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Thread: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

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    CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    What is the general consensus on these Cesar Diaz mod CS Vibroverb’s?

    I have one but years ago put it away mostly, because it didn’t sound ‘special’ to me. But……it’s so loud I never played it over 3 on the volume. It occurred to me this is hardly hitting the preamp stage hard enough and I started thinking about getting a Rivera Rockcrusher so I could find the sweet spot without it being too loud..

    Before dropping over $600 on the Rockcrusher though, I decided to put the amp through it’s paces. I set it up in my studio, cranked it to 8.5 and stood outside the room while recording it. SM 57 into a UA Apollo 8P into Pro Tools. 4 passes……Modified/Tube Rectifier…..Mofidied/Diode Rectifier……Stock/Tube rectifier and Stock/Diode Rectifier.

    I did not find anything special about the tone, in fact the feel sucked. Way punchy but also with almost harsh, brittle and sometimes shitty overtones etc. No rich, creamy overdrive. Nothing special…….not much different to my 70’s Silverface Twin Reverb. Loud and dirty but not a tone you go aaaaah yes!! Not a tone that makes you want to play it for hours and get inspired by it.

    I honestly was expecting something in the realm of an SRV tone……seeing as Diaz was his amp tech and licensed his exact mod to Fender. Plus it’s a handwired faithful repro. Of course I wasn’t expecting exactly SRV’s tone because I’m not him. But something in the same general vicinity would have been nice. I didn’t hear it. I came away disappointed.

    So it’s possible a Rockcrusher will not magically transform this amp, because I’m not sure it has a truly special sweet spot to begin with. Yes I could run my Tube Screamer into it or any one of the many distortion/overdrive/clean boosts I have. I was really hoping the VV would not need that though. Straight in…..killer tone…..done deal. Show up like that at blues sit in’s etc.

    Maybe I need to look at other Fender amps.

    The 2nd guitar player in my band bought a Blues Jnr. It’s small and light and has a great tone. Way creamy……roll the volume down for a bit cleaner rhythm tone……full volume for a nice lead tone. Nothing else needed unless you want your pedalboard in the rig. Surprisingly it shits all over the Vibroverb in that respect.

    But back to the Cesar Diaz Vibroverb…..what’s the word on these?

    You can be totally honest. And sorry for the long post.

  2. #2
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    Fender's blackface Vibroverb is only half of the amplifier equation. What speaker are you playing it through? My original '64 VV (like SRV's rigs) is equipped with a vintage JBL D130F and it absolutely sings. The re-issues feature a ceramic Eminence driver which absolute does not do the amp justice. With a Fulltone OCD (or similar device) up front and a Lansing at the rear the VV develops a warm gutsy growl that is impossible to ignore. Try a speaker swap, and make sure that the speaker is fully broken in.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    What speaker are you playing it through? My original '64 VV (like SRV's rigs) is equipped with a vintage JBL D130F and it absolutely sings.Try a speaker swap……………
    Believe it or not I had an early 60’s JBL D130F in there up to two days ago. I had installed it some time back and never really played the amp much, perhaps a few rehearsals at 2.5 to 3 volume. BTW it was a bit of a bitch to install because the spokes were hitting the transformery. So I had to rotate it on the baffle so the spokes missed. When I installed the JBL, I made a new baffle so as the keep the original perfect. I never got around to putting grille cloth on it or a Fender logo. While the amp sat unused I had the old baffle and grille cloth placed in front to protect the speaker and the amp cover on it.

    Anyway a couple days ago when my quest to see if the amp sounds good at loud volume started, I pulled the amp out with a view to do the same test that I did today. I obviously could see the cone with no grille cloth on. I checked it…..totally fine, so I cranked the volume and let rip. Same thing, stood outside etc but I didn’t record it.

    After my little excursion, I looked at the speaker again when I went to measure the baffle so as to order grille cloth……..and the cone was destroyed all around the outer periphery!! Shredded!! So now it needs a recone. 😡 I can’t believe I destroyed it but truth be told when I bought it and it being so old…….I figured it might not last.

    I took out the JBL and baffle and put the Eminence back in. Without having recorded it with the JBL, I could sweat it sounded brighter than the Eminence but I could be wrong.

    But yes I can say I don’t like the Eminence.

    I paid $300 for that JBL and now will have to pay about that to repair it. Once before many moons ago I repaired a similar speaker cone problem with tissue paper and clear nail varnish. It worked great. But this being a vintage speaker….I’ll have a pro do it.

    I have an OCD as well as a Tube Screamer, Hermida Zendrive and Mosferatu ( nice pedals but more suited to humbuckers I feel) , Xotic RC Booster, EP-1 and AC Booster and some others. One of them should be able to help that horrible Eminence out a bit……soften the sound. That said I have a couple 1X12 cabs I use with another rig, One has an Eminence Swamp Thang and one has the Eminence Texas Heat. Not bad speakers. Maybe I should try the VV with those cabs. If it sounds good I can always build a housing for the amp head and reverb tank and put the original cab away safely.

    Thanks Phantomman

  4. #4
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    Have that D130F professionally re-coned then reinstall it before you do anything else. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results. I use Dusty's Re-coning Service in Connecticut for all my JBL and Jensen work.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    Ok will do. Thanks again.




    ://imgur.com/a/b7l6Fxk

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    Re: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    You can see the extra baffle in the top image.

    Anyway…..thanks for your help and I guess I might search out a good reconing business in LA but will consider your guys if I don’t come across a place here.

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    LA County Re-coning Service used to do a pretty good job with JBL's but I understand that they're under new management now -- Not sure if their rep is still solid or not. You might ask around. When I lived in Sacramento I used to rely on Neal's Re-coning Service but he's long since retired.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: CS ‘64(?) Re-Issue Vibroverb with the Cesar Diaz mods.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    LA County Re-coning Service used to do a pretty good job with JBL's but I understand that they're under new management now -- Not sure if their rep is still solid or not. You might ask around. When I lived in Sacramento I used to rely on Neal's Re-coning Service but he's long since retired.
    Thanks buddy.

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