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American Pickers

troyad

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Dec 26, 2007
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356
Ok...I know some of you guys watch american pickers. I was watching the episode last week where they buy the gretsch and the fender amps and I'm a little puzzled by something. One of the amps was a brown vibroverb. First oddity....they had george gruhn on the phone and he said it was made in 1960? Second oddity....it had a 15" speaker.
Did I miss something here??
 

Brown Recluse

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Aug 11, 2006
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The original 2 x 10" speaker configuration had been changed to a non-original 15" Electrovoice. That's why the logo on the baffle board had been moved to the other side. Brown Vibroverbs weren't made until 1963. You didn't miss anything.
 

troyad

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Dec 26, 2007
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Ok the only thing I could think of was that someone had swapped the baffle board to put in a 15. Glad I'm not crazy.
 

Diablo1

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Jan 20, 2008
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$3,000 for that amp??:##

Boy did someone get hosed.
I wouldn't have paid $300.
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
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Why surprised at anything on those shows? They are all scripted stories.
 

Wally

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Feb 27, 2003
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An all-original, exc cond 1963 6G16 Vibroverb is the most valuable Brown or Blackface amp that there is....worth much, much more than $3K. The replacement speaker doesn't 'kill' that amp.....even though it does devalue it. IF someone offered me that amp for $300-400, I would feel guilty for not giving something more in line with the market. Ex: prior to the economic 'meltdown' in October of 2008, that amp's value in exc, all-orig condition was $9,000-10,500. I would suspect that it is around $7500-8500 for all-orig/exc cond now.....maybe more???
 

Diablo1

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Jan 20, 2008
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Why do you think that amp was in all original excellent condition? It didn't work, and made all kinds of strange noises. Rats had been chewing it up on the inside. Obvious changes were made - speaker and baffle board. Who knows what else was not original, until you open it up and inspect it?
 

Wally

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Diablo1, nowhere in my posts did I give any evaluation of that amp. I merely stated the reality of the marketplace for an exc cond, all-original 1963 6G16. That is a starting point for establishing a value of an example of such an amp.
I agree about the inspection. But...if you and I were bidding on that amp and no one else was interested, I would overbid your $400 by $10 and get a bargain if only the cab, the chassis and the OT were original. You might walk away from such an auction shaking your head at my foolishness....and that would be fine by me.
I once gave $600 for a non-functioning 1959 5F6A that had green/gold paisley embossed vinyl covering it and 15 blown fuses in the bottom of the cab. Ex codn, all-orig value on a 5F6A from that year was about $9K at the time. The owner had bought it for $5 at a church bazaar, and had messed with the amp for 5 years...asking why it blew fuses, etcc. I had listed teh possibilities for the blown fuses about once every 6 months for 5 years. I had offered to fix it for him or buy it for over 5 years! HE finally gave up on it....he realized that just putting another fuse in it wasn't going to get it going. I offered $500..he wanted $600. Fine. He left with $595 profit...minus about $15 worth of fuses!! LOL . I pulled the power tubes and saw the broken locator pins. I reoriented the tubes, installed a new fuse...which he had in a box in the cab....and Voila! I got lucky....loud sounds. I put another $500-600 in it....and sold it for about $4500.....original trannies were good, speakers had to be reconed, cab recovered. Strong amp....it still serves the player very well.
I gave $250 for a '53 wide panel Pro that was dead....exc cosmetic condition with a cover adn worth about $1100 in the market at that time in operational condition......great amp after it was recapped and serviced. I sold it, traded back for it, sold it, bought it back...and then sold it. Each time, the market had moved up on it. I got $2600 for it the last time I sold it.

I understand what I understand about these vintage amps. I also don't step off in a hole I can't get out of. That 6G16 is worth more than $400 to me, imho and ime.... regardless of what you think. Also, it is more respectful to have read what one has posted before responding. (;^)
 

Diablo1

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Jan 20, 2008
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. That 6G16 is worth more than $400 to me, imho and ime.... regardless of what you think. Also, it is more respectful to have read what one has posted before responding. (;^)

Wally, that's a non sequitur post. I was posting about a particular amp and it's particular condition. Not about a theoretical all-original amp. It's like bringing into the discussion what some Marshal amp is worth. I get your point, that you think it's worth more than $300. What's it worth if the transformers are fried and non-original, and all the caps were replaced with orange drops etc., and it needs all new electrolytics?
 

