Ed Kuepper's touring amps

These little gems came in for a service and I thought it might be nice to get some pics for you all to drool over, so ...............

 

The Vibro Champ is from 1966 and is in "mostly" original condition right down to the valves (tubes). I've fitted a Mercury Magnetics 240V PT and just did the filter caps to quieten it down a little. The Vibra Champ, as the name suggests was a Champ with a ..... well, tremolo. 

 

The Champ was the simplest, and cheapest Fender circuit pushing a whopping 5 Watts in class A. They're actually a really nice little amp with great break up when pushed, which you pretty much have to do with only 5W at your disposal.

 

This one still has it's RCA valves and the original Fender special design 6" speaker and everything tests fine. Not bad for 50 year old components that get toured and used regularly.

 

Ed also uses this beautiful old Gibson Skylark amp in stereo giving him a whole 9 Watts of power in class A running both amps together. I actually prefer the tone of this amp. It's only got one knob, a volume, which is all you need with tone this nice.

 

The little GA-5 Gibson amp was called the "Les Paul Junior" amp and ran from 1954 to 1967. I'm not sure exactly what year this one is but it's mostly original too including the little Jensen special design 6" speaker. 

 

The only mod I've done to this one is fit a stepdown transformer into the bottom of the cabinet to run the 110V circuit and put more filtering in the power stage as this was pretty noisy. These "cheap" class A amps are often quite noisy and can be improved dramatically with better filtering and lead dressing.

 

So, small enough to carry in each hand and with 9 Watts and 12" of speaker between them, Ed uses these live with nice mics and they sound AWESOME. Just goes to show, you don't need stacks to sound great. 

May 19 2014 Written By: Tim Brennan