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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Fender. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fender. Show all posts

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tech Talk - Fender "Deluxe-Amp" 5E3 (1956)

Another choice small amp (18w) for your review. A Fender Deluxe.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tech Talk - Fender "Vibrolux-Amp" 5F11 (1959)

Everyone knows about the Vibrolux but how many of us have had the chance to play one. Another beautiful review.


Model No:


Control Panel:
Chrome top facing w/ white screened labels, controls numbered 1-12

Conrol Layout:
Fuse (¾A), Power Sw, Pilot Lamp, Depth, Speed, Tone, Vol, In, In, In

Black pointer

Narrow panel, 16¾" x 20" x 9½" (42.5 x 50.8 x 24.1 cm)

Cab Covering:
Diagonal tweed

Cab Hardware:
Leather Handle, glides

Brown grille cloth

Cabinet mounted, Script "Fender Vibrolux" on rectangular tag

21 lbs. (9.5 Kg)

1 x 10"/? ohms

Speaker Model:
Jensen P10R


10 Watts


2 x 6V6GT

Fixed bias, nonadjustable


Phase Inverter:
½ 12AX7 (split load)

Tremolo ½ 12AX7 (bias vary)


The preamp used half of the phase inverter 12AX7 and half of the tremolo 12AX7.
A selenium rectifier is used in the bias circuit.
A speaker and tremolo footswitch jack are located on the bottom of the chassis.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tech Talk - Fender "Champ-Amp" 5F1

This is another in a series of really cool older amps for guitar or harmonica. This is the tweed Fender Chanp.

First introduced in 1948, it sported the name "Champion 800" (with 8" speaker), changing a year later to "Champion 600" (6" speaker) with circuit designation 5B1. It was rated at about 3 watts, featuring a "T.V. Front" style cabinet with two-tone blonde and brown vinyl covering. This style lasted until 1953, when Fender's cabinet style changed to the "Wide Panel" design with a tweed cloth covering. Fender also renamed the circuit the "5C1", "5" standing for the decade (1950s), "C" for the third circuit revision, and "1" was the Champ's circuit designation. The 5C1 circuit was extraordinarily simple, using one 6SJ7 pentode in the preamplifier section to provide a single stage of voltage amplification, one 6V6 beam power tetrode in the power amplifier section, and a single volume knob and no tone controls.By 1955 Fender started putting its amps in the "Narrow Panel" tweed cabinet with a plastic oxblood color grill cloth, and by this time the Champ was officially named the Champ (model 5E1). Through 1957, Champs only had a six inch speaker, but the 1958 model 5F1 featured an 8". The 5E1 and 5F1 circuits used a 12AX7 dual triode in the preamplifier to provide two stages of voltage amplification, and a single 6V6GT power tube to produce about 5 watts. A Champ from this era can easily be dated by the code stamped on the tube chart, by the code stamped on the speaker or by its serial number.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

How'd He Get That Sound

Stevie Ray Vaughn has always been known as one of the best tone masters of all time. Oh yeah, we all know he was terrific guitar player and soulful singer. His chops were terrific... but how did he get that tone. Well, he started out with being a great player and having great fingers, but here are a few of his secrets. He was known to superglue skin from other parts of his body to replenish his fingertips from the tremendous abuse that he took using super heavy strings (like 15's). I wouldn't advise this unless you have developed great style and hand strength. Better to play with 10's and clean than with 12's and sloppy. He had a great guitar, a standard Fender strat pretty much totally unmolested (except that he had a left handed trem bar put on with the theory that it gave him a Jimi vibe to his sound)although not used in this video. He could pick up any strat at guitar center and make it sound right. It just wouldn't feel right to him. All players are like that... and they hear subtle differences that we would never pick up. He played primarily through Fender Vibroverbs, Vibrolux's and Super Reverbs, both black and silver faced. It was with these amps that he got the beautiful full clean tube overdriven tone and dynamic tremolo that made his sound. Play one of the amps if you're a player. And don't be fooled into thinking that the new ones are just as good. They aren't. Get one of the old hand wired silver face or black face (or tweed if you got the dough) and give them a shot. Stevie used a silver face Super Reverb extensively as well as a brownface Vibroverb. The Vibroverbs are now over the top but you can still get the silverface AB763 amps pretty cheap... and they sound great. That 40 Watts into 4-10" stock speakers (Jensen, Oxford or CTS) can make magic even an amateur can really appreciate... immediately!
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