Champ 12 Owners Club

qwer

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Hi folks, long time lurker with his first post.

I've been checking Ampwares but couldn't find this info.

Does anybody know the difference between the black knob/red knob Champ 12 - apart from the knob color. As far as I understand there aren't any.
Also, I've only seen the black knobs on some snakeskin Champ 12 models. Did Fender ever use black knobs on the standard model?

Which were producet first - Champ 12 with black or with the red knobs?

Thanks
 

DaveKS

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Not sure on the black/red knob thing, seems like I remember reading somewhere that very early models might have shipped with Black knobs

The last of them were produced in Mexico rather than California. Easy to tell, it will say made in Mexico on back or if USA made brea, ca.
Also the US made ones say so under the front grill logo, made in USA bottom left of logo. But also there may have been some crossover as assembly shifted to Mexico.
 

Obsessed

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First of all, welcome to TDPRI. AFAIK, there is no difference in amps with the different knob color. I did play a red tolex one and it sounded quite different, but it had a different speaker in it and unclear as to if it was original or not. The MIM red knob(I own one) sound the same to me as the MIA red or black knob. The snakeskin ones seem to fetch a higher price, but I don't know if there was any internal differences and I have not played one.
 

Hamalnawk

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To anyone familiar with Champ 12 -

I have one that had the Torres Hot Kit Mod done at one time. I would like to remove this mod - but have no information about what was changed when it was installed. It seems to a be little terminal strip grounded to the chassis and a pair of resistors and capacitors that connected to the cathodes. It would seem to me that it could just be removed leaving all else in place -- If anyone out there can confirm this that would be great.. I would like to hear the amp in stock before I commit to any pre-installed mods..
 

Hamalnawk

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Thanks Sphermetraton - yours sounds more clear than mine presently does with the Torres mod. However - to be sure I have a new power tube on the way. I am inclined to take the mod out - the more I research it on the internet the less good press that mod seems to have.. I just hope it simply means un-soldering and leaving everything else as is..
 

Obsessed

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Thanks Sphermetraton - yours sounds more clear than mine presently does with the Torres mod. However - to be sure I have a new power tube on the way. I am inclined to take the mod out - the more I research it on the internet the less good press that mod seems to have.. I just hope it simply means un-soldering and leaving everything else as is..
As I recall the hot rod mod did effect the clean channel. Mine is stock and I like it. Most of the mods were basically trying to "fix" the gain channel. I ignore it and use pedals for gain purposes, because the stock clean channel is a great platform for pedals. I could not find the specific mods, but hopefully someone here knows them. Good luck.
 

DaveKS

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@Hamalnawk

Yep I'm clueless on those mods as well. I, like Obsessed just run mine stock. But I do use my gain chan with gain almost off as a almost clean, hairy vol boost.
 

sphermetraton

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You are very welcome, Hamalnawk!

Just another clue: I've replaced the stock speaker, (I hate made in China stuff), for an American made Tone Tubby San Paphael speaker and the sound really improved a little!
As soon as possible I will post a vídeo playing the Champ 12 amp with the Tone Tubby speaker, so you can hear it and have an idea how it sounds!
Cheers,
Sphermetraton
 

lagator

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Just scored one of these babies today (well last night technically but didn't find out that I got the high bid until this AM). I got it from an auction so won't get it for awhile because I bought a bunch of stuff and will have to arrange freight shipping. Should I be concerned about damage from the transport?

I'm pretty sure it is stock because it was from a guitar and amp collector and all the guitars were bone stock. I would guess this thing hasn't been played in a long while. Not sure if that's good or bad. It one of the ones with Red cab and Red knobs which I think means mid 80's maybe? Can anyone venture a guess on the model year?

Anyway, I'll update when she arrives.

Here's a pic while we wait:
75515121.jpg
 

Obsessed

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Just scored one of these babies today (well last night technically but didn't find out that I got the high bid until this AM). I got it from an auction so won't get it for awhile because I bought a bunch of stuff and will have to arrange freight shipping. Should I be concerned about damage from the transport?

I'm pretty sure it is stock because it was from a guitar and amp collector and all the guitars were bone stock. I would guess this thing hasn't been played in a long while. Not sure if that's good or bad. It one of the ones with Red cab and Red knobs which I think means mid 80's maybe? Can anyone venture a guess on the model year?

Anyway, I'll update when she arrives.

Here's a pic while we wait:
75515121.jpg

Congrats. When you get it can you take a pic of the speaker magnet for my curiosity? Thanks.
 

Obsessed

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@Hamalnawk

Yep I'm clueless on those mods as well. I, like Obsessed just run mine stock. But I do use my gain chan with gain almost off as a almost clean, hairy vol boost.

