literally play in a bedroom. I don't gig and never will. I've kept a go-to Super Champ XD around for years and it sounds good and has been reliable but not inspiring. I tried to upgrade to a really nice boutique with a 12" speaker and it simply did not work in a bedroom...great amp...wrong application. I recently bought a Silverface Champ and found it to be completely awesome in the bedroom...just awesome...totally inspiring...just what I've always needed but was too dumb to realize it. 8" in bedroom is bliss (that sounded just wrong). I do wish that I'd found a VC (the effect would be lovely added to this Champ)...but this Champ is minty minty.

    An apparently nearly unused (protective stickers still on the faceplates) Vibro Champ EC popped up the other day and I pounced on it. I bought it from one of those places (no plugs here) that allows me a 30 day return period. I want the trem effect and I want the reduced power switch...I've always wanted it...and I now believe that this is most likely the perfect bedroom amp for me. After thinking about this amp for 7 years I am pretty darn excited to have one in my hands. I hope that I am not disappointed and I full well know the worthy competitors to this amplifier. I came very close to another Swart in the form of an Atomic Jr....but despite my serious interest....I just know that I cannot deal with the controls at the rear...deal breaker.

    Here's to hoping that the limited amp knowledge that I have accrued over the years finally results in a 'sound' keeper amp.
     
  2. OldPup

    OldPup Tele-Meister

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    What does EC stand for?

    Never mind. Eric Clapton. When I searched all I saw were SF. After scrolling a minute (always fun!) I saw the EC. Carry on...
     
  3. Stratandtele

    Stratandtele Tele-Meister

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    Excessive Cost

    Or possibly Eric Clapton

    To the OP, I hope the amp concludes your tone quest.
     
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  4. trouserpress

    trouserpress Tele-Holic

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    Enrico Caruso? Where's the picture? Congrats!
     
  5. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    I have agreed for years....but not so much anymore. Lots of champ hand wired variations out there...none with the features that I want....trem + power level switch. To each their own.

    OTW...not in my possession yet. I can be excited about it for a few day prior to being disappointed lol
     
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  6. OldPup

    OldPup Tele-Meister

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    I hear lowered expectations are the key to happiness. I’m terrible at abiding by this wisdom, but I believe it’s true.
     
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  7. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    You are a wise soul. To add an additional spot of wisdom: "patience is a virtue". In my experience it may take longer than most return windows to determine whether a piece of gear is truly worthy of a spot in your rotation. Unless the condition of this amp is other than as advertised, I plan to keep it around for a lengthy audition. As of now, I know of no other Champ reissue that I would prefer to own. I do wish (despite not disliking Clapton) wish that this was not a 'signature' model....but that is minutiae.
     
  8. mrgroo

    mrgroo TDPRI Member

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    I bought one of those EC Vibro Champ's myself about a year ago and they do sound great. Values have held up really well like you say.

    The trem is lush.

    Only thing surprising about them...even on the 'low' setting they seem surprisingly loud. In a small room anyway! Feels like it's possibly down to an efficient speaker (Weber CVA8) or just all round strong build, components and design, but I haven't found the speaker specs. Delivers a big sound anyway.

    I was like you, thought it was going to be THE one. I've since learned I've got a tweed addiction that won't stop...
     
  9. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    So is it THE one?...or at least among THE ones? Did you keep the EC Champ?

    For true 'bedroom' players like me....EVERYTHING is too loud.....at least the 8" speakers seem more manageable in such a tight space...at least to me. 10" speaks can get a bit overwhelming and 12" fugedaboudit. Now the minute I pull one of these amps into a larger room....different story. I'm talking for true bedroom amps.

    Of course the amp arrives tomorrow....and I found a nice vintage gem locally today that I am likely to also purchase tomorrow. We shall see...we shall just see. If the EC doesn't arrive minty fresh....I'm unlikely to keep it. If condition is not as expected but it sounds great...I'm going to be on another hunt through the rabbit holes. Damn this addiction lol.
     
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  10. mrgroo

    mrgroo TDPRI Member

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    It's among THE ones and i still have it and don't want to get rid of it. Totally agree that as a bedroom player in a small space everything is too loud. Then i discovered the Weber Mini Mass, and Weber Mass Lite. Have these currently hooked up to a Fender 57 Head Reissue Deluxe and a Fender Bassman 59 LTD reissue. Occasionally hook the attenuators up to my 65 DRRI or Bassbreaker 45 Head too.

    So the quest is endless...

