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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / 72 Vibro Champ tuneup?

Next 20 Messages  
florida telepicker

USA Fort Lauderdale

Dave W.
Jan 19th, 2012 08:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have an all original SFVC I bought new in 72 as a backup/practice amp to my SF Vibrolux. It has had very little use but it is still 40 years old. I am wondering if there ar any age related things I should do or have done to keep it up. I have had it so long I don't know if the sound has changed noticeably. Pretty quiet unless you max it out, even then it's not bad.
Has the nondescript Fender speaker. Any room for improvement there? I don't want to do anything to degrade it's value. I just use it as a bedroom amp and I may just got out and spend $100 on a Mustang 1 and put the VC back in the closet another fifteen years. If I am going to use it I am going to have to get a reverb pedal for it. That's more than the Mustang right there, maybe twice if I go for the Soul Mate at $280. Thanks for any thoughts,

Dave W.

jimijamfan

W.Warwick R.I.

I brake for 'da blues baby!
Jan 19th, 2012 09:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Two things Dave; I've had my '76 SFVC since 8-'99, and other than change tubes I've not had to do a thing. Two, check the code numbers on the speaker to see what kind, and when it was made. Good to see a cat from Lauderdale, one of my all time favorite places on earth!

carsten

on the rhine

Jan 19th, 2012 09:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

hi dave!

just for safety´s sake - you might want to take it to a tech to have him look it over and see what needs to be done.
some parts (not many) need to be changed every so often to guarantee their proper operation.

your tubes and speaker will probably be fine if the amp wasn´t used much.

the original speakers (usually oxford alnicos) were rather weak, but i run one of these in my tweed champ and it sounds great!
i´ve tried other, more efficient speakers (webers, jensens...) but this one takes the cake ;)

if you want more punch/bass from the amp i can recommend the jensen ri c8r or a weber signature 8" of some sort.
they´re cheap and they sound good in an sf champ!


cheers - C.





florida telepicker

USA Fort Lauderdale

Dave W.
Jan 20th, 2012 09:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

On further inspection my speaker is indeed an Oxford with the second line of code numbers beginning with 465. I also lost two years of "vintageness" as the serial number on the chassis says it is a 74. I thought I had brought them both pretty close together so I checked out my Vibrolux Revberb and it is a 73 not a 72, it also seems to have Oxfords. And my Tele Deluxe is a 73 not a 72. That makes sense since I bought them together. Guess I'v lost a few braincells along the way, but probably not much money in resale as I plan to keep them all for some time. Thanks for all your help and advice.

jimijamfan, I assume you are not speaking of the months of July thru October when it is hot and humid as hell and we get the excitement of dodging the odd hurricane or two. I am originally from Northern Jersey then the last ten years in upstate NY. I don't miss the snow except for Christmas. Ideally a 6&6 north & south arrangement would be good. But if you like to eat and have a good time, dis is da place in the cooler months.

Dave W.

blues74

EU

"...gonna be a magic boy..."
Jan 20th, 2012 02:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Other than what Carsten says, dare I say it: install a 3 prong cord :)

florida telepicker

USA Fort Lauderdale

Dave W.
Jan 20th, 2012 07:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Other than what Carsten says, dare I say it: install a 3 prong cord :)"

Funny you say that, back then it was a pita to try and find a three prong grounded outlet, so I snipped off the offending ground pin protrusion on both amp plugs. Shame on me. I think I will re-plug them both now that most outlets I run into are properly grounded. Might even take a bit of the hum out along with making them safer.

fredocaster

USA

Jan 27th, 2012 08:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My VC is a 71. The only thing I've done to it since 71 besides new tubes now and then is replace the pilot light and power on-off switch. Both of these crapped out last year, so they lasted a very long time. I've used this amp a lot for home practice, quiet band practices, and playing electric at acoustic volume levels.

Very reliable amp for me, sounds good at low volumes too.

(This message was last edited by fredocaster at 08:30 PM, Jan 27th, 2012)

tjnies
Contributing Member
*

PA USA

Go Penguins!
Jan 29th, 2012 09:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My 1st VC was a '73. I took it to my tech, and he replaced the cap can and did something else that escapes me now (something about clipping a bright cap / resistor?).
I also replaced the speker for a Weber Alnico. Wow, great amp, can't believe I sold it. Bought another '73 at a later time, it just didn't sound as good.

