Vintage brown Fender amps, which one should I buy?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by rjtwangs, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    My financial situation has left me in a position where I have a budget of up to $3000.00, not a penny more! I am too old to go for another brown super. I had one that I gigged with for years. But it's way too big for me now. As much as I love tweed, I love tremolo even more, hence the thought of a brown amp. I like to hear my amps break up, I love the sound of old small Fender amps breaking up!! So which will break up early? A Princeton? A Vibrolux? Or a Deluxe? Which one for that GLORIOUS overdriven sound. If you own one, what do you love about it???
    Comments, opinions, experience, and or wisecracks are all wecome!!


    RJ
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    A brown Vibrolux is one of the most favorite amps I ever had. Killer tone. Not as big as a Deluxe Reverb either! It wont break up earlier than a Princeton though! A Brown Deluxe isn't really an early breakup amp either. (for it's size) But any of the three are pretty good at lower volumes. That glorious sound comes from driving them hard. All 3 will sound overdriven and great, but at different volumes. Princeton is great for break up and recording.
     
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  3. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Brown Princeton.

    Before my brother stole it, I had a brown Deluxe I got from TDPRI member milocj.

    Great sounding amp but LOUD.

    If I had $3,000 , I’d get a Brown Princeton clone and use the remaining $1,500-$2,000 on something else.
     
  4. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for your reply Mike, but tell me about your Deluxe, did it break up like a 5E3 or is totally different? Thanks!


    RJ
     
  5. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    If by "small" you mean smaller than a Super, I'd be intrigued by the Brown Vibrolux. Because "Sultans!"

    But if you mean *small*, here's another vote for the 6G2. Great amps, and still pretty darn loud. Oh, and here's another plus. On mine, a simple 100% NFB cut is 'just right' to bring the OD all the way up to the rim of the glass.
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very different sound than a 5E3 IME. Clean, middy, pushed hard "raspy grinds" nicely. But a loud little amp for sure before it breaks up much. I prefer the tone of my BFD for it's fat lows and limited high end spike, but many love the brown Deluxe.
     
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  7. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    I have 1 original Brown amp and 1 clone that I built. The clone is a 6G2 and I like it a lot. However individual treble and bass controls would trump it, if I could only pick one amp. The 6G2 sounds awesome. At about 12W not too loud.

    My 1962 Vibrolux is awesome too! Not too many around either it seems. Louder than than my 6G2, however more bottom end and tonal control. It has two 6L6 power tubes. I think it is rated at about 28W. Not crazy loud, but pretty loud. If a super is too bulky for your old body, how's your ears? Are you over loud volume at break up? Either these amps that I own work well with an OCD pedal for some practical dirt levels.

    A Brownfaced theme here, so a few pics of my babies are required reading. To help set the tone so to speak. ;)

    If I had all the money I ever wanted, I'd like to try a 6G3 deluxe. I have no experience with one. Yet I keep hearing all the raving reviews.

    I demo my Vibrolux here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  8. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I have a brownface Princeton so I am a bit biased, but the Vibrolux and Princeton were nearly identical amps anyway....minus some small things. You can't go wrong with either choice, but you can probably find a better deal on a Princeton.
     
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  9. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    A brownface Princeton is very similar indeed to a Vibrolux, but it's a TWEED Vibrolux. The brown Vibrolux is a very different animal indeed.
     
  10. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    You mean the *tweed* Vibrolux was a lot like the brown Princeton. The 6g11 as Keith says is way more power, 12”, GZ34, 2x6L6...

    Edit: What David said. I gotta work on my typing speed!
     
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  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    RJ, ime, the 6G3 Deluxe and the 6G2 princeton yield similar Sonics. There is a difference in phase inverters...the ?Deluxe runs a long tail pair while the Princeton, as noted above, stays true to the 5F11 scheme of things with a cathodyne PI. They both have a simple tone circuit and a bias vary trem. You can’t go wrong with either one.
    That 5F11 was the basic format for all of the Princeton’s from the 6G3 through the Rivera era Super Champ, which is a hot rod Princeton Reverb without the bias vary trem.
     
  12. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I'm hoping to buy a brown Fender clone in the near future. Are you dead set on Vintage? My research has turned up a number of good clones. I'm really gassing for a Lil Dawg Chocoprince.
     
  13. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    ... to differ from the above, if you can play a Swart AST (or AST Pro), you really should before making a final decision. They are patterned after a Gibson rather than Fender circuit, but IMHO, get you into a very interesting (and pleasing) mix of tweed-brownface sound. Also well within your budget!
     
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  14. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  15. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  16. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Allen hot fudge. you could get 2 for 3000 bucks.
     
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  17. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I already have this one....
    20190420_005409.jpg
    I love my Swart....


    RJ
     
  18. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 6G2, a 6G3 and have spent some time with a buddy’s brown Vlux. Of my amps, I prefer the Deluxe to the Princeton by quite a bit. The LTP phase inverter makes a big difference to my ears. As for breaking up, both amps stay reasonably clean til around 5 with single coils (the Princeton stays cleaner higher up the dial than the Deluxe). With humbuckers the Deluxe starts getting a little hairy around 3.5 or 4.

    The Brown Vibrolux is a major source of GAS for me. I agree with keithb7’s preference for separate bass and treble controls vs just a single tone knob, and what’s not to love about a 30 watt, 2 6L6, single 12 amp with bias vary trem. That said, I don’t know if I’d trade my Deluxe for one. The 6G3 Deluxe for me is just a very special amp. That’s just my opinion though.

    One thing that should be mentioned, the Brown Amp era is often thought of as one of Leo’s most creative periods as far as experimentation goes, and you’ll find a lot of variance in the brown amps even among the same models/circuits. Add to that the tendencies for component drift over time, and you could likely find three amps of the same model from the same year that all sound vastly different from one another. You’ll probably need to try several and let the right one find you. Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  19. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    I know the Pro is bigger than you specified, but a 62 Pro with the 15" Jensen is the best sounding overall amp I've ever heard, and the tremolo is the best!
     
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  20. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

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    The brown Pro is an amazing amp even at low volume. The brown Vibrolux I recently picked up is also a great amp which gives nice clean tones on the edge of break up at lower volume than the Pro. I am still in the honeymoon phase with the Vibrolux but I think the Pro is still the top dog around here, and my wife agrees. I have a pair of older Celestion Greenback G12-35 that are 16 ohm speakers wired up for 8 ohm to play my combo amps through when I need more break up and this works very well for me. My friends brown Deluxe has a lot less headroom than my Vibrolux but it still sound great at all volumes as do most of these brown amps. If you like your tone cleaner like me the Vibrolux is perfect, if you like more break up the Deluxe is probably what you want.
    Thanks john
     
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