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  1. #1

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    Who plays them?
    Tonally, what separates them from the Deluxe, Twin, Super, etc?
    I believe Peter Bernstein plays (ed) one, any other known jazz players use them?
    Seems to be a much loved amp, particularly the vintage ones.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66
    Who plays them?
    Tonally, what separates them from the Deluxe, Twin, Super, etc?
    I believe Peter Bernstein plays (ed) one, any other known jazz players use them?
    Seems to be a much loved amp, particularly the vintage ones.
    I don’t have an actual Vibrolux, but I have a Gries 35, which I understand is based on the Vibrolux circuit, but with a single 12” speaker, one channel, mid control, and master volume. It has a stiffness to it that, coupled with the 6L6-driven power section, is more reminiscent of a Twin than the relative “softness” of the 6V6-based Princeton Reverb or Deluxe Reverb. It has massive amounts of bass—I run mine with bass and treble between 1-3 and mid just a bit south of noon. It’s more of a George Benson sound than it is a Jim Hall sound.

    Andy Brown has tons of video clips on his YouTube channel on which he’s playing through a Vibrolux.


  4. #3

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    There are several versions of the Vibrolux, at least 4, from different eras of Fender production.

  5. #4

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    My favorite vintage amp is a 60s Fender Vibrolux reverb w the brown/gold Jensens. But I rarely use them anymore as I mostly play in organ bands.
    An unmiked Vibrolux is no match for a B-3, so I mainly use blackface Twins.

  6. #5

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    I had a Vibrolux with 2x10 speakers. Needed an amp with lots of clean headroom for my Beatles tribute and it worked fine for that. It didn't work fine for my back, so I traded it for a TMDR. Half the weight, plenty headroom (maybe even more than the VL).

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Mack
    There are several versions of the Vibrolux, at least 4, from different eras of Fender production.
    Indeed. I have found, when most people say only "Vibrolux", and do not add a descriptor like "Custom" or "68 Custom" or "Reissue" or whatever, they are referring to the rare, famous, vintage "blackface" Vibrolux Reverb 210. Which seems to be what is in the video above.

  8. #7

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    I've been using the RI silverface Vibrolux in our club's backline for the last few years. It's OK, but I do not love it. I play a 7, but even with a 6 the bottom gets a bit flatulent at higher volume with humbuckers of any flavor in any style guitar. The blues tone is fine. It's flexible and great with pedals - I've used a Dumbler, a Rockett Touch, and a Wampler Tumnus with equally great success to get a smooth, singing style of overdrive. It's a decent low volume jazz amp, but there are better, smaller amps at much lower cost for that use. I usually use our DV Jazz 12 or CS Princeton Reverb instead for our weekly jazz show, because I think they both sound much better than the Vibrolux with my archtops and my Raines Tele with Lace Alumitones.

    On the other hand, I think the best sounding amp I ever used was an original blackface Vibrolux in a pine cabinet. It had an amazingly full and rich sound that I loved with any guitar. Unfortunately, it wasn't mine and the owner (a friend and local bandleader) wouldn't sell it. I also had a Vibrolux from the first year of the silverface series ('68?) that I used for several years. I'm pretty sure the first run of SF units had blackface electronics in them, and it sure sounded like that. It was a very fine general gigging amp that I bought used and kept as a backup. But it was in a plywood cab, so it was heavier than the BF and didn't sound quite as nice to me.

