Fender Champ Reissue Review - I Hate It

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by overlook1977, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    Not to threadjack, hopefully this is an enhancement...

    How big are the cabs? What speakers are you using? Pine? Hardwood? Closed or open?

    Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  2. teleman1

    teleman1 Friend of Leo's

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    And you should know 17 & 1/2 X 16 & 1/2 X 11 & 1/4 deep approx 1/2 inch thick wood.. I bought a small 1x12 speaker, made it a ten, then made it an 8 and it sounded fantastic. So I had a wood working friend copy the dimensions. So, a 57 champ has its own sound, don't mess with that. but to expand, just connect that cab with your choice of 8 inch speaker and rock;4 ohms. PM me your phone numbers, I will text a pic.
     
  3. vintageampz

    vintageampz Tele-Meister

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    Jesus, if you're gonna buy a Champ, get a REAL one and not a "Pretender"! Late 70's Silver Face Champs can be had for a $K ! Not that much difference in sound to a 50's tweed or a 60's Black Face.

    Mine, wouldn't trade for anything! .... except a 50's Gibson GA series, cleaner than Champ and more mellow breakup.

    1963 "Transition Champ" (VERY Rare)
    Fender 63-4 Champ Black Tweed front.jpg
    Fender 63-4 Champ Black Tweed panel.jpg
    1965 Champ (not a reissue)
    Fender Champ 1965.JPG
    1967 Champ (silver face)
    1967 Fender Champ Silver Face.jpg
    1967 Vibro Champ (silver face) best year from Silver Face Champs, but expensive $2700 to $3200 if minty.
    1967 Fender Vibro Champ Silver Face.jpg

    1959 Gibson GA-8 (8 watts) Gibsonette aka Les Paul Model. The ONLY 50's amp that sounds better than a 50's/60's Fender Champ. You can find these for under a $Grand USD. Gibson used Jensens and JBL's
    1959 GA-8 Gibsonette front sml.jpg

    1959 GA-8 Gibsonette back.jpg

    1959 Gibson GA-9T (Tremolo) "Discoverer", as wonderful as above GA-8 but 9-10 watts.
    1959 GA-9T Gibson Discoverer frt.jpg
     
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  4. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    So, you can return it can't you ?
     
  5. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    I had the opportunity to play through a couple of small tweeds years ago when they could be bought at a reasonable figure. A Champ and a Deluxe, as I recall, and these were two of my least favorite amps at the time. Both were owned by someone who, I feel certain, had them in fine condition and my reaction was that they sounded "flubby" and indistinct.
    I have heard a few larger ones and liked those. Don't know which models they were, except for the Bassman, and on that point I have to agree with Merle Haggard that it's one of the best guitar amps ever made.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  6. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got a Pignose from the 80s or 90s and have used it quite a bit and gotren usable sounds. Yes you can get a clean sound if you keep the amp volume below 50% and back off on your guitars volume knob.
    20210119_010039.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  7. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Afflicted

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    I have 1 year old '57 Champ clone and really like it a lot. You can get clean sounds maybe up to 4 on the amps volume knob if you also lower your guitar's volume. But where the amp really excels is where it just starts to breakup and to mild breakup. My favorite settings are at 8 or 9 on the amp's volume with a Tele and add guitar volume to taste, but it sounds good all the way up to 12. 20210112_005145.jpg 20210112_005128.jpg 20210112_005159.jpg
     
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  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It depends on the speaker. The OEM (a Jensen C10R) IS crap. But I put a Celestion Greenback 10 in mine, and it was awesome. I also tried a Weber C10N copy (because Jensen doesn't make a C10N anymore), and it was very good, I just preferred the Greenback. That being said, I now own a PRRI with a 12" Celestion Cream Alnico, and I couldn't be happier with the little amp. It's a home amp to be sure- a clean-platform amp, if you will. I wouldn't gig with it unless it was a mellow gig requiring only clean/clean-ish tones. But it sounds great, it sounds big, and small amps can be cool... but not the stock PRRI lol... especially when fender ships them biased so low.
     
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  9. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    Everytime I see a Pignose I'm just drawn to it. A cultural R&R thing ( as a kid of the '70's learning to play- a few of my friends had them)

    And I actually kind of gravitate towards a dynamic sound ( with guitar Volume knob) that rides between clean and dirty.
    It's a sound I can work with ( along with pickups/selector) for just about anything I may play.

