1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Champion 600 Upgrades

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by cacibi, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. cacibi

    cacibi Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,354
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    Alright - had a few days to live with the Champ....overall, very pleased. Do not like the overdrive sound at all - sounds like a bad fuzz pedal, so speaker and maybe tube replacement will be in order. I'm getting some 'sizzle' sounds out of the speaker after it warms up....sounds like bacon cooking but without the delicious smell. If it had the smell, I'd probably leave it alone :D

    Thinking of going with the 6" Weber Alnico replacement speaker, Tung-Sol 6V6GT power tube, and a Jan Phillips 5751 for the preamp. Seems like the preamp stage needs to be tamed a little bit in this amp.
     
  2. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,735
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Portugal
    I just plug mine on the speaker of my DRRI and turn it up to 10. It souns GREAT!
    The only change I've made was to replace the chinese tube with a 12AX7 Sovtek/Fender GT that came on my DRRI.

    It's so funny (or silly) how Fender put the GT stiker on top of EH and Sovtek tubes on their amps!
     
  3. cacibi

    cacibi Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,354
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    So do you think it's just a matter of getting a higher-wattage speaker? Maybe what I'm hearing is too much speaker distortion, that Jensen in the DRRI's is like 100 watts, isn't it?
     
  4. cacibi

    cacibi Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,354
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    P.S. - I really would like to keep this thing portable and not have to lug around an extension cab to get good sound, if possible - so upgrading speaker in the combo would be preferable.
     
  5. Jaybird

    Jaybird Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    337
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    California
    I put a better speaker in mine along with some good tubes and the improvement was very noticable. After having some problems with sound cutting in and out I replaced the stock volume control with a good 1 meg pot. The stock vol pot is the cheesiest I have ever seen. Go figure, the tube sockets are real nice ceramic ones, why do they go cheap on the vol pot?
     
  6. ibobunot

    ibobunot Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,315
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado


    The pre amp tube in mine rattled so I replaced both tubes with new Tung-Sol's.

    Big improvement.... :cool:
     
  7. Walker

    Walker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    Not to hijack the thread, but is the Champ 600 a good, bedroom practice amp? I've got a Blues Jr. and I like it, but I also have a newborn at home at would like that Blues Jr. sound in a smaller package. I've also got a Epi Valve Jr combo, but that isn't doing the trick, for me.
     
  8. ibobunot

    ibobunot Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,315
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    The Champ 600 was designed for low volume home use... :cool:
     
  9. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,260
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    chicago
    that said, cranked up all the way...purty damn loud...
     
  10. Walker

    Walker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    Then, I think, that's what I'm looking for. I've also got a Vox DA5 and while it's a nice little unit, it's just missing that tube "thing." And God knows I've been GASing for a Champ 600. Maybe GC will take my Epi off my hands.
     
  11. Walker

    Walker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    Yeah, I won't need to crank it, I just want that tube sound and I'll use my Bad Monkey if I want a little dirt.
     
  12. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,916
    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Location:
    Tennessee
    No offense, but "upgrading a 6 inch speaker" seems like an oxymoron to me. It's a toy amp, basically.
     
    radiocaster and 4seven3 like this.
  13. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,735
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Portugal
    Cacibi, the speaker in my DRRI is a P12Q Jensen 35W.
    Walker, I would go for the Roland Microcube for home use.
    I have one and just love it. The Champ was a crazy idea so I'll build a cab for it. Maybe one day I'll try a speaker change and put some Weber there. If it sound so good as it sounds with my 12" Jensen will be great.
     
  14. bradpdx

    bradpdx Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,459
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    A quick examination of the new Champ 600 schematic shows that it is not at all like the old Champion 600 or tweed Champs in the tone circuit.

    The old Champs had no tone circuit at all - just a volume control. The EQ was effectively pre-set at "flat", with no boost or cut within the range of the guitar.

    The new Champion 600 is more like a BF/SF Champ, with the classic Bass/Treble stack in place but preset to values that would correspond roughly to Bass @ 5, Treble @5. There is a substantial midrange cut in this circuit, and a reduction of gain as expected.

    If one modified a new Champ 600 to fully bypass this tone circuit, it should sound a lot like a real tweed - kinda midrangey and honky with a lot of overdrive when pushed. Clapton on Layla.

    This mod is easily done on old BF/SF Champs - I put a switch on the back of my old '66 BF Champ that does exactly that, works great when needed. That plus a Weber speaker and it is a fabulous home/recording amp.

    Yep - back when I could get BF amps for $100, I would drill holes as needed. Those days are gone, but the amps still sound great!
     
  15. voided3

    voided3 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,836
    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Earth
    Mine is stock except for the preamp tube (Russian Groove Tubes 12AX7) and I like it. The speaker can't take the amp's out put when full blast, but I use mine with the volume either really low for late night playing, at 6-7 for cleans, or around 9-10 (out of 12 of course) for some dirt. The Boss OD-3 pedal makes these things sound awesome by the way! That said, I'm keeping the stock speaker but I hear you do get a lot more headroom/volume with the upgrades out there (usually the Jensen MOD or Webers since those are the most widely available 6"). Oh well, if I want a loud 5 watt amp I use my Valve Junior stack :twisted:
     
  16. tonfarbe

    tonfarbe Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    995
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Berlin, Yer-up
  17. ibobunot

    ibobunot Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,315
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado




    I'm sure yours is much bigger than ours.... :D
     
  18. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,916
    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Ha! Yeah, good one. :oops:
    Didn't mean it quite like that. I guess I should have said my experience with trying to buy better "small" speakers (for my Vibro Champ) was an exercise in futility. When I was done, it still sounded like an 8" speaker.

    So, I've given up trying to make a mouse into a lion, or even a mighty mouse. If it were me, I'd leave it alone and accept it for what it is (which is how mine have ended up anyway) or run it through another cab with a larger speaker. IMHO, YMMV, etc.
     
    havlma1 likes this.
  19. slickoneuk

    slickoneuk Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    103
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Location:
    Yeovil
    Check out alincomagnet on youtube. He does upgrade kits for 600's. I have just purchased one of his valve junior kits. Awaiting it for immediate install.
     
  20. Jaybird

    Jaybird Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    337
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    California
    No offense taken, but even toys can be improved upon. I found a nice AlNico speaker in an old Webco recorder and made my "Toy" more fun to play with for less than $5. I agree that this little amp is what it is, but I can't help trying to make something better.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.