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Fender 57' Champ Reissue vs original 1969 Silverface Champ?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jared Purdy, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    I know some of you are legends when it comes to these two amps. What can you tell me about them in terms of sound? They are both five watts,, both have an 8" speaker. The 69 is all original. Pine cab, original speaker, etc. Has had a three prong chord installed at some point. The 69 has volume and treble and bass control, whereas the 57 only has volume.

    I'm going to check out a new 57' tomorrow. They are currently $1399 in Toronto. The 69' Champ is $1100.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    I have a 57 Champ reissue and it’s the best amp I’ve ever played. Granted, it doesn’t have a lot of headroom. It only stays clean up until about 4. 5 is edge of breakup. Around 7 is a pretty good vintage OD/blues sounds. 12 gets pretty gnarly. I use a Keeley compressor and a Boing reverb with it and almost never use any kind of OD or distortion pedal.

    there’s one on eBay right now for $825, doesn’t say if he’ll ship to Canada or not.
     
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  3. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the detailed reply! If it's $825US, I'd have to add at least 30% exchange to that, plus a brokerage fee. Might as well buy new.

    I'd love to know what the difference in tone is between the 57 and the 69? The cabinet on the 69 is quite a bit bigger. Along the lines of a PR, though a bit smaller. That would affect the tone considerably.

    I'm looking for mostly clean, and then occasionally having fun when no one is home.
     
  4. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I owned a 1973 Champ and one of the EC Vibro Champs (which is just a 57 Champ with Tremolo and an attenuator switch) at the same time. I found that I could get pretty much the exact same tone out of the tweed Champ that the 73 gave me. The tweed got dirtier than the 73, but you could get all the exact tones of the Silverface out of the tweed. Basically they were redundant so I sold the 73.
     
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  5. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    I’ve never played a Silverface. For me, a lot of the allure of my amp is that everything is in that 1 knob. The volume, drive, everything. I imagine they sound somewhat different due to the size. You mentioned the Princeton. I wouldn’t settle on the silverface without at least trying out the Princeton. I imagine (without any proof whatsoever) that the 57 Champ is “less but better” and the Princeton is “more but better”, and the silverface is probably the lesser of the 3.
     
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  6. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    I was only referring to size of the 69 Champ in comparison to the PR. I'm not looking to compare them in terms of tone. They are very different amps.
     
  7. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    still though, if you’re looking for more than the 1 knob Champ, the Princeton has more than either of the Champs. And if you’re into mostly clean, I imagine the Princeton has A LOT more headroom than either Champ. That’s why I say I’d go for the all out simplicity of the 57 or at least try out the Princeton to see if I like it better than the the Champs. IIRC, there’s not a lot of price difference between the 57 and the Princeton RI
     
  8. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    I have the 64' Custom Hand Wired PR.
     
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  9. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    gotcha. Then I would most likely go with the 57. Not saying those silverfaces are bad, but they’re pretty common pawn shop amps. There’s a reason that tweed amps are so revered and silverfaces are commonly found fairly cheap in pawn shops. That’s just my opinion. If you’ve got a hand wired Princeton and are looking at a 57 tweed, I seriously doubt the silverface will pass muster against either
     
  10. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had the EC Vibrochamp which is basically the 57 with a one-knob trem and a 68 Drip Edge SF at the same time. The 57 is a bit more squat, slightly narrower and maybe a tad less tall.

    You can shoehorn a 10" speaker into the SF Champ (that's what Fender does with the Superchamp) but some 8" speakers won't go in the 57. The frame of the OT actually sits between the spokes of the speaker.
     
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  11. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    What about the tonal differences between the two?
     
  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The 57 is more raw and less headroom with gritty mids . The SF when it breaks up is smoother and more like the bigger BF/SF amps. The clean tone is scooped. Lots more brightness and sparkle.

    The straight cone alnico Weber in the 57 is pleasingly sqwaky.
     
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  13. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Meister

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    1100.00 for a SF Champ!!:eek:
     
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  14. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Check the current listings, US and elsewhere.
     
  15. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    they are $600-$700 on ebay and can commonly be found in pawn shops cheaper than that. I understand you’re paying a little more for being in Canada, but still. I’ve seen them in pawn shops for $250
     
  16. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Add 30% to $700, plus brokerage fees. Ya, that't the reality we're in. $250? Right, like you pull into Jonestown, in Somewhere USA, and Bill's Pawn and Gold on the main street, has a 69', no, wait, an original 57' for $200!! Right. In what reality does that happen?
     
  17. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    A 57? No. But I promise you I’ve seen early-mid 70s, maybe late 60s, in pawn shops for $250-$300 in the past 2-3 years in Myrtle Beach, SC.

    another thing, those $600 to $700 eBay prices are what sellers are ASKING. I don’t see a single one where buyers are bidding to those prices. It’s probably been 2-3 years since I’ve seen them. But still, I wouldn’t consider going above $400-$450 for those silverface Champs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  18. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    e-caps been replaced in the '69? that's extra spending in your near future if you go with it. But, while you or a tech was in there, you could disable/bypass the tone stack & get pretty danged close to a tweed champ.
     
  19. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I replaced the cap can in my 69 Champ recently, and I've been playing it with the treble and bass turned all the way down. Really love the tone that way with a bright Strat. I'm not sure what completely disabling/bypassing the EQ would do.
     
  20. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Meister

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    Not 2 or 300 much anymore but it still happens, there's a buttload of those amps out there and ive owned several myself. There's one on my local CL for 600.00, been on there for months. If, and thats a big IF i wanted a SF Champ, i would stop at 450.00 USD, no romance for these things. I do however wish i woulda kept at least one of the tweeds i had.
     
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