The Brown 1 x 12 Vibrolux

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by schmee, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Good article in this month's Vintage Guitar about the lesser known Brown V'lux. It's such a cool amp. I had two of them in about 2005. Should have kept one.
    The amp fills a niche 6L6 power but compact 1 x 12 that is missing in Fender's old line up.
    Add to that bias vary tremelo and a tube rectifier and it's dream amp for club work or most anything really. Smaller than a Deluxe Reverb! Yet people dont really know about it as it was only made for.. 3 years or so, 60-63. Probably about 30-35 watts. Tone for days from these things.
    "Sultans of Swing and some others were recorded on one.
     
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  2. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m not jonesing for much as far as gear goes, but I REALLY want a brown Vlux.
     
  3. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    after listening to Sultan's since 1978 a million times just like all of us
    it hit me that Mark Knopfler never plays Rhythm on the song strictly fills and the solos, brother Dave on rhythm which I always knew but no rhythm from Mark

    did he use a dyna comp on this song along with either delay or Reverb?
    just got the magazine last night
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I dont know if he used a compressor, but it sounds like it's in between (2 or 4) switching and /or his finger picking that brings out that sound.
     
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  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    yeah you do get that natural compression coming from finger-picking
    I gave up trying to play this song years ago it always sounds like paint by numbers
    I could be wrong but I think part of the reason for that is because I think that the microphone just captured what Knopfler was playing during that version of the song and that's why it sounds so natural

    he already played in that kind of style so to me I think he was just doing stuff off the cuff but I'm not sure how work that everything was
     
  6. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    There was a blackface Vibrolux-Amp 1x12 too:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    yes, but it was a different amp based on the AB763 circuit design...Bright switch, opto-isolator trem. In the Teague & Sprung book, they opine that IF Fender had maintained the Vibrolux in the BF line and build a Reverb model that that amp could well be one of the more valuable BF Fenders in the marketplace. Instead, the6 did away with the 1x12 Vibrolux and brought out the 2x10 Vibrolux Reverb, which is now one of the more valuable BF/SF amps....and is my favorite of the BF/SF reverb amps.
     
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  8. knavel

    knavel Tele-Meister

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    It dawned on me sometime around 2011 when I was trying to decide what to do with an old blonde/oxblodd Tremolux head I found in my parents' basement that I'd forgotten I'd had that the chassis for the T-lux and the brownface Vibrolux were exactly the same dimensions.

    So I had a combo cab built for the chassis by the late Larry Rodgers simply saying "please build a 61-62 Vibrolux spec cabinet" in my favorite ever Fender color scheme, blonde/oxblood. The T-lux chassis fit perfectly.

    I would be interested to read the article - I couldn't find it on the VG site.

    IMG_20190717_200744918.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  9. Kevin Wolfe

    Kevin Wolfe Tele-Meister

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    Yep, Fender kept and recycled quite a few amp “names” even though the topologies were evolving.
     
  10. Kevin Wolfe

    Kevin Wolfe Tele-Meister

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    Explain finger picking compression, if you will. That’s makes no sense. If you mean by finger picking you smooth out the signal peaks, then that’s not really compression. That’s just technique.
     
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  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The Brown 6G11 Vibrolux is a holy grail amp for me. I almost bought one in 2014, and I really should have just done it.

    I was at Wildwood Guitars out in Colorado and they had one. Damn near mint condition. Just serviced, had all the repacked parts in a baggy. Original receipt, the whole nine yards.

    I don’t like Blackface or silver face Fender amps. But I remembered playing through a studio owned Brown Princeton at a recording session back in the early 00’s and really digging it, and it (the Vibrolux) was the right size and in the power range I was looking for, so I test drove it.

    To this day it is hands down the absolute best sounding amplifier I have ever played through. Period. I still can’t believe I talked myself out of buying it. I had the cash in my pocket, and had specifically allocated it to buy an amp with.

    First I told myself that I really wanted a Marshall, and I wouldn’t be happy unless I had one. Next I told myself that I was looking for a road amp (because I was) and that Vibrolux was too perfect to take out on tour and tear up. If had been a player grade amp, I know I would have bought it. But it wasn’t. It was showroom mint. Like it had just been unboxed in 1961 and teleported to the future. I was doing things like calculating the extra cost for tubes and replacement speaker so I could put the originals away and save them from being worn/damaged to preserve the amp’s value. Then I was picturing getting half of what I paid for it if I ever had to sell it, because I’d have bought a showroom mint amp and years later I’d be selling a banged up road dog with parts changed out.

    It took me a week of arguing with myself. But I eventually passed on it. In retrospect it was a stupid thing to do. I’ll never see another one and actually be in a position to buy it. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity. For me. And it really was the best sounding amp I’ve ever played through.

    I guess I’ll always have the memory. Maybe someday I’ll have the resources to have a good builder make me a clone.
     
  12. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well of course, that's what they did with most of their amp line after August 1963.

    I think the Vibrolux-Amp was the first of the BF amps to be discontinued too, it doesn't appear to have continued past 1964. They let the non-reverb 1x15 Pro-Amp go on for another year after that.
     
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  13. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just right. Mark Knopfler did for the brownface Vibrolux what Stevie did for the blackface Vibroverb; he made it immortal. Both amps were produced in limited numbers for a limited time; both are now timeless thanks to these guys.

    Stevie actually used a ton of other amps, of course, and his VVs were far from stock thanks to Cesar Diaz. Mark has not only used many different amps but, famously, many different guitars, from National steel through LP and Strat to archtop and many more.

    But the message for me of Mark Knopfler and Sultans of Swing and the brown Vibrolux is that tone is in the fingers; Knopfler has his signature tone and style no matter what guitar or amp he's playing. And, as mentioned, a lot of the magic of Sultans also has to do with the way the two guitars work together, eg, that little Flamenco lick. Still, that said, Knopfler's fingers and that amp sure made a sweet and memorable sound.
     
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  14. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's all I meant.
     
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  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, I think we were talking about the SOUND not the actual science. :D
    I think they are the same amp really.


    It would be a super easy amp to build, and more people should build it!
     
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  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The 6G11 Vibrolux and 6G9/6G9A Tremolux are the same amps. The 6G11A Vibrolux and the Tremolux 6G9B are the same amps but for having different output transformers.
     
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  17. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    Is the difference just down to combo vs. head-and-cab?
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No, the first two versions of the Tremolux had the single 8 ohm speaker in a tone ring cab while the B version had two speakers with a total load of 4 ohms.
     
  19. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Except there was never a brown Vibrolux-Amp with 6BQ5 outputs...
     
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  20. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

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    I have a 1962 Vibrolux and have to agree it is a fine amp. I have replaced the orig. Oxford with a reconed Jensen P12N and am running JAN Phillips 5881 along with Sylvania 7025's. For me it's a keeper.
    Thanks John

    IMG_0275.JPG
     
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