Plugging Straight in to a Vibrolux Reverb Amp

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Telecastoff1, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe time for a speaker change and a tune up with your Vibrolux. I have an Alessandro GASC64 in my 1965 Deluxe Reverb and that amp sounds big and full. My 1966 Vibrolux has original Jensen’s.

    I do sometimes run a Wampler Black ‘65 pedal with my SF and BF Fender amps. The Black ‘65 adds some bottom end and fullness and additional BF tone to all my Fender amps. It just sounds good and is one of my keeper pedals. You need to try a Black ‘65.
     
  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    If I'm not wrong, the Vibrolux Reverb has sort of a "preset" Mid value, since there are only Treble and Bass controls for EQ. Even with the "right" speakers, you have to know how to EQ the amp to get enough mids. IMO, that means don't turn the Treble or Bass controls over "5" on the dial. Especially as you get louder, because Bass will sound louder as the volume goes up. I adjust Fender that have no Mid knob like this: set Treble on 5, adjust Bass to the room's acoustics ... at a pretty healthy volume. This way, the preset Mids level is close to the other EQ levels.
     
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ok @Telecastoff1 - the basics.

    - what volumes and contexts have you been testing the VR? Home or studio alone, or in the band?
    - are you basing solely on what you hear? Or are you recording what the "house" hears and judging based on that?

    As others have noted, a VR is punchy as hell. And loud as hell. It doesn't have the headroom of a Twin but it has a lot.

    So the possibilities remain:
    - you just don't like anything other than a Twin
    - your VR needs to see a different tech
    - you are not hearing "accurately" (see my Qs above)

    Don't chase the speaker dragon. Speakers flat can't "fix" an amp you don't like (unless the current speakers are defective/broken).
     
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  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I will disagree with the assertion that speakers “can’t fix” an amp, MilwMark. A speaker change can sometimes do more than any other thing to change an amp.....IF the amp is in proper working condition, of course. I have been around speakers that ruined an amp’s output, and nothing more than a speaker change yielded a new amp.
     
  5. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I agree with you Wally. As I stated earlier, I plugged this Vibrolux into my old Bandmaster cab loaded with 12" C-Rex's and the amp absolutely came alive and sounded the way I felt it should. It was like night and day....very clean and finally with plenty low end..fullness to it.
    Not being real versed and/or experienced with 10" speakers in all my years of playing, if I'm needing to make a speaker change, I want to do this just once and do it right, for what I need this amp to do. I need old Country clean, enough headroom to gig with in a loud bar and with plenty of low end thump. Is there a ten inch speaker than can deliver that?
     
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  6. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I haven't dared to gig with this amp yet because of the lack of clean headroom. The amp is in great shape. New(er) premium tubes, was gone over recently by a well respected, amp builder (no name dropping) and was given a clean bill of health. He too, didn't care for the Blue Alnicos in this amp...stated they were restricting this amp in sound and performance.
    Yes, I love my Fender Twins, but I use other amps that I really like just as well. However, as far as Fender amps go, the Fender Twin is the benchmark I use to judge my other Fenders by.
    I just had a hearing test by a certified audiologist at the local VA Hospital's ENT clinic. I passed very well with very little hearing loss over the 50+ years of gigging.
    I'm certain it's the speakers. The blue alnico speakers I'm sure are great for certain players, genres and situations, but not mine. I'm certain of it after comparing them to others.
     
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  7. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's

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    My, experience is that speakers can make or break an amp. From harsh and brittle to warm and full with a simple speaker swap. I don’t know how many great amps I’ve sold or traded because I didn’t care for the sound of the current speaker in the amp (especially amps with Vintage 30’s).

    The biggest tone change, for the better, can be had with a speaker swap.

    OP, I still suggest that you buy some good American voiced speakers (Weber’s version of vintage Jensen C10NS or Alessandro G10SCA’s) and a Wampler Black ‘65 pedal with your VR.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  8. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    There have been many threads on TDPRI about favorite 10 ''speakers in the old Fender amps , I read through them all ( maybe ) when I searched for the right speakers for my Bandmaster Reverb........Who was it that had an odyssee over a few years , Bob .......something ?
    Look around , many experiences to learn from there.

    Anyway , I wouldn't think a BMR is a million miles from your amp. My situation is a bit different , as I never play completely clean , but I still found speakers lacking for me and my use , and tried a few out.

    I ended up with Eminence legend ceramic 10's. Cheap , rather quick to play in , and I'm very pleased with them. When I by mistake get clean sounds out of them , they sound great to me , LOL....
     
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  9. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  10. Rumblur

    Rumblur Tele-Meister

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    The trick the Vibrolux Reverb is.....well, there's a few. I can make it sound like you want it to sound but it's going to cost you. First thing is gut shots of the chassis. Second is what tubes are you using. Third is do you want real answers or do you want to believe the internet you've already read?

