Super Champ XD Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/16/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Super Champ XD
The Super Champ XD takes the vintage Champ into a new era with classic styling, simple controls, a good variety of clean and distorted tones and unmistakable tube feel and performance at a remarkable price.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Features: 8.7
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reviews (6) pictures (1) 52 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Super Champ XD Reviewed by: darthbuttchin, on february 09, 2008
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Allegro Music

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Super Champ XD Reviewed by: pak1351, on december 05, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 259.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Made in 2008, overseas. 2 channels, one clean, one with the 16 voicings. 16 effects with volume control. 1 master eq, gain control for the second channel, and separate volume controls for each channel. Bass and treble control only, which is kind of a downer. Also, doesn't have an effects loop, although it is possible to mod one in. One 10" speaker, a line out, optional footswitch (effects on/off and channel switching). 15 watts, tube power amp, solid state and tube preamp. I use it in my dorm and at home. Just want to say that this never is truly tube, contrary to what some seem to be saying. Regardless of what channel, or if you have effects on or off. The volume and tone controls are digital and controlled by the online dsp. That being said, sound is really what matters. // 8

Sound: I use a PRS Singlecut SE and play mostly blues and classic rock, occasionally playing some Tool. I had a budget of three hundred dollars and wanted a versatile amp I could take to school and get good tones at reasonable volumes, and this nailed it. I compared it to the Vox AD30VT, Valve Junior, and a cube and spyder and this outshone all of them. The clean channel stays fairly clean, and begins to break up around 4-5. There is no gain control on the first channel, but the clean tone is a bright blackface kind of sound. Very nice, in my opinion. The second channel allows one to change the voicings of the amp, with various overdriven stages of a tweed, blackface, Marshall, hot rod, metal, jazz, and an acoustic simulator. I mostly use the 2, 5, 8, and 9 settings, which go from a nice blues (2=a fat,, Vintage tweed sound based on early Fender bassman's; 5= a bright, slightly overdriven Vintage tone based on early blackface amps), to some marshallesque crunch (8 is the plexi, 9 is modern Marshall, which I assume are the jcm series). 8 nails a lot of the classic rock tones, from eagles to zeppelin, and I use voice 9 for some Warren Hayne's style leads. Setting 10, the overdriven hot rod, sounds very nice as well, and also cleans up nicely. The on-board effects are usable, but nothing special. There's little control over them, outside of the volume. I mainly just use the simulated spring reverb, and sometimes the slapback delay. All the effects can be seen on musicians friend or whatever site you use. Maxing the gain on the second channel does make the amp a little noisy, this was decreased when I replaced the stock Groove 12ax7 with a JJ or an old GE tube. Mine came stock with EH 6v6 power tubes, which I liked and haven't touched. I put in a Jensen c10 reissue, and I have to say I like the Fender models a lot more with this in there, although it takes something away from the british voicings. The stock speaker was fine, I just wanted some more low end and a more American tone. I don't really use the metal settings. The gain control also affects the volume, and switching channels can lead to some surprises, as gain on 5 on a clean channel might not be real loud, but when you go a metal channel it can be a lot louder than you were expecting. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is actually my second amp, my first one had an issue with the speaker baffle and Fender sent me a new one, free of charge. It was cut wrong and rattled when I turned the amp up, but it was handled and hte new one has no problems. Fender was very nice, and sent me a shirt because I sent it in 36 days after I bought it. It has a five year warranty so I'm not too worried about it's reliability, and I keep it in my room. I replaced the preamp tube, like I said, and should get some spare power tubes just in case, but no issues with them yet. I don't gig, but I think it has enough volume to do so. I'd bring a back up, but it seems like you should always bring a back up. It's chinese made, not field servicable (meaning Fender just replaces them, doesn't try to fix them in a repair shop) but they paid for all shipping and what not so I really don't care. I wouldn't void the warranty until after a year or two, but that's up to you. The interior is very tidy as well. // 7

