So torn between two amps. Both people are waiting for responses. Help!

JohnTheJohn

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 10, 2022
68
Philadelphia
God cursed me with indecisiveness. It takes me 10 minutes in a grocery store to pick a can of tomatoes. Help me decide this one. My fate is in your hands.

Vibro Champ 68 RI for 600
or
Tone King Gremlin Combo for 900 and an OD pedal.

Strictly at home practice amp for low volume good tones and a pedal platform.
 

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
I have a 68 Vibro Champ Reverb and love it for home playing. Beautiful, classic Fender cleans and it actually has a nice overdrive, but to do that you'll have to turn it up, which means it would probably be too loud for playing at home depending on your living situation.

Tone King Gremlin is quite a bit more expensive, but built way better and it also has a built-inn attenuator; all plusses in this comparison.

You can also run OD pedal through the Vibro Champ, which is takes really well. I've run a ODR-1, Duelist, and an OCD through mine and they all sound great.

The answer would be to play both and get the one that sounds best to you. In this case you can't go wrong with either choice, as they are both great amps.
 

Tone Deaf

Stratosaurus Magnificus
Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 12, 2009
9,617
New Jersey, USA
I have no experience playing either but I think that you'll be surprised at how loud a 5 Watt Gremlin is. Plus, it has an attenuator. Good price even for a used one, since new ones are about $1400-ish and a OD pedal. If you need Reverb, get a reverb pedal - I did that for my Marshall DSL40c ( cause it's digital reverb sucks )

I have a 1 Watt practice BlackStar and it can be
PLENTY loud at home.
 
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Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
Also keep in mind, the '68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb Fender is currently making is NOTHING like the old Vibro Champs. They have a larger, 10" speaker compared to the 8" speaker in the older amps. I know I will get flamed for this, but this is one case where the current production amp sounds way better than the vintage amp. Those old silverface Champs were just ok, and IMHO way overhyped these days. The new VIbro Champ stomps all over the older ones any day of the week. The digital hall reverb in the new Vibro Champ also sounds surprisingly good.
 

JohnTheJohn

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 10, 2022
68
Philadelphia
Also keep in mind, the '68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb Fender is currently making is NOTHING like the old Vibro Champs. They have a larger, 10" speaker compared to the 8" speaker in the older amps. I know I will get flamed for this, but this is one case where the current production amp sounds way better than the vintage amp. Those old silverface Champs were just ok, and IMHO way overhyped these days. The new VIbro Champ stomps all over the older ones any day of the week. The digital hall reverb in the new Vibro Champ also sounds surprisingly good.
Yeah I've tried the Vibro 100 times and its fantastic. TK Grem is soley off reputation. I've not got the chance to try that one out yet.
 

JohnTheJohn

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 10, 2022
68
Philadelphia
I have a 68 Vibro Champ Reverb and love it for home playing. Beautiful, classic Fender cleans and it actually has a nice overdrive, but to do that you'll have to turn it up, which means it would probably be too loud for playing at home depending on your living situation.

Tone King Gremlin is quite a bit more expensive, but built way better and it also has a built-inn attenuator; all plusses in this comparison.

You can also run OD pedal through the Vibro Champ, which is takes really well. I've run a ODR-1, Duelist, and an OCD through mine and they all sound great.

The answer would be to play both and get the one that sounds best to you. In this case you can't go wrong with either choice, as they are both great amps.
When I played it at the store, I felt like I oculd comfortably dial it into 3 and play on a very low volume with good results.
 

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
When I played it at the store, I felt like I oculd comfortably dial it into 3 and play on a very low volume with good results.
You won't be able to get natural overdrive with the volume set to 3, but you'll still get wonderful cleans at that setting, but natural overdrive.

I keep mine set around 5.5 on the volume at home and roll back or turn up the guitar's volume to taste and use a Nobels ODR-1 for some overdrive.
 
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PlayerOne

Strat-Talker
Jan 29, 2022
422
Charlotte, nc
I love the Champ series, but if you have a chance to get the TK, I would probably go that direction. Down the road it will most likely get you a better return for your money.
 

