'64 Vibro Champ

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'64 Vibro Champ

Postby jeffl » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:36 pm

Is the Vibro Champ the same amp as the Champ, only with tremolo? My music store took in a '64 Vibro Champ, and they're asking $450 for it, in excellent condition. I plumbed my bullet and delay into it yesterday and it sounded exactly like my old '78 Silverface Champ: no bottom end and fairly bright and clean. It did seem to have more balls than the '78, but that coulda been my often defective memory at work. I wasn't thrilled with it, or motivated to purchase it even though the price seemed OK. On the other hand, I played through a Hughes & Kettner 20 that blew my socks off, with a used price of $489. That little honey had Cajones muy grande ( big, big balls ), with just great overdriven tone on either circuit.
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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby bottleneck » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:50 pm

i never heard of this H&K model,but it sounds interesting.do you know the speaker size?

sorry i can't help with info about the champ.

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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby jeffl » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:12 pm

It's a Hughes & Kettner Special Edition 20. It's a 12" speaker with AX7s and EL84s. The tube chassis is enclosed on the back which makes me wonder about heat buildup for giggin' it. I blew through the high gain channel and the normal channel. The gain channel was difficult to manage the way I had it eq'd...it got huffy real fast, with a boomy bass. My experience with gain channels is less than fantastic for harp; feedback lurks there. I'll have to try it out again. The other channel was fine. It's a relatively compact lightweight amp. I'm pretty sure it's a great guitar amp, with balls aplenty, but I'm not as sure about its versatility as a harp amp. I have a 5 watt Epi that I love, but my Peavey Classic 30 is too clean for me unless I'm in a situation where I can really crank it up and the thing is just too loud for these small club shots. I've been looking for a 15-20 watt harp amp for a number of years and I've passed on a couple amps that I prob'ly shoulda bought.
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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby barbequebob » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:00 pm

The Champ and the Vibro Champ of the same year up to the close to the end of the Silver face series are exactly the same except for the vibrato circuit. I still own a real '65 Champ I bought in a store about less than 2 hours after they got it in a trade in deal back in 1983 for $65.00, and no one will let you get close enough to breathe on one, let alone play one for that kind of money, and it even had the original owner's manual that also described how you can use your Fender amp as a PA. A black face Champ frm that year I've seen a few going for close to $500!!!
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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby jeffl » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:52 pm

Thanks Bob. I got rid of my '78 Silverface Champ a couple of years ago because I failed to appreciate how portable the little devil was for small jams, rehearsals, etc. I wish I had it back now, 'cuz my current 5-watt has a cabinet the size of my 30 watt Peavey.
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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby bottleneck » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:23 am

i think a pro junior,albeit much more powerful,is a more versatile harp amp than a champ.although the victoria 5/12 version of a champ is a great guitar amp,for harp &guitar i like a pro junior as a small amp.

i do use a danelectro dm10 in place of a champ sometimes,same basic layout.

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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby jeffl » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:32 pm

Like I pointed out bottleneck, the thing I value the MOST about the Champs is their unique dimensions. You can tuck 'em under your arm, 'cuz they're not deep, and still hold a gearbag or a little cooler or whatever. For situations where you don't need wattage or low end response - and you don't wanna mess with alotta gear-- those little tykes are handy.. and they're such classic cuties.
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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby bottleneck » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:49 pm

i guess you're right,whereas a pro junior is small,a champ is tiny.my danelectro dm-10(a single 6v6 tube amp with a champ speaker in it)weighs probably less than half what my pro junior weighs.i often think of making a yellow pine cab for it to make it even lighter and smaller.i'm gonna send it out to lummox soon though.

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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby birddog » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:59 pm

Bubba
Don't know if your still interested, Elderly has a number of these. Don't forsee being able to go up there for a few weeks. I recall they had 3-4 of them earlier this spring now looks like they have a couple more.
Let me know I'll check them out, they don't ship used amps anymore but if your interested I'd be happy to pick it up and handle the shipping for ya.
I could lay some eyes on it, got some harps but not a real good harp mic though for testing.
Looks like they have Champs & Vibo Champs.
Here's a link
http://elderly.com/search/elderly?terms ... ame=Search

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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby jeffl » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:14 pm

Thanks for the link and the generous offer. I don't have to buy one somewhere else to get one at those prices though, 'cuz my local guy will match the best online prices for me. I've kinda ruled out getting another Champ for now though, 'cuz I'm not makin' enough money to justify another amp. My local shop does have an old Princeton Reverb that's actually tweaked my interest more if I decide to buy one. I was intrigued by the recent thread concerning a harp contest winner who uses a Frontman 15 to play through. I've never played through one of those 'cuz I'm tube oriented and I just wrote those things off as being starter junk (which is what a Champ was originally). I actually need a 15-20 watt tube amp more than anything, 'cuz the two harp amps I own are a 5-watt Epi (which I love) and Peavey Classic 30 which I only use at bigger club gigs, and only breaks up at big volumes. Thanks again.
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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby birddog » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:52 am

Hey no problem.
I was just reading the thread and saw it wan't posted that long ago but didn't know when you got the Epi either.I haven't been coming to the harp page too much till recently. I have a few harps, played with it a bit for a few years but not to seriously. Thought I'd add a few keys I don't have in different brands just to see and decided to try a Seydel Soloist which came today.
Been thinking about getting a mic and was reading a few threads & checking ebay for what was out there.
Yeah I came across that thread a couple weeks ago on that Frontman 15 contest winner and posted it in another thread.
Thats what kinda got me thinking about a mic as I' have a Frontman 25R about the same age, got it from a brother-inlaw of the Phelps brothers of Kentucky Headhunters fame. Decent practice amp, unlike the ones today it has a Gain control and just thought I'd try it out. Anyways getting carried away just thought I'd help out a BRB member if anybody wants anything like that from Elderly.

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Re: '64 Vibro Champ

Postby lethu90 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:04 am

Hey,

Actually I believe the blackface deal signifies Fender amps "pre CBS" as in made before CBS bought out Fender. I have read that though blackface pre CBS fenders are more desirable collectorwise there is little if no difference sonically between them and the early silverface ones. Vintage vibrochamp should be a great recording amp. I just bought the new Fender super champ that comes with their replications of early models into a tube amp. One of the best Fender sounds I've gotten was preamping a 59 vibrolux tweed with a Line 6 Pod. The tweed was classic "brown sound" and overdriving it with the Pod eq/overdrive was amazing sounding. I did eventually fry it though sad to say lol
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