Now I want another one - thanks for the GAS. ;)

florida telepicker

USA Fort Lauderdale

Dave W.
Jan 29th, 2012 09:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

tjnies, the pleasure is all mine :)

I still wish I could add a quality reverb at at reasonable price in the chain, but the way everyone is talking about these Mustang I's for $100 I don't see how I can go wrong trying one out, ya know?
With a digital delay the VC makes a killer harp amp, but I am used to the clean reverb of my vibrolux for guitar and the delay falls far short there.

carsten

on the rhine

Jan 30th, 2012 01:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

hi florida telepicker!

"...everyone is talking about these Mustang I's for $100 I don't see how I can go wrong trying one out, ya know?"

very true, and that´s exactly what i thought.
bought a used one for $70 incl. shipping - and sold it for $70 two weeks later.
frankly, i thought it sounded flat and uninspiring and never played it - i have more fun playing my cheap "champion 600" with a boss-reverb in front.

cheers - C.

jimijamfan

W.Warwick R.I.

I brake for 'da blues baby!
Jan 30th, 2012 09:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Dave, I run a Digitech Digital Delay for reverb as well. Awesome! B.T.W. (not to run into *Moe* territory here) I lived in Lauderdale for two years. Loved it!, but you made me wonder about how the humidity would affect a guitar, or amp?

florida telepicker

USA Fort Lauderdale

Dave W.
Jan 31st, 2012 08:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

All my stuff stats in a humidity controlled environment. not to wet not too dry. I have a Martin OM-21 and a nice Classical I watch very closely. It's all indoor bedroom use stuff.

tjnies
Contributing Member
**

PA USA

Go Penguins!
Apr 11th, 2012 10:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

GAS is complete. I just found a '65 VC, looks pretty nice, servicing completed, Weber Alnico speaker. Great price too!
I am supposed to pick it up this evening...

stl80
Contributing Member
*

USA

stl80
Apr 11th, 2012 02:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Funny this speaker thing in VC comes up today. I'm about to pick up the original Oxford speaker that came in mine (1970's)which was just re-coned. I'm not sure what my tech put in as a replacement, but I'll be interested to hear what the original sounds like compared to what's in there now.
Jim

6L6
Contributing Member
**********
***

Lago, CA

Kick the tires, Light the fires!
Apr 12th, 2012 08:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My '72 SFVC gets about an hour of playing in my home every day! I also use it at Open Mics with both acoustic and electric guitars.

Along with my '72 SFDR, I can't ask for more from any amp.

Mine is 100% stock and I love putting my BOSS RV-3, DM-2, and or CH-1 into it.

TONE CITY!!!!!

6

tjnies
Contributing Member
**

PA USA

Go Penguins!
Apr 12th, 2012 08:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I did buy the '65 VC. Turns out the owner is a tech, works on amps for a living. This was his personal harp performing amp for years, but he uses a Princeton now.
He added a 3-prong plug, and an adjustable bias, since he claims that Champs are hard on power tubes being fixed-bias. This is easily reversible if necessary.
Sounds killer! I was amazed how well this one crunches, since my prior VC was pretty clean, too much so.

This got me thinking again whether I should just sell my Dr Z Maz Jr, since it's pretty loud for home (I don't gig, just personal enjoyment), or maybe I should just get a vintage Priceton Reverb?

(This message was last edited by tjnies at 10:29 AM, Apr 12th, 2012)

Hammond101
Contributing Member
*

So. Cal. USA

Apr 12th, 2012 09:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I missed a SFVC on CL yesterday here locally for $60. It needed repair but what a deal.

SpiroGiro

YorkshireUK

Apr 12th, 2012 03:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

+jimijamfan

Ditto! I also have found the Digitech Digi Delay an excellent pedal for adding subtle 'reverb' to my setup where any amp hasn't got it. I also find the ability to use its stereo outs to stereo-up amps very useful as unlike many A/B pedals, you do not get any ground hum!

Many people scoff at the X series Digitechs, but the models I have (Tone Driver and Hot Rod can be made to render some great tones - especially with my Gibson 335 where subtlety is the key to classic tone!

Liquid Smoke

USA

Apr 13th, 2012 05:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yep, my little '66 and '74 Vibro Champs get more play time at home than anything else. Boss DD-3 delay and FRV-1 reverb pedals makes these things sound sweet!!!

Great tremolo in both of these babies. Original tubes in the '66 but I did add a grounded cord. Both of mine have the original speakers. I have replaced the cap cans in both. Other than that...you can swap tubes and speakers to your hearts content but not much else you need to do.

6L6
Contributing Member
**********
***

Lago, CA

Kick the tires, Light the fires!
Apr 13th, 2012 08:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As usual, Leo figured it all out many years ago!

6

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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / 72 Vibro Champ tuneup?




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