Champion 20 vs SCX2

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Telecaster88, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 TDPRI Member

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    Maybe those seem like two really different amps to compare, but …

    I'm looking for something relatively simple that I can get a good Fender clean out of. I play a Tele and a Strat, 99% clean, usually just a bit of reverb or compression on 'em. Not really interested or concerned too much with the dirty channel/amp models.

    I was looking at the SCX2 and it seemed really promising, but I got mired down in the different speaker choices. (I've never changed a speaker from stock in my life, but so many people are talking about the Ragin Cajun and the Celestion upgrades that I got baffled.) (Plus the idea of having to plug it into a computer to lower the mids etc makes me nervous.)

    I've played an SCX2 with the Celestion and it sounded fine, but I'm wondering if I could get away with the stock speaker since I'm playing clean, at bedroom levels, no band to compete with.

    Then just recently on one of the message boards people were talking about how happy they are with the Champion 20 as a home/practice amp, so I looked it up. Seems very simple, which I like, and the price is certainly right ($100 online). I know the SCX2 is partially tube, but to be honest I've never owned a tube amp. Would I notice a huge improvement in sound between these two if I'm playing quietly?

    For reference -- I'm nowadays using a Vox Mini3 G2, which I got because the Blackface amp model on it sounds impressively like my old SS Mid-80s Fender Pro 185 (which I no longer own). Just wondering if I could get something even more Fender-y in a small, inexpensive amp.

    - - -

    That said, I guess these are my questions, understanding of course that what sounds "good" is subjective:

    --Will that $100 Champion sound good enough or will I regret not plunking down an extra $200-300 and getting an SCX2?

    --Just how "bad" are the stock Champion/SCX2 speakers, considering my ears are fried and I'm gonna be playing to my cats.

    Thanks in advance -- you guys are the best!
     
  2. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I used to own a SuperChamp XD and regret selling it. Given the choice I'd rather have the SCx2 but $99 for the champ 20 is hard to beat. I do like the sound of the Ragin Cajun in the amp,but a lot of folks are content with the stock speaker.
     
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  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you're entertaining yourself at home, either amp will work and sound fine for you. the C20 is simpler, but that also means it has fewer options for shaping your tone like the SCX2 can.

    Both speakers sound fine at bedroom volumes. The longer and louder you play them, the better they'll get.

    Open your wallet and see how much money is in there. That's the main criterium for buying one of the two amps.
     
  4. Steven72

    Steven72 TDPRI Member

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    I've owned both and based on your criteria, I'd go with the Champion. I think the SCX2 is a fine amp but I didn't find it to be a few hundred dollars better than the Champ- which will give you a nice, clean Fender tone for not a lot of scratch.
     
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  5. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have an SCX2 and have always used tube amps in the past. To me they are less fatiguing to my ears than SS amps in the long run - meaning a couple of hours of playing. That said, only the power amp portion of the SCX2 plays through tubes. Consequently I have a tube pre-amp as the first stage from my guitar output.

    I have changed the speaker in mine, but the stock speaker isn't bad. The stock tubes might not be the best though. Sound wise they may be OK for a while, but the ones that I had wore out pretty quickly. I think they were JJ's. I changed to matched Mullards. $35 I think.
     
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  6. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

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    For playing clean at low volume, 95 percent* of people couldn't tell the difference between the Champion 20 and the SCX2. I've had a C20 for a couple years and still consider it money well spent. IMO it has a good speaker for such an inexpensive amp, provided you don't try to rattle the rafters with it. Although there are 12 amp models and 12 effects settings to mix and match, eventually I settled on just two or three combinations that I use regularly. The rest of the dial is fun to play with when I don't want to sound like me.

    * I really mean 99.8 percent but I'm not looking to start an argument.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  7. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    People seem to immediately think about changing components. I like to play an amp for a while. The speaker needs to break in for one. You can’t tell much until you get it home and give it some time.
     
  8. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

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    Not to complicate the issue, but if you're really only interested in Fender clean with a touch of reverb, you wouldn't go wrong just looking for a used Frontman 25r for $50-70. They'll do that job very respectably, and you'll have a pure analog signal (nothing digital) all the way from pickup to speaker, if that matters to you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  9. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone, this is super helpful.

    Starting to think I'll be perfectly happy with the Champion...

    For my purposes (low volume home playing /recording) would there be any benefit to going to the larger speaker/wattage in the Champion 40 vs the 20?
     
