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 Post subject: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Anybody know anything about Vintage Sound Amps? I've been searching ebay, Guitar Center and the Music Go Round for an old blackface Fender. When I look on ebay for a vibroverb or vibrolux etc. a VSA model comes up with the fenders. They're new amps modeled after the old Fenders ( or so the add says ). Their prices are the same or lower than the vintage Fenders that are in good shape. I'm not a collector, I just want the old blackface sound, and I was thinking if you can get a new amp that sounds like the old ones it would be great. You would have the sound and it should be more reliable because it's a new amp.
Thanks for any info,
filerj


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:51 pm 
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There are companies that are making "tribute" amps based on the early Fender circuit designs. Victoria Amps is well-known for their tweed interpretations. Check out the videos

A lot of the other forum users will direct you to Weber and other kit makers where you could build (or have a local amp tech build) a clone for youself.

I don't know any makers of blackface "tribute" amps.

I can understand the hesitancy you might have in buying a vintage amp. I have bought a boutique amp from Vintage47 Amps based on the old Valco Oahu suitcase design. I love the amp. I highly recommend Vintage47. But rest assured, you can find quality vintage amps from reputable dealers

However - if you want that blackface sound, why not look into the Vintage Reissue amps by Fender, such as the '65 Princeton Reverb Reissue, '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue..... they have a handful of them. There are plenty of reviews and users here at the forums and nearly every Fender dealer has them in stock.

BTW - Fender has put up clips of the amps on their Youtube channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/fendermusical?blend=1&ob=5

http://www.youtube.com/user/fendermusic ... pxYix-AWQM


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Thanks for the Vintage47 amp link! Enjoyed that! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Phansford, The reason I'm shying away from the reissues ( and you can correct me if I'm wrong ) is they're not point to point wiring like the originals. They use printed circuit boards instead, and I've heard of problems with repairing the PCB amps. I wouldn't mind a Fender reissue if there are no problems with PCB designs.
filerj


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Allen Amps does make blackface versions of a Princeton. may be interesting to you, may not.

For the prices they are charging, you could get a silverface princeton/deluxe reverb and have pretty much the same amp. While CBS went nuts on a lot of amps making changes for the worse, the Champ, Princeton and Deluxe lines were relatively untouched.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:37 pm 
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fhopkins wrote:
Thanks for the Vintage47 amp link! Enjoyed that! 8)


Its a great amp. It has a darker sound than a Fender. Plus it has a outlet for an 8 ohm external speaker. Just unplug the Tone Tubby and away you go. I'll run my 1954 12" Quam speaker off this amp. Lots of fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:49 pm 
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filerj wrote:
Phansford, The reason I'm shying away from the reissues ( and you can correct me if I'm wrong ) is they're not point to point wiring like the originals. They use printed circuit boards instead, and I've heard of problems with repairing the PCB amps. I wouldn't mind a Fender reissue if there are no problems with PCB designs.
filerj


You are correct the modern Reissues are PCB not point-to-point. But you will get that "blackface" sound. Others can discuss the repair issues, I think there are a few people here with the DRRI's.

I have to assume some of the issue with the PCB wearing out is probably related to whether you're gigging with the amp and its getting a lot of wear and tear and usage. My former guitar teacher had a Peavey that he basically had to junk because the PCB was beyond repair, but he gigged every weekend for years with the amp - and used it in the studio for teaching. It was a real warhorse for him. Maybe others can provide a more educated viewpoint.

So what's your issue with buying a vintage amp? Maybe we can address those fears.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Phansford, no problem with vintage amps, it's the few I've come across were in bad shape or really expensive. I just thought with these VSA amps you would get old school vibe with a new amp.
Nedorama, thanks for the Allen amp info.
Thanks,
filerj


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:08 pm 
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I've had some pleasant conversations with the VSA folks in the past regarding an unrelated matter. They *seem* knowledgeable and *appear* to know what they're doing. I've inspected photos of their blackface clones and they *look* pretty good -- premium components, competent assembly, cabinetry and cosmetics adequate for the task. That said, I have never heard one of these amps but based on my observations I'm reasonable certain that they're durably-built tone monstahs. One could do a whole lot worse, I suspect......

