Princeton, Deluxe or Vibrolux…

Willie Johnson

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I was motivated by this thread to throw the Champion 600 into the mix too. I put it on top of the PRRI and daisy chained it in from input 2; let it sit up there and be champy.
 

Back at it

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Since I own a vibrolux ‘68, and a 5e3 I’d go vibrolux for cleans and more volume. Still awesome at low volume and you can add a pedal
 

jgmouton

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I'm surprised at how many guitarists need volume. That means their amp sound does not go to the PA. I cannot imagine playing that way, it must be very loud...
 

Shaolin Wolf

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I
I'm surprised at how many guitarists need volume. That means their amp sound does not go to the PA. I cannot imagine playing that way, it must be very loud...

The OPs question was “if you could only have one of these amps,” so given that, the volume/headroom on tap with my choice, the Vibrolux Reverb, really informed my decision. Good to have, just in case. I recall being at an informal jam with a Princeton Reverb cooking on 10, drowned out by a loud drummer, thinking, “Should have brought the Vibrolux…” You hope to be able to exercise subtlety and dynamics, but sometimes the situation doesn’t allow that. The Vibrolux will at least give you a chance at being heard in a less than optimal situation, and it sounds great at lower volumes, too.
 

Singin' Dave

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Own all 3, all silverface ('71 PR with a 12" speaker, '75 stock PR, '73 DR and a '75 VR), and love em all. Must say that these days, rehearsing and gigging, the '71 SFPR with the 12 seems to be the go to - soundmen seems to hate anything louder and it tucks well under the kit as I'm the front man, doesn't blast the drummer, throw a mic on it every time I can and its plenty big in house and through monitors.

All that said, as similar as they could be argued to be, as a previous poster mentioned, they are different tools for different jobs. I wouldn't go marlin fishing with 18 pound test line. If I'm at an outside jam w/ no micing amps, or the odd large stage fest gig where the sound system is a bit suspect, then the VR is going to get the gig. Inside gig with no micing amps (not really my kinda gig), DR. Pretty much all the rest (95+%), my PR does the best job keeping all happy and me smiling. Gigging is a team sport. DR and VR get little use these days.
 

Wally

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Well, from the tweed era, I would pick the Vibrolux. In the 6G Blonde/Brown era, I would take the Deluxe. In the BF/SF era, there are non-reverb examples of [email protected] model…albeit with the Vibrolux being a 1 x 12….and also reverb versions of each. I would take the Vibrolux Reverb….my favorite amp in the BF/SF from the Fender guitar amps.

sorry to be so picky about amplifier nomenclature….but I had to cover the bases.
 

nedorama

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Tossup for me - I own a 73 Princeton/80 Princeton Reverb and then a 65 Tremolux head/cab. All are great, but do different things.

Tremolo on the PR/DR I like better than the Opto on the Vibrolux.
 

CFred

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if dollars were the same, which would you pick… and why

I play bar gigs with my 74 SF Vibrolux Reverb. As great as it sounds, I wish I could turn it up more. I both practice with the band in the basement, and play on stage (mic), at volume 3. Use pedal stacking to get overdrive then solo level. I would much rather have the amp do it.

that’s not regret as I LOVE this amp. I just know it has the tone I’m chasing under its hood that I can’t get to.
 

Back at it

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I play bar gigs with my 74 SF Vibrolux Reverb. As great as it sounds, I wish I could turn it up more. I both practice with the band in the basement, and play on stage (mic), at volume 3. Use pedal stacking to get overdrive then solo level. I would much rather have the amp do it.

that’s not regret as I LOVE this amp. I just know it has the tone I’m chasing under its hood that I can’t get to.
If you could swing a ps-2 you can easily get to that sweet spot and control the volume with the ps-2

sorry to be such a fanboy but man I am having a time cranking my amps, I’m putting the ps-2 in between either a 2-12 cab or the combos speakers. The impedance matching is great, one device for all my amps and speakers
 

gridlock

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My late 1967 black-line drip edge Vibrolux Reverb fits the bill.

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archetype

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Vibrolux!
In a nutshell, it has more clean headroom.
It’s only slightly bigger and heavier than a Deluxe.
They sound good cranked up, but slightly upgraded speakers help if you do play it louder.
I’ve owned several.

Same for me. My black panel VR, sadly gone, would do anything I asked it do and sound right doing it.
 

Mowgli

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I like all three very much for different reasons but your tastes may differ from mine. That's why I try not to be too dogmatic about this topic.

For that reason, I suggest you try all three, if you can, and buy the one that appeals to you most.

I look at guitars, picks, strings, effects, amps, speakers and speaker cabinets as one big signal chain employed with the purpose to produce a certain tone in service to a style of music or a particular set of tunes.

For example, I'd prefer a DRII (Rivera-era DR) and its somewhat large combo cabinet with a Weber Ceramic California 12" spkr (paper dust cap) and a stock Tele using the neck pickup for warm jazz tones --- but plug that same Tele using the bridge pickup into my PR with it's Eminence 1028 10" and the open back extension cab containing a C-Rex 12" for a great and reasonably loud country "Marty Stewart" sound.

My blackfaced '80 VR with its lil Buddy and Veteran 10 is also a great country or pop-rock-funk amp; these speakers are not that great for warm jazz, imo.

I REALLY like the sound of all three!

Follow your own muse with regard to the tone you are chasing. It will take some trial and error but, through persistence, you will get there!
 

39martind18

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I have owned a BFPR and a PRRI, and found that there just wasn't sufficient headroom for my playing needs (I really don't want breakup in my sound). A DR works pretty well for me, but those 6V6s just don't make enough cleans, because at 22 watts, they are pretty much at their power limits. I took my 1969 DR and installed 6L6s and a solid state rectifier in it. This gives the DR great cleans and a "bigger" sound. I also recently acquired (practically stole) a 1979 Vibrolux Reverb, and it has become my "loud" gig amp. The 2x10 speaker set up, combined with 35 watts of delicious 6L6 power, would be all I needed should I just have one amp, but I'm blessed with both the '69 DR and the '79 VR.
 




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