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Old 12-08-2012, 03:03 AM   #1
tas38
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Got a tube amp..eh

Cathbard's gonna be mad but I just couldn't justify spending 500+ dollars on the JSX or Engl E530 + amp. So up came my next choice, a Fender Champ 25SE on Ebay. 25 watts of 6l6gc for only $170 shipped!

My first impression though was ehh at best. I plugged in my guitar and favorite pedal, and eek, this isn't good. I twiddled around some and tweaked away and got to where it was OK. However it was still worse than my Raven. Yes, THAT Raven. The Guitar Center brand Raven that everyone hates like an MG. THAT Raven sounded better than my Fender. Granted I actually think with a good dirt pedal, Ravens aren't bad. They were made to take pedals and that's what they do.

A/B tests showed the Raven just killed it in sharpness and clarity, even if not as warm. The Fender (as expected) was much better clean than the Raven, but that wasn't my main concern. Since both amps, had effects loops, I figured I'd try using the Raven's pre through the Fender's power amp. Sounded better than before, but still not as good as the Raven on it's own.

Then came one last crazy try, I would use the Raven's effect send into the low gain input of the Fender. (The low gain input was better in any configuration) After dialing down the Fender's controls to be as colorless as possible, I got a tone that was pretty good. With lots of tweaking (4 volume knobs, 2 trebles, 2 mids, 2 bass', and a tone knob from the pedal) I got a sound I digged. It had a lot of clarity and punch like I had with just my Raven, but I could feel the warmth of the tubes.

Running with this setup would actually be okay with me and I could live with it, but there's one big downside. The Raven's sterile sterile cleans seep into the clean sound. Strait to the Fender, the cleans are just so sweet and clear. This leaves me with a compromise either way. Either I take the Fender cleans or the Raven's dirt, can't have both.

So, to a question, Would it be reasonable to expect a similar result with an EQ pedal. If I run an EQ into the Fender, I should be able to coax out similar sounds. I understand this is pretty unique situation given the amps, but I thought I'd try to ask.

TL;DR Can an EQ obtain a similar effect as chaining preamps.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:19 AM   #2
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I don't know about the EQ thing, but I have an alternative solution. You could run an A/B footswitch thing, run both amps, and have the Raven on OD and Fender on clean, and just switch between the two amps totally separately. Just an idea.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:19 AM   #3
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sometimes its worth forking out the cash.

did you know what a champ sounds like when you bought it? did you know the difference between the champ 25 SE and a regular champ?

they are hybrid which doesn't make it bad (i love my hybrid musicman), but you could have gotten something better for that.

i hope you like it better in the next few days, sometimes some amps just need a little bit of time to get tweaked right.

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Old 12-08-2012, 03:30 AM   #4
tas38
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Well I've listened to lots of CLEAN stuff. I knew it was a SS preamp going in. I thought since I wanted a really clean sound, it wouldn't matter much. I really like the clean sounds, so I thought clean+favorite pedal=at least better than my Raven. Throwing in a Jensen Mod speaker I had has helped some. I mean overall I'm not entirely disappointed. With the way I have it setup, cleans are upgraded because the Champ's reverb is pretty nice. If I want to rerun some wires and switch the knobs around, the cleans are EXCELLENT. The dirt sounds are slightly upgraded. The Raven gives a lot of treble-y attack and clarity. This setup gives me that, plus it's warmer with the tube power amp.

As for the A/B switch, it seems a little more complicated than that. Since I use BOTH amps for the dirty sound. I also have to EQ the champ very differently for it's clean sound versus, the Raven-dirty sound thing I have going on.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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a pedal into a tube pre amp doesn't really work the same way as a pedal into a solid state pre amp.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:34 AM   #6
tas38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticMirror
a pedal into a tube pre amp doesn't really work the same way as a pedal into a solid state pre amp.


But both amps we're talking about have an SS preamp
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:43 AM   #7
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What exactly is this "favorite pedal" you're using?

Buying a cheap Fender, especially one with a power section that's completely wrong for the types of tones I assume you're going for (considering you mentioned the JSX and E530), is just silly.

Personally, I would've never suggested a tube amp in that budget range, unless you got some kind of silly deal (like me finding a Duncan Convertible with an EVM-12L for $100 at GC), or you were playing blues at low volumes
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:46 AM   #8
tas38
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That sinking feeling when you've effed up
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:32 AM   #9
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If your running a dirt pedal into the amps they may take it diffrently so you need to adjust it accordingly
Also what dirt pedal are you using it with?
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:40 AM   #10
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http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...r-effects-pedal

okay okay okay
buy this and put it into the power amp then you have a full tube amp
problem solved
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:42 AM   #11
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So you are looking at a SS preamp and a tube power amp. You haven't replaced the tubes yet have you? Stick the best tubes you can afford. SED 6L6's if you can afforf them, JJ if you can't.
Ideally you should put a nice NOS tube in the phase inverter but cheaper to go for a Gold Lion or a JJ in there. If I was to pick the best way to spend my money it would be to just stick JJ 6L6's in it and the best 12AX7 or 5751 I could afford. Look around for a Phillips, RCA or GE tube for there. That's where you're clarity will primarily be won or lost.
Here's the schematic in case you need/want it:
http://ampwares.com/schematics/champ_25_se.pdf
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:53 AM   #12
tas38
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The pedal is a BBE AM-64, I know it's cheap and everything, but I love it. I've compared to some nice high gain amps like a 6505, and I prefer the pedal.

Is any Phillips, RCA, or GE automatically what I want, or do I need to look specifically for NOS. I honestly don't even know what NOS means. I had a JJ 12AT7 and I put that in, I did notice it sounding a little bit clearer. The tube it came with was just labelled a Fender. I didn't realize the phase inverter was that important.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:04 AM   #13
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:21 AM   #14
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Okay, so everyone at my house is asleep so I was just playing at quiet levels. And I mean REALLY quiet. Like below TV volumes. It sounded much better. Much crisper, more articulation. The cleans became a little sterile, but the dirt sound was 10X better. Does that say anything about the amp?
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:23 AM   #15
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There's no such thing as a Non-NOS Phillips, RCA or GE (well apart from old and used of course). They haven't made tubes for decades. I said those because they are what you are most likely to find cheap in the US. Any American tube will be fine, they were all good.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:26 AM   #16
tas38
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:27 AM   #17
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Yeah. I'd take a punt on that. It's a little worn but it's cheap enough. Keep looking, you'll find something better if you go up more towards $20.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:30 AM   #18
tas38
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/MATCHED-PAI...=item35c233bee6

And would these be better than a set of JJ's?
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:33 AM   #19
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Yeah, but not by as much as you may imagine. I'd pay $50 for those, no probs


What's in it now btw?
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:35 AM   #20
tas38
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It says:

Sovtek-R
6l6WGC

The PI tube is just labelled Fender.
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