Original Brown Super v Brown 63 Vibroverb

steveokla

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Anyone tried both and compared them? Apart from the obvious (one with reverb, one without, different trem), was wondering how they differ in tone, character, volume and such.
 

Wally

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I have no experience with the 6G Super. The negative feedback loop differences would dictate that the 6G16 is a cleaner amp. The 6G4/6G4A will have a more complex output…more harmonic content…ime.
 

steveokla

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I have no experience with the 6G Super. The negative feedback loop differences would dictate that the 6G16 is a cleaner amp. The 6G4/6G4A will have a more complex output…more harmonic content…ime.
Thanks, Wally
 

Minivan Megafun

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I’ve owned a 6G4 60 Super and I built a 6G16 Vibroverb. While I had it I plugged my Super into the cabinet of my 57 Twin and they sounded pretty much identical. I think the Super has more tonally in common with the Tweed amps. Whereas the 6G16 was one of the last (if not the last) brown amps so it was on the other end of the evolution.

I’ll tell you this: I sold the Super and I don’t really miss it. The harmonic trem of course was awesome, but it’s also a very specific effect and I didn’t have a lot of practical use for it.

The 6G16 Vibroverb is one of the most tonally rich amps I’ve had. The tube bias trem sounds amazing and it’s got the best reverb I’ve heard on a Fender amp.
 

steveokla

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I’ve owned a 6G4 60 Super and I built a 6G16 Vibroverb. While I had it I plugged my Super into the cabinet of my 57 Twin and they sounded pretty much identical. I think the Super has more tonally in common with the Tweed amps. Whereas the 6G16 was one of the last (if not the last) brown amps so it was on the other end of the evolution.

I’ll tell you this: I sold the Super and I don’t really miss it. The harmonic trem of course was awesome, but it’s also a very specific effect and I didn’t have a lot of practical use for it.

The 6G16 Vibroverb is one of the most tonally rich amps I’ve had. The tube bias trem sounds amazing and it’s got the best reverb I’ve heard on a Fender amp.
Very helpful, thank you. You make a good point on the trem. I’m auditioning a Super at the moment (will have the VV Friday to a/b), and the trem in the Super is mesmerizing. But, alas, something I only occasionally use. Tone, character, feel and such trumps the effect for me. Be interesting to compare them, to be sure.
Then again, the VV is way more money, and if they’re really close, that may be the deciding factor.
 

Minivan Megafun

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The Super also has a slightly smaller cabinet than the VV. I know the 210's were pretty tightly fit into the Super. This may be why I perceived the Super as sounding a little more "boxy" whereas the VV sounds more open. Note that speaker selection really plays a strong factor in how either of them will sound.

Things to watch on vintage Supers:
1) Output transformers are often non-original. The original OT's were underpowered and as a result they were often blown up in the 1960's.
2) Condition of the firbre board - the black fibre board CAN turn conductive over time as it absorbs humidity and moisture from the environment. This can lead to all sorts of noises and weird behavior.

Overall I'm happier with my VV. Between the two I'd say the Super's design is more crude. The only reason they're a big deal right now is because indie guys like Joey Landreth started playing them. Honestly I'm surprised Fender hasn't reissued them to cash in on the demand.
 

nrth3rnM0Ncy

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I have a 1961 Super which has just redplated both 5881's, the bias board components all measure in spec/ are new replacements, I'm not able to read the -55v on the grids though I can trace a connection from the bias board to the 220k resistor juction and from the 0.1 caps to the grids on each tube, I have just the rectifier in place, no power tubes. Can any one advise? many thanks. Apologies in advance if this is the wrong place to post this.
 

Wally

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I have a 1961 Super which has just redplated both 5881's, the bias board components all measure in spec/ are new replacements, I'm not able to read the -55v on the grids though I can trace a connection from the bias board to the 220k resistor juction and from the 0.1 caps to the grids on each tube, I have just the rectifier in place, no power tubes. Can any one advise? many thanks. Apologies in advance if this is the wrong place to post this.