    I've had Twins and Deluxes too. For me, the Twin has an effortless sound across the full spectrum from low bass to highs. Music oozes out like honey, and I can't imagine any use for which a Twin is less than stellar except as a companion to an old man My Deluxes were never quite as clean as a Twin, but they had great jazz sound at low volumes and great blues sound at higher volume settings. Both of mine stopped getting louder at one point on the pot dial and started getting thicker instead. There was a sweet spot or range in which this was controllable from the guitar's volume pot, so you could dial it back to a cleaner sound or push it into overdrive. I only used humbuckers through all of these.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    My favorite vintage amp is a 60s Fender Vibrolux reverb w the brown/gold Jensens. But I rarely use them anymore as I mostly play in organ bands.
    An unmiked Vibrolux is no match for a B-3, so I mainly use blackface Twins.
    I have owned three vibroluxes over the years - two BF and one SF. I think they are just right; two 6L6’s are powerful enough to stay clean at decent volumes, while the amp is still manageable in terms of weight. The best one I had was a ‘64 BFVR with two gold jensens and “Fender Elect. Inst. Co.” on the control panel. It was a fabulous amp, with just the right amount of bass response from the two 10” speakers without sounding boomy. The bright switch on these amps allows you to cut the highs back and get a nice jazz tone. I also feel that 10” speakers suit archtops very well without too much feedback trouble. And, of course, there’s that glorious Fender reverb. I let that amp go when I had the chance to get a 1959 tweed Deluxe. I regretted the decision, as the Deluxe never suited me as much as the Vibrolux did. A few years ago, I bought an early 1970’s SFVR. It is a very nice amp too, but I’m not convinced it sounds as good as the BFVR’s I had. I can’t speak to the newer versions because I have never owned one.
    Keith

  10. #9

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    I have a silverface Vibrolux Reverb from the '80s. It's fine for what it is, a Fender tube amp. I replaced the speakers with Cannabis Rex, and eventually swapped one for the Eminence Alpha from my RE Stealth 10 ER, and that mix works as well as anything I've tried. Like the above post, I don't love it, and rarely use it. I got it from a pawn shop in the early '90s at a great price, and I lugged it around for awhile on the casters the previous owner had installed. Even back then I had trouble carrying it very far. I like the 2x10 speaker setup, but it's very hard to get a tone I like even with the speaker upgrades. Andy Brown sounds good using his, but he sounded the same with the Peavey he used to use, and with the Evans he had in between. I've listened to a lot of Andy Brown, and I couldn't tell blindfolded which amp he was using. I can hear the difference between his Tal and his Koentopp, whichever amp is being used. They're very different guitars.

  11. #10

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    It's just amazing to me how, after all these years, the BF Vibrolux, (and many other Fender amps of that era) garners so much praise and adulation. Maybe the speakers they came with were in part responsible, as well.
    I know that I've lusted after one - but at the time I reached that obsession, their prices were sobering! Instead, I fell in love with an 80's Fender Concert which had the 2 - 10's, the BF look, other bells and whistles, and 60+ lbs of weight! It was more a Twin than a VR....but what a gorgeous tone with an upgraded reverb pan, and speakers.

    Back to the BFVR... when I was gigging in the 70's, the VR would have been so affordable, but even my Twin Reverbs were just only adequate at times. I wish I had just gotten a BF Super Reverb then. I might have just been fine with that ( don't ask my back tho).

  12. #11

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    It's funny, I remember when nobody wanted Vibrolux Reverbs, you couldn't give them away, they were the black sheep of the Fender combo line
    Everyone wanted the bigger amps like Twins and Pros. Fast forward to now and it's the exact opposite, smaller Fenders like Champs, Princetons, Deluxes and VRs are the top dogs, but blackface Twins are still desirable, more w people that don't transport them. But in the last 15-20 yrs VRs really caught on, 35 watts w 2 tens make for a very versatile, gigable amp.

  13. #12

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    I have owned a twin and a GB. I prefer the Fender GB for jazz sounds from a carved top Gibson.

    I’ve had issues with its reverb failing though, full disclosure.