Haa, I do the same thing with the gain channel every once in awhile. There is a sweet spot about 9:00 that works for me, but it takes me awhile to hit it with such a sensitive pot.
 

DaveKS

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Haa, I do the same thing with the gain channel every once in awhile. There is a sweet spot about 9:00 that works for me, but it takes me awhile to hit it with such a sensitive pot.

My gain on dirty chan is about .75-1 and I use Sylvania 5751 n v2 so when it kicks in that 4th triode it's just a really hairy clean. Then vol knob is set just a bit louder than clean chan, usually about same area as clean chan vol+ a bit. There I find I can use it with any of my pedals in front of amp as just slightly louder dirty boost, it's never to much gain, just punches it up a notch.
 

DaveKS

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Just scored one of these babies today (well last night technically but didn't find out that I got the high bid until this AM). I got it from an auction so won't get it for awhile because I bought a bunch of stuff and will have to arrange freight shipping. Should I be concerned about damage from the transport?

I'm pretty sure it is stock because it was from a guitar and amp collector and all the guitars were bone stock. I would guess this thing hasn't been played in a long while. Not sure if that's good or bad. It one of the ones with Red cab and Red knobs which I think means mid 80's maybe? Can anyone venture a guess on the model year?

Anyway, I'll update when she arrives.

Here's a pic while we wait:
75515121.jpg

Yea I'd like see if it came with different speaker than stock black one too. Here's pic of stock speaker next to TT that replaced it.

9922CB17-ED86-4737-906F-B1FECDB293D1-26261-000019610807BE5B_zpsab13d6af.jpg


But anyway I think 87' was first year for Champ 12's. If it hasn't been played for a while I'd slow cycle it up to reform caps in case they've dried out. Power it up 5min, off, wait 5hrs, power 5min, off, wait overnight then on again 8-10min, off wait 5hrs, then on again and you should be able to start playing it at low vol, 20-30min, off, wait. After that play away.

Be aware these amps are hard on power tube, run at about 493volts on them. If it's still stock tube it could need replacing but depends on how many hrs it actually has on it. My 1st power tubes lasted about 4yrs and they were shot. Went with Wing C after that, much longer life but their out of production now. Now I run old GE and Sylvania 6L6gc/7581a, they last forever and sound great in these amps. Single ended power tube circuit so no biasing on power tubes.

Really best thing you could do is have a good, honest amp tech give it a once over. Tube pins and sockets probably need cleaning, pots too.
 

Obsessed

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Yea I'd like see if it came with different speaker than stock black one too. Here's pic of stock speaker next to TT that replaced it.

9922CB17-ED86-4737-906F-B1FECDB293D1-26261-000019610807BE5B_zpsab13d6af.jpg


But anyway I think 87' was first year for Champ 12's. If it hasn't been played for a while I'd slow cycle it up to reform caps in case they've dried out. Power it up 5min, off, wait 5hrs, power 5min, off, wait overnight then on again 8-10min, off wait 5hrs, then on again and you should be able to start playing it at low vol, 20-30min, off, wait. After that play away.

Be aware these amps are hard on power tube, run at about 493volts on them. If it's still stock tube it could need replacing but depends on how many hrs it actually has on it. My 1st power tubes lasted about 4yrs and they were shot. Went with Wing C after that, much longer life but their out of production now. Now I run old GE and Sylvania 6L6gc/7581a, they last forever and sound great in these amps. Single ended power tube circuit so no biasing on power tubes.

Really best thing you could do is have a good, honest amp tech give it a once over. Tube pins and sockets probably need cleaning, pots too.

I ended up with an old GE 6L6 as well. I'm curious about the speaker in the red Champ, because I was able to A/B a stock black one and a red one and the red one had a cool snarly sound to it that made me think it was a different speaker. I didn't own a Champ 12 at that point, so I didn't pay attention to the speaker at the time, but I read somewhere about a "Texas" voiced red Fender amp and wondered if they did this to the Champ.

And yeah, I should clean the pots.:oops:
 

lagator

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I'll definitely update and post a ic of the Speaker.

I'll try to follow the slow cycle you recommended too. I didn't understand the part about the tubes. I'll try to get pictures of those too so you can tell me if they are stock.

It hasn't even shipped yet so going to be awhile though.
 

lagator

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Actually, now that I look at it side by side, maybe it is different. They both have the blue sticker that threw me off but isn't mine a bigger magnet, or maybe it's just the different angle? It looks like it has some numbers under the sticker. What do you guys think?
 
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DaveKS

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Actually, now that I look at it side by side, maybe it is different. They both have the blue sticker that threw me off but isn't mine a bigger magnet, or maybe it's just the different angle? It looks like it has some numbers under the sticker. What do you guys think?

Looks same to me.
 




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