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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / 68 Custom VIBROLUX REVERB!

Previous 20 Messages  


Sep 17th, 2014 05:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

back breaker,

I don't think anyone is saying the VK sounds bad at low volumes, I think what the main "complaint" is, is that when alot of us get the VK up to where we want it... which is NOT clean, but cooking at least a little.... THEN it is usually too loud for most applications/stages. I'm not a "always clean amp/pedals for dirt" guy, I like getting most of my dirt form the tubes.

As far as attenuators go, I have tried a few (altho none of the uber-expensive new ones out in the last 2 years), and I find them a compromise at best. I'd rather have an amp that has the proper wattage/headroom for my application, because that is not a compromise, and sounds better than using an attenuator.

(This message was last edited by ruger9 at 07:08 AM, Sep 17th, 2014)

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Sep 17th, 2014 10:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic


I am saying that the vibro-king can do this (it is what having no negative feedback loop paired with passive eq does for you). you can do what you just described and at a reasonable volume... just a little bit of remembering ratios from arithmetic a deciding what you ideal volume is. I am always amazed that this is not addressed in any demos that are shown with the vk. i play with a quiet dynamic drummer and am always under volumed and have to readjust on the fly because when i find a reasonable sweet spot it is always too quiet for playing with a drum set... so i raise the eq's to what would be loud enough. pretty much any one that has not spent a lot of time with a vk has not fully realized that. i used to own a CVR and it had to get loud to find that sweet spot (and with a lot of noise in the back)... i am imagining that the new 68 series uses a lot of this same circuitry and if so then it is all based on an afterthought that zinky was doing after doing his original custom shop amps (dual professional, tone master, vibro-king and rumble bass). I tell people to give a VK some time to discover this... although you may justify the steep price once you get there.


South Carolina

I kicked cancer's ass!
Sep 20th, 2014 07:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey guys, this is a 68 CVR thread, not a VK thread.

I wish someone would pull the 68 CVR chassis and post some pics of the circuit board so we can see if it uses the same board as the CVR. I hope not!



Oct 1st, 2014 08:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi Figaro,

Here is an image of the 68 CVR PCB...not the best quality, but the best I've found so far.


(This message was last edited by Joe_Easy at 10:26 AM, Oct 1st, 2014)


South Carolina

I kicked cancer's ass!
Oct 1st, 2014 08:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The 68 CVR does NOT have the same circuit board as the old CVR. Thank goodness! I'm sure it can be easily modded (one resistor) to have the same negative feedback of a vintage original and hopefully that will stop it's slight hiss. I would probably leave the Custom Channel's Bassman tone caps as is. I don't consider it not having a tube rectifier a big deal. I think I read somewhere that it's solid state rectifier is designed to sag like a tube.

back breaker

eureka, usa

Kid! STOP! you're rockin' the forest!
Oct 2nd, 2014 02:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The excelsior has a solid state rectifier made to sound like a tube rectifier (or so some one pointed out in the past) so this is believable.



Oct 3rd, 2014 05:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They are called "sag resistors". Many amps have them, whether they are listed in the spec or not. I have owned amps with tube recs, SS recs, and SS recs with "sag resistors"... I don't care what the rectifier is anymore, I just judge the amp on the whole.


South Carolina

I kicked cancer's ass!
Oct 3rd, 2014 11:00 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I asked for and received a schematic and layout from Fender via email at consumerrelations@fender.com

I was surprised to see that the negative feedback resistor is the same value as in a vintage Vibrolux Reverb, 820 ohms. But the description says it's supposed to have reduced negative feedback like the other 68 Custom models?


B.C. Canada

Do your best, fake the rest
Oct 25th, 2014 01:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Bump for other users.


United States

"I steal from the best."
Nov 2nd, 2014 01:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Howdy - After owning a 68CVR for a few weeks and a few gigs now, here are my thoughts:

It's an ideal size/weight for when my '66 Super is too much amp, and my '95 Vox AC15 is not enough. As for the tone (and I fully acknowledge that is a very subjective topic of discussion), I needed to do a bit of work to get it closer to where I wanted.

First, the only Celestions I've ever really cared for are the good, old AlNiCo Blues (love those). Right away, I was annoyed by the honky mid-range of the stock 10-30s (which, let's face it, are el cheapo speakers), which I replaced with some Jensen P10Rs I had lying around. They're not necessarily my favorites (I prefer old CTS AlNiCos, but the set I have are in the Super), but they're a lot closer to what I like. Next, it seemed to me the amp was a little imbalanced when it came to preamp vs. power amp gain/overdrive. I swapped the stock 12AX7s in V1 and V2 with some old 12AT7s I had (a Westinghouse and I think an RCA), and boy, what a difference. Again, subjective, I know, but the amp seemed to open up quite a bit, and the "harshness" (which I would describe as highs and upper mids) mellowed nicely.