It might have been better to have stared a new thread…..but WELCOME!
Do you have bias voltage at the junction of the two 220K resistors? If so, do you have bias voltage at the other end of those 220 Ks? If so, do you have bias voltage on the control grids? Where does the bias voltage not
exist??
 

nrth3rnM0Ncy

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Hi Wally, thanks for your reply, I'm not seeing any voltage at all, but am getting a beep when checking continuity between the points I mentioned. Perhaps I am measuring incorrectly,where should I have the black and red probes? The amp had been working fine.
 

steveokla

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I have played both originals quite a bit. I vastly prefer the Vibroverb. It is harmonically richer and sounds a bit ‘tweedier’ than the Super.
Thank you.
No one has yet spoken to volume and headroom differential, if any, between the two-was wondering if you might address that?
 

G Stone496

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Anyone tried both and compared them? Apart from the obvious (one with reverb, one without, different trem), was wondering how they differ in tone, character, volume and such.
I have a Brownface Super and had a ‘90s reissue Brownface Vibroverb. They’re a little different sounding but IMHO it’s a close contest. Super is better at cleans and tremelo, Vibroverb maybe has better breakup but not as sweet and smooth as a Super. Obviously the Vibroverb wins at reverb with its great tank because the Super doesn’t have reverb. IMHO Super wins by a small margin.

P.S. I can’t speak about volume and headroom because I sold the Vibroverb reissue before I got the Super, so never compared them side by side. Both sounded plenty loud enough to me at 35 watts and 40 watts.

08D8C70F-C042-4029-83BB-E3DCE41BE6B6.jpeg
 
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steveokla

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Soooo, . . .
Brought home the Vibroverb and a second Super. Lined them all up for competitive auditions. All three are from a long-time time friend, trusted luthier and amp tech. He got a bunch of amps in from a collector and is cleaning and servicing them for him, readying them for sale.

The VV is original except for power cord, filter caps and a diode of some sort-something about voltage filtering or some such. Speakers with original Oxford gold baskets.

Oxblood Super is original except cord, filter caps and speakers. Those in it are Oxfords from 65. Cab flaws (pictures in post that follows) are: for reasons unknown, bottom 5” of trim strip inside cab sawn off clean. My amp guy couldn’t guess why. You’ll see the new replacement piece he installed. Two small, shallow holes drilled in top-my tech thinks likely corners of some kind.

The wheat Super likewise original except for cord, filter caps and speakers. The ones in there are Oxfords from a Concert. Cab flaws: two holes drilled in back panel, likely for a jack plate. Chunk of wood about 4x2 inches gouged out of the bottom, again, reason unknown.

I played all three amps for a couple hours through the same speakers. I chose the Oxfords from 65 (in the oxblood cab) for this as, frankly, they sounded best if the three sets of speakers.

Conclusions? First, I was somewhat shocked that the two Supers sound identical to my ear. I’d have thought, given natural variation among individual amps, different tubes and decades of drift, they would have sounded perceptibly different. They don’t.
Supers v VV? Let it be whispered, I prefer the supers hands down. To be sure, the VV and Supers sound quite close, but I found the Supers fatter, thicker and bolder. As I have only one VV to A/B, I’m reluctant to generalize, but at least I prefer these two Supers to this VV. Volume about the same, but more clean headroom in the Supers, as someone noted earlier.

The VV reverb is nice, the trem better than my 64 VV, maybe, but certainly not like the harmonic trem. To make up for the absence of reverb in the Supers and Pro, brought home a reverb unit to try as well. I’ve yet to hear an on board reverb that really matches an old stand alone. Course, one more gear item to tote.
In the end, I can get one of the Supers, the Pro and reverb unit for $2000 less than the VV alone.
Pictures in the text that follow are of the four amps and reverb unit. I’m torn on which Super to choose. As they sound the same, it’s about which cab flaws to swallow. Would appreciate thoughts on that.
 
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steveokla

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So, here are the amps, Punic of speaker in the wheat Super, pix showing cab flaws in both Supers.
AF9EDA10-A33A-4767-8FD2-781120A48DC9.jpeg
 

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