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  1. #1

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    Does anyone use a Fender Vibrolux Reverb?

    Seems like the main difference compared to a Fender Deluxe Reverb is the 2-10s?

    Wattage wise, they both varied over the years, correct?


    Fender Vibrolux Silverface Reverb-fender-vibrolux-reverb-jpg
    Last edited by Woody Sound; 07-26-2017 at 12:33 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Great amp. The big difference is power for more headroom. Deluxe is 15 watts. Vibrolux is 40 watts.

  4. #3

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    I used a '66 forever until I began playing in organ bands and needed a Twin.
    for the longest time they were the 'forgotten Fender' in their line and you could get them dirt cheap.
    then people finally realized they're probably the most versatile Fender combo amp and prices skyrocketted.
    they're my favorite Fender as far as tone goes.

    the pre 70's models were 35 watts, then a bump to 40.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by docbop
    Great amp. The big difference is power for more headroom. Deluxe is 15 watts. Vibrolux is 40 watts.
    I thought the Deluxe was more like 20-22 watts?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I thought the Deluxe was more like 20-22 watts?
    they are

  7. #6

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    the VR uses a pair of 6L6GC power tubes, more headroom
    6V6GT's in a DR, more breakup.

  8. #7

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    They and the Pro Reverb (same amp, two 12s) are the best Fender amps of the post-Tweed era. I have giggled with each. Phenomenal. No better amp for a Gibson than a Vibrolux Reverb, IMO.

  9. #8

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    I have one that I bought years ago. It's fine, for a Fender amp. I'm not a Fender fan, though. I got a great deal on it, and I really didn't know what I wanted back then, other than cheap. Mine could probably use some new speakers to improve the sound, but I haven't bothered. It's too big, too heavy, and produces too much heat to be an everyday amp for me. But if you're looking for a Fender amp, it's probably about as good as you'll find.

  10. #9

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    I don't have a VR. Always wanted one, as it seemed like the perfect balance of power and size, with a pretty edge and drive sound when turned up. Ended up getting an Allen Encore head. It's David Allen's tribute to the VR. 35 watts, a not too big output transformer, 6L6s. Has a few other tricks too -- master volume, a "Raw" knob allowing you to dial out the tonestack, a two knob reverb and truly beautiful tube bias trem. My favorite amp to date. Everything I looked for in a VR, and a bit more.
    MD

  11. #10

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    Great amps. I have a 1980, at that time Fender changed the panel to black face cosmetics but it has the silver face specs. I dropped in a 63
    jensen C10q gold label speaker, the other is an Eminence patriot.

    Fender Vibrolux Silverface Reverb-img_3358-jpgFender Vibrolux Silverface Reverb-img_3352-jpg

  12. #11

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    I own a 74' Pro Reverb that I sent to David Allen to modify to blackface specs e.g. eliminate the master volume and add his "Raw Switch" which I hardly ever use. Also replaced the original Utah speakers with Webers. It was on the fritz for a couple of years but recently replaced the Output transformer and it is a wonderful sounding amp. That said, I wouldn't want to carry it very far.

  13. #12

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    VR's are great amps. Just the right balance providing lots of headroom but still not too heavy. Also, they have a bright switch, that I like to turn off, making the amp a little warmer than a DR. Just the other day, I found an old receipt for my first VR. It was a mid 1960's BFVR that I bought used in the early 1970's for $100! I also had a '64 for a while after that. The '64 was my favorite. Unfortunately, I let those two go along the way and I really regret it now. I recently acquired a 1973 SFVR which is excellent too. They are more affordable than the BF versions and still great hand-wired amps.
    Keith

    Fender Vibrolux Silverface Reverb-image-jpg

  14. #13

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    I have both of them in modern reissues and they are great. Actually my VR is embeded in a Fender SuperSonic 60W model. In addition, I have a recent Fender Deluxe reissue.

    The SuperSonic, although less renowned than othet amps to jazz players, is interesting because it gives you basically 2 clean channels, a VR and a Bassman, plus a double deck saturation channel for your inner J. Scofield (or M. Stern, or whatever...). I used to switch between the VR and Bassman channels depending on the guitars I played with.

    Main problem with the SuperSonic is its weight. Seen my cervicalgy problems, I have decided to stop carrying it all around and I have acquired a FDR.

    As said above, VR has more headroom but also more cutting high ends than what I get with the FDR. Both are perfectly suited to a great jazz sound but I have a slight preference for the FDR, sound wise.