    You know what though? If i wasn't such a sucker for the vintage vibes of the others, I'd say the most usable, versatile amp I own is the Bassbreaker 45 Head. It has an in-built attentuator that goes down to 1 watt, plus loads of control options for getting 'your' sound, including 'jumpered' settings. The EL34's sound amazing . Plus i attenuate it on the control to about 20 watts then run it through the Weber Mass Lite to get it down to genuinely acceptable volumes that won't make me go deaf. So the irony is that the most powerful amp I own is the best at low volumes! It runs through a Zilla cab and a Celestion G12-65
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  11. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Champ's rule, I love mine and I don't understand why some call it " boxy " sounding....that certainly doesn't describe my Champ!! It's great to have finally found " your " sound!! Hope you enjoy your Champ's for a very long time!!


    RJ
     
  12. Stratandtele

    Stratandtele Tele-Meister

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    Just a joke, the letters just worked. Again, best of luck with the amp
     
  13. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar TDPRI Member

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    Aha. Yes I saw that EC VC listed online. I believe you have a 45 day return period (no matter, you won't be returning the amp ;). I was happy to see the ECVC sold to you in a day or so after being put up online.

    Anyway -- i just picked up an EC VC for the same price as yours and I absolutely love it! I gig, and use vintage Fender BF VR or BF PR... And this "non-vintage" ECVC sounds incredible at home for recording or transcribing off records. I plan to gig the ECVC in a small blues combo.

    Congratulations OP on your purchase - you will find the tweed VC to be highly musical and touch sensitive. I'm using just a touch of reverb from a True Spring pedal. And I've used my 61 strat and 63 335 through the amp. Fantastic all the way. Looks great too... And yeah the flame throwers will be out there how they can build the same or better tweed VC style amp for half the price, or to go the "boutique" route for the same price, but rest be assured you have a great musical instrument on the way to you! ;)
     
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  14. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    Hey thanks for the kind words man. Funny that you saw the listing...I thought the price was more than fair....and with tax/shipping it turned into fair. The return policy on this one is what got me to pull the trigger. Funny thing...last night a really minty 2013 ECVC went on Reverb from a small local shop that is about 90 minutes from my house. I pounced on it with an offer that would have saved me $100 and was denied....it then sold to someone within just hours of its listing. We aren't the only ones that lust after these. I hope that my lust wasn't stronger than the reality....and I hope that this particular amp is in good condition. I do know that if you want one...it'll cost about what I paid.
     
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  15. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar TDPRI Member

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    Yup. That's what I paid too Kitarkus.

    I'll be honest - the amp sounded great in the store, but as I was driving it home, I was like "ugh.. What have I done? I don't need this. This can't sound as good as my vintage blackfaces. Waste of money again! At least I can return it..." Lol.

    So I plugged it in at home and was very HAPPILY surprised at this little thing. I also recorded some tracks with it, and it sounds great recorded as well if you're into that. It feels and sounds like a larger amp. I'm excited to read what you think of it once yours comes in!
     
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  16. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Congrats on a wonderful amp! I’ve not had the pleasure of plugging into the Vibro Champ version, but I did get to test the EC Tremolux and it was blissful. Circuit-wise, some say that the EC Tremolux is actually closer to the 5E3 tweed, but wow, just good stuff.
    Love the tremolo in those things!

    pics, please, when you can.
     
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  17. OldPup

    OldPup Tele-Meister

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    So how does it stack up to the vintage black face VC? Which do you plug into more? I'm asking because I'm getting a 67 BFVC soon and I'm curious how the two compare.
     
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  18. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    I'm waiting and listening for this response as well. Very good question. And smart on you for the BF VC. I'm hoping to have a reasonable VC (SF) in the very near future as well. I'm on a serious Champ binge at the moment with no end in sight.
     
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  19. OldPup

    OldPup Tele-Meister

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    Oh, I misunderstood. I thought you had both already. I have a SF VC as well. Two actually. The vibe on one ain't so vibey presently. It looks a little beat. I plan on selling it as soon as I get it working normally again. My other SF VC is clean, bone stock, and even has the schematic and owners manual that came with it. But someone clipped the ground off the plug. It has zero hum, sounds very clean, and does not break up even when dimed. I hear grounding it will change the sound. I'm wondering which way I'm gonna go with it. I don't know if I am going to keep it or sell it. Is it worth it to buy the red plug replacement to keep it stock and make the sell easier, if I sell. If I keep it, i'm inclined to leave caps as is until I start to notice any change to the amp's behavior. I would also love to swap out the speaker for a Warehouse G8C and keep the original speaker around.
     
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  20. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    I almost have to laugh. Amp showed up. It was 'packed' in a perfectly sized box....they put the amp back side down on one layer of bubble wrap.....then put one thin piece of cardboard over the front/grill....then put the foot switch with switch side up atop the front of the amp....then tightly sealed the box. No protection around the amp...it rubbed a bit at the corners in shipping and such...not a huge deal....BUT THE HUGE DEAL IS THAT INPUT 1 DOES NOT WORK! FU%&ING GUITAR CENTER.
     
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