This Fender Vibrolux 5F11 Model Tube Amplifier was made in Fullerton, California in 1960. The 1950s tweed Vibrolux is a very different animal than its more common Tolex-era descendant — this example from 1960 would be one of the last ones made before the complete re-design took over.
It has had significant refurbishment work done, including replaced tweed fabric, re-glued cabinet and newer handle. The speaker is non original, and some electrical work done including a new grounded power cord, some replaced selenium diodes, and recapped electrolytics. The original US 120v power supply has been upgraded with a Mercury power transformer.
It has had a replacement 10″ Weber Classic Alnico speaker installed in it and the Fender Tube chart code reads J* (B, D or E) indicating assembly sometime in early 1960.
This version of the Vibrolux is still a relatively compact combo amp with one 10″ speaker putting out about 10 watts. The circuit is basically the same as the tweed Harvard with a tremolo feature added, on introduction in 1956 this was the smallest Fender amp with built-in tremolo. Unlike the 6AT6/6AV6 first stage found in the Harvard, the Vibrolux uses the dual-triode 12AX7, with the added half powering the tremolo. The rest of the circuit is virtually identical.
Also like the Harvard, and unlike many other contemporary Tweed models like the Deluxe, the Vibrolux is a fixed-bias amp, allowing it to have surprisingly high headroom and volume for a dual 6V6 layout. This original Vibrolux was on the edge of the student/professional grade amp dividing line in the 1950s but offers plenty of volume for most small gigging and recording situations today, with a tone that’s hard to beat.
Height is 16 in. (40.6 cm.), 20 in. (50.8 cm.) width, and 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.) in depth at deepest point.
This is a great-sounding amp; a lower-power monster that goes from sweet to growl quickly and smoothly.