Princeton vs Vibrolux vs Super, when mic'ed

RaistMagus

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Hi all

I am a fan of the 10" sound, I know that after trying out many Twins, Supers and Deluxes. I have owned a Super for 10 years and when at 4-5 on the volume dial, it sounds like heaven. The thing is, my back has become really bad lately, I live at the 3rd floor with no elevator and I am not active in bands so much any more. So I was thinking of going to something more portable. I know I will miss what I call the choir effect (listening to 4 speakers playing the same thing) but how will the tone be when I mic the smaller amps? Does a cranked and mic'ed Princeton sound like a cranked and mic'ed Super? Comparing these three amps with the same tone stack and same speakers, do they have different attack, compression, headroom etc? What has been your experience?

One more thing, I often find the Super too bassy, do these other smaller amps have less bass? O do I need to modify the circuit to make it tighter?
 

68goldtop

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Hi!

The Vibrolux will be the most similar in terms of sound and behaviour to your Super - but lighter, less loud and with less bass-response.
The Princeton will sound and react quite different. It has a "looser" feel all around.
I like Princetons, but it is quite a departure from a Super.

A Deluxe with two 10"-speakers would make a nice "mini" Vibrolux (y)

cheers - 68.
 

Dacious

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The Princeton is its own amp - the cathodyne phase inverter is the magic in this amp combined with the very dinky power and output transformers.

Coupled with its subtle shimmery bias vary tremolo. With a PA and decent foldback you can make it as loud as you need.

The two 6L6 amps will sound more similar to some degree. The Vibrolux with two 10" speakers sounds more like a mini Twin until it breaks up - then it doesn't. The SR has its own vibe happening.

Both have a higher breakup point.
 

RaistMagus

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Thanks for you replies. I'm not looking for saggy lows; I play instrumental surf music, among others, so I would like relatively fast response and tight bass. I understand that the Pricneton is not a good match then. Will the Vibrolux fit my bill?
 

68goldtop

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Hi!
... I would like relatively fast response and tight bass. I understand that the Pricneton is not a good match then. Will the Vibrolux fit my bill?
Yes, the Princeton is probably not a good choice for your needs...
I think the Vibrolux would fit the bill.
It's not as loud/tight as your Super - but (I think) it's plenty loud/tight, and it's a lot easier to carry!

A bf/sf Bandmaster is another good choice - and (possibly) more reasonably priced.

cheers - 68.
 

Mowgli

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Hi!

Yes, the Princeton is probably not a good choice for your needs...
I think the Vibrolux would fit the bill.
It's not as loud/tight as your Super - but (I think) it's plenty loud/tight, and it's a lot easier to carry!

A bf/sf Bandmaster is another good choice - and (possibly) more reasonably priced.

cheers - 68.
If you are set on using Fenders I agree with goldtop. I think the Bandmasters (before Reverb was added) are another option to consider.

The AB763 version without tube rectification is tight, bright, “chimey” and the head is not heavy at all. It stays clean at louder volumes than many other amps.

I usually plug the 4 ohm output into an 8 ohm 4 x 12 cabinet (4 vintage C12N Jensens that are old and used together, along with the impedance mismatch, are used to protect them when exposed to a 40 watt output should they be pushed, which isn’t necessary since I rarely push amps these days.). The sound is heavenly and surprisingly versatile, too!

If you need a combo then putting a Bandmaster chassis into a custom 2 x 10 cabinet may work if the Vlux breaks up too early for you.

I agree that the PR isn’t really a surf sound (given the speakers through which they are usually played).

