Vibro Champ XD Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 01/16/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Vibro Champ XD
Vibro Champ XD takes the vintage Vibro 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: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 8.2
 Features: 7.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (5) pictures (2) 27 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
Vibro Champ XD Reviewed by: stigmeister2win, on january 09, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 310

Purchased from: AAGE.DK

Features: The Vibro Champ XD is from 2007 I think it's a relativly new model from Fender to revive the old Vibro Champ with some new digital effects. It's it's easy to play everything you want on the amp everything from blues to heavy metal. One of the knobs allows you to choose between 16 different amp models. There is one channel, but there is also a line out. The Amp ist mostly for home practice, but it is also possible to play along with digital drums at band practice I've tried a couple of times. It is a class a Amp with 5 watt, but it is 5 loud watt. // 10

Sound: I play a sg faded, and I play every thing from ac dc rock to beach boys and doors. The amp really suits my and it is easy to keep playing for hours because of the 16 different amp models you can choose from. and that includes everything from clean to heavy metal. The sound is really class a, and you get what you pay for you can get many different sounds out of the amp also with the effects knob with a lot of different effects. you get delay, reverb, vibro tone and some others. the distortion is not so harcore and I don't think it would work for death metal but the solution for that would be a metal pedal. But it really gives a nice tube sound! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would never use it for a gig cause it is only 5 watt. but it is like every other Fender amp pretty good quality and solid. If it had more than 5 watt I would use it for gigs. the overall quality of the amp is fantastic and I love the quality. and I would sertenly depend on it for recording because of the good sound. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing for like 3 years and I like to play blues and hard rock. I have never had a better amp than the Vibro Champ XD, the amp I had before was a Fender Frontman 212r which I WAY to loud for home practice. Before I bought the amp I checked the amp out on the net, then I went down to the local store and bought it and when I first tried it out I had to own it. The amp gives a very nice hot sound so you have to own it. and if I lost it I would definetly buy a new one if I ever got the money. My advice is to you: Buy this amp, it gives a good tube sound mixed with some effect and by than you can also save some pedals. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Vibro Champ XD Reviewed by: acoustielectric, on july 06, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299.99

Purchased from: Discount Music Center

Features: The Vibro Champ XD was made in 2007 I believe. The amp has many different sounds for all styles. Man, there are 16 channels! I play mostly blues and fenders are great amps for that, so an amp that models other Fender amps is perfect for me. Of course you can play other styles with the settings for metal, jazz, and even Acoustic. It isn't too versatile in the effects area, but atleast it has effects. The only part about the effects that's bad is that you can't make your own speed but it's otherwise good, considering I don't use effects that much. I use this amp at home. You have to crank it up all the way, so if you're planning on gigging with it, you'd have to mic it. There's no head phone jack but since it isn't that loud you might not need them. // 8

Sound: I use a les paul and a strat most of the time, but I use the strat much more. I usually stay on or near the bridge pickup with distortion and when I want it clean, I use the neck pickup. Again, I play blues so I use the hot rod most of the time. Being a tube amp, it gets a great sound out. All I would ask for is heavier distortion on the hot rod setting. For clean I use the setting that models the Fender Jazz King. There's other clean channels like tweed but that's too much twang for me. I love the effect for the classic Fender spring reverb on a clean channel. It sounds just like the real deal. If it wasn't for the amps sound, I wouldn't have it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'm 13 and noone my age likes the blues(atleast locally that I know) so I'm not in a band and don't gig. I go to jams where they have amps that you use. I've only had the amp for a couple of weeks and it's my first tube, but so far nothing is wrong with it. It hasn't ever broken down or done anything like that, but again I've only had it for a couple of weeks so things might come up. // 9

Overall Impression: This amp matches my style perfectly. I'd like a deville but this has that sound and many others that the deville doesn't, not to mention the effects. Compared my Line 6 spider III this amp is great! That digital stuff just doesn't sound as good as tube. My other amp is a Fender and the distortion channel is messed up, so the vibro Champ has a clear advantage. I've never had a tube amp before so I wouldn't have known what to ask before I bought it but I can't think of anything now. If it were stolen/lost(how do you lose an amp?) I would first find who stole it and smash the tubes in their face, then I would buy another one since I found one that's $100 less now. I still want a Hot Rod Deluxe or a deville though. I don't hate anything about this amp! I like the hot rod channels because I love those amps and I like that I have that sound and the many others with it in one amp. For the price it was a steal. The guy who sold it to us was trying to sell us a Vox modeling amp with a lot of effects but I'm not big on effects so I didn't fall into that. Nothing I wish it had that it doesn't already have. Overall, it's an awesome amp and my best so far. // 10