    Still sounds like a jazz focused amp though.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    It's funny, I remember when nobody wanted Vibrolux Reverbs, you couldn't give them away, they were the black sheep of the Fender combo line
    Everyone wanted the bigger amps like Twins and Pros. Fast forward to now and it's the exact opposite, smaller Fenders like Champs, Princetons, Deluxes and VRs are the top dogs, but blackface Twins are still desirable, more w people that don't transport them. But in the last 15-20 yrs VRs really caught on, 35 watts w 2 tens make for a very versatile, gigable amp.
    In the early 80s you could still find pre-CBS amps pretty cheap, and I wound up with a 1960 Pro, which was a crazy loud and clean amp. Somehow, back in the day we just thought we needed that, but In truth it was always a challenge to get warm tones at reasonable stage volumes out of the big Fenders. I caught the Princeton Reverb bug about 10 years ago, and never looked back. I can't see myself ever again being in a performance situation that would call for a Twin or Super Reverb turned past maybe 3 on the volume knob.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    It's funny, I remember when nobody wanted Vibrolux Reverbs, you couldn't give them away, they were the black sheep of the Fender combo line
    Everyone wanted the bigger amps like Twins and Pros. Fast forward to now and it's the exact opposite, smaller Fenders like Champs, Princetons, Deluxes and VRs are the top dogs, but blackface Twins are still desirable, more w people that don't transport them. But in the last 15-20 yrs VRs really caught on, 35 watts w 2 tens make for a very versatile, gigable amp.
    I recently found an old receipt for my first BFVR. I bought it used in 1974 for $100. Wish I still had the amp.
    The Fender Vibrolux-2c60c8ec-3976-4744-bc08-7bee7ec3eae4-jpeg

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    In the early 80s you could still find pre-CBS amps pretty cheap, and I wound up with a 1960 Pro, which was a crazy loud and clean amp. Somehow, back in the day we just thought we needed that, but In truth it was always a challenge to get warm tones at reasonable stage volumes out of the big Fenders. I caught the Princeton Reverb bug about 10 years ago, and never looked back. I can't see myself ever again being in a performance situation that would call for a Twin or Super Reverb turned past maybe 3 on the volume knob.
    Nobody mic’ed our amps in the pre-CBS era - loud on stage was the only way to play larger rooms. The first & last time I blew a speaker was in the summer of ‘61 on stage at the Ocean City (NJ) convention hall in my Reverberocket. I was 14, it was the first time our band had ever played a venue that big, and I grossly underestimated how much power was needed. The next week, I got a Magnatone with four 6L6s driving four 12s and never looked back. That Maggie was great for rock, pop, and blues - but it was grossly unsuitable for the little local restaurants and parties I was playing. So as I got more jazz dates over the next 3 years I needed a sweeter and more portable amp.

    I bought a new ‘63 BF Pro with a 15 and liked it a lot. The Pros of that era (brown and black panel) were rated at 40 watts, so they were similar in output power to the Vibrolux. Remember that doubling the output in watts will add a maximum of 3 dB to SPL, all other things being about the same. So many amps rated between 20 and 40 watts were / are equally loud. But I thought the 15 had a much fuller, richer tone than two 10s and I enjoyed it for almost a year before trying my 175 through a B15N and falling in love. That low power bass amp was weak for rock but fine for blues and fabulous for jazz, especially solo gigs.

    I bought a new Kustom 150 with two 10s in ‘69 when I started playing multiple weddings & commercial gigs a week, and the power was fine. The tone was sterile, to say the least - although it was marketed and thought of by many as a SS Vibrolux, it wasn’t even in the same ballpark. But by then, there were no more 15” Pros and the Vibrolux had been neutered by cost cuts - the plywood cabs, “updated” electronics, etc made it fat in the body (by several pounds) and thinner in the tone.

    Thankfully, the Boogie came along. I got a ‘78 12” that was my default and did everything I wanted and needed for decades. Alongside that, I had a string of “lesser” amps from Twins to Princetons and Deluxes, plus the first year SF Vibrolux that I mentioned in my earlier post. But with house boards, DIs, stage mics etc, I’ve had no need for even a 40 watt tube amp for many years. I’d still love to have my friend Ron’s pine cab BF Vibrolux just because - but I / we bought all those big heavies years ago because nothing less would do the job. The current Vibrolux reissues (“improved” or not) just don’t come close to an early BF to my ears, and the PRRI does the job very well.

