#1
Well, after asking a bunch of questions about tone in the guitar section... I have came to the conclusion that a new amp would suit me best.

I am on a small budget(id like to stay under 300). And I am just a hobbiest that plays around the house, so I only need something small. But small or not I am looking for a nice tube tone. So I was thinking of a fender champ. How are they? I hear they are great little guitars but the tubes are pretty bad, which can be fixed by a simple tube swap. However I know little about tubes. So I dont know which direction to go with that.


Can anyone give me input on this amp, tubes, or a different amp I should consider.
#2
The Champ is a great blues amp. They only have one 12AX7 and one 6V6. One of the beauties of the Champ is it is very cheap and easy to experiment with tubes. I have a clone of the old 5F1 Champ. I am always swapping around the tubes.
I think stock they have Sovteks in them (somebody correct me if that's wrong). A JJ 6V6 is what you'll want to put in one. I am currently running a NOS British Brimar but the JJ could hold its head high in it's presence. 6V6's are the best thing JJ make imo. Then you go buy yourself a couple of different 12AX7's (definitely have a JJ 12AX7S amongst them) and just play around. Haunt Ebay and snipe up cheap NOS tubes. That's what you do with a Champ.

The speaker in them is pretty ordinary and SMALL, terribly small. Running a Champ through a 12" speaker makes all the difference. Now there are two hassles to that but neither are insumountable.
1. The Champ needs a 4 ohm speaker. 4 ohm 12" speakers are quite rare, Jensen make one but thats one of the very few - but there is hope. Get a 2x12" with two 8 ohm speakers in it. Parallel up the speakers and you have 4 ohms. Also, you can get away with running them into an 8 ohm speaker. It's sub-optimal but it will work.
Down the track you can replace the output transformer with this:
http://triodeelectronics.com/tfchxfwi48oh.html
Then you can run 4 or 8 ohm speakers.

2. You have to make up an adapter for the external speaker. They just have a speaker wire going directly to the amp. You need two male spade connectors the size of the tags on the speaker. You then run a speaker cable between those male spades (which plugs into the wire from the amp) and a 1/4" phono plug on the other end to go into your new speaker caabinet. Tape up the spade connector bit so nothing can short out and you're ready to roll.

All of these things are things you can do down the track, even in stock trim you'll have a lot of fun with it. They are also a pretty good amp to learn how to mod on. It takes very little work to convert them into a more classic schematic. The modern Champion 600 does have a SS rectifier so to make it a true classic circuit takes a bit of work but if you leave the rectifier alone you can still get a lot closer to earlier designs. The effect of the SS rectifier is often overstated on those. It's a class A amp so sag isn't an issue like it is on an A/B amp.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Aug 7, 2011,
#3
Great advice!!! Is the small 6er speaker able to be swapped out to improve sound quality... Well I know it can be... but is it worth the cost/hassel?
#4
Quote by Cathbard

2. You have to make up an adapter for the external speaker. They just have a speaker wire going directly to the amp. You need two male spade connectors the size of the tags on the speaker. You then run a speaker cable between those male spades (which plugs into the wire from the amp) and a 1/4" phono plug on the other end to go into your new speaker caabinet. Tape up the spade connector bit so nothing can short out and you're ready to roll.



Not true on the 600's. They have an output jack for the speaker, so running a cab is as simple as getting a speaker cable and a cab. I do believe some of the very early Champ 600's had it wired like you said.

Otherwise everything you said is spot on. Champs are great, they take pedals well, although if you play louder, you have to experiment with settings to compensate for the amp naturally overdriving, which to me is definately not a bad thing! Just very different than playing the same pedals through a clean amp. Champs are very easy to mod, so down the road you have the option of getting into modding. Definately get a JJ 6V6 for the Output Tube, then experiment with the preamp tube, I prefer the JJ ECC83s Gold Pin, its a good low noise, high gain tube, very good overdrive tones from it, although you sacrifice Clean Headroom.