  10. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 TDPRI Member

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    I'll look around the shops and see if I can find one to try... Thanks.
     
  11. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just jumping in here without doing any research, but if I remember right, both amps have the same digital front-end, don't they?
     
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  12. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    Couldn't agree more. I've also owned both of these amps (the Champion 40, more watts, but same feature set), and I do not think the SCX2 is $200+ better. As a tube amp I wasn't impressed with the SCX2, it would be more of a clean pedal platform, but with a limited EQ (only treble/bass).

    The Champion series, on the other hand, is everything I wanted in a modeling amp: lots of very different models, simple controls (no messing with presets, digital displays, no PC hookup), and a usable effects section.

    The SCX2 is literally the same amp, but with a tube channel.

    If you're only going to be satisfied with a tube amp, then the obvious choice would be the SCX2.
    If you're ok with modeling, then the obvious choice is the Champion (at least for me).

    For $120-$200 (used vs new), you could upgrade to the Champion 40 and have a 2nd channel, more wattage, and a 12" speaker. Add another $20 and you can grab the footswitch (switches channels & effects on/off).

    Like others have said, both are great.
     
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  13. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    I own three SCX2s.

    One head and two combos. I don't gig with them.

    Your cats will like the stock speaker in the combo just fine. So will you.

    I like the Champion 20 too. I have spent time showing students how tondial them in.

    If I was giving an amp to a 10 year old, they'd get the Champion 20.

    If I was giving an amp to myself, I'd get the SCX2.

    In fact, I'd get 3 of them... Lol

    Ps. I have a bunch of other amps too. My go-to gig amps are a Cube 60, a Deluxe Reverb, and a Blues Deluxe.

    The Blues Deluxe is only 40 watts but is noticeably louder than the 60 watt Cube.

    I also have a pair of Twins that I no longer use. Too heavy and the Blues Deluxe is plenty loud for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  14. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

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    I doubt it, unless you really prefer the response of a 12-inch speaker. I compared a C20 and C40 side by side, and to my ears the smaller one sounds crisper. The speaker in the C40 comes off as a bit flabby when it's turned above "don't wake the baby" volume. It's a small difference, though. You'd probably be happy with either one.

    My C20 definitely needed a good breaking in. It sounded harsh right out of the box, but six hours of shouting into a pillow fixed that.
     
  15. duzie

    duzie Tele-Meister

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    Get the champion 20 and a decent multi effects pedal!
    You will be close dollar wise to scx2 but have a pedal that could be used with other amps if you change your mind about the 20.
     
  16. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    The Champion 20 on the BF Twin, Deluxe, and Princeton settings with a little delay or reverb is all you need, and sounds amazing for its size and price.
     
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  17. Steven72

    Steven72 TDPRI Member

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    I agree. If you're playing quietly, the C20 will sound great.

    The last few amps I've owned have been small combos with 10" speakers and I've never missed having a 12". Personally, I think the smaller speakers sound fuller at low volumes. In fact, I just picked up a Blackstar HT1 MK II and am really digging the 8" factory speaker at "family home" levels.
     
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  18. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    I picked up a Mustang 1 v2 for home practicing ( needed something for the living room). I'm blown away over how good this sounds for Fender cleans along with a variety of others. As a reference, I've had tube amps for years, including an early 60's Beltone, Peavey Delta Blues, Mesa Boogie Mark 1 RI off the top of my head.
    The Mustang 1 sounds much bigger than it's size. Good deals on the used market.
     
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  19. guitarmikey

    guitarmikey Tele-Holic

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    No Champion here, but have the SCX2 head, using it with different speakers, mainly RC.
    Great amp with different kind of cleans.
    Had the Frontman 25, also a great amp for cleans, which I played with stock speaker and RC as well, big improvement, specially for dirty sounds.
    For what I understand you need, better get a second hand Frontman 25 and it’ll be your best cheapest option. For cleans! Indeed, tube cleans seems better for long time playing many hours, not fatigue so quick your ears...
     
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  20. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone... Here's a sorta weird question... I read complaints about the Champion 20 in regards to the SS "pop" that happens when you shut the amp down. Not a huge deal, but as I have hyperacusis, the less amp pops in my the life the better. Is it true that you can disable the pop by inserting a plug into the headphone jack before shutting down?

    Does the SCX2 pop? I played it a few times in my local shop and don't remember a shutdown pop.
     
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