  17. #16

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    I never has a Vibrolux, but in the 80's I had a Revera era Fender Concert with two 10's. That amp was Paul Rivera's "updated" Vibrolux of that era. It was one of the last handwired, P2P production amps made in the old Fullerton factory. It weighed 55 pounds and at jazz gig volumes was incapable of a warm, thick tone so away it went. It did sound great for the few blues gigs that I used it on. I did not care for the drive channel on that amp. Fender should have hired Randall Smith from Mesa to get that right (not that Smith would have had anything to do with Fender after the way that company had treated him when he was first starting out as an amp builder)

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I never has a Vibrolux, but in the 80's I had a Revera era Fender Concert with two 10's. That amp was Paul Rivera's "updated" Vibrolux of that era. It was one of the last handwired, P2P production amps made in the old Fullerton factory. It weighed 55 pounds and at jazz gig volumes was incapable of a warm, thick tone so away it went. It did sound great for the few blues gigs that I used it on. I did not care for the drive channel on that amp. Fender should have hired Randall Smith from Mesa to get that right (not that Smith would have had anything to do with Fender after the way that company had treated him when he was first starting out as an amp builder)
    Truth be told, I've never liked the sound of any "drive channel" except for light use of the original Boogie version. One of the reasons I always had multiple amps was to be able to get the same natural overdriven sound at the appropriate volume for the venue.

    Smith had a broad, deep understanding of tube amps that was and remains rare. He was so good at repairs that he charged by the minute in the Prune Music days and reportedly did it free if he couldn't find the problem in ten. And his designs have been largely excellent, although none of his bigger post-Boogie offerings (Rectifier etc) do it for me. My Subway Blues was a great little amp, as was the Walkabout head. Sadly, the Walkabout (which was tiny for its time and sounded great for jazz guitar) was built terribly. The jacks etc were flimsy and soldered directly to the board with no support from chassis or case, and parts quality was really cheap compared to the Boogie. I knew the guys in the Mesa service depatment through being a Mk 1 owner and having bought and repaired, modified or combined a few Boogies (50 cal, 22 etc) over the years. So I called to ask / complain about the loose jacks (one of which actually came out) etc in my new Walkabout. I was told "I know you can handle this, so I'll just send you a set of old fashioned jacks - they're easy to fit with a little modification. The originals are terrible and we're very sorry." They did - then I fixed it up and sold it.

    Although I do like most of the Rivera amps I've tried (and even bought a few, like the Princeton II Reverb), I never saw the need to change the good old Fender designs. Had they simply raised their prices a bit from time to time and maintained the true excellence of the pre-CBS era, I'd like to think that they would have survived as independents. They just wouldn't have undergone the dramatic sales and revenue growth that (to me) has most often heralded the death of quality as we know it. They could have developed the best SS amps for the time and captured those who wanted to get away from tube weight, maintenance, and cost without selling the store or cutting quality and cost of their product line. I strongly doubt that anyone who used and loved a VIbrolux would have traded it for a Kustom 150 2x10, or that a Twin user would have abandoned it for a Lab Series if there'd been a decent SS Fender option for each.

    Sadly, in the end, all that sales and revenue growth killed most of the greatness in the products we loved. And because it failed to produce a sustainably strong profit margin for any of the subsequent owners after Leo, none of them could focus on the quality that made them what they were - wonderful, durable products that working musicians and hobbyists alike could afford. Maybe the Tonemaster series will be the beginning of the next such era - the pine box amps were the last ones to be unequivocally great in sound and value.
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 10-28-2021 at 11:51 AM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    I recently found an old receipt for my first BFVR. I bought it used in 1974 for $100. Wish I still had the amp.
    The Fender Vibrolux-2c60c8ec-3976-4744-bc08-7bee7ec3eae4-jpeg

    Love it! No receipt for me, but I paid $75 for my BF Deluxe Reverb- and still have it!