Now for the power tubes and factory recommended bias settings: In short, for some reason, Fender recommends running this amp really, really cold. At around 412 volts on the plates, Fender wants us to run the tubes around 30 milliamps, making for about 12 watts a tube (around 40% plate dissipation at idle). For reference, to run in class AB mode (which almost all Fenders do), most techs run a tube around 70% of its max, which, in the case of a 6L6, is about 21 watts. The amp came with what I believe to be Groove Tube labeled JJ 6L6s, which I actually run and like in my Super and Vibro King. However, per the recommendations from my amp guru, I decided to try out some of the Tung Sol 6L6-STRs. Most the reviews I read online were positive, and, almost universally, they were described as "mellowing out" harsh amps. I also read they liked to be run a little cooler than most other 6L6s (50%-60% instead of 70%), which seemed to be more in line with what Fender had in mind with the 68CVR. The choice of the Tung Sols worked out well, in my opinion.

I installed and biased the STRs to about 18 watts each (411 volts at 45 milliamps), burned them in for a couple of hours, and gigged last night. I noticed immediately a fuller, fatter, more rounded tone, while retaining great articulation. With the JJs, when the amp was pushed, it got pretty harsh and thin. Now, that might have been the fact that I didn't bump the bias up AS MUCH on the JJs, or it might have been the tubes themselves. If I get up the gumption, maybe I'll try the JJs again but with a higher bias setting.

I should note that the 68CVR, while stock, seemed to "like" single coil pickups better than humbuckers, but that's not AS much the case after I tweaked it. I've found that I like my strat plugged into the Vintage channel input 1 then jumped from input 2 to input 1 of the Custom channel. When I want more grit, I just dial up the Custom channel, which doesn't seem to affect the overall volume all that much (a little bit, to be sure, but everything just gets "bigger" sounding doing that). With my ES335, I'm not entirely sure which configuration I like better yet. Judging from my tinkering around today, I'm digging the "Custom" channel all by itself with the Lollar Imperials. It's definitely closer to a tweed sound than a blackface.

Alright, enough of my rambling. I hope I was able to contribute positively. Please drop me a line if you have any other questions.



Nov 26th, 2014 09:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I would love to try before I buy.I can not find anyone in my area that carries it,including Guitar Center.


Pocono Mountains USA

Wanderin eye and a smokin gun...
Nov 27th, 2014 11:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Same here Fuzzboxer, no Vibrolux anywhere. I'd like to trade in a 65 Super RI that I like but is way to heavy to carry around.

Contributing Member


Jan 6th, 2015 11:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I too would love to try one of these combos out. I've not seen any at the local GC.

ps - My favorite Fender tube combo is still my 63 Vibroverb RI. Actually, this is my fave tube amp period these days.



Jan 10th, 2015 04:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What is the tonal difference between the 68 and the CVR? I'm not talking about the feature set/different channels/etc, just OVERALL- how does the 68 sound different than the CVR?

(for example- more or less headroom, more or less mids, etc...)

Contributing Member

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jan 16th, 2015 01:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just took a Bandmaster Reverb Chassis and stuck it in a 210 JD Newell cabinet with a couple 10" Eminence Legends. Totally happy with that.

Deacon Blues

Stay interesting my

friends.-The world's thirstiest man.
Mar 26th, 2015 08:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I work in a music store and we've had two 68 Custom VR's. I didn't get to try the first one, but did get to try the second one we got in.

I've owned a SFVR and a CVR previously. The CVR sounds nothing like a vintage Vibrolux.

The 68 Custom VR sounds much closer to a vintage VR.

The Celestion speakers may not be to everyone's liking but they don't sound bad with this amp. I didn't notice any noise from the amp, btw.

I like it, and if I didn't own a '69 drip edge Deluxe Reverb I would jump on one and I'm having a hard time talking myself out of buying one anyway.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Mar 27th, 2015 06:00 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I haven't used a '68, but I'd be curious to see if they preserved the essence of a 60's Vibrolux Reverb, which is bright and snappy (as I understand it) as opposed to the CVR, which is more of a middy, brownface amp, especially after mods.



Oct 12th, 2015 06:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Love my 68 Vibrolux killer tone and sweet reverb,no issues right from the Fender Store in Corona


Tiki Hut

Mar 1st, 2016 05:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I love my old Vibrolux Reverb with Celestions, but I haven't encountered a new 68 Custom VR yet



Oct 24th, 2016 06:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I love my 68 VR stock only changed some preamp tubes with NOS RCA 12AX7s I had laying around,I use it all the time never had any issues also I changed speaker with a V60 celestion 10 inch and left one of the stock speakers in and I have great clean tones I play it for two years at gigs sounds perfect for club work.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / 68 Custom VIBROLUX REVERB!

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