NAD: Fender '68 Custom Vibro Champ

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
Returned a Tone Master Deluxe that I liked but didn't love and was left amp-less for a while aside from an old Yamaha THR-10, that looks cooler than it sounds sitting on the end table next to the couch, so I went down to a local shop and gave a couple smaller amps a try.

I don't play out anymore and haven't for a while. The most I'll do is go to a buddy's place and work on writing songs and working out ideas, and most of the time that's with a couple acoustics. Otherwise it's me playing by myself at home.

I also live in a small place and don't have a need or desire for a big tube amp (which was the reason I thought the TM would be a good compromise with the attenuator). I've owned several 1970's SIlverface Champs, Vibro Champs, Princetons, Deluxe and Twins in the past, with Princetons being my favorite.

This '68 Custom Vibro Champ sounds nothing like the little fart machine Champs of the past...and that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, the older Champs and Vibro Champs have their own thing going, but these new Vibro Champs (IMO, of course) eclipse the real deal. I know, I know...printed circuit boards and digital reverb and a price tag that is highway robbery for what it is, but is just sounds damn good. The digital reverb sounds great and despite reading that the stock speaker in these are junk, it actually sounds good. The reverb is perfectly matched to this amp and the vibrato sounds fantastic. Much bigger, fuller sound than the vintage silverface Champs thanks to the larger speaker. Mine is also dead quiet. Sounds killer with a Strat or a Tele. Haven't played anything through it with humbuckers yet. It take a bit to get it to start breaking up with single coils and it gets pretty darn loud at that point so I'll probably be using some light OD for lower volumes.

Played it against a Vox AC10 and thought the AC10 sounded good until I plugged into the Vibro Champ. I did like the way the AC10 broke up at low volumes, but sounded a bit thin in the highs compared to the Vibro Champ. Classic Fender cleans and sparkle at manageable volume! I may actually pull the trigger on an AC10 at some point which would compliment the Vibro Champ wonderfully.

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Mike Manhost67

Strat-Talker
Jun 9, 2020
478
07040
Have one and love it!

Played the new Tone Master Princeton the other day, and that's pretty close to it as well.

I'm a big fan of Tube Bias Tremolo.
 

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
Have one and love it!

Played the new Tone Master Princeton the other day, and that's pretty close to it as well.

I'm a big fan of Tube Bias Tremolo.
There is a shop about an hour from me that has a Tone Master Princeton in stock, but I'm not really into the TM's at the moment. I think the TMDR is a nice amp, but just seemed to be missing :something". Full disclosure though, I've never been a big fan of Deluse Reverbs in general, even when I had a real Silverface Deluxe. They just seemed to lack something that the other Fender amps had from the same era, so it could be that. Also watched the Anderton's demo of the TMPR and it really didn't handle fuzz pedals very well.
 
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SIngles Forever

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 14, 2019
1,482
Montreal
Returned a Tone Master Deluxe that I liked but didn't love and was left amp-less for a while aside from an old Yamaha THR-10, that looks cooler than it sounds sitting on the end table next to the couch, so I went down to a local shop and gave a couple smaller amps a try.

I don't play out anymore and haven't for a while. The most I'll do is go to a buddy's place and work on writing songs and working out ideas, and most of the time that's with a couple acoustics. Otherwise it's me playing by myself at home.

I also live in a small place and don't have a need or desire for a big tube amp (which was the reason I thought the TM would be a good compromise with the attenuator). I've owned several 1970's SIlverface Champs, Vibro Champs, Princetons, Deluxe and Twins in the past, with Princetons being my favorite.

This '68 Custom Vibro Champ sounds nothing like the little fart machine Champs of the past...and that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, the older Champs and Vibro Champs have their own thing going, but these new Vibro Champs (IMO, of course) eclipse the real deal. I know, I know...printed circuit boards and digital reverb and a price tag that is highway robbery for what it is, but is just sounds damn good. The digital reverb sounds great and despite reading that the stock speaker in these are junk, it actually sounds good. The reverb is perfectly matched to this amp and the vibrato sounds fantastic. Much bigger, fuller sound than the vintage silverface Champs thanks to the larger speaker. Mine is also dead quiet. Sounds killer with a Strat or a Tele. Haven't played anything through it with humbuckers yet. It take a bit to get it to start breaking up with single coils and it gets pretty darn loud at that point so I'll probably be using some light OD for lower volumes.

Played it against a Vox AC10 and thought the AC10 sounded good until I plugged into the Vibro Champ. I did like the way the AC10 broke up at low volumes, but sounded a bit thin in the highs compared to the Vibro Champ. Classic Fender cleans and sparkle at manageable volume! I may actually pull the trigger on an AC10 at some point which would compliment the Vibro Champ wonderfully.

3MIDdK5h.jpg


2FZS6Rzh.jpg

Bon choix.
 

