Other Amps

Fromel mod for a Fender Custom Vibrolux Reverb

1

I have a Fender Custom Vibrolux Reverb which is to say I have a noisy (hissy) amp with reverb so weak you don't even use it. I recently discovered the Fromel mod kit which by all reports converts the amp closely to a brownface vibroverb. The hiss is eliminated and the reverb is lush.

My kit should arrive this week and I'm planning to install it this weekend. Does anyone else have this amp and if so have you used this or your own mod(s)?

I should note I'm not trying to capture the tone or sound of anything historical, I just want the hiss to go away and the reverb to be usable. I really want to love this amp and I think this is going to be the ticket to get me there. I'll report the results once the dirty work is done.

4

One other common change is to use a 12AT7 instead of a 12AX7 for the Phase Inverter.

The AT is cleaner, the AX more so the compressed crunch at higher volumes.

My prior notes didn't mention that although you will find it somewhere in the other FF Vibrolux Club blog.

5

Well dang, I'm late to the party. I should have searched first. Thanks for the links, I'm going through them now.

Question - "12AT7 instead of a 12AX7" what will that change result in? Thanks and I swear I'll search next time before starting a thread. Those two are a wealth of information

7

Thank you, that's helpful. I prefer a cleaner tone so that should help.

9

I favored most of the Mark Moyer mods. You could always add a tube rectifier if you want to get really crazy with it. That's going to be a big difference, too.

If you get stuck at any point, let me know. And be very careful soldering, as the traces will lift very easily if you get them too hot or don't have all of the solder loose before to go pushing and pulling on component legs.

I built a '63 VV clone once from a Marsh kit and it was amazing. Jensen C10Qs were awesome speakers for it.

10

I'm just doing the Fromel kit that addresses the reverb and hiss, I didn't get the jumbo kit they sell. I'm going to make these mods for now and also look at the single tube replacement. That tube might have already been replaced, I took the amp to an amp guy the year after I bought it and he did some fiddling with tubes but not much more.

Again, my desires are simple - hiss get thee behind me and bring on some respectable reverb.

And I hear you on the word of caution, I have a friend who does all sorts of electrical projects with pedals and such, he's going to help me do the mods (so I don't get myself in trouble).

11

I had one of those in the past and my tech did a mod to reduce the gain that was causing the noise and he improved the reverb somehow as well. These were probably similar to the Fromel mods. He said it was easy to do. Aside from the fact that these have printed circuit boards, they are great amps once modded, and getting some nice tubes in there will really make it sound wonderful. The one I had came with crappy Eminence alnico speakers and replacing those with some Celestions (can't remember which ones) was the biggest improvement next to the mods. The tilt back legs are way cool and practical. Congrats on a great amp.

12

I performed the Vibroverb mods on a Vibrolux a while back and it dramatically improved the hiss and the reverb tone.

Well worth the effort IMHO so good luck with the project and enjoy that amp.

13

My kit should arrive today, I'm pretty psyched. The thing is I have owned this amp for ages (like 15 years) and back when I bought it there weren't any mods so other than exchanging a few tubed (been so long I forgot what we did exactly) I sort of gave up on it and it's mostly been collecting dust. Back then the Fender amp forums were just full of people complaining but no real solutions.

Since finding this site I'm on the road to getting my pre Fender 6119 fixed up and somehow I found out about the mod for the Vibrolux so I'm all excited about not only improving my Gretsch but I'll soon have a much improved amp to go with it. I've always wanted to love this Vibrolux and I'm thinking this mod might be the ticket.

14

Slemmons in Dallas installed the mod kit for me. Hiss gone, reverb lush, much more headroom. It's like getting a new amp!

16

It would be nice to learn more about the Fromel kit versus the Moyer Mods...

Just how similar or dissimilar are they?

17

It would be nice to learn more about the Fromel kit versus the Moyer Mods...

Just how similar or dissimilar are they?

– Twangmeisternyc

I'm not savvy on these things at all, it's all I can do to just play guitar. I'm not sure how it compares to the Moyer plan. There was one thing in the fromel mod that my amp guy did not agree with and couldn't see any benefit to at all so he left that out. My apologies for not paying closer attention so I could pass that information on. And I didn't get the full kit with caps, I got the junior version. We also did not change the single tube as recommended, he advised me to play it a while and then determine if any more changes are needed.

This thing is so clean and the reverb is amazing. I've wanted to sell it for years but figured I'd take a bath on account of the hiss and no reverb. While it's not a boutique amp I can see growing old with it now.

I just played my pre fender 6119 with the ceramic filtertrons through it and I Have no complaints but I'd still like to hear some TV Jones classics through it to compare.

18

I have a Fender Custom Vibrolux Reverb which is to say I have a noisy (hissy) amp with reverb so weak you don't even use it. I recently discovered the Fromel mod kit which by all reports converts the amp closely to a brownface vibroverb. The hiss is eliminated and the reverb is lush.

My kit should arrive this week and I'm planning to install it this weekend. Does anyone else have this amp and if so have you used this or your own mod(s)?

I should note I'm not trying to capture the tone or sound of anything historical, I just want the hiss to go away and the reverb to be usable. I really want to love this amp and I think this is going to be the ticket to get me there. I'll report the results once the dirty work is done.

– Mr_Christopher

I want to get a Vibrolux. I'm also aware of the hiss and reverb issues. My question is this. If everyone is aware of these problems, Fender has to be also. Why don't they fix this instead of people having to do all the after work ? Fender needs to get on this...

19

The brown Vibroverb reissue was pretty nice for a new Fender amp. Both the "custom vibrolux" and the current "68 custom blah blah 'lux" are uninspired variations on that platform.

Would it kill Fender to just do a proper blackface 2X10 Vibrolux? Check out the prices on vintage examples, it's not like there's no demand for them!

20

If I know my history well enough, only 200 original Brown VibroVerbs were ever made...

And but a few Black 15".

1964ish...

"Bear" seems to remember his Black 15"...He'll correct me soon enough...Might have been 2*10.

21

I want to get a Vibrolux. I'm also aware of the hiss and reverb issues. My question is this. If everyone is aware of these problems, Fender has to be also. Why don't they fix this instead of people having to do all the after work ? Fender needs to get on this...

– Lou574

The CVR was FMIC's replacement for the 90's brown Vibroverb reissue, and is a modified version of that circuit. Apparently too many bedroom players complained that it didn't break up enough, so among other things, they removed the -fb loop. That's why it's hissy.

The popular mods try to bring it back to the specs of the 90's reissue.


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