Topic: Help choosing tubes for a 1966 Fender Vibro Champ-amp

It's been a while since I got this amp, along with a starburst 1962 Gibson Melody Maker, from my father since he thought they were worthless. Just because he paid $100 for both in a garage sale in 1967. I'm thinking of replacing the tubes in the amp since it doesn't quite work, I'm not sure if the electronics need some tlc, or if the tubes are dead. I'd appreciate some help at least know what tubes to look at for it to keep the sound as close to original as possible. I'd prefer to bring it into my local shop, so they can play with it again and have their tech give it the attention it needs, but current circumstances don't quite allow for that. 

Re: Help choosing tubes for a 1966 Fender Vibro Champ-amp

Hi and welcome to chordie. As far as replacing valves (tubes) are concerned the only advice I can give is to check out the Fender website and get some solid advice, our Beamer will most likely steer you in the right direction. After 60 or so years there are probably upgrades you should consider. But before paying out your hard earned cash make sure there aren't any other underlying problems.     

Ask not what Chordie can do for you, but what you can do for Chordie.

Re: Help choosing tubes for a 1966 Fender Vibro Champ-amp

There's also a wiki page on this series:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Champ

If it's using the 12AX7 or 6V6 tubes, they are quite easy to find and replace - but when you say doesn't quite work - perhaps you could elaborate on that? eg Works with a crackle, distorts, faded signal, etc?

Cheers

Richard     

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Re: Help choosing tubes for a 1966 Fender Vibro Champ-amp

What part of the world are you in? With an amp like that I would take it to the shop for sure.  More expensive but make sure the work is done right.  smile good luck     

Re: Help choosing tubes for a 1966 Fender Vibro Champ-amp

I have a Champ, and it is a good amp although "vintage".  I'd run it into a shop as well these days, because even with a new set of tubes, if you power it up without a speaker load it will let the smoke out of your new tubes if the speaker is dead. I know that one from experience.... mine was and the replacement speaker is only 2 Ohm orininal spec..  Hard to find.

Had to clean all the pots and switches also to get past assorted crackles and stuff. I did replace the tubes (valves for our friends across the pond) With Sovtek or Svetlana because they last longer than the original RCA or Sylvania tubes do.  I'm not even sure we still make vacuum tubes here in the States anymore, but our Russian friends do !     

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Help choosing tubes for a 1966 Fender Vibro Champ-amp

I would still have a tech service the amp first. Newer tubes are not even the quality of the ones you already have originally. (In my opinion.) You probably need some capacitors replaced and a good tech will only replace what is needed to make it reliable and safe. I wouldn't throw money at it  with new tubes until it's serviced first. Great amp though... it's definitely a keeper.     

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