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overall: 7.3
Vibro Champ XD Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 17, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 199

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: 2010 Model. The features have been noted. It suits my home needs very well for rock and blues. I only use voice 1 and sometimes the tremolo. I find most of the effects and all the other voiceings don't fit my style. It's a great practice amp for home. I also use a 5e3 tweed deluxe which is too loud to overdrive at home. // 5

Sound: I play it through Strats and it does well with singe coils. Because I like the tweed tone blues sound, the VCXD covers a Champ sound and I can turn it up to get just the right amount of overdrive without disturbing the neighbors. I owned the Crate V8, the Epi Valve Jr. And this amp with the 6V6 sounds more full than those el84 class A amps, even with the 8" speaker. The one thing that dissapoints me is, this amp was created as a Fender blackface Vibro Champ, and the worst effect on this amp is the tremolo (which cuts sustain as you increase the effect level). // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is not a gig amp. I run it about 2 to 3+ hours at a time every day. Only time will tell. From how the construction looks, the tubes are mounted to the thin PCB and it has micro components. Very fragile stuff when heat of the transformer and power tubes get hot. On the other hand the cabinet is manufactured wood and the tolex seems sturdy. And, the Fender special design speaker looks built to last. This Chinese Tolex seems thicker than the Malaysan Tolex on the Fender Frontman series amps. // 8

Overall Impression: The original tweed champs were one trick amps but did the trick realy well. IMO this amp is also a one trick pony that does the Fender Champ sound real well. Although it has a lot of voices and digital effects, the sounds from them do not apeal to me. I'm in no way saying that the voices and effect are not good, It just takes away the clarity of my guitar and the style I play. Others will have their own likes and dislikes about the amp and how it suit their style of play. And that's fine. This amp was created to market the masses and not just one style of music or one sound. If the Tremolo was anything like the original blackface champs, This amp would make my day. // 8

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overall: 7.3
Vibro Champ XD Reviewed by: kleptolia, on april 21, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 239

Purchased from: Best Buy

Features: This amp is basically a Fender Champ with digital modeling capabilities. The different voicings are a good variety of sounds. The sounds range from nice Fender cleans to Mesa Recto sounds and even something that sounds like a Krankenstien or Diezel or something like that. I play blues and rock with jazz flavorings in it, so the ultra high gain settings are not for me. However, there is one setting (#8) that sounds a bit like a Marshall Plexi and goes great with a strat. Also, setting #6 is really nice with the gain at 8 or 9 and the volume at 5. Good crunch tones when using a humbucker equipped guitar. Sounds almost like an Ibanez Tube Screamer in front of a Fender Deluxe Reverb if you are playing a Strat. But not exactly. 5 watts of tube power through an 8 inch speaker gets loud enough for any bedroom or even a living room. Could maybe mic it through a PA at a live gig,.... but why? Come on, man, get a bigger amp! One thing about this amp: you can't Switch out of the modeling channel. Everything runs through the processor. There is no way to get the full, unadulterated, true, electron-shedding, assymetrical clipping, even-order harmonic producing, true tube distortion from this amp. On the other hand, you'll probably never know the difference. // 7

