While we've been covering a lot of the smaller boutique makers in the news these days, you can't overlook the Fender Custom Shop when it comes to vintage tone. Their Vibro-King Custom amp features everything you’d expect from a great boutique amp: point to point wiring, all tube power, and some great tone features. This 60 watt amp is something like a 1963 Reverb unit merged with a ’59 Bassman with some Vibrato and a custom speaker array thrown in. It’s very versatile and responsive, too. Pair it up with a Strat for some awesome clean to crunchy blues tones or with a Les Paul for something more edgy and meaty - like a Peter Green style sound or something in the vein of early Clapton.
The Vibro-King only has one channel, but that’s about all it needs. It has controls for speed and intensity on the vibrato, volume, and controls for the vintage tube reverb function (mix, tone, and dwell). Plus there’s a fat switch to change up your sound a bit. Three Jensen ten inch speakers with Alnico magnets bring the sound.
The Vibro-King features fix 12AX7A tubes in its pre-amp section and two 6L6 GE tubes for power. It also has a 6V6-GTA reverb driver tube. This is one of the heavier amps, weighing in at 72 pounds, so it may not be the best amp to take out to local gigs. It’s also fairly large. However, for pure power and full, rich sound, the Vibro King definitely delivers.
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Fender is known for making top quality products, and their amps are no exception to this rule. The Fender 59 Bassman Limited Reissue Boutique Amp is a recreation of the original amp that was released back in 1959. These amps have been in high demand for guitar and bass players in recent years. Harp players, interestingly enough, also enjoy using the Fender 59. The Fender 59 features a 50 watt power source so it's great for outdoor and bigger gigs. The boutique amp features a simple and easy to use setup that provides amazing tone, dispersion, and is very dynamic. The reissue features a few new upgrades, including GT-6L6 tubes, 12AX7 preamp tubes, and has an internal bias pot. These upgrades make it much easier to play around with different output tubes. (more...)
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If you get under that tweed covering, you’ll find two 12AX7 preamp tubes that are paired up with a pair of GT6V6 Groove Tubes. These tubes provide that great Fender output that we’ve all come to know and love. The Fender 57 can provide clear, clean tones or crunchy, distorted sounds—it’s all up to you. The entire thing is backed away in a solid pine case that features a 12 inch Jensen P-12Q speaker. The 5Y3GT rectifier tube provides natural compression, while the 5E3 circuit produces 12 watts of power. (more...)