Wally

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Wally, that's a non sequitur post. I was posting about a particular amp and it's particular condition. Not about a theoretical all-original amp. It's like bringing into the discussion what some Marshal amp is worth. I get your point, that you think it's worth more than $300. What's it worth if the transformers are fried and non-original, and all the caps were replaced with orange drops etc., and it needs all new electrolytics?


AS I noted, diablo....I agree that an inspection of the particulars would bring me to a final assessment of what I think I would give for it. IF it had replacement trannies....correct trannies....and the board had been repopulated with OD's, that would affect my thoughts. Needing new electrolytics is a given, imho, for an amp of that age; so that doesn't confront me on the value thing, really. IF the cab is there with a tube chart and if the chassis has an unmarred serial number....and given the parameters you give....I would still give more than $300 or $400...if it took that to buy it. I cant buy a kit for that much....and the original cab with a tube chart is worth some bucks.....more than $500 to the right person, imho. The chassis is worth some bucks by itself....to someone who needs it. Ime, it is strange what adn who one might find when certain things are needed. I o nce sold a '59 Bandmaster to a fellow...jsut the chassis even though I had it in a repro cab. HE had found an orignal date-matching '59 Bandmaster cab. So, when put together, that chassis and that cab suddenly became worth much more than what the two separately cost him. HE also bought a complete orignal '59 Bandmaster and a complete original '57 Twin at the same time.
Final thought....I would give more for the amp we have just described than I would for a 'perfectly operational' 6G16 RI. YMMV......but I would prefer to restore that old '63 than to run that modern PCb amp.
 

JBLPplayer

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Sep 29, 2010
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1,136
I have a mint 63 Vibroverb with 2x10 Oxford speakers with the Fender Logo. They are valuable.. Retail...? if they are very clean is between 9 and 10. The basket case on the Pickers show probably a 3000 dollar amp if restored. The Vibrosonic had a 15 inch JBL and came out around 1960. Probably is how they got the year mixed up on the show. Those are good to amplify a Tiny Tim record. The 2x10 Vibroverb made in 1963 only on the other hand sound fantastic. In 1964 the Vibrosonic went away and the Vibroverb became black face and came with either a brown Jensen 15 or a grey JBL. Now in Canada the whole thing is reversed. Sorry bad Simpsons joke.
A cheap solution to a Vibroverb 2x10 is a brown super and a reverb tank. Essentially the same thing for half the dosh.

Joe B
 

DoubleBoogie

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Jun 6, 2004
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What in the opinion of this esteemed group would an all original exceptionally clean 64 Vibroverb with the Jensen 15 be worth today? How about the same amp but with a Mercury Magnetics replaced OT and a re-coned vintage 15 Alnico Jensen? I mention this because I have both of these amps and are curious as to what they might be worth. I have no intention of selling them. And by the way, the one with the replaced OT and re-coned Alnico speaker sounds better to my ears. Played together...well let me just say that I think its about the most fun a guy can have with his clothes still on. :peace2 I do have an excellent condition old JBL 15 but I wasn't able to put it in either without lengthening the speaker mounting screws. The frame on the JBL is massive. TIA...
 

Wally

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Feb 27, 2003
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A cheap solution to a Vibroverb 2x10 is a brown super and a reverb tank. Essentially the same thing for half the dosh.

Joe B

Those two amps are not quite the same, Joe. The 6G4/A/B Supers have the complex 'harmonic' trem circuit that all of the other 6L6 6G Fender guitar amps...except for the Tremolux....have. The brown 6G16 Vibroverb is essentially a 6G9/A/B Tremolux with reverb in it....the Tremolux and the 6G16 Vibroverb are the only large Fender guitar amps that have bias vary tremolo----there's the biggest difference between a 6G4 Super and the 6G16 Vibroverb.
 
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