Super Champ XD review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (87 votes)
Fender: Super Champ XD
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Price paid: $ 269.99

Purchased from: guitar center

Sound — 9
3 guitars. '05 Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded, bone stock. This amp really lets the mahogany bottom crunch right thru when I dial up the volume and let the tubes go to work. '04 Fender Fat Strat, bone stock. Back off the volume a bit and let it jangle and scream. '98 Epiphone AJ18SCE, acoustic/electric. This amp has an Acoustic tone voice. It is designed to give your solid body that tone, but when I plug my epi in and set that voice up, wow! I haven't used my Trace Elliot amp in a while now and am considering selling it all together. Yup, it sounds that good. The metal channels really scream but I don't play that style so they don't get used at all. Just enough breakup at high volume to let you know you have a tube amp, but not so bad you take an axe to it. (ala an old bandmate and his peavey) I usually just keep it on clean, use a Vox wah, Boss compression and tube screamer on stage. I have a few other effects I play around with when I'm writing or just foolin around but I keep it pretty simple on stage. The speaker could use an upgrade, but when I plug in my cab, you can't hear it anyway so I will hold off on that for a while.

Overall Impression — 9
This amp will handle everything I play with no issues at all. My bandmate is a shredder at heart and tried out the metal settings. He was wincing the whole time. I've played and heard a million fenders and they are just not made for that style of guitar. But for blues, rock, country, rockabilly, even some alternative, they are amazing amps. If it were lost or stolen, I would probably replace it (unless I had the $ for my super reverb). I love Fender amps, always have. They just sound golden in my ears. That being said, everyone's ears hear different. Play 'em all, find your sound and go with it. For a bridge amp (I had a Fender Frontman 25R before, and am heading to a super reverb) I found nothing better in the price range I was shopping in. Rock out with your cock out and grow old not up!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have been the victim of unpreparedness at a show and will never suffer that embarrasment again. I went and bought a spare set of tubes immediately upon purchase and carry them with me wherever the amp goes. Holding up a show for 5 minutes while I change a tube is a shitload better than having to walk off after an hour and not get paid or borrow some crappy First Act from a strange cat in the audience. Bad juju, let me tell ya! I've had it about 4 months now, I've played 18 gigs from 30 to 1200 and had zero issues. No service needed yet, but I bought it new so there is the 5 year Fender warranty if it conks on me.

Features — 9
2010 model made in China. This is the best amp on the market for the money. I spent the better part of a month at various shops trying every amp I could get my hands on (under $300). Budget being what it is, it sounds great! I am really saving up for a super reverb but untill that day comes, this amp does evcerything I ask it to do. In fact, I haven't had a use for my reverb or vibro pedals because this amp sounds better than my pedals. Two channels, clean and a multi-voiced second channel. The voicings are sufficient. Actually, they are amazing considering the price. I play mainly blues rock and classic rock, the Fender settings sound almost identical and the "british" settings are pretty darn close. I suppose they are trying to model Marshall because I've been unable to get anything close to a Vox tone out of it. 15W output, all tube output, the only solid state (I believe)is the modeling circuit. By itself, it has enough volume to hold up a small bar or club. I had built a homemeade jensen cab for my last amp, and this amp sound fantastic through that. I played a 1500 seat club with this setup and had no issues what'soever. No headphone jack but I am lucky enough not to need to headphone myself during practice. It would be nice if they made a 30W or bigger version of this amp, I might be saving up for that instead. The effects options aren't the best, but they do. The reverb is better than most I've heard, but I'm stuck on the super reverb and I suppose my ear just wants to hear that sound. Most impressive to me is the Acoustic voice, I will put more detail on that later. I wish it came with the footswitch instead of me having to buy it seperately after the fact but for $300, what do you want?

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Southcorner
    To sum it up: this amp is great! Enough power to blow your ears off at home (no really, this thing should come with a warning). I use it combined with an Ibanez hollowbody, and it just sounds sweet! You definitely get the tube-sound. With my type of guitar, I only use about 5 of the 16 voices, beacuase the rest doesn't sound well with it. Maybe the others will sound better with an LP or something like it (lots of the voices tend to go to metal). The clean channel is just fantastic. Only thing missing is a knob for changing the mids (this one only has a bass and treble). But you won't miss it THAT much. Bought it for 300 euro, and i think it's the best bargain out there right now (if you want a versatile tube amp for at home that is). I use ot for practising, so the voices come in handy if you dont want to have that rack of pedals lying around the house. If I were to gig with it, I'd look for at least 30 watts tubed. So refrain from that... Other than that, just buy it. You won't be disappointed.
    borntoblues
    As a guitarist with over 45 yrs experience I have to say that in my opinion the Fender Superchamp XD amp is one of if not the best practice amps out there - do yourself a BIG favour - buy one - they're superb! Alan Payne
    Coldmystery
    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 POSTED: 12/03/2008 - 03:40 am / quote | This is where most of you metal heads ( most not all ) are real idiots, you're ideas on tone. Metal is in the fingers, you can get a sweet metal tone out of almost any tube amp. So if you are strapped and only have 300 bucks then yes get the damn fender, it's better than any of those spider amps which you metal kids seem to love to haul to gigs.
    simpro14.5
    I really love the tone of this amp, but what amp can I get that would be similar, but louder?