Fender Vibrasonic

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The Fender Vibrasonic was an amplifier made by Fender. It was debuted as the first of the new-model Fender amps of the 1960s, with new tolex-covered cabinets and front-mounted control panels that would replace the tweed-covered, top-panel cabinets that were prevalent during the 1950s, as well as new circuitry which would characterize most Fender amplifiers for two decades.

The Vibrasonic was introduced in 1959 and was discontinued in 1964, the "brownface" era of brown control panels and brown or blonde cabinets. At the time of its introduction, the Vibrasonic-Amp displaced the Fender Twin as the company's new top of the line or "flagship" model. This elevated status was short-lived however, as the new high-powered 6G8 blonde Twin-Amp appeared in mid 1960. The Vibrasonic was one of the seven models in the newly designated Professional Series [1] of Fender amplifiers. These amplifiers shared nearly identical circuits, with two (or four) 5881/6L6GC tubes in fixed-bias Class AB configuration, long-tailed pair phase inverters, and dual "normal" and "vibrato" channels with independent volume and tone controls; the models were differentiated only by cabinet/speaker configurations, transformers, and rectifiers. The tremolo ("vibrato") circuit which the Vibrasonic premiered and which gave it its name more closely resembled a Vox tremolo circuit than anything which Fender used before or after, a complex "harmonic vibrato" which created the illusion of true pitch-shifting. Two tubes (5G13 model) and later three tubes (6G13-A model) were used in the tremolo circuit alone and this perhaps explains why it was not widely used, and abandoned in the mid-1960s "blackface" amps.

The 1×15 Vibrasonic, like the 4×10 Concert-Amp, featured a larger interleaved output transformer designed to minimize distortion and maximize clean headroom in the output stage. Unlike the Concert-Amp however, the Vibrasonic-Amp was the first production Fender amplifier to use a speaker made by the James B. Lansing company. JBL speakers were considered superior to the usual Jensen speakers in terms of their power handling capacity and frequency response.

Only the prototypes of this amp were built with metal control knobs, as pictured in the 1960 Fender Musical Instruments catalog. In recent scholarship, the Vibrasonic has been closely associated with the mythical brown tolex, small-box Twin-Amp.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Pro, Super, Bandmaster, Concert, Vibrasonic, Twin and Showman.
  • Teagle, J. and Sprung, J.: Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years
  • Wheeler, T.: The Soul of Tone