Originally Posted by tdu
Heya. I do love the sound of the amp, but I have issues with it that don't relate to the quality in any way. I am kind of wishing I had bought a model with a little more power. I LOVE grit tones....but I also love the clean tones this amp puts out. And for my playing situation, I can't get those clean tones at any sort of volume.
Again, my problems relate in no way to the quality of the amp. The quality and tone are incredible. This was my first experience with tweed amps though, and I don't think I bougth the right model for my needs.
I am thinking about putting a ceramic speaker in it, and a 12AT7 to see if I can increase that clean headroom a little.
Depends on how much "clean headroom" you need, and just how squeeky clean the "clean" needs to be - and all of this stuff at the volume you require.
If you thought that a souped up, un-mic'd Champ would deliver reliable clean volume for bar gigs in a rock/blues band ... what were you thinking?
I have the first Champster Special chassis that Jim built - it was built to my spex and I gave it the "Special" name tag. It's my most fave amp; it has a three way switch for off/standby/on, a Fender pilot light, a single vol pot and a single input. It has big iron and the OT is 8 ohms. The idea was to take a "tweed amp" circuit up a notch or two and allow some more clean headroom. I prefer to run it with a 6V6/5Y3, but it definitely cleans up more with a 6L6/GZ34. I built a large pine box for the chassis and stuck in a 30 watt Weber 12F150. It's really loud with a Tele loaded with Keystones - easily loud enuf for small blues/rock bar gigs with the right drummer. This kinda loud is overdriven but not fuzzed out loud. It doesn't "tweed out" 'til around 3/4 volume and 1/2 volume is my sweet spot for a Tele or a Melody Maker w/dog ear P90, where the notes have a bit of "hair" on them and aren't squeeky clean. I've even played jazz standards with it (6L6/GZ34) in a trio setting and plugging in a humbucker 335 clone - real jazzy clean, but at much lower volumes.
If you need lots more clean for gigs, you'll need a *much* more powerful amp, and the right speaker(s). I have the 25 watt 6L6/GZ34 D-Lux w/15" Weber 15F150, and IMHO, that amp is Loads Louder than the Champster Special but it will not deliver a huge amount of clean headroom at gigging volumes - to do that, you need at least a 40-50 watt tube amp. And to get decent clean you'll be running that bigger amp at 1/4 to 1/2 volume, tops - and that means the amp will be delivering a different kinda tone than when driven harder, louder. YMMV.