• Warehouse American Vintage 10” G10C 75w ceramic speakers
  • 3 spring reverb pan
  • New solid pine baffle board
  • Midrange circuit activated

The “Blackface” Fender Vibrolux Reverb is one of the more desirable amps of the era. Sporting 35 watts of power from two 6L6 tubes in a 2×10″ configuration, these amps break up fairly early compared to the bigger Fenders of the era, thanks to their smaller speakers and output and power transformers. The result is a dreamy-sounding drive that would require blistering volumes (or modification) to get the same glorious tone out of the bigger Super Reverb or Twin Reverb. The “BRIGHT” switches on each channel deliver as advertised and create even more tonal possibilities.

I acquired this battered beauty back in the 80’s from a deadbeat roommate who pissed off owing me rent. It was in poor shape, and he had two 12” Celestion speakers crammed in there, with the frames overlapping (!!). On the advice of a “friend” I had Mesa-Boogie revamp the amp with a lot of stupid modifications, including an effects loop (hey, it was the 80’s, okay?) and a ridiculous pair of Electro-Voice speakers that were so heavy they cracked the baffle board. I eventually had it brought back to more or less vintage specs, including replacing the shredded grill cloth with period correct fabric, though I opted for a wetter 3 spring reverb pan.

A little known fact about old Fender amps with no midrange control: the midrange circuitry is built in, but fixed to a default setting. You can have your amp repair guy activate the circuit and wire it to a midrange pot mounted on the back of the chassis. Since there were already holes drilled for the stupid effects loop that I had removed, it was relatively easy to install.

I used this in the studio recently for the “Eight Miles High” session with UK band Squire, and it’s the bees knees.