    Cheers.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob taft
    I own a 74' Pro Reverb that I sent to David Allen to modify to blackface specs e.g. eliminate the master volume and add his "Raw Switch" which I hardly ever use. Also replaced the original Utah speakers with Webers. It was on the fritz for a couple of years but recently replaced the Output transformer and it is a wonderful sounding amp. That said, I wouldn't want to carry it very far.
    Rob, how do you like the Webers over the Utahs? Reason I ask is that I just picked up (like an hour ago) a 1965 Pro Reverb with original Utahs that could probably use either a replacement or recone.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop
    I have both of them in modern reissues and they are great. Actually my VR is embeded in a Fender SuperSonic 60W model. In addition, I have a recent Fender Deluxe reissue.

    The SuperSonic, although less renowned than othet amps to jazz players, is interesting because it gives you basically 2 clean channels, a VR and a Bassman, plus a double deck saturation channel for your inner J. Scofield (or M. Stern, or whatever...). I used to switch between the VR and Bassman channels depending on the guitars I played with.

    Main problem with the SuperSonic is its weight. Seen my cervicalgy problems, I have decided to stop carrying it all around and I have acquired a FDR.

    As said above, VR has more headroom but also more cutting high ends than what I get with the FDR. Both are perfectly suited to a great jazz sound but I have a slight preference for the FDR, sound wise.

    Cheers.
    Hi Fred:
    Which Deluxe Reverb are you using? Is it the '65 blackface re-issue or the 68 silveface custom with the bassman tone stack? I understand that the original blackface deluxe reverb's as well as the reissue are hardwired to "bright" and people often clip the bright cap to warm them up. The new '68 custom, on the other hand, seems very warm to me on the custom channel.
    Keith

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonmi3
    Rob, how do you like the Webers over the Utahs? Reason I ask is that I just picked up (like an hour ago) a 1965 Pro Reverb with original Utahs that could probably use either a replacement or recone.

    To be honest, it has been about 10 years since I replaced the Utah's which were just tired. The Weber model I used was the 12 150 Vintage light dope model (50 watt). They sound great. At the time it was a good buy for the money. I kept the Utahs in case I sell the amp but I'm pretty happy with the Webers. I don't use this amp anymore at levels above 3-4. I control the volume with the guitar. Very clean, lush round warm tone, great reverb.
    Last edited by rob taft; 07-28-2017 at 01:49 PM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    Hi Fred:
    Which Deluxe Reverb are you using? Is it the '65 blackface re-issue or the 68 silveface custom with the bassman tone stack? I understand that the original blackface deluxe reverb's as well as the reissue are hardwired to "bright" and people often clip the bright cap to warm them up. The new '68 custom, on the other hand, seems very warm to me on the custom channel.
    Keith
    Hi FloatingPU,
    Mine is '65 blackface reissue. No modding. No excessive brightness to my ears.

    Cheers.

  19. #18

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    is the Vibrolux's tone similar to the twin reverb one?

  20. #19

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    I think the power section of the Twin Reverb and Dual Showman are unique compared to all the other Fender amps.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop
    Hi FloatingPU,
    Mine is '65 blackface reissue. No modding. No excessive brightness to my ears.

    Cheers.
    I am interested in taking a closer look at one of the new Deluxe Reverbs. It would be nice to have something just a little smaller/lighter than the VR for playing in smaller venues. I tried the '68 Custom and I really liked it but I haven't tried the '65 reissue yet. I prefer the BF cosmetics so maybe I'll test drive one.
    Keith

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by gianluca
    is the Vibrolux's tone similar to the twin reverb one?
    I'd say it's a cross between a Deluxe Reverb and a Fender Tweed once it's driven. So the best of both world's.

  23. #22

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    The VR is a great amp if you don't mind the weight. I've often thought about getting one and putting a single 12" speaker in it.

  24. #23

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    vibrolux weight must be similar to an hot rod which I'm able to manage: I'm looking for an alternative to my twin reverb. 40W should be enough for me...

  25. #24

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    Well the VR is nowhere near as heavy as a Twin but mine is heavier than my Deluxe (1x12).

  26. #25

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    VR heavier than DR. Lighter than Pro Reverb or Super Reverb.

    I like the two tens with the L5 or 175.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    VR's are great amps. Just the right balance providing lots of headroom but still not too heavy. Also, they have a bright switch, that I like to turn off, making the amp a little warmer than a DR. Just the other day, I found an old receipt for my first VR. It was a mid 1960's BFVR that I bought used in the early 1970's for $100! I also had a '64 for a while after that. The '64 was my favorite. Unfortunately, I let those two go along the way and I really regret it now. I recently acquired a 1973 SFVR which is excellent too. They are more affordable than the BF versions and still great hand-wired amps.
    Keith
    Last night I used my '73 SFVR on the gig with my L5CES. This time of year we play outside on the patio at a fairly busy restaurant, which seems to be a good venue for an open back amp like the VR. I was very happy with my sound. The amp was clean and clear, with lots of headroom and that wonderful Fender reverb. Nice warm tone, not too bright. These are great amps. Using this amp again lately has made me think a lot about the '64 BFVR that I had in the past. If I ever get the chance to buy a decent BFVR again, I'll be buying it. In the meantime, I'm very happy with the SF version.
    Keith

  28. #27

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    In the 90s I gigged in a six piece band...bass, drums, guitar, piano, sax, trumpet...using a BFVR. PERFECT amp.

