Fender VibroVerb '63 : James...'s user review
"old but good"
Pretty simple amps for the time. Although they were also somewhat rare in the brownface configuration. History lesson for you. The brownface was basically the successor to the tweed, with added tone controls. They lasted into the early 60's and after that, Fender messed with the filters a bit and came out with the blackface, which ultimately killed off the brownfaces.
Mine is basically an all original 1x12 combo. No mods or anything to my knowledge. Still working 100%. It's a bit noisy. Nothing I can't deal with. These are a fair bit different than the princeton brownfaces. Obviously you are dealing with a different wattage and tonestack which results in a more controllable amp when we talk about the vibroverb.
Talking about the sound of these is hard. The vibroverb has a pretty high level of headroom compared to a tweed. Fender designed them like this. Mine stays clean up until just before noon. That's where the dirt gives. Voicing wise, this is totally different from a blackface. There is no mid scoop. It's a broad sound. Almost marshall jtm45 sounding. The cleans are pretty complex though. A lot of people think you are supposed to only play these cranked up and driven hard. I don't think that's true. There are some great cleans in this unit. These are in some ways more aggressive than the tweeds. Definitely closer to a tweed than a blackface though.
I firmly believe that this is a rock amp. Say what you will. If you want cleans, then a blackface is probably in order. But if you want cleans and a cranked sound...go for a vibroverb. Really. I don't know if Fender is making reissues of this amp. They should. I think these originals are pretty underrated. There are a few boutique makers that are still doing copies, but usually you don't see many of these, you just see lots of tweed clones. Shame really. I think this is one of the best amps Fender every made and I believe they did for only 3 years.