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Bought this Vibro King new in 2010. It was the pre-CBS style Blackface with white knobs. It has 3 x 10" Blue Label Jensens, GT 6L6 white (Hardness 5) power tubes, GT 6V6 white (Hardness 7) reverb tube. The sound and looks was flawless right out of the box. Amp has been working great. No problems. Was able to get great sound in seconds. I know I will be able to spend years tweaking a variety of phenomenal tones out of this amp. After a year of fiddling with lesser amps and dealing with technical problems I decided to get rid of some crappy amps and get a real amp. The Vibro King is even more substantial than I thought it would be. The giant transformer is what people notice when they go to pick up the 72 pound amp. It seems the transformer is so big there is only room for 3 speakers instead of 4. Going to add the 2x12 Celestion closed back extension cabinet for punch to complement the shimmer and crunch of the 3x10 combo. That giant transformer has an effect on the sound. I think the increased dynamics between clean and overdriven make the tone zone big enough to play in all day and all night. The tone zone on many lessor amps is so small that you can only spend minutes to use it all up with a few tricks because the sound goes from clean to total saturation too quickly. The larger tone zone in the Vibro King gives you breathing room to work on your sound and improve as a player by using picking dynamics for a range of clean to crunch to radiant pushed-tube harmonics. I use a an American HSS Strat, ash body, maple neck, 11-56 strings tuned down a half step. I have been playing tube amps and sadly some transistor amps for decades. I heard that Fender pre-CBS blackface tone back in the 1960's and did not realize that soon it would be hard to find amps with that great sound. For decades I messed around with all sorts of crappy amps. The Vibro King is my way of coming home again to the happy accident of the Fender pre-CBS sound. Actually, reading the book, Soul of Tone, it seems the Vibro King is superior to any pre or post CBS amp Fender ever built. It has the features I really like that I never thought I would really like. The three knob reverb and the tremolo/vibrato are effects I use regularly now. I like a lush reverb and a subtle tremolo. The amp comes with a sample setting card PN 059859. I start with the Bakersfield Twang sample setting and tweak my tone from there. Turning the treble up actively gets rid of bass frequencies. I like the FAT switch engaged and to adjust the volume on my Strat. I turn the tone of the reverb all the way up and cut back on the treble to about 4-5. Bass and Mid are about 6-7. Volume is about 2-3. Dwell and Mix are about 5. Sometimes I run the Speed at 1 and sometimes at about 7-8 for effect. I run the intensity at 1 or about 6 for effect on. I have the amp close enough to me and elevated enough so that I can get desrable guitar/amp feedback from one of the speakers occasionally when I play that loud. The Custom Shop makes and sells amps that demonstrate the best of the Fender virtues, hand-wired and put together with care and skill. They come with a hefty price tag but after using mass produced PCB board amps I can see the difference and there is no way I am going back to the mass produced pieces of crap again. I will get another Vibro King and use that as a spare so that I will always have decent sound. Life is too short to waste it with fiddling with crap. It is just my old age making me fussy. The amp and the company have earned my trust. Now it is up to me to really learn how to play my Stratocaster thru this amp because the Vibro King is the other half of the instrument - it is more than just an amplifier.
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