Vintage Sound Vintage 40mvp - Brown Ostrich
The Vintage Sound Vintage 40mvp is finally happening! We've been wanting to have this modified blackface AB763 amp made for a few years now, and we're very excited to see it come to life.
So exactly what is the 40mvp?
As many of you may know (and some of you may not) the Fender AB763 40-watt circuit is behind some of the most coveted Fender tones of all time. This dual 6L6 blackface circuit was in the Vibroverb, Pro Reverb, Super Reverb, and Bandmaster. Fact is, 99% of the difference between these amps was speaker configurations. The Vibroverb was a 1x15, the Pro Reverb was a 2x12, the Super Reverb was a 4x10, and the Bandmaster was just a head.
Notice anything missing?
That's right! Fender never made a 1x12 combo of this holy grail of blackface circuits. Hard to believe, isn't it? They had an AB763 that was a 1x12, but it was only 22 watts. That amp, of course, was the beloved Deluxe Reverb. Problem is, if you wanted that fat, thick 6L6 tone, you HAD to go to one of the configurations above. The Vintage Sound 40mvp addresses just that, but with bonuses! We'll get to the bonuses later.
So as you can imagine, other than the head, these combos were rather large. Being a single 1x12 combo, the 40mvp is housed in a smaller Deluxe Reverb sized chassis. The cabinet is also sized like the Deluxe Reverb, but we made it one inch taller, and one inch deeper for better bass response. We're still using the same solid pine construction as other Vintage Sound amps, so no worries there.
Being in this smaller chassis, the faceplate of the Vintage 40mvp is also smaller, leaving no room for the Normal/Bright switches. To address this Vintage Sound uses a high-end push/pull pot for the Volume control. By default it uses Normal voicing, and when pulled it engages the Bright voicing.
So what about these bonuses you mentioned?
When modifying vintage circuits you have to be very careful to do so in a manner that does not alter the tones in a bad way. With the Vintage 40mvp, Rick includes some well used mods that bring more to the table than the stock circuits. They are as follows:
1) Channel 1 on all Fender style amps (normal channel) has an identical tone stack to Channel 2 (vibrato channel). The only difference in Channel 1 and Channel 2 is that Channel 2 has reverb and vibrato effects. Because Channel 1 is mostly unused and is a redundant channel, it's been re-voiced with a mild high gain mod. This makes Channel 1 perform as if using a compression pedal but with a much more natural tone because the effect is part of the tube circuitry. The channel is fairly clean when picked lightly and becomes more compressed with pick attack and volume increase. The reverb and vibrato effects are also brought into Channel 1 giving the player two different channels, both with effects, making the amp more versatile.
2) The rectifier is switchable between Solid State and 5AR4(GZ34) Tube Rectified. This allows the amps response to be quicker/stiffer with little to no sag, or softer with sag. Some people like one more than the other, and some people love both. With the Vintage 40mvp, the choice is yours!
3) Included with the 40mvp is a very nifty reverb dwell control which is on the rear of the chassis. Obviously, this too was omitted on the original circuit, but it comes in quite handy for adjusting the amount of decay the reverb has.
4) Another smart alteration is the incorporation of a Diaz based tremolo mod and a newly designed oscillator unique to Vintage Sound Amps. This accomplishes a few things... You'll notice the Vibrato has the ability to be slower than stock Fenders. The vibrato being too fast was always a complaint people had with vintage Fender amps (and still do to this day). The other advantage this gives is when you turn the dial all the way down, you switch off the vibrato circuit, bypassing it and leaving you with a cleaner, more pure signal. The result is a slightly more present tone, and a bit of a bump in volume. Furthermore, with the older Fenders you can hear a "ticking" sound with the vibrato. This is caused by several design flaws in the original circuit allowing the LFO signal to leak into the audio path. These issues have been addressed with a Vintage Sound specifically designed photo-cell tremolo, better routing of the wires, superior components, and filtering of the oscillator output.
5) Each Vintage 40mvp comes with external bias points for re-biasing the output tubes after changing them. VERY handy!
So, what do you end up with?
Finally, a 1x12 combo version of the Vibroverb/Pro Reverb in a smaller size. A "Mini Vibroverb / Pro Reverb", or MVP for short. On top of that, it includes many popular mods the originals didn't have.
Wattage: 40 watts
Preamp Tubes: 4 x 12AX7, 2 X 12AT7
Power Tubes: 2 x 6L6
Rectifier: Solid State / Tube (5AR4) Switchable
Front Controls: Channel 1: Normal/Bright Push/Pull Volume, Treble, Bass
Channel 2: Normal/Bright Push/Pull Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Reverb, Speed, Intensity
Rear Controls: Dwell (Very cool custom feature for controlling the reverb decay time!)
Effects: Tube Driven Spring Reverb, Tube Vibrato
Speaker: 12" WGS G12C
Inputs: 2 per channel (hi/lo)
Auxiliary Input: RCA Footswitch Jack
Extension Speaker Jack: External Speaker Jack
Circuit Construction: All Point-to-Point, Hand-wired
Cabinet Construction: Dove-tail jointed solid pine w/Baltic Birch Plywood baffle and back panels
Pilot Light: Blue Amp Jewel
Combo Dimensions: 18.5" High x 24.5" Wide x 10 1/2" Deep
Optional Accessories: Two Button Footswitch, Padded Cover
Why the WGS G12C speaker? The G12C is essentially WGS's take on the vintage Jensen C12n, but with a few refinements, such as a bit more touch sensitivity, and an overall warmer tone. Warehouse Guitar Speakers are made here in the USA and not in China like most of today's Celestions. Added bonus!