And, you can upgrade the internal speaker, I put a Jensen in (the one that claims to be made for the Champ 600), and it definately improved the sound, but it still wasn't great, this baby really shines when you put her through a 12" speaker. I bought a Kustom Cab that had a 16ohm speaker in it, and swapped the speaker for a 12" Fender speaker that was 4ohm. The cab was $100 I believe, very well built for the price, the speaker was on clearance at the time, so it was cheap, I think it was the same speaker used in the Deluxe 112. Its 100w, little overkill, but the price was right, and I was really surprised by how it sounded. A friend has the same cab with a 4ohm Eminence speaker, and we both agree my Fender sounds better.

All in all, great little amp.
#5
Quote by Wylde_Life
Not true on the 600's. They have an output jack for the speaker, so running a cab is as simple as getting a speaker cable and a cab. I do believe some of the very early Champ 600's had it wired like you said.
Is it hidden behind the panel? I am far more familiar with the old Champs, I can build them from memory pretty much.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#6
The VHT special 6 stock is 1000x better than the champ 600 stock.

If a little dark, you can swap out a resistor to add some more highs.

The speaker is much better, and its a little more versatile.
#7
Quote by Cathbard
Is it hidden behind the panel? I am far more familiar with the old Champs, I can build them from memory pretty much.

Its on the underside of the Chasis, right next to the Power Tube.
#8
On a related note, would adding a 1x12 or 2x12 cabinet noticeably increase the volume on the Champ? Just wondering for my own purposes.

Quote by beckyjc
The VHT special 6 stock is 1000x better than the champ 600 stock.


Well, I'd expect so, it's just shy of twice the price of the Champion.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
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Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
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#10
TS - you are in the US. you can score a silverface champ for about $250-300 if you look around.

imo they blow away the little 600 that needs a speaker and tubes to sound nearly as good.

example. http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/msg/2475798383.html

take an ad like that, offer him $275 and see where it goes. worth every penny of $300 provided everything works as stated in the ad.

i found an old black face champ for $350 on the rig talk classifieds some months back. it's the best low wattage clean blues amp on the planet and takes pedals like an asian hooker takes sailors.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#11
Quote by kangaxxter
On a related note, would adding a 1x12 or 2x12 cabinet noticeably increase the volume on the Champ? Just wondering for my own purposes.
Yes they do but it depends on the efficiency of the speaker. The stock speaker is pretty crappy and any cab you'd replace it with is bound to be better. Efficiency is what counts, not size. The biggest difference is that a 12" speaker will sound 1000x better, not extra volume. Seriously, plug a Champ into a decent 12" speaker and you'd swear you just bought an entire new amp.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#12
If you're unsure if you'd want more features (reverb, 3 band EQ, master volume, etc.) then a used Blues Junior could work well. A bit louder, more versatile and runs right at $300 used. A champ does a few things better than a BJr, but a BJr does more things... Horses for courses.

You haven't even given us a genre though...
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#13
Indeed, the Champ is a one trick pony but it does that trick exceedingly well.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#14
Ya and without an inkling as to what style of music he plays it could be a terrible suggestion... Then again so could a Blues Junior.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#15
Quote by Cathbard
Yes they do but it depends on the efficiency of the speaker. The stock speaker is pretty crappy and any cab you'd replace it with is bound to be better. Efficiency is what counts, not size. The biggest difference is that a 12" speaker will sound 1000x better, not extra volume. Seriously, plug a Champ into a decent 12" speaker and you'd swear you just bought an entire new amp.


Exactly. It maybe fills the room more and sounds a bit louder, but in reality it should be the same volume, but it definately sounds better. You get more bass response and eliminate speaker distortion, like he said, it sounds like a entire new amp.

And to the guy above, the Champ wasn't suggested, the TS asked about it.

Although, I will say, add a Reverb pedal. To me, if playing Blues/Rock it makes a world of difference, I really like the Marshall Reflector.
#17
Quote by beckyjc
The VHT special 6 stock is 1000x better than the champ 600 stock.

If a little dark, you can swap out a resistor to add some more highs.

The speaker is much better, and its a little more versatile.


+1 (though only mod the amp if you know what you're doing, you can easily kill yourself if you don't, even when it's switched off).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Et tu, br00tz?
#18
i'm still waiting for the TS to come back and say they only play deathcore.

right dan?
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#20
Quote by gregs1020
i'm still waiting for the TS to come back and say they only play deathcore.

right dan?

My money is on black metal.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!