RavenPOL

Strat-Talker
Nov 24, 2022
155
Poland
Jack Fossett did an amazing demo of this Custom Vibro Champ Reverb vs tweed '57 Custom Champ on YT. As much as I would prefer to like the tweed '57 sound better, this little thing did a very, very good job, including single coils, humbuckers and OD pedals. Digital reverb or not, this little monster does the job, and does it competently.
 

north east al

Strat-Talker
Sep 29, 2011
149
Cumbria, England
HNAD. Love those little amps but couldn't justify the price here in UK. Found a local builder to make me one without the reverb for £300 less. Might not have the style or spring verb, but they have tone for days. Hand wired and valve rectifier.
 

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oatsoda

Puck of Paradox
Gold Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2011
9,304
The Shack, Nova Scotia
Fun little amp you got there Trato! I really like mine, and particularly once the speaker got pushed hard for awhile, seemed like it warmed up a bit with the break in.

Is it a replacement for the PRRI? No, but it‘s a *****en little amp. Kind of like is the PRRI a replacement vor the CVR? No, but its a *****en little amp.

So push it a bit and get to the sweetspot, enjoy!
 

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
Jack Fossett did an amazing demo of this Custom Vibro Champ Reverb vs tweed '57 Custom Champ on YT. As much as I would prefer to like the tweed '57 sound better, this little thing did a very, very good job, including single coils, humbuckers and OD pedals. Digital reverb or not, this little monster does the job, and does it competently.
I personally cannot stand Jack Fossett's demos.

This is the one that did it for mega and this guy can actually play.

 

jd35801

Strat-Talker
Jan 17, 2012
428
Alabama
HNAD! I have heard a lot of good things about those little amps, and it's nice to get great tone at home without killing your ears!
 

Flapjack

Strat-Talker
Feb 4, 2009
219
United States
I have had mine for just over two years, rehearsing and gigging with it regularly. Very happy with it. I can't get it past 4 1/2 or so on the volume knob in the house without being painfully loud. I keep it at about this volume live as well, using it as a monitor (don't put guitar through stage monitor) and miked to the PA.
 

Scooter

Strat-Talker
Jul 5, 2012
102
Valid Location
Congrats on the amp!

These keep grabbing my attention. I have a Tone King Imperial MkII that is an amazing amp, but there are times when I just want a smaller, simpler tone for low volume practicing, a different tone while recording, or I might want to go play in the basement instead of my bedroom studio. I grabbed a Katana as a practice amp that partly scratches that itch but obviously it's nowhere near the same as a tube amp. I do wish these were a bit cheaper but someday if I see the right deal on a used one I might do it.

I will also add that I had a TM Deluxe for a little while and I found it to be a very good sounding and useful tool. Yes, there are differences compared to the tube version but depending on your use case the pros might outweigh the cons.
 

Murdog

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 7, 2021
2,335
U.S.A.
Returned a Tone Master Deluxe that I liked but didn't love and was left amp-less for a while aside from an old Yamaha THR-10, that looks cooler than it sounds sitting on the end table next to the couch, so I went down to a local shop and gave a couple smaller amps a try.

I don't play out anymore and haven't for a while. The most I'll do is go to a buddy's place and work on writing songs and working out ideas, and most of the time that's with a couple acoustics. Otherwise it's me playing by myself at home.

I also live in a small place and don't have a need or desire for a big tube amp (which was the reason I thought the TM would be a good compromise with the attenuator). I've owned several 1970's SIlverface Champs, Vibro Champs, Princetons, Deluxe and Twins in the past, with Princetons being my favorite.

This '68 Custom Vibro Champ sounds nothing like the little fart machine Champs of the past...and that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, the older Champs and Vibro Champs have their own thing going, but these new Vibro Champs (IMO, of course) eclipse the real deal. I know, I know...printed circuit boards and digital reverb and a price tag that is highway robbery for what it is, but is just sounds damn good. The digital reverb sounds great and despite reading that the stock speaker in these are junk, it actually sounds good. The reverb is perfectly matched to this amp and the vibrato sounds fantastic. Much bigger, fuller sound than the vintage silverface Champs thanks to the larger speaker. Mine is also dead quiet. Sounds killer with a Strat or a Tele. Haven't played anything through it with humbuckers yet. It take a bit to get it to start breaking up with single coils and it gets pretty darn loud at that point so I'll probably be using some light OD for lower volumes.

Played it against a Vox AC10 and thought the AC10 sounded good until I plugged into the Vibro Champ. I did like the way the AC10 broke up at low volumes, but sounded a bit thin in the highs compared to the Vibro Champ. Classic Fender cleans and sparkle at manageable volume! I may actually pull the trigger on an AC10 at some point which would compliment the Vibro Champ wonderfully.

3MIDdK5h.jpg


2FZS6Rzh.jpg
Sweet! That strat looks pretty nice as well!
 


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