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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / The Vibro-King Club

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SpiroGiro

Southern CountiesUK

Jan 28th, 2014 04:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I read the posts even though I do not own a VK !! I would like one and I gave some admiring glances to one in my local shop just yesterday. If you could see it to help me out buying one or share ownership(!) I am sure I too would make some informative and entertaining posts too!

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Mar 1st, 2014 08:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I want to know if some one can comment on running my squier bass vi through the vibro-king stack (combo and extension speakers). I don't want to invest in a new amp for a bass that i won in a raffle and i don't want to ruin my vk... am i okay? I just want to play loud enough to hear over a drum kit and I am not playing metal music... can some one please comment on what my worries show be?

thanks

SteveTR

Grapevine, TX

Mar 4th, 2014 07:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wouldn't think it would be the best thing for the 3 Alnicos.

SteveTR

Grapevine, TX

Mar 4th, 2014 07:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

V5 PI tube - My King acts a little queen-ish when I put a balanced Tung-Sol 12AX7 in. She goes a little ballistic, like you are touching the tip of your cable when you unplug the cable from the guitar! I have tried multiple Tung-Sols so I know its not the tube. Seems to work fine with a GT-12AX7-R, issue, not knowing if it's balanced as I believe it is the original factory tube. Anyone had experience on this one?

RKSTRAT
Contributing Member
**********

USA

"Clapton is Good"
Nov 12th, 2014 09:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have posted this before, but again, I have an original VK with the reverb tube problem. I solved it in a very, very simple way.
After blowing many reverb tubes, I bought the Russian military grade tube and it has been the absolute simple solution.
No need for any circuit tweaking.

SpiroGiro

Southern CountiesUK

Nov 13th, 2014 05:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

@RKSTRAT - can you give a make and model code and the retailer you got the tube from? I expect this will also be a solution to both Supersonic and Super Reverb reverb/trem issue too then as a Fender tech advised me that Trem tubes have to absolutely perfect...


RKSTRAT
Contributing Member
**********

USA

"Clapton is Good"
Nov 27th, 2014 08:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

SpiroGiro-

Sorry it took me so long to post a reply. This thread has been quiet, so I just check in occasionally. The EL84M is what I have used. I just used it in place of the EL84 reverb tube found in the early Vibro-Kings. It is just a heavy duty version of the original tube.


We should always try to use the FDP sponsors and their links,
but this other vendor was the only source I could find at the time.

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surfnick

usa

Dec 7th, 2014 11:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have heard that some VK owners put a AY7 tube in the v4 position to take a little harshness out of their tone. I have an AY7 and would like to give this a try but I don't know which tube to replace. From left to right which tube is v4? I'm not sure what year the amp was built but I bought it new in 2003 and the serial number is 2917. Has anyone tried this tube switch? Thanks

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Dec 10th, 2014 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

surfnick, isn't there a tube chart in your amp's speaker area?



MidnightJam
Contributing Member

USA

Feb 20th, 2015 04:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi All,
I’m a new VK owner and just found / registered on this forum. I’m thrilled to find the level of detailed knowledge about the VK that I see on this forum. It is what I need right now.
The VK I bought was discounted due to its imperfect condition. I made the purchase knowing I would need to work to get the amp into good playing condition. Were it not for the price discount I would not have been able to buy the amp.

As a matter of background: the amp is the EL84 reverb tube version serial number range 12xx. I’ve done a few things to get it into playing condition. For the most part, except for the problem as outlined below, it sounds great. It’s loud and dynamic and the reverb is excellent. I’ve had the opportunity to play through quite a few desirable older Fender (blackface and tweed) and Marshall (non master volume, 4 input) amps. I’m finding this VK brings its own something special to the table.


I am NOT an experienced amp tech. I have not built an amp or done serious amp repair work. I am not trained on how to read schematics, take meter readings or trace a circuit to find a problem. I do know about being safe around the hazard of electrical shock from undrained caps, etc. I am OK going into an amp and changing components if I know what needs to be changed. I’ve done this with pots, switches, jacks, resistors, pilot lights and the like. The other new info is the local amp tech that I had used for many years (who spoiled me by taking such good care of things) retired and left the area. So to the extent possible, I want to learn what’s needed to repair and maintain my amps. I just bought a book on tube amp repair (Bill Mitchell’s). Here’s an opportunity for me to learn more by getting my VK back to 100%.

The amp generally sounds good, and all the controls work as expected. Here is the problem:
There is an intermittent swirling, crackling noise. The noise is not super loud or super quiet … kind of an in the background noise. Definitely too distracting for recording. Might be borderline acceptable in a live (unmic’ed) setting. Problem is, as you would expect, I want to use this VK amp for recording and playing live mic’ed.