If you are open to solid state then Quilter’s 101 mini (with or without reverb) has a “surf” setting (100 watts at that setting) that may work for you. The head weighs 2 lbs. some really like it, others don’t. Borrow one to test drive or buy one cheaply on the secondary market and use it as a backup amp!
 

schmee

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Hi all

I am a fan of the 10" sound, I know that after trying out many Twins, Supers and Deluxes. I have owned a Super for 10 years and when at 4-5 on the volume dial, it sounds like heaven. The thing is, my back has become really bad lately, I live at the 3rd floor with no elevator and I am not active in bands so much any more. So I was thinking of going to something more portable. I know I will miss what I call the choir effect (listening to 4 speakers playing the same thing) but how will the tone be when I mic the smaller amps? Does a cranked and mic'ed Princeton sound like a cranked and mic'ed Super? Comparing these three amps with the same tone stack and same speakers, do they have different attack, compression, headroom etc? What has been your experience?

One more thing, I often find the Super too bassy, do these other smaller amps have less bass? O do I need to modify the circuit to make it tighter?
Yes the Super has huge low mids . It's mostly the 4 x 10 that does it. You can take that same amp and run a single speaker and it sounds way different.
Why in the world would you be mic'ing if you are not playing out???
A mic'd Princeton will NOT sound like a Super.. The nice thing about a PR is that it has it's own sound, a tiny bit of grit in the mix, not too much, but it's is different. A great sound but not a Super type of sound.

"...do they have different attack, compression, headroom etc?" YES
The Deluxe is a good compromise between the Super and the PR. But it doesn't have that Super "thump" or the "choir" effect. It doesn't seem to have as much compression in the attack either to my ears.

Hard to think of a better small amp better than the Princeton Rev though. It still retains enough of the BF tone without being too much amp. Maybe an extension speaker with one would help to get some Choir going....

A Vibrolux sounds way different than a Super to me, but there ya go, the speakers! But it would get rid of the huge low mids you may not like. I like the 2 x 10 Deluxe idea. I did that for a while. Another option is a Bandmaster Reverb head, it's like a Super, the either make a 2 x 10 combo cab for it or use a separate cab for portability!

But I dont know, separating the speakers would get you some choir effect and it does sound much different, at least sitting in a room, that putting the speakers together. Likea stereo sound (even though it isnt)
 
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InstantCoffeeBlue

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Thanks for you replies. I'm not looking for saggy lows; I play instrumental surf music, among others, so I would like relatively fast response and tight bass. I understand that the Pricneton is not a good match then. Will the Vibrolux fit my bill?

No saggy bass in my Princeton. Get it recapped if needed, put a good, efficient speaker like the Weber 10F150T or an Eminence Legend/Copperhead etc in it and you'll be set. If you're trying to downsize for the sake of your back, do it right. When I read "back has become really bad" and "3 flights of stairs + no elevator", a 50lb Vibrolux doesn't really seem like a drastic enough change. If you're primarily a surf guy and aren't really interested in breakup, look into a non-reverb Princeton and pair it up with an external reverb tank or your favorite pedal. They're great amps that stay clean pretty much all the way up the dial and won't break the bank like the equivalent reverb version... yet.
 
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RaistMagus

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I'll check out the bandmaster and non-reverb Princeton. I'm not going for the ultra clean 100W tone, I love the slight grit and (within reason) compression of the SR with the volume at 4-4.5. it's just that I've been able to turn it up only in recording (isolated room) and a couple of very big venue/outdoor gigs.

I also loved the SR at 10, playing ACDC, but I've only experienced that a couple of times also.

FWIW I had a Deluxe with the Cannabis Rex speaker but it didn't have enough headroom/tight response for our gigs, I quickly sold it and switched back to the SR.

You are correct that a vibrolux won't be good for my back either...
 

Dacious

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Thanks for you replies. I'm not looking for saggy lows; I play instrumental surf music, among others, so I would like relatively fast response and tight bass. I understand that the Pricneton is not a good match then. Will the Vibrolux fit my bill?
It should do provided you're talking about a 70s Silverface? The new amp on sale today is not really like the old ones except in name. The Super Reverb will also do jazzy surf but it breaks up around 4 on the dial, which is still quite loud.