Overall Impression: Like I said, best amp I played in the three hundred dollar price range for use as a practice amp for blues and classic rock. The tube poweramp really sets it apart from a lot of the other modelers in this price range, and the effects and voicings are pretty convincing. This is my first amp, I've had it for about eight months now. I've been playing electric for eight months, acoustic for about three years prior to that. If it were stolen, I'd get another. I might get a greenback or a clone, as it has a removable baffle and speaker clips, so replacing the speaker is pretty easy. I might just get another and use one for bluesy stuff and the other for more of a british flavor. I wish it had an effects loop and a mid eq, but I'm getting an eq pedal soon and it's possible to add an effects loop if you really want one, so nothing that can't be added later. Overall, a very nice amp with great tone at a reasonable price. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Super Champ XD Reviewed by: Cyborlox, on january 16, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: This amp has 15 Watts of tube power and a 10" speaker. This amp is amazingly versatile, I play along a fair range of genres and this amp works fine for all of them. There are 2 channels which can be switched by a button or a footswitch (sold separately) It only uses the Super Champ Footswitch, it is not compatible with any other. There are "Voices" which make it so versatile. There's anything from "Jazz" to "Metal" to "British". There is also Reverb, Chorus, Tremolo, Vibratone and Delay. I've used this amp just practicing by myself and in the jam room with my band and it is very powerful as it is also a tube amp. // 10

Sound: I simply use an Indonesian-made Squire Strat with all stock parts and it sounds amazing for what it is when I run it through the Super Champ. I play a whole bunch of genres from Funk to Death Metal and it sounds really good for everything. If you turn up the Gain and set the Voice to "Metal" it is super-heavy and settings like "British" with lower Gain it works well for Classic Rock. The effects can be combined and you can choose the strength of the effects. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've only had this amp for a little bit of time now so I don't know exactly how reliable it is. As far as I can tell, it would be very reliable and I would probably bring it to a gig with a backup because I don't know exactly how solid this amp really is. It seems like a very solid piece of equipment though. // 9

Overall Impression: This amp is amazing for every genre of music it sounds really good with just a stock Squire Strat and the only thing I would have liked was if it came with a footswitch instead of ordering it seperately. If it were stolen I would immediately buy another as I love this amp. there is nothing I don't love about it. // 10

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overall: 8
Super Champ XD Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 16, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Sweetwater

Features: The Fender Super Champ XD features two channels; clean and, for lack of a better word, modeled. The clean channel is a straight forward tube channel with warmth and clarity. Is has a single volume adjustment. The modeled channel features a 16 model selector switch a gain adjustment and volume control. Both channels share common treble and bass controls and effects section. The effects section has effects selector and level controls. The effects are: Reverb/Delay, Delay, Chorus/Reverb/Delay, Tremolo and Vibratone. I gave an 8 for features because the fact that modulation and delay effects cannot really be controlled separately; it would have been nice to have the modulation and reverb/delay separately switchable. The chorus selection does include delay or reverb but it is rudimentary and fixed. The amp is pretty basic which is what I like. I generally dial in a couple different tones that I like a stick with them so a modeling amp with 10 million presets is not for me. I like the fact that it has a tube pre and power amp so the cleans are very nice. Overall the features meet what I need from the amp. Oh, and it's small and easy to move around. Don't let the 15 Watts fool you. It is loud. // 8