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluejaybill
    Love it! No receipt for me, but I paid $75 for my BF Deluxe Reverb- and still have it!
    You we’re obviously smarter than me. I sold this ‘66 after a couple years. I bought a fantastic ‘64 in the 1990’s for about $700 and proceeded to sell that one too. I don’t know what I was thinking.
    Keith

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Nobody mic’ed our amps in the pre-CBS era - loud on stage was the only way to play larger rooms. The first & last time I blew a speaker was in the summer of ‘61 on stage at the Ocean City (NJ) convention hall in my Reverberocket. I was 14, it was the first time our band had ever played a venue that big, and I grossly underestimated how much power was needed. The next week, I got a Magnatone with four 6L6s driving four 12s and never looked back. That Maggie was great for rock, pop, and blues - but it was grossly unsuitable for the little local restaurants and parties I was playing. So as I got more jazz dates over the next 3 years I needed a sweeter and more portable amp.
    I was about 3 years old when CBS took over, so wasn't gigging much in the pre-CBS era :-). But I played pre-CBS gear later. I often played with my amp mic'ed in the 80s and 90s when I was doing rock and blues gigs. And the places I played where amps weren't mic'ed were usually pretty small (too small to crank a Twin/Super/Pro. I eventually figured out overdrive pedals, and was able to get better tones, but until then big Fender amps were frustrating.

    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I bought a new ‘63 BF Pro with a 15 and liked it a lot. The Pros of that era (brown and black panel) were rated at 40 watts, so they were similar in output power to the Vibrolux. Remember that doubling the output in watts will add a maximum of 3 dB to SPL, all other things being about the same. So many amps rated between 20 and 40 watts were / are equally loud. But I thought the 15 had a much fuller, richer tone than two 10s and I enjoyed it for almost a year before trying my 175 through a B15N and falling in love. That low power bass amp was weak for rock but fine for blues and fabulous for jazz, especially solo gigs.
    My Pro had a JBL D130 (a very efficient speaker), so it was quite a loud amp. The Brownface Pro's had solid state rectifiers (vs tube in a VR), and a quite different pre-amps from Blackface. So while nominally similar output levels to a VR, a lot louder and cleaner. I played in a band with a guy who had a BF Twin Reverb, and my Pro was abot as loud, and actually cleaner when cranked (i.e., ridiculously too loud much of the time).

    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I bought a new Kustom 150 with two 10s in ‘69 when I started playing multiple weddings & commercial gigs a week, and the power was fine. The tone was sterile, to say the least - although it was marketed and thought of by many as a SS Vibrolux, it wasn’t even in the same ballpark. But by then, there were no more 15” Pros and the Vibrolux had been neutered by cost cuts - the plywood cabs, “updated” electronics, etc made it fat in the body (by several pounds) and thinner in the tone.

    Thankfully, the Boogie came along. I got a ‘78 12” that was my default and did everything I wanted and needed for decades. Alongside that, I had a string of “lesser” amps from Twins to Princetons and Deluxes, plus the first year SF Vibrolux that I mentioned in my earlier post. But with house boards, DIs, stage mics etc, I’ve had no need for even a 40 watt tube amp for many years. I’d still love to have my friend Ron’s pine cab BF Vibrolux just because - but I / we bought all those big heavies years ago because nothing less would do the job. The current Vibrolux reissues (“improved” or not) just don’t come close to an early BF to my ears, and the PRRI does the job very well.
    Yeah, master volume and cascading gain stages in Boogies was quite a revelation (never owned one, but have played through a several). I have a SF PR, which has the particle board cabinet and dreaded Pull Boost, but having played it side by side with an original BF, and a PRRI, I don't think it suffers from those features (except in the weight department). My PR has a more efficient speaker than the one in the PRRI and is a bit louder (sometimes a blessing, sometimes not). I tried the VR 68 Custom, or whatever they call the most recent one, which I thought was pretty cool but more amp than I can use.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    You we’re obviously smarter than me. I sold this ‘66 after a couple years. I bought a fantastic ‘64 in the 1990’s for about $700 and proceeded to sell that one too. I don’t know what I was thinking.
    You were thinking the same thing the rest of us were every time we sold or traded anything - “I can always get another if I want it”. All through high school and college (1960-68), I and everyone else thought things would go on like they were forever. Well established businesses benefited from long term employee and customer loyalty and rewarded both. The Fender-CBS deal and the Norlinization of Gibson were shocks because the encroachment of profit-seeking shareholders into our world was a new concept that clearly marked the beginning of the end of pure pride of accomplishment. Even losing one neck bolt on a Fender was unthinkable before CBS took over. And it wasn’t just us - ask any Harley Davidson fan about the AMF takeover.