  29. #28

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    Does the silverface and/or blackface Vibrolux Reverb amps have anough clean headroom for medium-loud level jazz? Would it hang with a B3 player or is that pushing it?

    I am not talking about the "Custom Vibrolux" model that is currently in production. I mean the old 2x10, 40 watt silverface or blackface models.

    ** EDIT **
    I just pulled the trigger on a silverface Bandmaster to put into a 2x10 combo cab.
    Last edited by hallpass; 08-26-2011 at 09:01 AM.

  30. #29

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    I would say yes. I've got a Pro Reverb . . same wattage but 12" speakers. I can hang with a B3 pretty easily in a jazz setting. If you are considering buying one . . . you should look first at the Vibroverb. Same wattage but one 15" speaker. Harder to get the 15" to break up and the tone from a 15" is more in line with the fatter and warmer jazz tone you are probably seeking. The reissue Vibroverbs are pretty damn good.

  31. #30

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    Bernstein uses one so it must be enough

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    I would say yes. I've got a Pro Reverb . . same wattage but 12" speakers. I can hang with a B3 pretty easily in a jazz setting. If you are considering buying one . . . you should look first at the Vibroverb. Same wattage but one 15" speaker. Harder to get the 15" to break up and the tone from a 15" is more in line with the fatter and warmer jazz tone you are probably seeking. The reissue Vibroverbs are pretty damn good.
    Ah, good thought, I wasn't aware of the Vibroverb. Looks like it's heavier though than the Vibrolux though and one big reason I'm looking at the Vibrolux is it's combination of size/power compared to say a Twin Reverb or a Pro Reverb (which are much heavier). Though it seems like a Twin Reverb would be the most affordable option...just so damn heavy.

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    Bernstein uses one so it must be enough
    Cool, didn't know he used one. I found out a local guitarist I enjoy (and took lessons from) also uses on in an B3 organ trio.

  33. #32

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    Yes. Vibrolux is one of those nice all rounder Fender amps that can do loud clean and jangly/bluesy distortion.

  34. #33

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    Wait, in reagrds to the Vibroverb, there's also a Fender Vibroverb '63 Reissue which is about the same size and setup as the Vibrolux (2x10 combo). So it seems either the silverface Vibrolux or Fender Vibroverb '63 Reissue could fit for me in terms of size, power and price.

  35. #34

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    The Vibroverb reissue is the same size and weight as the Vibrolux. It has a single 15" pup. GREAT amp for jazz!!!

  36. #35

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    A Vibrolux should be fine with a B3 player. Another thought... the hard to find, but cheaper one 15" blackface Pro without reverb. It's essentially a Vibroverb for much, much less money. Fender only made them briefly though.

  37. #36

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    I would prefer 1x15 to 2x10. I usually dont like 10 speakers but them I think about Bernstein tone... (one of the best out there IMO)

    I think almost all amps can be voiced to have all the clean headroom you need. With 40w and 2x10 if you get early breakup, any good tech will give easily fix that.

  38. #37

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    I appreciate the responses and info, thank you.

    I've been checking out ampwares.com for weight/wattage specs and also checking out the current going prices.

    I'm now thinking about a Fender Bandmaster head (silverface or blackface). They seem reasonable priced and then I get eventually get a 2x10, 1x15 or 2x12 cab for it. Anyone have any experience/opinion on a Bandmaster for jazz and clean headroom? I suspect it would fit the bill.

  39. #38

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    There are large trannies in the Bandmaster and a solid state rectifier, so it'll have a greater clean headroom than even a Pro.

  40. #39

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    Well, I just pulled the trigger on a silverface 1971 Bandmaster head (non-reverb). I'm planning on getting a 2x10 combo cabinet to put it into. For speakers I'm planing on Eminence Copperheads, as they have a Fender tone and are supposed to be loud/efficient.

    I came close to a Vibroverb Reissue (the 2x10 reissue from the early 90s) but it didn't work out.

    I think the Bandmaster should work well when I need more volume than my Princeton Reverb Reissue has. I have a PRRI with an efficient 12" speaker that works well in most of my playing situations.