    I have a 65 VR, 65 SR, and 66 TR. How much difference is there between them if you're looking for clean headroom? Not much. The VR is "my" favorite amp, but I'm not into clean headroom. I worked hard to get it thick, saturated and creamy at moderate volumes. The SR and TR sound 90% the same, the last 10% coming from the power tubes, rectifier and speakers.

    I've spent my entire life, from conception till this very moment, not living more than 20 feet from a blackface Fender amp. I've spent the last 30 years trying to get great tone out of them. I didn't figure it out till the last year.

    Or...The cheap, I want it ASAP solution - buy a Nobels ODR-1 pedal.
     
  11. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    Oh, man...
    The Vibroverbs. I once met a young man and wife duo who had a matched pair of them, both found in the same barn, under the same tarp, untouched for years. That 15" speaker just blew me away with how good it sounded.
    He paid the farmer $100 for the pair. All he did was clean the dust out of them and replace the old power cords. The farmer and his wife used them when they were young, and that's why he was able to get them.

    I've been looking for one ever since, and that was back ca. 1987! I had never heard of them before, and have not seen one since.
    regards,
    stanger
     
  12. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's right - mids are fixed with a 6.8 K ohm resistor in place of a 10K ohm pot like is found in the bigger BF/SF amps.

    That said, I think the pair of 10s in combo with the VR's particular cab dimensions also has an effect on the mids, regardless of the fact that it has an identical tone stack as something like the DR and other BF/SF Fenders with no mid adjustability.

    Long story short is that most 10s I've used, at least the ceramics with higher power handling, tend to have more than adequate mid emphasis. And I've A/B/C'ed with the VR and a SR and DR as recently as earlier this year.

    ...Since the mids aren't adjustable, the response and efficiency of the 10s really plays a role in shaping how to get "the balance" right. Just with different Eminence speakers alone, where the bass and treble get set will differ. When it is "just right for me," this tends to be with the treble around 5 and the bass no higher than 2, on the vibrato channel, with volume up around 5 or so.

    Like I said, I've had this amp for roughly 16 years now. I've personally done all the servicing and maintenance on it. I know this amp possibly better than most others I've had. For my purposes, I can't have just any speakers in it. What is interesting is how the construction of the Weber Signature 10 ceramic and Eminence GA10-SC64 are overall similar, but the former just didn't work for me (not enough emphasis on bass, too much treble, distorts very early on), and the latter is just about the perfect fit (the trebles in particular are just right, and it doesn't start noticeably breaking up until 6 or higher on the vol).
     
  13. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I thought Emi was making a 10" version of the CR. The 12" CR is my favorite speaker in a DR, but the sonics with a DR vs. a VR are kind of different.

    ...But for the OP's needs, the CR 10 looks really good, on paper. It's almost as loud as the Ragin Cajun, but seems to be more balanced in its response (expect for a little dip at ~3.5KHz).
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    FYI, the amps found in that barn were AB763 Vibroverbs, which are different amps from the 6G16 Vibroverbs. The 6g16 Vibroverb was a 2 x 10 brown amp and was the first Fender amp to have onboard reverb....introduced and produced only in 1963.
     
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  15. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Glad the speaker test worked and revealed the actual nature of what should be a great amp. I thought it had to be either a modding error or speakers. I am not an Eminence fan having twice experienced speaker defects (odd, since others love them) but Weber (among many others) makes speakers that reliably deliver the tone/balance they are described to produce. I love 10s, and no way that should be a quiet amp. I had the luck to see Roy B live and there was nothing quiet about that.
     
  16. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had a Swamp Thang that had a "radial tear" at the surround, after not too many hours of use, and that really bummed me out, because it was an otherwise great speaker for its alloted application. I've had too many other Eminence speakers to really try counting them all, and the Swamp Thang defect was the only one I experienced.
     
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  17. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Just to be certain it's the speakers and not the amp, I plugged the amp into a late 70's Peavey 2x12 guitar cab loaded with vintage (stock to this cab) 1203-8 Black Widow Speakers (the original ones with the large flat magnet with the spider web graphics) and it sounded loud, clean and exactly like one would expect if there were D120F's loaded. Again, this amp finally came alive and was fun to play. To me, it sounded like a vintage tube Fender amp should sound like...clean and sparkly. Again, this is with my Tele plugged directly into the amp...no external EQ pedals or devices whatsoever. So, it proves to me this amp is capable of pristine, loud cleans with the right speakers attached.
     
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  18. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    Just a silly question...but are your speakers wired right? 2 8ohm affairs one way = 4 ohms...the same pair the other way = 16 ohms, which might “might” cause the wimpiness
     
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  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Not a silly question. Almost sounds like they are wired out of phase or something.
     
  20. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Nope, not out of phase. I checked the wiring several time over. They sound good, just no balz.....at not enough for what I need.
     
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