Fender introduced the Vibro-King in 1993 to great acclaim, marking a return to a great hand-wired amp tradition while including a previously unavailable selection of sought-after features. In the 25 years since, guitarists and amp aficionados everywhere have prized the enduringly classic Vibro-King™ as one of the most touch-sensitive amps ever, with sparkling-clean shimmer at lower volumes and powerfully thick overdrive when cranked up.
This is the fifth blonde Fender Custom Shop Vibro King amp we have listed here at Premier Guitars. The first one we listed now resides with a happy new owner in QLD and is working 4 nights a week, and the second is the go-to amp for a part time player with 4 amps! The third was used by a respected pro player from Sydney, and now resides in a QLD studio. The fourth is now warming up the cool coast of Tasmania.
From Fender USA – “The Vibro-King amp has appeared on countless stages worldwide. This all-tube, completely hand-wired combo amp with birch ply cabinet is covered in blonde tolex with the appealing Brownface/White knob look. Running a pair of powerful 6L6 Groove Tubes for rich, full tone. The 60-watt Vibro-King Custom has unparalleled sensitivity to pick dynamics and guitar knob settings, and its crystal-clean tones, sparkling reverb and commanding overdriven tones are downright inspiring.”
The Vibro King from the Fender Custom Shop is essentially every great Fender amp wrapped in one. With creative use of the volume and tone pots you can go from Twin clean to Tweed crunch and then easily on to Marshall JTM tones. The vibrato circuit is the best you’ll ever hear and the reverb is to die for. The amp responds amazing well to rolling off your guitar’s volume and adjusting your pick attack.
Here’s a great tone trick with the VK – You can get a great preamp distortion at low volumes by rolling off all of the tone pots and cranking the volume up to 6 or 7 and then rolling on the tone pots – especially the mid – to taste. Power amp distortion is a little louder and doesn’t occur until you’re above 4 but when you get it, it’s like church.
- Model Name: Vibro-King Custom
- Series: Custom Series
- Type: All Tube
- Output: 60 watts into 2 ohms
- Ohms: 2 ohms
- Speakers: 3-10″ Jensen P-10R Speakers with AlNiCo Magnets,
- Channels: Single Channel
- Vibrato: Speed, Intensity
- Tube Complement: 5 X 12AX7, 2 X 6L6, 1 X 6V6 (Earlier amps used EL84), SS Rectifier
- Accessories: 2-Button footswitch for vibrato and “fat” on/off
- All Hand Wired Chassis,
- Fat Switch,
- Built in Vintage “Tube Reverb” with Dwell, Mix, and Tone Controls,
- New Vibrato Circuit with Speed and Intensity Controls,
- Effects Loop,
- Baltic Birch Plywood Open Back Cabinet,
- Tilt-Back Legs,
- Ivory Radio Knobs,
- Red Jeweled Pilot Light,
- 2-Button Footswitch for Vibrato and “Fat” on/off,
- 13-Ply Baltic Birch Plywood Cabinet
- Reverb: Dwell, Mix, Tone
- Fat Switch
- Vibrato Speed & Intensity
The current owner found this amp in regional Australia where it was living in a shed. The previous owner had toured with it heavily as attested by the battle-scars on the tolex – see pics. His band must have been VERY loud, because at some point he had added a 15″ speaker and a higher powered Hammond output transformer which had the amp running at a blistering 100 watts into 8 ohms.
The good news is that this amp has subsequently been brought back to original specs by re-installing the original speakers which had been in storage for some years, along with the original 240v output transformer. If you look hard under the chassis, you can see a couple of drill holes required for the Hammond transformer, but which now operate only to add some ventilation.
The speaker lead was replaced with a heavier duty cable and jack, plus some other electronics were corrected back to original spec. The amp has recently been fully serviced – all valves checked and correctly biased.
As mentioned, there are some rips or tears in the blonde tolex on front & back. But no slits or holes in the front grille. There are no structural or electronic issues, and this point-to–point hand-wired amp sounds just like a modern classic should.
Used by Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Robert Cray, Pete Townsend and many more.
And as they say – you can buy an amp that sounds different to the Vibro King, but none sound better.
Includes its original Fender footswitch and lead, but the vinyl cover is missing – likely still in the back of a 4 ton truck travelling with a road crew somewhere up the east coast of Australia.