  41. #40

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    I use a '73 Vibrolux Reverb - it's perfect.
    But you'll definitely get more clean headroom with the Bandmaster. Bigger output transformer and SS rectifier. Put a 5751 or 12AY7 in V2 (assuming you use the vibrato channel). Copperheads are great speakers too. I think you'll be happy.
    I personally love 10"s for jazz - much more articulate/punchy than a 15".

  42. #41

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    Glad to hear! I have an old jan/ge 5751 ready to put in the v2 channel!

    The only thing I won't have is built-in reverb...but I think I'll be ok without it. Or I get a reverb pedal if I need it.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by timski
    I use a '73 Vibrolux Reverb - it's perfect.
    But you'll definitely get more clean headroom with the Bandmaster. Bigger output transformer and SS rectifier. Put a 5751 or 12AY7 in V2 (assuming you use the vibrato channel). Copperheads are great speakers too. I think you'll be happy.
    I personally love 10"s for jazz - much more articulate/punchy than a 15".
    ABSOLUTELY +1

    Love my '67 Vibrolux!!!!!

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by timski
    I use a '73 Vibrolux Reverb - it's perfect.
    But you'll definitely get more clean headroom with the Bandmaster. Bigger output transformer and SS rectifier. Put a 5751 or 12AY7 in V2 (assuming you use the vibrato channel). Copperheads are great speakers too. I think you'll be happy.
    I personally love 10"s for jazz - much more articulate/punchy than a 15".
    I've got everything together for the Bandmaster! I put a JAN/GE 5751 in v2 like you mentioned as well. I had to get the vibrato fixed, but it's otherwise in excellent condition.

  45. #44

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    The vibrolux is a great amp! I actually play a "Vibroclone," which is a Silverface Super Rever, modified to blackface specs, NOS tubes, Mercury Magnetics Transformers, and it was rehoused into a 1x15 cab with a nice JBL. Essentially is it a Vibroverb. The Vibrolux, Vibroverb, Super Reverb, and Pro Reverb are all the same circuit just different configurations (2x10, 1x15, 4X10, and 2x12) respectively.

  46. #45

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    About 18 months ago we got some new neighbors. They are a very nice couple who have involvement in music through karaoke—people in their club told me that she’s their “Queen.” In the past they both played guitar, but quit for a long time. They love my big band and have attended several concerts. They also like to throw house parties and invite us to each one. At their latest one the wife dragged me into their garage to show me the guitar she bought. It was a low-end import solid of no interest to me, but what caught my eye was the attached amp—a Fender silverface Vibrolux Reverb from the early ’70’s.

    The wife said she’s the original owner and they don’t think it’s ever been serviced or even had a tube changed. I went through a list of what it might need to bring it up to date and it’s nothing they want to deal with. There was a time in my life I’d do it for them, but that time is long gone—I not only don’t have the time nor inclination, but don’t even have a suitable work space anymore. They’d like me to sell it for them, preferably as is. Outside of my first view of it, I have not looked it over in depth, so I have no idea what operational condition it’s in. Before I offer it for sale I’ll check it out as fully as I can.

    There are a number of these listed on reverb.com for a range of prices. I suspect it could sit there awhile, so I’d hope to sell it through a guitar forum. Is this is an amp that appeals to jazz guitar players?

    Danny W.

  47. #46

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    Could be a great find. Especially with original tubes! You'd need a 3 prong ac cord and probably new filter caps (the electrolytics) . The smaller Fender amps were the last to be messed with circuit wise, that one may be an older circuit. You can't go wrong really at a good price, it would be flippable I'd think if you wanted to sell it.

    There are guys here up on this stuff. I've done some minor mods and repairs. Worked a bit on my Silverface Twin Reverb. If it hasn't been turned on in a long time you may want to turn it on slow with a .. arghh forget the name of the device but it applies power little by little.. I made one back in the day using a lamp fixture, a variac maybe..distant memory.

    Or just bring it to a good amp tech.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by 73Fender; 01-09-2019 at 08:28 AM.

  48. #47

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    It appeals to all sorts of players. One of Fender's greatest amps IMO. A just right sized OT for the power, makes for one of the warmer blackface/silverface models.

  49. #48

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    Back in the day VR's were kind of the black sheep of Fender combo amps, you could get them for a song.
    About 20 yrs ago that changed and they've been the most popular along w/ Deluxe and Princeton reverbs.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Fender
    If it hasn't been turned on in a long time you may want to turn it on slow with a .. arghh forget the name of the device but it applies power little by little.. I made one back in the day using a lamp fixture, a variac maybe..distant memory.
    Yes—variac. A light bulb current limiter can work in a pinch:

  51. #50

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    Thanks for the comments. I'm hoping to get the amp to my house and check it out next week. The owners have been using it, so no need for a variac or series lightbulb!

    Danny W.