Is a SF Vibrolux Reverb Too Much Amp for Me?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Slim Chance, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    It depends. If you have low-power rating speakers and use a lower gain preamp tube (at the hottest a 5751 - but a 12AU7 may be better in that case). You also want to bias the amp on the hot side - then you can drive the amp hard enough at that kind of volume setting and have it sound decent. But if your speakers are fairly tight, new, have high power ratings and you're using a 12AX7 or 7025 preamp tube it may sound pretty thin.

    Note - I say "may". There are a lot of variables, so it could be fine...but it probably needs to be tweaked a bit. VR's and DR's I've had didn't bloom until the volume was at least in the 4-5 range even with low-powered speakers and 5751's..
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Using a lower gain tube in V1 does not allow that amp to develop earlier breakup. It merely lowers gain in that stage...meaning that the amp yields cleaner sonics at the same setting that were used with the higher gain knob and Hereford the max gain with the volume on 10 is decreased with a lower gain tube.
     
  3. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Low efficiency speakers help but 2-3 on the volume is going to be clean. That's probably about the volume I play at home and any old Fender is going to be clean at a volume that won't hurt you in a small room.
    For whatever reason I like a Twin Reverb at that level and that maybe the two twelves as much as anything else.

    If you want dirt at that level a pedal, atteuator or master volume is needed from what I've found.
    I just play clean at home or crank up and hope the cops don't knock on the door.
     
  4. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    Great Fender chime with reverb and tremolo can be had with many SF models. In my experience, from Princeton Reverb model and up. The Vibrolux will have its own unique dimensional sound due to it's 2X10 configuration. Its like a mini Super Rev with smaller transformers. To me, all the Fenders with Rev and Trem share the same foundation of tone. They'll all sound close. It gets complicated with 6V6 vs 6L6. Tube rectifier vs SS rectifier. Single, double and quad speaker arrangements. Cab size. Transformer sizes. Other than that, they really are very similar. Output tube wattage adds another big variable factor. Want to fill a room with a nice wide eq spectrum? You can't do it with a Trem/Rev Fender tube amp under 40W. That's my opinion of course. The under 40W amps just don't have the same thick bottom end. If you want Fender chime? Like I said, any model pretty much. Any dual power tube SF amp with Rev/trem, tuned up will get you there.
    If it were me looking right now for a SF Fender for "that tone" I'd say the Vibrolux Rev is better value then Deluxe Rev. DR's are selling for premium prices in my experience. Best deal today might be on a SF Bandmaster Reverb head. Cheap and will get you there. When it comes to portability only you can decide what works for you. Forget about what everyone else is saying about Supers Pros and Twins weighing too much. It all depends on your personal situation and requirements. Tossing a DR or PR around is convenient sure. But you give up tone compared to big iron. But again, they all deliver the signature Fender tone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  5. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Couldn't agree with you more!
     
  6. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    Went to Atomic Music today looking for VRs. They had just sold one two days ago, but had recently taken another on consignment. The amp is probably about a '72. I was told it's from a gigging musician and it looked "rode hard and put away wet." I'd say fair condition compared to what I've seen online and in person. In short, I didn't care for it. Didn't sound good until 5-6 with a lot less output than expected at say 3. Also needed the bass an treble turned past half way before it opened up. 15 year old cap job and the speakers (Oxford) are tired. I'm sure other could coax great sound out of it, but at a bottom line of $1,200 with no foot switch, I'll keep looking.
     
  7. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    KeithB7 & grolan1 - I agree that I may find what I'm looking for in the other SF models and realize that no two amps will sound the same, especially with vintage. Heavier vintage amps are often less expensive than the smaller one, due in large part, that people don't want to lug them around any more. I have no desire for anything larger than a VR. For now I'll pursue the VR, but will know that I'd probably be quite happy with a PR or DR. Thanks for your comments.
     
  8. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Maybe I am mis-reading, but I'd say that's true for a blackface amp at 3 on the volume in my experience.
     