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
I love the Champ series, but if you have a chance to get the TK, I would probably go that direction. Down the road it will most likely get you a better return for your money.
People worry too much about resale value. Does the sound of the amp not count for anything?

I think if more people quit trying to get the best deal or go for whatever is the cheapest and instead buy what sounds best to them, even if it means taking more time to save up for what they really wanted, they wouldn't be worrying as much about resale value ebcause they wouldn't be flipping gear so much.
 
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Cali Dude

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 9, 2020
1,525
California
I have the Tone King Gremlin. It's a great little amp. 900 is a good deal. The 12" speaker really makes a difference. It can sound bigger than the champ. Also, the attenuator does a great job for quieter practice. The other things, is the tone King has the tweed channel, which gets pretty overdriven early in the sweep. If you like having a cleaner blackface sound, and a dirtier tweed sounds, get the tone king.
 

Stratoskater

Fuzz Meister General
Feb 8, 2011
11,669
Naked in NC
Gremlin over the reissue champ but vintage champ over Gremlin. I had the Gremlin this summer and it was great. Only sold it because my Two Rock is better so I only turned it on four times.
 

Stratoskater

Fuzz Meister General
Feb 8, 2011
11,669
Naked in NC
Also keep in mind, the '68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb Fender is currently making is NOTHING like the old Vibro Champs. They have a larger, 10" speaker compared to the 8" speaker in the older amps. I know I will get flamed for this, but this is one case where the current production amp sounds way better than the vintage amp. Those old silverface Champs were just ok, and IMHO way overhyped these days. The new VIbro Champ stomps all over the older ones any day of the week. The digital hall reverb in the new Vibro Champ also sounds surprisingly good.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
 

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
Gremlin over the reissue champ but vintage champ over Gremlin. I had the Gremlin this summer and it was great. Only sold it because my Two Rock is better so I only turned it on four times.
Respectfully disagree here.

Gremlin > RI VIbro Champ > Vintage Champ

Those old champs don't sound very good when they're cranked and they get farty sounding. The RI Vibro Champ doesn't do this, has a larger speaker than the vintage silverface Champs and has really nice overdrive when cranked. The Gremlin is just an overall better amp (that costs quite a bit more) with more tonal options and an even larger speaker and a better overall build.
 
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Stratoskater

Fuzz Meister General
Feb 8, 2011
11,669
Naked in NC
Respectfully disagree here.

Gremlin > RI VIbro Champ > Vintage Champ

Those old champs are jsut little fart boxes and don't sound very good when they're cranked and they just get farty ansounding. The RI Vibro Champ doesn't do this, has a larger speaker than the vintage silverface Champs and has really nice overdrive when cranked. The Gremlin is just an overall better amp (that costs quite a bit more) with more tonal options and an even larger speaker and a better overall build.
I completely disagree about vintage champs vs the RI, vintage is in a whole other league compared to the new ones. Still can’t believe they put a damn digital Reverb in a champ :rolleyes:
 

Tratocaster

Strat-O-Master
Mar 22, 2013
541
U.S.
I completely disagree about vintage champs vs the RI, vintage is in a whole other league compared to the new ones. Still can’t believe they put a damn digital Reverb in a champ :rolleyes:
I've owned every vintage Silverface fender from Champs and Vibro Champs up to a Twin, always meticulously maintained and serviced. I'll always say go with a real PTP amp over a PCB reissue, with the exception of the Champs. The old ones plain suck with an 8" speaker when they're cranked. If we're talking about the ease of maintenance and what's vintage correct, sure go with the original, but it sounds absolutely NOTHING like the new Vibro Champ Reverb (which is a good thing). The new Vibro Champ Reverb stomps all over a vintage Silverface Champ all day long.

We're arguing two completely different things. I'm saying the new Vibro Champ Reverb sounds surprisingly better than a vintage silverface Champ. It has a bigger speaker and actually sounds good cranked without farting all over itself like a vintage silverface Champ does. If you simply don't like it because it agitates you that it's not vintage correct, that's a completely different issue and discussion altogether, but we're talking tone here, not personal beliefs or what is acceptable and what isn't because something isn't vintage correct.
 


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