Sound: I really like the sounds that I can coax from this little guy. I mostly play alone and I like to record and this amp is perfect for such applications. It runs quiet, for the most part (you will get some typical hiss at high gain settings on some of the amp models)and it has really good, though not plentiful, effects. The chorus and reverb are great. The tremolo is actually really nice and smooth. The Vibratone setting is really starting to grow on me. It sounds like a phaser and flanger together. On clean settings, I like to bring the mids up just a bit and strum a chord and just let it ring...... beautiful. However, you can only have one effect going at a time. You can choose some settings that have reverb and delay combined, or chorus with delay, or chorus with reverb, but that's it. Also, the only control for the effects is a depth knob, which means you can't change the rate of the tremolo, for example. On the flip side of that, there are 3 tremolo effects, all at different rates. So there is at least some variation to be had. Still, a bit more control over the effects would have been a pleasant addition. Don't let these minor drawback concern you overmuch, however. You can get very pretty and very ugly tones from this box. The distortion can get surprisingly heavy on some of the models. I could be persuaded to use the word "crushing" to describe some of the sounds I have heard from this thing. It should be noted, though, that I am admittedly not a metalhead. What sounds crushing to me might be thin and weak to you. Still, if you find the distortion in this amp to be nothing but weak, I would be really curious to know what, exactly, is the sound that you are looking for? One note on the distortion: I can hear, only sometimes, a bit of fizziness in the high frequencies of certain distorted amp sounds. It is not extremely noticeable or irritating, but some perfectionists out there might freak out about it. Just wanted to give full disclosure. I knocked the rating down to a 7 because of that. // 7

Reliability & Durability: If you are gigging with this amp and it breaks down and you are angry about that, I will probably not be very sympathetic toward you. It's a bedroom/recording amp. If it said Fender Vibro Stack on the front, I might be more inclined to see it as a possible road machine, but it doesn't, so I don't. Also, the material used to build it looks to be manufactured wood, or, as I like to call it, pressboard. Yuck. Won't last forever, this one. I am thinking about building my own cabinet for it out of real wood and making it a very durable and artistic piece of machinery and then running for President. // 6

Overall Impression: Despite its flaws, I really enjoy this amp. I don't play live gigs, so I don't need anything bigger or louder than this. It has great clean sounds and some pretty convincing distortion sounds, all in a neat little package. I went and bought a Vox VT40+ first and was really jazzed about all the stuff you could do with that amp. However, there was one deadly flaw that I could not overlook. The Vox has a hiss that trails the end of a sustained note. It can become even more noticeable at certain volume and eq settings, to the point that it sounds like brushes on a snare drum. If not for that, I would still have the Vox. But, I took it back and exchanged it for the Vibro Champ. No regrets. It would be nice to have a pure amp channel, and the option to use two effects together, but even the effects that are there are more than what a similar amp would have had even 15 years ago. Especially for blues and rock players, this little guy is a gem. Metalheads, you can use it, too, but you may want to try it first in order to be sure that you don't need to by a distortion pedal along with it. I'm keeping this amp. If it gets lost or stolen, I will whine in an incredibly annoying fashion until my wife convinces me to stop with a chloroform-soaked rag. Vox almost had me, but a ton of bells and whistles can't make up for broken sound. And sound is what the Vibro Champ does right. For the most part. // 9

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overall: 9
Vibro Champ XD Reviewed by: rybread3, on january 16, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Sweetwater

Features: This is a versatile 5 watt tube amp that can be used for many different genres of music and playing styles. The voice selection knob has 16 different options that can make your sound go from country to metal. I find that not all these voices are useful, but I use several. It also has digital effects built in like: reverb, chorus, vibrotone and delay. However it comes with one channel for each of these amps. It has control knobs for: gain, volume, voice, treble, bass, f/x level, and f/x select. It is great for in-home use as it doesn't get too loud. // 8

Sound: I use my Mexican HSS Strat with stock pickups for this amp. I play everything from: ska, punk, country, classic rock and metal and I find that it can switch between these styles with noticeable differences in the amp. It is a quiet amp good for practicing at home. Although it has enough volume to be a noisy amp at home if you turn it up to 10. The distortion can range from mild gain from a lot of volume and a warm amplifier to a brittle harsh tone that I haven't found a use for. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This amp has been reliable and durable. I haven't had any problems with it and I play twice daily. // 10

Overall Impression: I think if you are looking for a cheap amp for home practice this would be a great choice. I can play everything from Jimi Hendrix to Black Sabbath and for the price it is the best thing out there. It is my first tube amp and I have been playing for a year, and it sounds so much better than a solid state that you could get for the same price. The one thing I hate is trying to switch to different effects midway through a song. Although the knobs are easy to understand it isn't as easy as with foot pedals. The effects aren't as good as foot pedals either. I compared this with the Marshall MG 15CDR which I owned previous to this which was terrible. The Vox AC4TV is also nice, but I think it's about $100 more expensive. I wish it had a pedal board attached, but I'll have to buy that myself. // 9

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