Sound: I use this amp with a Yamaha AES620 and an Edenhaus Custom. Both are HH configuration but the Edenhaus humbuckers can be split. I play a variety of rock styles a la U2, Chevelle, Hoobastank, 3 Doors Down, etc. I bought the amp to replace a Genz-Benz El Diablo. The Genz-Benz was way too much amp for my needs and way too heavy. I wanted an amp that had nice cleans like the Genz-Benz and the Super Champ did not disappoint. It can give every tone from super warm cleans to near Mesa Boogie high gain saturation. My only complaint about the tone is that the treble and bass controlls don't make much change to the modeled tones. For example, I generally run Tweed or British settings and wish I could get just a little more highs out of the EQ. Switching to HOT Rod settings and the highs are almost blistering. It runs pretty quite except at full gain on the "Hot Rod" models which are about as noisy as a high gain amp at full gain settings. The amp has a special design 10" speaker that sounds very good at all the settings. I am interested to try the amp through a 12" speaker like a Celestion Vintage 30 or something similar. Overall the tones this thing can put out more than cover the styles I play. It is very versatile and has a ton of volume. If you're playing a large venue, just mic it and run it through the FOH. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have to mark down here because of the overall construction of the amp. I understand that Fender had to cut corners in order to reduce the costs of the amp but I would rather have paid a little more and gotten better quality. The input and output jacks are all plastic PCB mount; one false move and they will break. I had this happen on a Fender London 185 I used to have; I bumped the input jack and that was it! The main PCB on mine is slightly warped because the output jacks were not drilled in line with the PC board mounts. I guess the QA department thought it would be OK and said ship it. Hopefully this won't pose any problems in the future. I also don't like the fact that the tube sockets and potentiometers are all PC mounted as well. External components that are PC mounted almost always create potential problems down the road. As is common in today's amps, the cabinet is GARBAGE particle board. The cost difference between particle board and decent grade plywood isn't that much. I don't understand for the life of me why they use particle board. Needless to say, I will be making a new cabinet for the amp when time allows. A few bucks more for the amp would have been worth it if they had spent a couple bucks more on the quality of the build. But hey, you get what you pay for and a tube amp for $300 ain't too bad. I haven't had the amp long enough to run it through its rigors so my rating is based solely on experience and observation of the quality. But, Fender has a 5 year warranty so that's saying something. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall I like this amp and the tones seem to get better the more I use it. I have been through close to 20 amps over the years and this amp is very nice and was a great price. I would most likely buy it again if it was lost or stolen. I looked a several other amps in the same price range but I went with the Super Champ because of the warm cleans and overall versatility of the amp. // 8

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overall: 9
Super Champ XD Reviewed by: Chetbango, on october 05, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 260

Purchased from: Local store

Features: Many features, two channels, 17 voices, variable gain, two tone knobs and decent if limited effects. This hybrid tube amp, with a solid state preamp, tube phase inverter and tube power circuit. It has 15watts and a 10inch speaker. It also has a line out and a footswitch is available for channel switching and effects on/off. It is very versatile, some of the voices are quite good, some are decent and only a couple are lacking. The only feature I wish it had is a headphone jack. // 8

Sound: I use it with my Gibson SG and LP with humbuckers and my Strat with single coils. It plays many of the classic Fender tones very well, the tweed, blackface and 'Fender chime' type voices are really enjoyable and surprisingly good. I would not say they are the same as the originals, but are nearly as good and very responsive and clear. The gain knob works well, allowing for rolling the volume off on my guitar to control the dirt. They sound good from classic, bell-like Fender cleans to the dirtiest Blackface rock. The Marshally sounds are not quite as good, but certainly a fair approximation and equally fun. Responsive, and surprisingly close to real thing once you account for the fact that a 10 inch, inexpesive Chinese speaker cannot equal 4x12 Celestions. This leads to the amps biggest inability, the Metal type sounds are OK, but if brutal metal tones are your main thing, this amp is probably not your best choice. This amp sounds best at moderate volumes, like just under what you would want if you played with a drummer. It can keep up with a drummer and still sound quite good, it just sounds best a little lower. I understand with a new speaker (something like the Eminence Ragin Cajun) it sounds even better louder. Overall the sounds are better than any other modeler I have heard, more organic and responsive. // 8

Reliability & Durability: No issues, though I have read that some earlier models needed a baffle tightened on the speaker mount. I haven't ever gigged with it, but for a quieter band it would work fine, I would trust it without a backup. I have had no issues. It seems well built and has been kicked around in the back of my pick-up a bit. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall I am very impressed with this amp, especially for the price. I think it is a great starter/practice amp that has the ability to play live shows. For a beginner it is both responsive to encourage good technique and very versatile for someone who hasn't dialed in their tone. For a more experienced person it is a great 'jack of all trades' amp that masters a few sounds too. It sounds good at bedroom volumes and great at louder volumes. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Super Champ XD Reviewed by: danno1976, on july 12, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 269.99

Purchased from: guitar center

Features: 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? // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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! // 9

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