Harvard/Vibrolux/Brown Princeton

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by gobi_grey, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    My ears lead me in that direction. From what I understand they are all very similar. The Harvard and Vibrolux being the same except for the tremolo. I love tremolo so I went with the vibrolux. What are the similarities/differences between the Vibrolux and later brown Princetons? I love tremolo and I'm currently having a 5f11 built and I'm hoping it'll scratch that itch and cover those bases.
     
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  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Good ears, imho, gobi. The 6G2 is a direct descendant of that Vibrolux. Compare the schematics......Schematic Heaven, EL 34 World. While there, compare those to the 5E3. They are 5E3 Deluxes with a bias vary trem.
    The BF/SF Princeton/Princeton Reverb amps are a continuation of that amp albeit with a more complex tone stack. Said tone stack also affects the amp’s performance drastically. I like the single tone control of the 5F11/6G3. The Rivera era Super Champ is a Prin Rev with fangs....no trem but with more gain available. The mid boost along with the gain boost in the Super Champ let one get to the Sonic area of the tweed Deluxe and the 6G3.
     
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  3. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm working on a layout for an under the radar mid- 1960s "bargain bin" amp. The manufacturer obviously took a long look at the

    Tweed Harvard

    Tweed Deluxe

    Tweed Vibrolux

    Brown Princeton

    Brown Deluxe

    and maybe "Tuxedo" Princeton because it incorporates aspects of all of them. The trem circuit is its own thing. I believe it's a better design than Fender. We'll see.

    Those old timers knew what they were doing. I've spent close to twenty years tightening the tweed Deluxe. Our bargain bin amp has many of the "modifications" I use.

    There are two versions of this. One is the rare and almost inscrutable point to point version. It's such a rat's nest it's difficult to figure out what is what especially since it doesn't match its schematic. The exceedingly rare later version has a tag board. I've got the preamp laid out all the way back to the PI and part of the trem circuit. The power supply and the trem osciallator are going on their own board.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The Brown 1 x 12 Vibrolux is one of my favorite amps of all time for club gigs. A Hot Rodded Princeton or Princeton Reverb is very similar.
     
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  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The 6G11/6G11A is a bit different from any 6G2/BF/SF Princeton. One big difference is the phase inverter, which is a long tail pair in the Vibrolux versus the cathodyne that links those Princeton amps back to certain tweeds. The preamp in the 6G11/A Amps is similar to the BF with one difference being that tapped treble pot 8n the Vibrolux. Also, the Vibrolux has a NFB loop that provides less cancellation., iirc. In short, the Vibrolux is like the other larger 6G amps in that they are direct deviations from any tweed amp whereas even the BF/SF Princeton’s have a direct link back to the 5F11 Vibrolux as far as the PI and the bias is concerned. The preamps can be modded to take that aspect toward the tweed preamp.
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    yeah, the Brown Vibrolux also has the oddball tube bias tremelo right? . I've often wondered if it's that effect on bias, or the short tail vs long tail PI, that gives it the warmth and grit. The short tailed PI BF Princeton Reverbs are warm and gritty too.
     
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  7. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

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    That did it...I have my 62 Vibrolux warming up now. See ya later.
    Thanks John
     
  8. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Yep, I must say that I love both, my Clark Webster/Harvard, and my beautiful 6g2....you can't go wrong with these amps, they are in my opinion, the PERFECT amps for home use, as loud as you want or gorgeous clean tone all night...and loud enough to use with a drummer if you want....the tremolo in my Princeton is just so wonderful....

    A good article about the 6g2 by Dave Hunter....
    https://www.vintageguitar.com/8931/the-fender-princeton/


    RJ
     
  9. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I own a Vibrolux 6G11. It is the same amp as a Tremolux 6G9-A which I also own. Both sound nothing like a Princeton Reverb.
     
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  10. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    Fr
     
  11. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I can't seem to post anything without it randomly posting before I'm done typing! Lol
     
  12. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    They are different amps for sure, but my 2 Brown Vibrolux's sounded a lot like a PR to me, but at higher volume/headroom ability of course.
     
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  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ime, there are more ways than one to skin a cat.... the 6G3 Deluxe is a slightly different circuit compared to the 6G2, but they are both lively clean amps that rip when pushed. The simple tone control helps it do that.
     
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  14. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm having a 5f11 vibrolux built. I really enjoy my 5e3, more so at lower volumes before too much of that compression kicks in. They kinda have their own thing going on after a certain point on the dial and I do enjoy that but it's not always what I'm in the mood for. The 5f11 seems to be a more "normal" version of the 5e3 from what I understand. More typical compression and overdrive. I know the 5e3 jumps from nothing to blow your face off in a slight touch if the dial but within that tiny area, you can get some really nice low level cleans. Full sounding low end with sturdy mids and some sparkle on top. I'm hoping the 5f11 will more or less keep that going as the volume increases and give a smoother ride as it overdrives instead of that compressed roar that the 5e3 likes to do.
     
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  15. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I managed to flip that characteristic. Mine stays squeaky clean 'til well past noon on the dial. It transitions into overdrive so smoothly you almost don't notice you're there.

    Craig takes a solo at 4:45 -

     
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  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Gobi, my experiences with the 5E3 and the 5F11 indicate that you may be pleased with what the Vibrolux does. The Vibrolux, if accurately done, will have a slight power advantage...a few watts; and it will a slightly later point of overdrive and compression.
    That said, I have a different take on the 5E3. I might agree that, yes, there is a clean volume limit there that comes on early. However, I never run one of them at lower volume...or tone....settings. All three controls will be above halfway. The ‘off’ channel will be in the 6-8 range. The tone will likely be higher than that, and the volume can be anywhere between 6 to 9 if not all the way up. What happens then is that guitar output control can give a person a number of different results from very lively cleans to total overdrive. Due to compression, that overdrive will be at the same volume as the cleans. I would predict theVibrolux will act much the same but with a bit later overdrive and ,compression, perhaps.
    i am an advocate of hot amp settings and guitar output control through volume adjustment and/or pick attack control.
     
  17. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    I recently picked up a beautifully made 5f11 clone. It's been an extended honeymoon that may never end.
    Same concept as Wally outlined above; run up the amp a bit, and guitar controls in the middle somewhere. Pedals are completely optional. This puppy's got the juice.
     
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