Super Champ XD review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (87 votes)
Fender: Super Champ XD
12

Purchased from: Allegro Music

Sound — 9
I use both a Fender Stratocster with a S/S/S pickup configuration and a Crafter Cruiser RG600 with a HH pickup configuration. Both of these guitars work perfectly with the amplifier and I am discovering just how many different options are available for me when playing thank to this amplifier. As I have already said, I play blues and classic rock and this amp just suits those styles perfectly. The amp is very loud on all settings, more so on the heavily overdriven styles and also the metal settings. It does feedback quite a lot when too much gain is pumped into it and I'd say the most brutal it can get is Slipknot's 'Before I Forget'. As I have stated already, the variety of sounds this map can make alone is just amazing. When you add in the effects though, it really is amazing. There are no completely out-there effects on the amp, justthe most popular ones I guess. It has vibratone, delay, chorus, reverb and tremolo on it. I only really use the reverb, as I have delay and chorus as pedals, and the pedals have more options available to me. The vibratone is a cool effect but the Tremolo is one that really needs to be used sparingly and is quite the accquired taste.The clean channel doesn't distort all that much at high volumes and so you can get the perfect Clean sound at rather loud volumes. However, it is a shock when you go from a fairly quiet channel two to a boomingly loud channel 1.

Overall Impression — 9
As I have said numerous times, I play Blues and classic rock, such as Led Zeppelin and John Lee Hooker. I do go into some more 'hard' rock, such as Aerosmith, The Stones and GN'R, but this amp can handle those sorts of sounds perfectly. I've been playing for just over 3 years and own numerous guitars and pedals. This is my first tube amp, before hand I had a small 19 watt practice amp. The amp takes the pedals really well, although I have found that the overdrive has become more of a boost for solos, as there isplenty of overdrive from the amp. I wish I had asked about the power lead before buying, so I could habe got the adapter straight away, rather than open the amp up and then had to go and get the adapter, but no matter. If this was stolen, I would definitely get another one. I'd also probably be able to find the thief, as it is a pretty heavy amp, so I don't expect they would have gotten too far away. I love how versatile the amp is in that I can be playing some Blues on the moderately clean setting and with the turn of a knob, I'm in GN'R crucnh country. I don't hate anything, but I do wish it had a mid control and that also there wasn't such a large increase in volume when clicking through the Voices. Some of them are louder then others. My favourite feature is the effects, particularly the reverb. Although I do like to see the tubes light up in the back. I compared it with a Vox AD50VT and this one by far, as it sounded so much more natural and warm.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I believe that I can depend on the amp in a gig situation and I would go without a backup. I would tkae spare Tubes though, just in case. The amp has never broken down, but then again I haven't had it for particularly long. I'd say my only gripe was that the Power Lead included had an American plug on it and I had to get an adapter, but it is to be expected I guess, as the amp came from America.

Features — 9
The Fender Super Champ XD is the latest addition to Fender's aresenal of amplifiers. It combines tube technology with an amazing array of DSP effects and also different 'voicings'. Production began in 2007 and this is a 2007 model. This amp is amazingly versatile. It has two channels. Channel one is based of a Clean Fender Blackface amp. Channel two is the channel with the switchable 'voicings'. These range from early Tweed models, through Blackface models, British models, Hot Rods, metal, jazz and even acoustic models. This means that it is amazingly versatile and can be used for pretty much any genre. My main Genres are Blues and classic rock, so this amp fits my styles perfectly. There is a tiny channel switching button on the amps face, but this is only really any good if you have time to Switch channels. There is the option for a footswitch and I suggest that one is purchased soon after getting the amp, as it makes life easier. There is no effecdts loop or headphone jack, but there is a line out and also the option to Bypass the speaker in the combo and hook it up to an external cabinet. I use this amp both at home and at Band Practice. At home, the volume is kept at just over two, which is when sound is produced from the amp. At band practice, I have the volume at about 6-8 as it is still insanely loud. I have been asked by the drummer a number of times to turn it down, as I was making his seat shake. The amp is plenty loud enough to be heard over a drummer and another guitarist, and even begins to drown out a 180 watt bass amplifier.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ihavenoname93
    bignick99 wrote: hi, in you review you mention a slipknot tone, can this amp handle drop tuned hi-gain tones, i play a lot of stuff in drop b with loads of distortion, but will the 10" speaker handle it???
    if you want metal distortion, dont even touch a fender
    Scott57
    I love this amp! I spent an afternoon trying out various tubes amps (under $600.00) and kept coming back to this one. It's inspiring!
    bignick99
    hi, in you review you mention a slipknot tone, can this amp handle drop tuned hi-gain tones, i play a lot of stuff in drop b with loads of distortion, but will the 10" speaker handle it???
    darthbuttchin
    Hi, sorry i've taken a while to answer. In all honesty, I wouldn't know. The lowest I go is drop D. I did once go to down to C sharp, but that is the absolute lowest. It handled it pretty well, but I wouldn't say this was an amp perfect for frequent slipknot/metal playing. I mentioned it more in passing really, as I did produce a slipknot sound but i only play slipknot once every so often when im bored. sorry i wasn't overly helpfuk db
    klb93
    I just got this amp yesterday and it is AWESOME!!! I love it so much! the tone is amazing, it makes your insides shake. It gets plenty loud enough for smaller gigs, and can definitely get over a drum kit. I recommend this amp to everyone!! it's amazing, and for $300? you cant lose.
    ConfusedBirdman
    This is a great amp. I use an external multi fx and bypass everything except a 3 band and control the mids from there. I also sometimes use the compressor and it sounds great through it. This setup allows you to make the metal tones a little less stale. As far as metal tones go, it is passable of everything but death metal. Some really great iron maiden tones in there too. I'll write a review once summer gets here and I've got some time.
    RD Mac
    This amp is actually ballsy enough to do small bar gigs. I have done 3 gigs with it so far. Preset #4 (the blackface Deluxe preset)is very similar to channel #1.As another user has posted, don't be afraid to push the gain up. It really does help to bring out more moderate volume. I cant stand modelling amps. But, I am sold on this one. And I can have any amp made and have had over 50 of them. Recently, I have modded mine with an emminence classic 75 watt. All the difference in the world!
    FishStik
    On Rock Band (the video game), the second-to last venue for vocals features six of these amps arranged near each other. I was singing my lungs out when I spotted them. I couldn't believe it at first, but that was when I realized that this amp is pretty much the best you can get for $300.
    nikhil101
    FishStik wrote: On Rock Band (the video game), the second-to last venue for vocals features six of these amps arranged near each other. I was singing my lungs out when I spotted them. I couldn't believe it at first, but that was when I realized that this amp is pretty much the best you can get for $300.
    nobody cares about rock band fishstik, but yeah the super champ is a decent amp, better than any of the line 6 spider modelling amps by far
    LesZao
    Amazing amp. And far better than any SS line 6 Spider amp If you need ultra high gain then just buy a pedal and sorry about the first "d" comment it says "(please login or register first)" Just testing.
    ihavenoname93
    does anyone know whether the power or preamp stage is the tube one? i know this is a hybrid amp
    pak1351
    this actually does metal distortion ok, don't know about serious drop tunings but I can get a convincing adam jones tone. Power amp is all tube, and 1/2 of the preamp tube is used as an extra gain stage. A good circuit analysis can be seen here, by Bill M. http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db... =654379