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Silverface Vibro Champ into tweed mod.

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Nate D, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I’ve got my nephew giving my old Silverface Vibro Champ back and it needs an overhaul anyways so I asked the amp guy if he could make my amp a Tweed Vibro Champ (5E1) circuit. He said it was no problem.

    I’m pumped. Please keep track of this thread as I’ll be updating as I go.

    @fezz parka thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    The 5E1 is a Champ, no vibro. Is he going to take out the tone controls and the tremolo?
     
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  3. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Nope. Well, not exactly sure yet. Clearly it’ll be a modified version, but a different spin on it.
     
  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    I would think the most important thing to get the tweed sound would be to put a switch on the tone stack to allow you to disable it to get rid of the Vibro Champ's mid scoop. Then you could have the tone controls if you wanted them. I'd leave the tremolo intact too.
     
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  5. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I asked him if he could make it into a Tweed circuited Vibro Champ and he said it was very doable. So I brought that to the forum for suggestions.

    I love Champs so very much. Tweed, silverface and blackface are all good. But my main amp is a 5E3 so I wanted something on par with that as I already have an AB763.

    Should I just restore this and get a Tweed Champ to compliment or try to build something totally cool and different?
     
  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Answered your own question. Fix the vibro champ.

    I had an Electro E12 years ago. Single ended but with tremolo. This schematic is similar:

    rickenbacker_b9a.pdf_1.png
     
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  7. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Oh man!
    I wish Texas was my Home
     
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  8. Fender Phil

    Fender Phil Strat-Talker

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    I have a ‘74 Fender Bronco that I bought in poor, but still working condition. It had a half dozen mods done to it. There was a 3 way micro switch added to the front of the amp. The second input was removed and another 3 way switch installed, and a potentiometer with a chicken head knob installed on the back.

    The amp had multiple issues, cut out constantly, and I was totally unsure of what the switches, or combinations of switches did.

    I cleaned all the pots, tube pins, sockets, etc. I did everything that I could do on my own.

    I found a good local tech, and asked about putting the amp back to stock. I wanted both inputs working again, and our talk led to me giving him the opportunity to investigate all the mods, and the overall circuitry.

    Many values in the circuits were not beneficial, and some were even installed backwards.

    By the time he was done, he got both inputs working as they should, the chicken head potentiometer on the back was a negative feedback control, and the 3 way switch that was installed on the front panel, now allows the following:
    Position one is loud full clean, all the way to dimed.
    Position two allows quick and early overdrive that could get quite loud, bypassing the tonestack.
    Position three brings the tonestack back in, with overdrive, slight drop in volume.

    The negative feedback seems to have the best effect in the middle of the potentiometer, with all three switch positions, and the inputs put back to stock, allow increase or decrease in dB sensitivity.

    The RCA speaker input was changed to quarter inch by the last owner, allowing alternate speaker cabs. That input was defective and replaced with a new Switchcraft input. I put a WGC 8 in it.

    This amp sings on all levels, clean to mean, and can drive large multiple speaker cabs.

    I also have a very sweet, 1968 black line, drip edge Vibro Champ with a Weber Alnico Signature 8, that gets paired with the Bronco, using an ABY switch. One of my nicest combinations to use.

    Both amps sound best, 3 to 4 feet off the ground.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  9. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    What speaker should I have put in? It’s all dropped off but I’m gonna replace the speaker so I’d love some input. @fezz parka thoughts?
     
  10. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have a great ceramic 8" speaker here somewhere. It's a Fender/Eminence that's rated at 30 watts. Let me look for it. ;)
     
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  11. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yessir let me know!!!
     
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  12. LPBlue

    LPBlue "That Guy", again...dammit! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have a 72 VC that I modded years ago to emulate all of the evolution of the Champ and more.

    Switchable tone stack changes
    Master volume
    Pentode/Triode switching
    6V6/6L6 swap capable (actually, it is as stock because the Princeton shared the same pt) but get your speaker impedance right
    Dovetailed pine cab...it is a head unit and yes, I crafted it.

    I have not actually used it in a few years so a recap would be prudent but that little thing absolutely sings through a 73 Marshall 4x12 wired to 4ohms...it is indeed a "Champ".:cool:!
     
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  13. LPBlue

    LPBlue "That Guy", again...dammit! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Nice! Similar circuit but the 5Y3, as in the Champ does hold it back. Upgrade the rectifier (tube or ss but different sounds) and the caps for an increased voltage tolerance and look out! Oh yeah, make sure the tiny iron can take it!:sneaky:
     
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  14. clydethecat

    clydethecat Strat-Talker

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    The silver Vibro Champ is an amp worth preserving/restoring, it's got a vibe of its own (no pun intended).

    Here's a guy getting down with a silver Champ:

     
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  15. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've built around 100 amps. This one built as the schematic shows does just fine. The 5y3 in the tweed Deluxe does just fine too.

    These things sound great as originally designed. Want something different? Build a bigger amp. ;)
     
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  16. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Strat-O-Master

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    I have a 68 Vibro Champ that I have modded with a 10 inch 4 ohm peavey Scorpion speaker and a Mercury Magnetics 57 Tweed Champ output transformer. Sounds huge.
     
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  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Attached Files:

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  18. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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  19. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The one I have is just as good if not better...and it's free to you. ;)

    Consider it a birthday present.
     
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  20. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Nonsense!!! PM me and I’ll make sure I pay for the bugger. :)
     
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