Returned the TMDR and picked up a '68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb...

TwangerWannabe

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...and have no regrets. The TMDR is a nice amp, I just fell out of love with it very fast after the initial attraction that drew me to it (lightweight, attenuator, XLR out) wore off. The amp sounded good, but wasn't great. Part of the issue may be that I have never really been over the moon about Deluxes to begin with and have always preferred Princetons. Saw that Fender released the TMPR, but as nice as the TMDR sounds, it didn't have the same "feel" as a tube amp. Not wanting to go through the TM thing again I was left amp-less and contemplated what to do.

Had no idea that Fender released a new version of the Vibro Champ with reverb and a 10" speaker a little while ago (last year?). Yes, please!

I never play out these days, and the most I'll do is maybe go to a buddy's place and work out ideas, usually with both of us playing acoustic, or one on acoustic, the other on electric. The Vibri Champ fits the bill. I live in a small place. The Vibro Champ fits the bill again. Can easily stick a mic in front of it to record at home.

I was skeptical about this little amp after owning a few Champs from the past that were basically little fart machines if you turned them up, and never sounded great with that dinky little 8" speaker. This new Vibro Champ is a whole different animal. Killer sound, Fender sparkle in spades, beautiful cleans with a Strat or Tele and gets great sounds at modest volumes, and really opens up as yo turn up the amp and gets a little har to the sound as well, but will be loud when it starts doing that. Very dynamic and responsive (something I felt the TM lacked a little bit of) little amp. I haven't had an amp in a long time that has inspired me to play and got lost in it the other night having no idea how long I was playing until I realized how late it was.

No, it's not going to sound like a Twin Reverb, but it does sound better than trying to play a Twin Reverb in your apartment with the volume set as low at it will go when you know if you turn that Twin up just a hair more and you'll piss off the neighbors. The Vibro Champ offers really nice dynamics and you can dig in or back off and get some sweet cleans without making your ears bleed. It's like having a modestly powerful motorcycle that you can bang on and row through the gears in the city streets and rally enjoy compared to a big 'ole liter bike that you'll barely get out of second gear which is never any fun.

Yes, this little amp is expensive for what it is, but man, does it sound great!

As a side note, the other small amp I tried out that gets honorable mention is the Vox AC10. Costs half as much as the Vibro Champ, but despite not sounding as full and the reverb not coming close to the digital reverb on the Vibro Champ, I'd say this is a great amp for the money, and even better (and cheaper) if you can find one used.
 

Dukex

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Glad you found what you actually want! That's the best feeling.
 

adjason

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Nice- yeah sounds like found one that fits the bill- I would like to try one of these
 

Milspec

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You described the same reasons I sold my TMDR a month ago...no regrets either. If you do play out weekly, I think the TM series is a great option, but I don't these days so my trusty warm valve amps were just a better fit.
 

fretknot

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...and have no regrets. The TMDR is a nice amp, I just fell out of love with it very fast after the initial attraction that drew me to it (lightweight, attenuator, XLR out) wore off. The amp sounded good, but wasn't great. Part of the issue may be that I have never really been over the moon about Deluxes to begin with and have always preferred Princetons. Saw that Fender released the TMPR, but as nice as the TMDR sounds, it didn't have the same "feel" as a tube amp. Not wanting to go through the TM thing again I was left amp-less and contemplated what to do.

Had no idea that Fender released a new version of the Vibro Champ with reverb and a 10" speaker a little while ago (last year?). Yes, please!

I never play out these days, and the most I'll do is maybe go to a buddy's place and work out ideas, usually with both of us playing acoustic, or one on acoustic, the other on electric. The Vibri Champ fits the bill. I live in a small place. The Vibro Champ fits the bill again. Can easily stick a mic in front of it to record at home.

I was skeptical about this little amp after owning a few Champs from the past that were basically little fart machines if you turned them up, and never sounded great with that dinky little 8" speaker. This new Vibro Champ is a whole different animal. Killer sound, Fender sparkle in spades, beautiful cleans with a Strat or Tele and gets great sounds at modest volumes, and really opens up as yo turn up the amp and gets a little har to the sound as well, but will be loud when it starts doing that. Very dynamic and responsive (something I felt the TM lacked a little bit of) little amp. I haven't had an amp in a long time that has inspired me to play and got lost in it the other night having no idea how long I was playing until I realized how late it was.