If you want big, surfy reverb in clean tones the Twin Reverb Reissue is probably your best bet and will never run out of headroom.

An alternative is the Tonemaster Twin Reverb if you don't care about tubes.
 
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zhyla

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One thing about the Vibrolux, Fender went a little crazy slapping the Vibrolux name on things. I can't keep them all straight, but in recent years there's been I think 3 Vibrolux models.

On paper I would say get a PRRI, they're fairly light, sound great, easy to come by, and easy to flip if you need to. And they come in at least 4 speaker options currently. But they don't sound much like the AB763 family (Deluxe, Twin, etc), they're their own thing.

I actually picked up a "68" Custom Vibrolux Reverb today. Still very much in the honeymoon phase obviously but I quickly picked up my PRRI and put it away, that Vibrolux is something special. Has a lot of bass on tap but you can dial it back as needed.

Currently my assessment is 68CVR > PRRI > DRRI/68CDR. The extra 4 lbs for the Vibrolux is well worth it over the Deluxe.
 

11 Gauge

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I have both a late 60's SR and a '71 VR, and to my ear, they actually sound a bit different. I've got a pair of Emi GA10-SC64s in the VR, and a quad of WGS Vet 10s in the SR, so the speakers are at least somewhat similar on paper.

The SR has deeper lows, and just seems cleaner/tighter/more hi-fi, at least up to 7 on the vol dial on the vibrato channel. I really need dirt boxes with this amp to get any kind of realistic OD happening.

The VR sounds punchier in the mids, while not having as much bass, at similar volumes, but starts to break up at a little over 6 on the volume dial. Having said that, the SR doesn't really seem to be much louder than the VR.

With the GA10-SC64s in the VR, my best description of how it sounds would be like Eddie Angel's tones on the first few Los Straitjackets albums. No, that's not really classic surf per se, but it's a sound that I personally love.
 

printer2

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Made a relatively light pine cabinet, add another lb per speaker, these are pretty light and have nothing for a magnet. A head would go well with it, two trips up the stairs or not with a Quilter or other lightweight amp.

8jQyVGY.jpg


7iIpald.jpg
 

printer2

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No one has suggested you taking a look at the Super Reverb Tone Master series. It's a solid state version of the Super with built in attenuator and XLR output. It weighs in at 36 lbs.
I saw that when I was looking for the weight of 4x10 cabs. I think I could get 18W of tube amp with my cabinet above and may manage 36 lbs. Some new age (switching) tricks to eliminate the power transformer. Mind you, an amp as a head gives me the option of grabbing a 12 or a 2x10. I was planning on having a house full of amps but am rethinking that.
 

David C

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I saw that when I was looking for the weight of 4x10 cabs. I think I could get 18W of tube amp with my cabinet above and may manage 36 lbs. Some new age (switching) tricks to eliminate the power transformer. Mind you, an amp as a head gives me the option of grabbing a 12 or a 2x10. I was planning on having a house full of amps but am rethinking that.
I get it. Weight and my back can be an issue too. But I have the Tone Master Twin and it weighs in at 33 pounds. They are very, very nice sounding amps and with the attenuators and XLR outputs, they are hard to beat.
 

etype

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Isn't the new Pro Reverb '68 Custom only 35 lbs? Yes, a 12" speaker (and at 22.5" wide, maybe not wide enough for two 10"), but seems to check all the other boxes.
 

Scoutbag

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+1 on tonemaster.....before you get all tube righteous, they weigh nothing and the super sounds even more amazing after you haul it up a couple flights of stairs....I've got a twin tm with the built in attenuator style function I can rock the llama without bothering mama....just sayin.
 

IronStomach

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It's been a while since I had my DRRI, but I got a tonemaster deluxe to save on tubes practicing at home and it sounds like a deluxe should (except I can get that nice breakup at 6/7 on the volume and not get evicted). Time will tell how they last but Class-D power amps are very efficient and therefore run much cooler, which always helps.
 




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