A friend of mine called me the other day and said that he had just traded his old drum set for this 1957 Fender Vibrolux:

Needless to say, I was very excited.  Back in school I bought a small collection of vintage Fenders including a 1960 Champ, 1959 Princeton, 1960 Deluxe and a 1964 Vibro Champ.  Pete would come over and we would blues out with me on his Strat (and the Deluxe!) and him on the harmonica with the Champ.  TONE gentlemen, tone.

Until one time I was holding the strat and he had the harp mic in his hand and he tried to show me where on the fretboard I should play.  As he touched the strings and froze I instantly remembered how both of these awesome old tweed amps had the original 2 prong power chord.  "Dude, are you alright?' I said not sure if he was confused or shocked (literally). One second later he jumped back out of his frozen state and reminded himself never to do that again.  Please change the 2 prongs to 3.  Vintage isn't cool if you are dead.
But I did remember how wonderful that deluxe sounded after the tubes warmed up.  Here is a shot of my old tweed Deluxe (gone now along with the others):

That is candle wax from an old recording gig it played

Full shot of Pete's Vibrolux:

 Tweed doesn't always wear very well after this long.  I actually really dig the distressed look of an old amp.  The speaker has been replaced but it still sounded so sweet with my '64 Fender Duo-sonic.  We played a little jam of Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" with him playing lead on the DS and me playing rhythm on his 1951 Gibson J-50.  Loads of tone.

The Vibrolux's were rated at 10 watts and had a 12" Jensen speaker.  They had 3 instrument inputs and a Depth, Speed, Tone and Volume knob.  They have a variable bias tremolo that really sounds sweet.  This particular unit had a GE 5y3 rectifier tube, a Sylvania 6v6 and an Emerson 6v6 power tubes and unknown 12Ax7 preamp tubes.

Luckily, the original 2 prong chord had been traded for a 3 prong recently.  You can see from this picture that the tweed Fender cabinets were finger jointed pine boxes.  This is a really cool way to join two pieces of wood and allowed for great transfer of tonal energy throughout the entire box.  Plus, it looks awesome.  Fortunately this one shows off it's finger joints!

Here is a video of Chris playing through a brand new Echoplex to the Vibrolux and a new Victoria (tweed bassman).

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