August 4th, 2010, 08:55 PM
Just won it on ebay for i guess a decent price. I've read alot of good reviews specifically users are commenting how good the clean channel is. It has a 12ax7 PI and two 6l6 power tubes with ss pre amp and rectifier. I've read quite a few people have compared it to a Twin...call it a "mini-Twin".The main purpose for me getting it was a wanted a 6l6, particularly a single-ended 6l6 but the only one i've seen in my budget was the VHT 6 watter, everything else was 5 c-notes or more. Don't have it yet but should be on my doorstep in 4-5 days.
I wanted peoples opinions on this amp, i've searched here (and googled) but only a short post referencing it but nothing in-depth.
also, if there are owners out there, if anyone has tweaked the gain channel to make it usable. Most owners have noted that after about 3 the gain pretty much goes into convulsions and is unusable. The gain stage is ss so i figured either a resistor change or a pot change might make this a holy grail for budget minded enthusiasts who want a Twin but not enough pocket to afford it.
Here is the schematic pdf from the Field Amp guide http://www.ampwares.com/schematics/champ_25_se.pdf
Any thoughts are appreciated.
August 4th, 2010, 11:02 PM
Nice amp, one of the ones are on my radar too. Missed a local one last year by a day.
Excellent clean, nice size to lug around. Big enough to gig with. Only problem I see are the chessy pots for the controls, this era of fenders had trouble with these sometimes. But easy to fix if something goes wrong with the pots.
enjoy. They sound good with a tele but what doesn't!
August 15th, 2010, 10:54 PM
Whoa, super clean, i mean crystal, sparkly clean. I like it....alot but still need some more time with it to tweak out my tone. But the reviews were right, the gain channel is terrible. Well maybe not terrible but it goes from slight fuzz (<3) to inexplicable fuzz (3<). Any body feel like taking a look at the schematics in the link above for suggestions on how to tame this best? Hoping to actually have an overdrive with a little more range in it.
August 15th, 2010, 11:48 PM
Start with the tone controls set at one on the drive channel, and slowly add what you think is needed. Probably will take a couple minutes, but then you'll start to find its sweet spot...
Interesting amp, it's got a nice "grab and go" size to it... good luck with it!!!
August 15th, 2010, 11:54 PM
A guy I used to jam with had one of those amps. I think Fender only made 'em for a couple of years ('92-'94). I guess you could always snatch out those TL072 op-amps for something else to wake up the gain channel, which was kinda "thin" to me, but I guess you can work with it to make it to you taste. There were quite a few amps out there during the '90s that had potential but for some reason "didn't make the cut". I guess the big gear conglomerate had to appeal to the finicky masses during that time. It was a decent sounding amp though.
August 16th, 2010, 01:02 AM
I bought one new back in '93 and had it up until about 3 years ago. Gave it to a kid in my church who within 2 weeks told me "the tubes just exploded, man"...I don't think I really want to know. :confused:
It was an ok amp. I gigged with it in college. I always remember it sounding a little thin, though. Aat the time bought it, I knew NOTHING about amps, especially tube amps. All I knew is that I had to have one and the guy at the music store sold it to me as a "real" tube amp...oh well, can't fault the guy. I does have a tube power section...he needed the sale and really, I didn't know any better.
I think I blew the original speaker in it, so I replaced it with a Peavy Scorpion. Who knows if the impedance even matched! Right before I gave it away, I pulled it out to play it one more time. Not bad for bedroom stuff as I recall. But honestly, now understanding what it means to have a tube power section, I actually wouldn't mind getting the chance to play it again just to see what I could get out of it armed with a little more knowledge.
August 16th, 2010, 03:37 AM
Had a champ 25 for year. It was an ok amp.
I think the current fender line amps is much better. I'd rather have a super champ xd than that champ 25.
