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Fender Champ questions

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by ebb soul, May 3, 2018.

  1. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    First of it has a 'pyramid phase three' 40 oz 150 watt rated speaker in it.
    Clear plastic cone. This can't be right.
    Chassis #023234. Inside tube tag sez #010386f.
    Can its vintage be intendified?
     
  2. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very underwhelming volume on it. My ac4c1 sounds like a marshall jcm in comparision.
    Tubes? To much speaker?
     
  3. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's

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    First of all, the Pyramid is an audio speaker, not a guitar/musical instrument speaker.

    As for the amp, only a very few can identify it by the chassis number. How about a description, or even better a picture of it.
     
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  4. Darkness

    Darkness Tele-Afflicted

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    Silverface? Blackface? Tweed?
     
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  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    20180503_135926.jpg
     
  6. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is there no dating for these things? Orignal or second owner got it in early 90s, used.
     
  7. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    It's a 70s, similar to mine. You can get dates from the transformers, I think.

    http://www.superiormusic.com/page195.htm

    And yeah, that speaker ain't right. But there could be lots of other reasons it doesn't sound good. It shouldn't sound like a marshall or VOX, however.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just sold my '72. They can be fun, but they are a nasty little amp even with a good speaker. SO dont expect cleans out of it except marginally in the bedroom.
     
  9. William Pugh

    William Pugh Tele-Meister

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    So true. But SOOOO much fun!
     
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  10. Booman

    Booman Tele-Holic

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    Looks to be '78 or'79 by the badge.
     
  11. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    Looks just like my old '76 Champ. I had a love/hate relationship with mine. Which turned into a hate/hate relationship.

    It was my first "real" amp after I started playing guitar in the late 70s. Once I got in a band though, I needed more volume but never had enough money to buy a bigger amp, so I always borrowed one from a friend for gigs and practice. Then I'd come home and have to play through my Champ and I came to despise it. So boring sounding to me, even with pedals. The speaker was lame, it had no volume to speak of, it was gutless, and had no cool stuff like reverb or tremolo.

    Finally after I got a decent amp, I sold the Champ. When I did a side by side with another Fender amp (which shall remain nameless), there was no comparison. The Champ is just too small in every way to me - too boxy sounding, not dynamic, not enough guts, very "one note" to me.

    Maybe Clapton can get a Champ to come alive, but I'm no Clapton. I don't miss it a bit. But I love hearing that other people get enjoyment and appreciation out of them - I just have no idea how or why.
     
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  12. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    the speaker is a car audio woofer MIC from the late 80's. So that needs to be changed.
     
  13. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's my '71. It is dated and signed inside. Looks a lot like yours. Note the sliding on/off switch.

    [​IMG]

    Bob
     
  14. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    The original speakers were 3.2 ohms. I don't know if anyone makes that anymore, but you definitely want to use a 4 ohm, not 8 ohm, speaker.
     
  15. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it's original and never been to a tech, it likely needs all the electro caps replaced, the big cap can under the chassis and three small caps on the board. That will help it sound like it should. That's the bad news.

    The good news is for another 20 years that and a decent speaker will return value to the amp. Judicious sponging with clean soapy water will clean the grille cloth and non silicon furniture polish will restore black lustre to the Naugahide. It's a $300-350 amp all day long in good nick.

    Weber signature alnico or ceramic 4ohm ribbed cone speaker works great in these and is very cheap.

    A good SF Champ is basically clean BF tone until about 6-7 with single coils, then it starts going Tweedy. That's usually too loud for comfortable living room late night playing. Not quite loud enough for a band, but micc'd up, brilliant. I used my 5F1 that way.
     
  16. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's

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    I have to agree, a cap job is probably due.

    There are a couple speakers I would recommend.

    First would be a Weber CVA8, it's a very nice copy of the CTS 8" Alnico speaker. ($5 less at CME & Free shipping compared to Weber.)

    For a ceramic, the WGS G8C. A wonderful sounding and loud speaker, designed and built with Champ style amps in mind. (MF is the same price, but free shipping as WGS.)

    The CVA8 is a less sensitive speaker, much like the original. It's a little warmer toned than the G8C. The G8C is louder (a little more headroom for cleans), a little brighter and crisp sounding, but not ice picky. Both have good low end for 8" speakers, especially the G8C. The G8C is more BF/SF style, while the CVA8 is more of a tweed style.
     
  17. ExiledonMainSt

    ExiledonMainSt Tele-Meister

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    I couldn't disagree more. I've had three of them, for some reason I always sell them and then instantly regret it. The last and best one was a '72 with a pine cabinet, and a Weber Sig 8 alnico speaker. That thing just ripped when cranked; honestly one of the best-sounding amp overdrives I've heard, and it sounded great clean too - like a mini-Princeton. Yes, you need to mic it live, but I've gotten way more mileage out of Champs at shows than anyone has a right to. Speaker, tubes, and tuneup can make or break these.

    For the op, first advice is to toss the current speaker. Weber, WGS and others have 8" speakers that kick the **** out of anything offered for these amps back in the day. Then take it to a good tech for a checkup; as others have mentioned, it's probably way overdue for a cap job.
     
  18. elektricwarrior

    elektricwarrior TDPRI Member

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    It's the single ended design that makes Champ shine. And the healhty Oxford EV8 or WGS g8c. Push-pull amps sound always a bit disapoìnting after Champ.
     
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  19. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Didn’t Clapton use a Tweed Champ for Layla and such? And in the studio?
     
  20. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    ^^^^yep.

    The only thing the same is the name. Well, the tubes sure,but - different circuit/different tone.

    I had a great late 70’s champ that had been through the wringer but was phenomenal - and had the original speaker with a bad repair and it still kicked it out .

    But, by far the best champ I ever played was a 59 at Elderly. Everything I ever heard about them was confirmed with that thing . I think it succeeded in what it was designed to do better than a 59 Vibrolux I had.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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