No, it's not going to sound like a Twin Reverb, but it does sound better than trying to play a Twin Reverb in your apartment with the volume set as low at it will go when you know if you turn that Twin up just a hair more and you'll piss off the neighbors. The Vibro Champ offers really nice dynamics and you can dig in or back off and get some sweet cleans without making your ears bleed. It's like having a modestly powerful motorcycle that you can bang on and row through the gears in the city streets and rally enjoy compared to a big 'ole liter bike that you'll barely get out of second gear which is never any fun.

Yes, this little amp is expensive for what it is, but man, does it sound great!

As a side note, the other small amp I tried out that gets honorable mention is the Vox AC10. Costs half as much as the Vibro Champ, but despite not sounding as full and the reverb not coming close to the digital reverb on the Vibro Champ, I'd say this is a great amp for the money, and even better (and cheaper) if you can find one used.
Congrats on the new amp. I picked one up that was as good as new, with little play time and no visible wear. I replaced the tubes with old stock USA glass. That made a difference, but what really made it sound better was doing a speaker break-in. I looped a song for about 8 hours or more. The stock speaker was little stiff at first, but it continues to improve. Sounds good with a Telecaster.
 

Chiogtr4x

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I'm good for little gigging amps now (Fender, other),
but if I needed something ( and had the $$), I'd probably be all over this particular 'big' Vibro Champ. Has everything I need.

Give me an OD pedal, headstock tuner- done!

Plus it looks cool, which is very important!
 

TwangerWannabe

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I can't stop gushing over this little amp. It has this bloom and is so touch sensitive and responsive compared to the somewhat flatter feel of the TMDR. Been playing a '61 SG Standard (the one with the Vibrola) through it the better part of the day and it just inspires you to want to keep playing.

I also played through a '68 Custom Princeton Reverb today and much prefer the Champ for my situation. Could barely get the Princeton to 2 on the dial before it started getting too loud. At volumes that low with the Princeton you could tell the amp was being held back and was a bit too bossy and lacked the clarity of the Vibro Champ. I'm sure turning up the Princeton would solve that problem, but would be way too loud. I'm usually keeping the Vibro Champ volume between 4-5 and sometimes ride the volume if I want to softer. But even at those volume settings it's nowhere being ungodly loud inside my small place. The dynamics are there with the Vibro Champ at that volume, and absent with the Princeton if I attempt to match the volume.
 

Lef T

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I tried out a Custom 68 Vibro Champ at my local music shop.
Soon as I started playing it,I began to smile.
It's a great sounding amp.
Congrats on your new amp.
 

Mike Eskimo

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Now the shootout/comparison I want to see is the Vibro Champ Reverb vs the new Magnatone Starlite.

From what I’ve heard and demos of these amps on their own, I think the Magnatone people beat Fender at their own game. It’s basically a silver face/black face champ and a tweed champ in one.

It is five or $600 more expensive than the Fender

The lack of trem/reverb doesn’t bother me , because reverb/trem pedals have never been better.

But, both of those amps are something I would buy.

I had an AC 10 that a buddy gave me brand new and I did like that but I was just coming off owning a Vox AC15 so the AC 10 sounded a little one-dimensional. It did do the “scalded dog” thing very well though.
 
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burntfrijoles

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Very interesting. I’ve been debating whether I should trade in or sell my Princeton reverb re-issue, special edition 12” speaker, to get a tone master deluxe reverb.
I fear that I’ll get digital fatigue. I’m not sure that the advantages of having an attenuator and a direct out are really worth it.
I suppose I continue to hang on to the belief that I can perceive a difference of a tube amp vs a modeler, and I’ve been very happy with the PRRI.
I’m going to scratch the TMDR off my list for a while.
 

68goldtop

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Hi!
Very interesting. I’ve been debating whether I should trade in or sell my Princeton reverb re-issue, special edition 12” speaker, to get a tone master deluxe reverb.
I fear that I’ll get digital fatigue.
I´m pretty sure you will ;)

I’m not sure that the advantages of having an attenuator and a direct out are really worth it.
My advice is to look for a Weber "Mass" (or similar) - it will work just fine as an attenuator, you can use it with many different amps (4/8/16 Ohms) and it has a line-out on board 👍

cheers - 68.
 




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