Fender Vibro-King Custom 60W 3x10 Tube Combo Reviews 5

Bought Fender Vibro King new in 2010. It is a pre-CBS blackface white knob amp with the familiar silvery sparkle grille cloth and Fender logo. It is an absolutely stunningly beautiful guitar amplifier. The sound is phenomenally good from clean to crunch. All the sounds it produces are full bodied shimmering and gutsy. The three button reverb sounds great. I am amazed at how much I like the tremolo - something I thought I would never warm to. The amp has flawless sound. The speakers are 3x10' Blue Label Jensens. The transformer is so big that I can see why there are only three speakers. The Fender Bassman and Super Reverb have room for 4x10' each because the transformer is tiny by comparison. The 2x12 Celestion closed back extension cabinet for the Vibro King delivers punch to the shimmering and crunch 3x10' of the combo. That is the sound that delivers the goods. The tubes are GT white 6L6 (Hardness 5) power tubes, the reverb tube is a GT 6V6 white (Hardness 7). The tone controls are interactive. It was possible to get good sound in seconds but I know I will spend years exploring the tonal possiblities of this amp. The non-negative feedback circuit of this amp produces the dynamic sound. There is a useful gap between clean and overdriven sounds where picking dynamics can give your sound varying amounts of compression and sag. It is in this increased size magic tone zone that the beauty of this amp lies. Many other amps have such a tiny gap between clean and overdriven that there is almost no room to play - with lesser amps either you are clean or you have total saturation. This amp is made to be played in a way that improves your playing because now the amp works with you instead of against you. The giant transformer is one of the secrets of this amp. You have to remember that since this amp is hand-wired it is going to have some of the characteristics of pre-CBS Fender amps, each amp is a little different. No two amps will sound the same. It is the nature of the beast when circuits are hand wired and not done in a mass production cookie cutter approach. The Fender Custom Shop is one of the last places on Earth where you can buy pre-CBS Fender sound new. The amp I got came new, double-boxed, was put together the way you would expect Fender`s flagship amp to be delivered, flawless. The quality of materials and workmanship was first rate. After dealing with crappy amps I am glad I finally had the balls to pony up the dough for this amp which delivers the best sound I have heard in decades.

Canadian dollars, $4000.00. I know, but I was so disgusted with crap from Mesa Boogie Express and Fenders Hot Rod Devilles that I was almost desparate to get good sound. I am not an amp tech, I am a musician, I want to play a Strat thru a tube amp on stage, I do not want to repair amps. An expensive amp should work new out of a box. I am not going to fiddle with a piece of crap even if it is under warranty. I am gambling that a hand-wired amp has less things to go wrong with it than a circuit board amp. As expensive as the Vibro King is, I ordered the 2x12 extension cabinet and I am budgeting to get another Vibro King to run in stereo and as a backup amp. It is easy to get spoiled with this kind of sound quality. I have a dolly for this 72 pound amp. If I could afford it I would hire a roadie to carry it to gigs. This amp will help me play better and get me better gigs so the expense is relative.


The price is so high as to discourage most people. They will try many other amps but they will all experience nothing but mediocrity. To the noodlers who want a downsized Vibro King to play in your bedroom I say - play the Vibro King on stage and you will see why a racehorse has to be running on the track and not stuffed in your bedroom. You want to feel those speakers vibrating thru your body as well as hear the sound in your ears. You want the real thing, not an inflatable date. The wood cabinet itself is part of the sound. I use a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 on the 5 watt Class A setting in my bedroom and it is okay for practicing. However, the whole point for practicing in the bedroom is so that the payoff will be playing that delicious sonically radiant Vibro King on stage in front of a live appreciative audience.

As good as any amp I have ever seen. Dials are smooth and fluid. All screws are tight. Amp is sturdy. Soldering is clean with no lumps or discoloration. All parts look brand new and matched for consistency. Amp came with all needed documentation and accessories.

T-Bone rated this unit 5 on 2010-03-14.

This is a clasic design I bought this unit slightly used it was on consignment so I got a deal.

I bought it at Guitar Center in Concord and got a great deal I paid $2100.00 I believe the new price was $3200.00 I bought it after hearing it in use at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. After hearing what it could do I went looking for my own.

I don't have anything negative to say. I have had Fender guitars for a while and Fender has always responded to me quickly. This unit is too new to say but from the research I did prior to buying it they have been making a similar unit for years and I have yet to read about a problem.

Sturdy as hell this unit is compact and as light as you are going to find for an amp this size.

This amp is small but puts out a big sound and the price is in the ball park. It is a point to point amp and easy to maintain so no problem there the fat switch gives you a lot of different tunes and it is easy to preset the tunes you want this is the Holy Grail of Fender amps.

Drix2 rated this unit 5 on 2009-08-10.

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