SF Vibro Champ, is this one of those deals I shouldn't miss out on?

doof

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I've found a 1976 SF Vibro Champ in what appears to be really nice condition (on the outside at least, no gut shots) for $900 Canadian. The ad says it has JJ tubes, and comes with a Weber 8" installed, but includes the original speaker as well, and a 3 prong power cable has already been installed. Based on the pictures, I see no tears in the grille cloth or the tolex, and the faceplate looks really nice. It's about a 3 hour drive away, which doesn't dissuade me as honestly I would enjoy a mini road trip through the Rockies to get to this town. I've got a couple amp builds under my belt so I'd be comfortable doing some basic maintenance and replacing filter caps or coupling caps if necessary.

Is this one of those deals I'd be silly to pass up? I've already treated myself to a couple of used low-watt amps this year so I feel like I should be responsible and say no. What say you more experienced players and collectors? Jump on it?
 

985plowboy

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I own one from a similar year.
It’s bone stock.
It was given to me by my father in law, so it will never leave my possession.
It has a few great tones in it, but I’m not amazed. Other people love them.

If I were in the market for a small amp I’d buy a Princeton Reverb with a 12” speaker.
 

NBS2005

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I bought one when I lived in the States for $200 I in 2000ish. Sold it 10 years later in Canada (dollar about on par then) for $600. Kinda wish I'd hung onto it. I'd have a hard time paying $900 today. But I'm cheap.
 

naveed211

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There are a bunch of SF champs on sale on Reverb for about that price or cheaper. You’ll save some money in not having to have it shipped or pay any tax over the border, but I wouldn’t call that a great deal at all at that price.
 

schoolie

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I am playing my '76 Vibrochamp now. It's the perfect bedroom amp, but, like everything else, way overpriced. I can't see how they could be worth more than $400. If I wanted one today, I'd just build it.
 

Edgar Allan Presley

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I bought a very clean, all original 1976 Vibro Champ in 2013 for $299. I know they've gone up in price since then, but that was only 8 years ago.
 

EsquireOK

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Not a highly desirable year, not a great price, three hour drive, has been modified. Nope. Even a near showroom quality example that has never been apart in any way might not fetch 1,000 USD (1,250 CAD).

300 USD (375 CAD) might get me to make that drive. Maybe.
 
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doof

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I really appreciate all the feedback, this was exactly what I needed to hear to suppress the GAS. I don't often see amps like this come up for sale around here so I had a hard time putting things into perspective. I think I'll just be patient and build a vibro champ one day, and save my money for when something more desirable and reasonably-priced comes along. A giant thank-you to everyone offering their input!
 

doof

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OP allow me to ask;
Have you ever played a SFVC?
Not sure if I buy into all the mythology surrounding these, and I own one.
Playing one may be enough to cure your GAS.

I have not. I built myself a 5f1 Champ last year which I really like, and I recently got a 65 PRRI so I've really grown to like that bias-vary tremolo. I figured having both in one would be nice.
 

Boreas

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They are nice amps, but not at that price. If it is negotiable, it might be worth a drive. Maybe take $750C cash with you. If it were a clean drip-edge, it would be a different story.
 

OldPup

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I have not. I built myself a 5f1 Champ last year which I really like, and I recently got a 65 PRRI so I've really grown to like that bias-vary tremolo. I figured having both in one would be nice.
The 5f1 and the Black/Silver Plate Champs have different tone circuits/overdrive characteristics. I don’t think similarities/comparisons between the 2 abound. I’ve never played a 5f1, but that is my understanding. Someone with the appropriate experience please feel free to clarify.
 




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