    Then in the 70s, we had the largely unforeseen onslaught of copies from Japan that led to the rise of Tokai, Ibanez, and others. This drove more nails into the lid, and the race to the bottom began in earnest in the US while Asian guitars got better and more readily available. In the next decade, Fender started up a MIJ line of clones using the Squire name they’d owned for 20+ years but had used only on strings. Fender Japan opened in about 1982. I bought a Squire Strat in ‘83 as a beater because it was a nice guitar that seemed to me to be better made than the US Strats hanging next to it. But it was still no match for a pre-CBS Strat. And in my humble but prejudiced opinion, no new Gibson from that era was worth anywhere near its price.

    Meanwhile, Fender and Gibson were trying unsuccessfully to regain their image with US-made instruments from new or revitalized domestic factories. That didn’t work out so well either, and they’re still trying. So the moral of this story is simple: if you have something you really love, think long and hard about selling it because you can’t go home again. If you think you’ve found something you like more, do not give up the first until you’ve lived with its replacement long enough to know if you’re doing the right thing. The days of “I can always get another” are gone.

    Parenthetically, the above gave rise to bespoke luthiers and artisans who make fabulous guitars and amps that are affordable to far more of us than was true when D’Angelico ruled the roost. We can get great guitars and amps from many makers at prices no higher (and often lower) than those of the “custom” products with which Gibson, Fender et al are trying to take us back to the 1960s at 2021 prices. (Pssst! Wanna buy a $30k Tele?)

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    You we’re obviously smarter than me. I sold this ‘66 after a couple years. I bought a fantastic ‘64 in the 1990’s for about $700 and proceeded to sell that one too. I don’t know what I was thinking.
    Keith
    I wasn't that smart! I sold a '59 tweed Bassman (beat but sweet!), a '60 tweed Bassman (mint!), a '59 tweed Super (mint!), tweed Deluxe, tweed Champ, '64 AC30, '64 Vibroverb, '66 BF Super Reverb, etc.

    And that doesn't include the guitars! VIntage L5's, L4C, ES345- you get the picture!

    But luckily for me the BFDR was my main working amp in my '20's and '30's, and after that my main recording amp, so it stayed.

  24. #23

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    [QUOTE=nevershouldhavesoldit;1154916 Sadly, the Walkabout (which was tiny for its time and sounded great for jazz guitar) was built terribly. The jacks etc were flimsy and soldered directly to the board with no support from chassis or case, and parts quality was really cheap compared to the Boogie. I knew the guys in the Mesa service depatment through being a Mk 1 owner and having bought and repaired, modified or combined a few Boogies (50 cal, 22 etc) over the years. So I called to ask / complain about the loose jacks (one of which actually came out) etc in my new Walkabout. I was told "I know you can handle this, so I'll just send you a set of old fashioned jacks - they're easy to fit with a little modification. The originals are terrible and we're very sorry." They did - then I fixed it up and sold [/QUOTE]

    Sorry, I’ve got to speak up for the Walkabout. I’m a bassist and have owned one for 10+ years, done tons of gigs with it and it has been super reliable. I have several bassist friends who own them, same story. I also frequent Talkbass and have never heard of this issue from other owners on the internet. Perhaps you had one of the earliest versions, I would count on Mesa to correct something like this pronto. Don’t mean to disagree with you in your own thread and LOL, this has nothing to do with Vibroluxes. I love my Walkabout and will never part with it. It is indeed a great sounding amp for guitar, too, and I just think a categorical characterization as poorly built is unfair. Peace, and let’s go back to Vibroluxes - I almost bought a 1976 last week but decided 50 lbs. is too much for this old man and I’m going to get with the times and check out those Tonemasters - maybe even wait for the TM Vibrolux!

