Fender Vibro Champ Tribute

I've always loved the Fender Blackface amps of the early 60s. A vintage Vibro Champ will cost around $1,000, so I thought I'd build my own tribute.

This started out with a 6 bottle wine crate and cut the beveled edge on the front top. I added strips of wood to anchor the speaker baffle and the slats for the 1/3 open back. I used a Dremel hole cutter to cut the opening for the 8" speaker baffle and covered it with the traditional Fender silver grill cloth.

I added a 5 watt solid state amp with volume, overdrive and tone controls hooked up to an 8 AA battery pack to provide 12 volts of power. The volume control is also an on/off switch.


For the tremolo circuit, I used a Guitar Fetish Mod board, originally intended to fit in a guitar cavity powered by a separate 9 volt battery. I installed an on/off slider switch for the tremolo where the Vibro Champs usual on/off switch is located.


The chassis is a bent sheet of aluminum with all the appropriate holes drilled for the knobs. I printed out a balck adhesive vinyl cover with the legends for the knobs and the Vibro Champ logo.


I added an 8" Jensen CR8 speaker which gives it a very rich vintage tone. This is loud enough to use for practice at home. It might be loud enough for band practice if the drummer plays quietly.


Amplifier: 5 watts solid state

Controls: Volume, Gain/Overdrive, Tone, Tremolo Speed, Tremolo Intensity

Speaker: 8" 8 ohm 15 watts

Inputs: 1/4" guitar in, 1/4" auxiliary in

Power supply: 8 AA batteries for amp, 1 9v battery for tremolo

Dimensions: 11-1/2" height x 13-1/2" width x 7-3/4" depth

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