As I’ve read many threads, on this forum and others, about problems of this type I’ve noticed answers to a number of questions are important. So here are my answers to many (though I’m sure not all) likely questions:

The crackling noise varies with the volume pot level.

Noise seems more frequent / prevalent on start up and seems to reduce but not eliminate after about five minutes.

I replaced all pre-amp tubes with known good -- no change in noise.

I replaced power tubes with known good -- no change in noise.

Same result with no guitar or guitar cable plugged in.

Same result with different speaker cabs (known good).

Same result with different power source/circuit (known good).

When all tone controls at zero and volume on 10 there is no crackling.

then when treble is slowly brought up, still no crackling.

then when mid is slowly brought up, still no crackling.

then when bass is slowly brought up -- YES crackling!

Also I noticed, with no guitar cable plugged in, when I touch the metal screw in the metal piece of the top handle with my finger, I get snap sound. While my finger is touching this part a background hiss/hum (not the crackling) noise of the amp is lower.

I have not taken pictures of the internals of the amp. I could maybe do this if it would be helpful. I did notice there is some evidence of oxidation/rust on the chassis metal as if the amp, at a former time, spent time in a high humidity or wet environment. But the power and output transformers do not look oxidized at all.

My question is, as you would expect, What can I do to make the intermittent swirly crackling noise and the snap/hum/hiss as described above go away?

I definitely want this early VK, which likely saw a hard life for a few years, brought back to good health.

Thank you in advance for your support.

(This message was last edited by MidnightJam at 06:08 PM, Feb 20th, 2015)

markvc1

US

Feb 25th, 2015 08:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Midnight, I have the same issue, just bought 3141 here in Orange County and got that exact issue you describe, in my case after re-tubing. I'm going to take it to a tech, and will post back here with what I find out. Will take a few days.

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Feb 26th, 2015 01:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was taught that there could be some carbon build up in the on off switch or standby switch. give those a few switches back and forth and see if that solves it- did mine. also found that the rca cables were giving me some noise as well... cleaning connections took care of the problem.

i am still convinced the vibe-king is the perfect amp (after over 12 years of having one and playing many others).



MidnightJam
Contributing Member

USA

Feb 27th, 2015 10:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Markvc1 -- thank you for your note. I hope you are able to sort things out with your amp. It would be great to know what you find.

Back Breaker -- thank you for your ideas. I will most definitely check the switches, the connectors and the RCA cables and report back if I have success. Great to hear you have enjoyed your VK for over a dozen years. The amp sure seems to have potential -- just need to get mine running right.

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Mar 2nd, 2015 05:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I am still running mine stock (minus some tube replacements). I have been playing a couple other amps (just to give them a try) and as good as they may be, the vk is still hands down the best i have played through. Perfect amp for my thin skin jaguar... so beefy sounding... the amp hits every desired tone plugging straight in. i laugh when i here people say that they have to turn it up to get to a sweet spot... they just don't understand the amp-it's awesome.


back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Jun 14th, 2015 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Has anyone tried to swap out the speakers in the extension cab? I am curious how some ceramic jensens would sound with this amp? in conjunction with the original 10's. just curious.

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Dec 13th, 2015 03:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Still looking for a consensus about the speaker change for the 12's. can some one compare the sound of the vk to tweeds and blackface and brown faces? I have been playing my for so long that I have forgotten what others sound like. I have considered trading mine for a 57 bandmaster but i am trying to figure the differences (other than the obvious updates specs and effects). how does the solid state rectifier compare to a tube rectifier and double rectifier (twin/clapton- models). mostly just trying to put this back on the first page.

Tele295

Tiki Hut

Feb 3rd, 2016 03:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Anybody have a source for an aftermarket VK baffle/grill cut for 1x15" speaker?

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Feb 4th, 2016 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mather cabinets might have one for sale

nature_boy_ky

USA

James M. Slone
Mar 24th, 2016 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hello, was wondering if the tremolo tick was fixed on the new vibro-Kings? If so, what year did they start getting it right. Thanks

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Mar 25th, 2016 12:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

think they have just left this up to the owner (for whatever reason). there are a few things help cure it (listed on here). i think the circuit (which they can't monkey with without consent from the engineer- i might be stretching on that) just lends itself to that. after the warranty goes there are some things that can eliminate it.

bummer that they didn't give it the same trem as the dual professional (which was also designed by zinky) -that would be an upgrade worth going for (in fact that would have been a great 20th anniversary option)




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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / The Vibro-King Club




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