Other Amps

NAD, Fender Vibro Champ.. 1979?

1

Ive been looking at these for awhile and I came across one that was just too good to pass up. So I got it.

Im not 100% but I think its a 1979, the little amp is in fantastic shape from the outside,Played thru it and it does what its supposed to . Im assuming the inside is in as good as shape as the outside as it looks like it hasnt been messed with or modified. It still has a 2 prong cord that looks like its missing the ground prong. I dont know if its original or not.

I like it!

3

That’s a little sweetheart there Manny. Should be able to date it with the transformer codes.

4

Well I think '79 was last year for silver panels. That square upper rear panel is late era.. I have seen them also. Also the edges of front forward are more sharp than rounded. This was all cost cutting stuff. I think '80 was the first of the faux black panel ones. Then after about '82 things got pretty grim...for a good 5-7 years.

Stick a 10 in there for better sound!

5

I agree with DC, put a 10" in there. Even better would be a 12" if it'll fit, but the 10" will be quite an improvement in tone. This one looks like a little beauty!

6

Could also just make a larger cabinet that can accommodate a 12” speaker. Keep the original cab for the future.

I know a guy that makes those.

7

Could also just make a larger cabinet that can accommodate a 12” speaker. Keep the original cab for the future.

I know a guy that makes those.

– Powdog

So do I.

8

Im not a big Tremolo guy, but after playing thru this for the last few hours its a pretty cool effect.

The amp is shockingly loud , I didnt think it had it in it but it does get up there, and it does it with nice cleans too,not too much breakup.No one is home tonite so I have the living room all to myself and for sure pissing off the neighbors. My Powertron equipped Junior gets it kindda raspy so I gotta back down the Highs a bit,I dont think it likes it. But it does sound pretty damn good overall.

9

I will say it again: 8's aren't worth a damn for anything, anytime.

10s will fit in a Champ.

12's won't but you can stuff a 12 in to a Princeton cab and actually a 15 if you make it taller. That may be the next project.

10

I gotta agree with Birdman here. 8s are no good for guitar.

11

I gotta agree with Birdman here. 8s are no good for guitar.

– Otter

Yep yep.

12

Manny, check out www.vibrochamp.org for definitive info on dating your amp. You can even enter it into the database.

I'll respectfully disagree with the others about altering the amp. Where you find an amp of that era or older that's still intact, I feel they should be respected and left alone.

I have and earlier '70s Vibro Champ and love it! It takes pedals really well, and is one of my two go-to practice amps.

Enjoy that beauty!

13

My 74 VC has a Weber Sig in it already, so not a question of messing with an original, and I am intrigued by the idea of a bigger, better balanced speaker with a tighter low end. I was playing it yesterday and I really, for want of a better expression, relate to it. Any recommendations for a 10 inch for this amp?

14

Well, I agree with Michael that an amp like Mannys that has traveled 40 years and still looks that good deserves to remain virginal. Boy, a lot of personification there for a wood box.

I also think that if you’ve found the amp of your dreams that you’re taking to the grave with you, it should sound exactly how you want it to.

That said, a 10” speaker will fit into a Champ cab. The trick is clearing the OT. Speakers with baskets like Jensen or the Oxford on the left won’t clear. Speakers with four spoke baskets, like the CTS on the right, can be oriented to clear the OT.

Personally I like old alnico speakers in a VC. CTS, Rola, Quam all made pretty decent speakers in the 60’s. Better than the 8” Oxford that most 70’s VC came with.

15

Manny, check out www.vibrochamp.org for definitive info on dating your amp. You can even enter it into the database.

I'll respectfully disagree with the others about altering the amp. Where you find an amp of that era or older that's still intact, I feel they should be respected and left alone.

I have and earlier '70s Vibro Champ and love it! It takes pedals really well, and is one of my two go-to practice amps.

Enjoy that beauty!

– Michael Bauer

Hey Mike , that Link is a no go.

16

Manny, I just saw this and checked...and you're right. I hadn't visited it in over a year, so I didn't know. I'll nose around and see if I can find anything out.

What a pity! It had just about anything you could ever want to know about Vibro Champs, and definitive information on how to determine their dates. It also had a registry. I hope someone revives that site, because it had the best information on a single model of an amp that I have ever seem, although there must be others.

And Scorpio, I never meant to suggest that modding an amp that had already been altered was wrong. I think once they are no longer original, they are fair game. They are also much cheaper, so if someone already wants to mod their amp, why not save money and go purchase one that isn't pristine? So many Champs have already had speakers replaced that they are the ones I would look at for further changes.

17

My ‘71 VC came in a destroyed cabinet. I knew I wanted a 12” speaker so made a new cab. Wider as well as taller to keep an aesthetic proportion (to my eyes).

18

Installed a ‘69 Oxford alnico.

19

That looks pretty good Powdog. I think we might have a business transaction coming up.

20

A cool amp to be on the lookout for is a Magnatone 410. Same 6V6 single ended power as a VC...but with better vibrato, a 12" alnico speaker....and even a tweeter with a crossover cap. They show up under the radar on eBay every now and then.

22

A cool amp to be on the lookout for is a Magnatone 410. Same 6V6 single ended power as a VC...but with better vibrato, a 12" alnico speaker....and even a tweeter with a crossover cap. They show up under the radar on eBay every now and then.

– guitarcapo

I just missed a killer clean one w/ a Weber. Went for under $800. S

23

I believe mine is a '78, but I have to check again, that is when I find some reference resources.

Love it, use it often, but it's still second to my Fender Deluxe Reverb.

...------

24

My sister made a cover for me. I've had several done for my amps.

...------

25

Could also just make a larger cabinet that can accommodate a 12” speaker. Keep the original cab for the future.

I know a guy that makes those.

– Powdog

Yeah, and the larger cabinet is definitely worth it. Ask the man that has one!


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