  9. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    My experiences playing these amps is very limited. The other one I played seemed both louder and fuller at 3. But they were in two different locations through different guitars so you may indeed be right. Thanks.
     
  10. FrankFoxBand

    FrankFoxBand TDPRI Member

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    You may also be interested in a Pro-Reverb. I have a '66 that I put a 1x12 baffle in (from Rodgers Amplification) and a single 4 ohm Jensen Tornado (neo) that knocked off about 12 lbs, maybe more. They can be had for lower money than the VRs. I play the thing at 2.5 on the vol knob at home, rehearsal, and gigs. Great, great sound. Clean 'til you dig in. Put a Red Snapper in line for when it's time to get dirty. IMHO it's hard to beat a pair of tube rectified 6l6s.
     
  11. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    Keep in mind the volume pot of an amp is only a visual reference for the amp you are playing. It means very little when comparing to another amp. Component values drift. Pot values drift. Knobs are not always indexed to the same position when installed. This is basic loosey-goosey stuff here. It is vintage old sloppy analog. The simplest form. These volume positions are not accurate numbers to use as a reference.
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Me too. Been awhile since I tried (but will try later on my SFPR), but I almost thing either there is no sound, or very little, with the tone knobs all at zero. IIRC at "10" they are each letting "full" signal through and you subtract from there.
     
  13. RubyRae

    RubyRae Friend of Leo's

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    Is the moon high?
     
  14. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My vibrolux is louder than my twin and super reverb on 3-as has been said this varies from amp to amp and really doesn't matter
     
  15. Caffeine Patrol

    Caffeine Patrol Tele-Afflicted

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    I've owned and played Princetons, Deluxes (reverb and non-), Vibrolux Reverbs, Twin Reverbs, and Super Reverbs. I always wanted to like the Vibrolux (because of the name and the Clarence White association), but Deluxes always win the day with me. A '73 has been my main amp for nearly a quarter century, and I've played everywhere from tiny dive bars to a big amphitheater on a bill with Dwight Yoakam & Willie Nelson with it.
    I heartily recommend a "try before you buy," too; no two sound the same.
     
  16. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I agree, the Pro Reverb is one of the best amps out there for often good price. No Twin sparkling clean but it has it's own kind of clean sound. Anything above 4-5 and you have a sweet breakup... at the volume just turn down the tone controls (bass for sure) and you have an amp that sings. Just stay away if you can from the mid to later 70's ones. I'm much more of a 12" guy than 10"'s though... other than my BFSR which is my FAVORITE amp of all time.
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have to observe that IF a Vibrolux Reverb achieves a louder clean sound than a SR and/or a TR, there is a reason.....the SR and the TR are not operating as they should or there is a large difference in the efficiency of the speakers....with the VR having very efficient speakers compared to the bigger amps.
    Given examples of those 3 amps all in proper operational condition through the same speakers, the VR will have the lowest clean headroom of the 3. The TR will be the loudest of the 3.
    It is hard to deny the differences in the output sections of the 3 amps...because the preamps are for all intents and purposes identical. The VR has a small OT compared to the SR....therefore it has less power and saturates earlier. The TR has twice the number of power tubest and a huge OT....so it will yield the loudest clean.
    Speakers.....they can make huge differences in what an amp does...but that doesn't change what the circuit is and does.
     
  18. Singin' Dave

    Singin' Dave Friend of Leo's

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    Just a note to say that a Pro Reverb is a considerably larger and heavier amp. Not quite as grab and go as a VR...
     
  19. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    That is true... but depends on the speakers - mine weighs in at 48-49 lbs, only about 8 lbs heavier than a VR. Personally I don't mine the extra weight when it comes to the tone difference. 12's vs 10's.
     
  20. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    VR vs Pro Reverb or DR or PR is now a moot point. Have just ordered a 1970 VR in what looks to be pretty original condition. I'll have a few days to evaluate the amp to decide if it's a keeper. Thanks for everyone's knowledge. I'll report back after it arrives.
     
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