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevmoga
    I also frequent Talkbass and have never heard of this issue from other owners on the internet. Perhaps you had one of the earliest versions!
    Yes indeed it was the very first version. I always used & loved Boogies, and I appreciated a good small amp head. So I ordered a WA when they were announced and used it with my EVM Boogie Thiele cab. I got it in 2001. The pots of concern to the poster were not as poorly mounted as the jacks, which were plastic housings that shifted around when you plugged a cord in. They may have brought them up to Boogie standards in subsequent runs, but the first batch were poorly made. FWIW, mine sounded great. But I’m not alone in these observations - here’s a quote from a 2001 Talkbass thread about these issues:

    take a look at the Walkabout's front panel. It looks to me like the pots aren't mounted to the faceplate, a la the SWR Mo'Bass. I'm surprised, because Mesa/Boogie's guitar amps resemble a cross between a Volvo and a Boss stompbox in terms of build quality. Another thing--how is this thing supposed to be rackmounted? It looks like there are only two screws on each side for rack ears, which doesn't seem as secure as the Eden 3-screw system. Randall Smith should be ashamed of himself for letting this thing go into general production.”



  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    You were thinking the same thing the rest of us were every time we sold or traded anything - “I can always get another if I want it”. All through high school and college (1960-68), I and everyone else thought things would go on like they were forever. Well established businesses benefited from long term employee and customer loyalty and rewarded both. The Fender-CBS deal and the Norlinization of Gibson were shocks because the encroachment of profit-seeking shareholders into our world was a new concept that clearly marked the beginning of the end of pure pride of accomplishment. Even losing one neck bolt on a Fender was unthinkable before CBS took over. And it wasn’t just us - ask any Harley Davidson fan about the AMF takeover.

    Then in the 70s, we had the largely unforeseen onslaught of copies from Japan that led to the rise of Tokai, Ibanez, and others. This drove more nails into the lid, and the race to the bottom began in earnest in the US while Asian guitars got better and more readily available. In the next decade, Fender started up a MIJ line of clones using the Squire name they’d owned for 20+ years but had used only on strings. Fender Japan opened in about 1982. I bought a Squire Strat in ‘83 as a beater because it was a nice guitar that seemed to me to be better made than the US Strats hanging next to it. But it was still no match for a pre-CBS Strat. And in my humble but prejudiced opinion, no new Gibson from that era was worth anywhere near its price.

    Meanwhile, Fender and Gibson were trying unsuccessfully to regain their image with US-made instruments from new or revitalized domestic factories. That didn’t work out so well either, and they’re still trying. So the moral of this story is simple: if you have something you really love, think long and hard about selling it because you can’t go home again. If you think you’ve found something you like more, do not give up the first until you’ve lived with its replacement long enough to know if you’re doing the right thing. The days of “I can always get another” are gone.

    Parenthetically, the above gave rise to bespoke luthiers and artisans who make fabulous guitars and amps that are affordable to far more of us than was true when D’Angelico ruled the roost. We can get great guitars and amps from many makers at prices no higher (and often lower) than those of the “custom” products with which Gibson, Fender et al are trying to take us back to the 1960s at 2021 prices. (Pssst! Wanna buy a $30k Tele?)
    I sold a Sunn Concert Lead to finance the purchase of my beloved, all-but-mythical '64 Vibroverb Brownpanel 2-10" amp, and promptly forgot to collect the dough. The purchaser eventually made good (4 decades later) but the two-hundred bucks was most welcome. I consigned several amps to an E-Bay friend-of-friend, and was totally ripped off. Live and learn. So I just keep stuff. Current inventory is 15, give or take, with "just one more" on the way. My room resembles a Pharoah's tomb.