HTH

Arjay

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Arjay, I was hoping you would chime in :D . Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have restored a few amps? Assuming the electronics are OK how hard is it to retolex an amp. I'm not too bad a woodworking as long as I take my time, so I know I could do some cabinet repair, just not sure about the rest though. Thanks for the reply about VSA amps. I would really like to hear or play through one. One of the other posters said the silverface deluxe reverbs are close to their blackface counterparts, is that true?
thanks,
filerj


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:01 pm 
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filerj wrote:
Arjay, I was hoping you would chime in :D . Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have restored a few amps?


That's the rumor.

:mrgreen:

filerj wrote:
Assuming the electronics are OK how hard is it to retolex an amp. I'm not too bad a woodworking as long as I take my time, so I know I could do some cabinet repair, just not sure about the rest though.


Tolexing (or re-Tolexing) is not that difficult but it requires planning, the right tools, and some experience working with glue-on textiles and adhesives. I guess I've re-Tolexed 40 or 50 amps in my time and Tolexed about a dozen "new" amp and speaker cabs that I've built myself.

filerj wrote:
Thanks for the reply about VSA amps. I would really like to hear or play through one.


You might ask them for some sound-clips, preferably of the type you can download as a wmv. or mp3 then burn to a CD-R and play on a decent stereo system. We all know how crappy the audio is on a computer.

filerj wrote:
One of the other posters said the silverface deluxe reverbs are close to their blackface counterparts, is that true?


Pretty much, yes. The smaller "student model" silverfaces were mostly left unmolested during CBS's reign of incompetence.

If a nice silverface Champ, Princeton, or Deluxe falls into your lap, consider it "manna from heaven".

8)

HTH

Arjay

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:58 am 
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filerj wrote:
Phansford, no problem with vintage amps, it's the few I've come across were in bad shape or really expensive.


Yeah - some of them can be pretty rough. I like the small watt stuff and I'm a cheap SOB.

If you keep your eyes on Craigslist, you typically can find one within reason. I have purchased all but one of my vintage amps off CL. What I like about CL is I can typically call the seller and ask questions, I can test the amp, spend time looking at it, then buy it on the spot (no shipping)

If you are really concerned, You could also ask the seller if he'd meet you at your amp tech's so they can take a gander.

Gibson did an article on buying vintage amps. I re-read it occasionally to reinforce what I need to be doing when I am buying a vintage amp. The 11 steps haven't let me down yet. I need all the help I can get - If I knew half of what guys like 63Supro, Retroverbial, Rebsoul have forgotten..... I'd be a genius. :lol:

Also realize the vintage dealers asking price isn't necessarily the selling price :wink: . I bought my 1956 Harvard for about $500 less than asking price. (ebay, paypal, shipping fees eat those guys alive - offer cash, not a credit card, and you'll get a lot of room to work. Calculate those fees sometime. Cash is king)

filerj wrote:
I just thought with these VSA amps you would get old school vibe with a new amp.


That's exactly why I bought the Vintage47 Oahu Suitcase. Faithful Valco recreation. Lots of mojo in the amp. I like that the owner of the company called me when he shipped my amp. And has been kind to answer unrelated questions I've emailed (I had bought an old 12" Quam speaker in a wood cabinet off of shopgoodwill.com - David Barnes know all about the speaker and provided a ton of information. I use it with the Oahu)

The small boutique amp companies survive on word of mouth and reputation. Read the reviews if you can.

I'm still in the hunt for a vintage Valco. :wink: (Anyone see Storage Wars a couple of weeks ago where Barry found an Gibson lap steel, 1927 National, and a late 40's/early 50's amp. That's the kind of amp I'm looking for :lol: )


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:13 am 
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.....this might be of interest,


http://allenamps.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Sound Amps
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:42 am 
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May I suggest taking a look at Sligo amps. They have some of their catalog on ebay and a web site with the rest. They make hand wired recreations of Tweed,blackface and Marshall amps of the golden era,my experience with them has been great.Hope this gives another avenue to sonic bliss.Craig


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