August 16th, 2010, 11:53 PM
Below is the pic of the 2nd channel's preamp stage, i may be going in the wrong direction (the fault of googling in long intervals) but could i fiddle with the values at R23, to help reduce some of the gain, and C14 to tame the rattiness of it which is what i'm after. Maybe increase the R value and decrease the uf? Even though i understand the fundamentals of electronics I don't have the capacity for the theory or mathematics of it. BTW, I borrowed the above from what i read here LINKY (http://music-electronics-forum.com/t16417/) . I also read i could change the IC to a 4558(?) but hoping for some simpler alternatives first.
August 17th, 2010, 12:52 AM
I've owned two Champ 25 SE's, and really enjoyed both. The drive channel is too compressed for my taste, but the contour control was kind of cool. I think you're best served running it on the clean channel and put a good OD pedal in front of it. Fulldrive 2 worked great for me. I wouldn't liken the sound to a Twin, though. Don't you think? Not sure how to describe the difference... too much like dancing about architecture, or resorting to the familiar cliches, you know.
August 17th, 2010, 05:34 AM
I guess it bugs me that i have a second channel that i won't use, kinda like a scxd, i love the clean and gain channels on that but i would never use the dsp effects all that much maybe the reverb but that is why i have a reverb pedal. I know what you mean by "familiar cliches" but that's how we relate, right... anyways i was just relaying what others have said I honestly have never played a Twin.
August 17th, 2010, 12:02 PM
Yeah, I hear ya. Using only one main feature of an amp you've invested in can be kind of frustrating. But at least it's a good sound. If I had to venture a term to describe the difference between a Twin and the Champ 25SE, I'd say the Champ sounds darker (maybe I'm just swayed by the color). I had a Twin for five years, during which time I also had a Champ 25, and I played just as many gigs using only the Champ. The Twin was so loud- I could never turn it up beyond 3, or plants would die. The Champ had plenty of clean headroom, which was critical, because I play country, and I could hit some classic rock tones with the pedals. I really enjoyed the little Champ, and it didn't destroy my back. The last one I had had a Celestion G12H30 speaker in it, which was a nice addition. If you want to adapt the sound a bit, swapping speakers is always a fun, though spendy pastime. Anyway, enjoy your Champ!
August 17th, 2010, 04:09 PM
If you ignore the reverb and gain channel and just use it as a one channel clean amplifier with pedals, it is one of the best amp bargains on the market. I used to jam with one and it had tons of clean headroom for a full band application. I used a Reverend Alltone 1250, perfect match, but I think even a Weber signature ceramic 12s would be dandy.
Huge 6L6 cleans at half the weight of a Twin for about 200 bucks. What's not to love?
August 17th, 2010, 06:42 PM
I'm on the MOD boat which suits my needs...which are minimal. I got a Hardwire reverb and tube overdrive pedals not too long ago and they work well with the Champ 25....
....chickn' pickn' time!
July 14th, 2013, 04:07 PM
I just got one at a garage sale for 50 bucks can't wait to try it with my ethos and/or Wiz-Pedal D.
July 15th, 2013, 04:41 AM
I tried it and it sings.
My wife - of all people, said "That does sound way better."
July 15th, 2013, 11:40 AM
How do these compare to the 18 watt Champ II?
July 15th, 2013, 04:24 PM
I've got one that I inherited dead. Had to get MM to build PT, rebuild the filter supply, and changed the jacks while I was there. It sounded pretty good, replaced the speaker with a mojotone, and installed a long spring reverb tank that made it better. Great "Fender Clean", but channel 2 is a fuzz box. I may one day open it back up, and change some of the (7?) diodes in the clipping section for some LED's or germanium to see if that helps.
July 27th, 2013, 04:11 AM
after having it now for a couple weeks - I don't find the drive channel bad, just keep it under 3 or so...
July 27th, 2013, 04:37 AM
I know bugger all about this amp.....but looking at the schematic it's a cathodyne phase inverter - fixed bias - push-pull setup....sure ain't no SE.