1967 Fender Vibratone

Here is a vintage 1967 Fender Vibratone rotating speaker cabinet with the original blackface-era footswitch, speaker cables, and the original Victoria vinyl cover. Produced for a relatively short period between 1967-1972, this is an early example that sports the traditional Fender logo in the top left corner instead of the later chrome front panel detail across the front grill cloth. This particular version best matches other concurrently produced Fender amps, and shares the same drip edge rail and black/blue stripe amplifier grill cloth. This is a very excellent example of an early production Fender Vibratone speaker cabinet.

Famously used by Stevie Ray Vaughan on his song “Cold Shot,” the Fender Vibratone consists of a single driver unit, specifically a 10-inch guitar speaker, with a 15-inch Styrofoam cylindrical rotor in front of it. The Styrofoam cylinder is electrically rotated to create various effects, like chorus and vibrato, based on the Doppler effect. The effect can be be changed, via a two-button footswitch, between slow and fast speeds, or switched off altogether. Much of the Vibratone’s unique tone comes from the fact that the cabinet uses a guitar speaker, instead of a horn and woofer. The effect was dispersed vertically, unlike the Leslie that is dispersed horizontally, with grilles on the sides and top of the cabinet. With no built-in preamp, the Vibratone has to be powered by a separate guitar amplifier; in recording situations, microphones were placed next to the grilles in order for the effect to be heard. A crossover was also built-in, with the Vibratone handling the mid-range frequencies, and sending the high/low frequencies to the driving amplifier.