1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

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1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby cactus friend on Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:29 am

Hi,
I'm new to the forum and stumbled my way over here while researching a new amp purchase. Thanks to craigslist, I recently upgraded from a Blues DeVille to a (what I think to be) 1972 Vibro-Champ! According to the previous owner, the speaker was replaced (by a Jensen alnico) and a cap was swapped to allow for slower tremolo/vibrato. Also, as there was no footswitch, he made one.

Well, here are some pics:
Image

You can see the Jensen in this next one, as well as the hookup for the replacement foot switch:
Image

Guts:
Image

The next 2 pics are what lead me to believe it's a '72 - if anyone has any other ways of checking, or ideas, I can upload some other pics:
Image
Image

I know I'm jumping the gun here, but I'd like to add tubes and a tank for reverb for this amp. The reverb in the DeVille is nothing to write home about (I believe it's opamp-driven?) but I will miss spring reverb a lot (also, an overdrive channel, I guess). I heard a youtube vid of one of these modified with tube reverb and it sounded amazing. Has anyone here taken on that task?
cactus friend
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby Goose on Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:33 pm

Well, I think you bought the wrong amp. I doubt I would call this and upgrade from a Blues Deville. Weber has an add on reverb kit that you could put in the Deville then disable the stock verb. That same kit may work in the VC but I'm not sure. I would not mess with the VC if it were me. Besides, the chance of yours sounding the same as the vidio are slim. Those Champs are fine little amps and should be left as is, IMO. Go find a PR or a DR if you need verb or, a stand alone tank. Now that is REVERRRRRRRBB...G
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby cactus friend on Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:21 pm

Why are the chances slim?
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby Naked Clarke on Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:58 pm

Early 1972 sounds right based on the trannies, tail logo and Mr. Ledferd's stamp. D.L. usually had a date stamp along with his name.
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby Goose on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:14 am

Why are the chances slim?
What circuit was used? Which components were used. Was the amp otherwise modded, tubes, trannys, caps? Was the audio track massaged for the vidio? How much does you computer speakers color the sound? A million variables. Thats a nice amp you got there. I just feel it should be left stock. The Weber add on verb just screws to the inside of the cab. Minamal intrusion but there may not be room for it and a tank??...There are good verb pedals out there also...G
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby cactus friend on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:46 pm

Naked Clarke, thanks for helping verify the age of the amp!

Goose, sorry that you think I got the wrong amp, because I love it. I'll take a look at the Weber kits.
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby Derrick on Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:52 pm

I don't think he's saying you got the wrong amp so much as he's saying that you sound like you want that nice amp to be something it's not. I agree... don't mess up that beautiful old amp with mods. You will ruin it and it's value. What a shame that would be! :?
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KEEP THOSE THINGS ORIGINAL, BOYS!
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby cactus friend on Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:44 am

Fair enough - I guess I explained myself poorly...

I still have the DeVille...I've actually had it about half my life, now. That means I've used it in all of my bands over the years. It was my first tube amp, and I really do dig it's overdrive (when you boost the mids). I also liked having the spring reverb, but it always seemed really dull and understated to me, compared to amps like the Twin Reverb, etc. I was in a band with another guitarist who had a silverface TR and I not only fell in love with it's reverb but also the crystally, chime-y tone. That's what led me to the Vibro-Champ. I do love it's tone and vibrato, very much. It's also a great size for me to test my pedals without causing power outages, hearing loss, rivers of blood flowing out of the earth, etc.

You guys are right; it'd be a shame and a mistake to modify this little gem of an amp. Eventually, when I am in another band, I'll sell the DeVille and see if I can't find a bigger amp with some decent reverb :) If anyone has any recommendations for an amp (2x12" or 4x10" or something) with really lush, long tail reverb, I am all ears.

Thanks!
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby Goose on Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:19 pm

Cool, I tend to be a little blunt at times. I was afraid you were going to hack it up and try to put in verb/gain/channel sw.... Now that we're on the same plane almost any Fender BF/SF amp with reverb will fill the bill. The ones with the dreaded MV/ Pull to Boost are fine also, and cheeper...If you like clean, the UL ones are real clean. Also the earily 80's, Revera eria # series (Fender 30, Fender 75) are channel switching, all tube, cheep and versitile. It's just a mater of taste and how much power you need. Remember, IMO, bigger is not always better. I feel you can get better tone from a mid size amp in your average club and the patrons will still be able to talk, enjoy, stay to drink. Stick some cash in your pocket, grab your favorite ax and go try some amps. Be aware that most vintage amps need some work even though the seller will say "this was just checked out by a tech" Good luck. Really glad you like the VC...G
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Re: 1972(?) Fender Vibro-Champ

Postby D.Ledferd on Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:08 am

Guys, I know this thread is YEARS old, but it kinda fits here.

I know some of you were wondering about this D Ledferd guy. Well I can tell you. Some.

He's my father.

He isn't alive anymore. He died in 1985 of cancer.
He did work at Fender for a while. I understand that he wanted the job there, and so went to the library, read some books and that helped him land the job.

I only WISH I had one of those amps you guys have. Got that would be AMAZING. I got nothing of his when he passed. We weren't close. Didn't know him well, really. We spoke a few times.

I am also David Ledferd. Oh, btw, the D was for David. :)

Email me with more questions. I'll try to answer them.
fodizzo@gmail.com.
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