    * plus I dig small amps! So maybe a 2021 purchase up the road
     
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  10. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Agreed. A 12" speaker is my first mod to a Princeton. They sound great with a 12. All these other little amps sound like old transistor radios to me.
     
  11. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Afflicted

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    They still make 'em new for about $125. Don't know if the new ones sound as good as the older ones. Go try one out in a store!
     
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  12. Shnook

    Shnook Tele-Meister

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    I have a 1959 Tweed Champ that I just adore. It has a lovely warm clean tone. The trick with these amps is to keep the volume around 4 for cleans. Anything over that for me sounds awful. But some folks love it. If you want to be a ‘crank it up’ player use your guitars volume knob and see what that does for you.
     
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  13. Jazzerstang

    Jazzerstang Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah. A tweed champ is a you either love or hate it kind of amp.

    I made a Mojotone one. Followed the directions exactly and had an amp very similar sounding as you describe. I would be lying if I said that I liked it.

    it wasn’t until I put a couple of 100uf ceramic caps across the volume pot. It completely opened up the amp and now I can’t get enough of it.

    sidenote: I have now made a couple of amps from Mojotone. I will make my amps from now on.
     
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  14. teleman1

    teleman1 Friend of Leo's

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    TRUE! Except, there is a variety of tubes to alter it. Some tweeds of the same circuit will have more headroom. But all in all they are doing that tweed thing which you can't leave until you step into a black or silver face. A good 5e3 should have crazy dynamics not just OD joy. Have you ever had OD joy? I have.
     
  15. Tele Plucker

    Tele Plucker Tele-Meister

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    Well I may be comparing apples to oranges, but here’s my two cents worth.

    I have a 1959 Tweed Champ that I absolutely love. But I don’t use it without a couple of aids.

    Either an Empress Effects Para EQ or an old MXR ten band, plus either my Vintage MXR DynaComp or a newer Barber Tone press.



    C9D389D9-D64D-427D-B5ED-B615E98184DC.jpeg

    IMHO, it seems quite reasonable to expect an amp without a tone control to need some other source for EQ. And again, in my opinion, a compressor helps tame the response.

    I’m guessing that when Clapton recorded the Layla sessions with a tweed champ it has some assistance.

    Good luck.
     
  16. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I haven't read this whole thread, so maybe this was discussed, but:

    The originals of all these tweed "reissues" fender has done over the years... Twin, Bassman, Deluxe.... all had 12AY7s in V1 correct? And all the reissues have 12AX7s I believe? That's quite a difference in one of these older tweed circuits. I know it's an easy swap of course, but I saw so many people camping the old ones to the new ones who dod not even know about V1. Then of course there's the old vs new speaker issue.

    I always thought, if you got a 57 Deluxe reissue, put a 12AY7 in V1 and a hemp cone speaker in there (they sound older/warmer out of the box), I bet it would be alot closer to the sound of an old one.
     
  17. Joe D.

    Joe D. TDPRI Member

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    The 5F1 V1 is a 12AX7 where a Deluxe 5E3 has the 12AY7 as V1.

    I have a '59 Champ I bought about 20 years ago without a speaker. I put in a Weber Sig and had that in there till last year when I replaced it with a Fat Jimmy C825. That change made a world a difference, no longer was it boxy and the speaker brought out the highs unlike the Weber.

    Also, the tubes play a big part in the 5F1, any good old 12AX7 and 6V6 are going to kick the butt of the modern tubes. Though it not a preamp tube the 5Y3 needs to be a NOS or used vintage tube.

    I know the OP returned the amp, but I believe in speaker break in, too late now.
     
  18. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I had a SF Champ and it was good. Not incredible, but a good practice amp. Then I got a lightly used EC Vibro Champ. It sounded exactly like the SF Champ on about 7 or 8 on the dial. So I sold the SF. I kept the EC VC for a while but I ran into an issue where if I ran it cranked at rehearsal, the band would give me crap for being too loud. And it was loud but not in a great way - no lows at all. And it wasn't robust enough to gig with. So I traded it.

    I see the prices that the EC Champs are going for right now and I'm absolutely floored that anyone would pay hundreds more than they were brand new just 4 years ago. It was nice, but it was basically a studio amp. And I'm not a studio player so it was essentially a toy for me.
     
  19. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

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    The newer 57 Custom Champ comes with a 12AY7. Tried several new production and old stock 12AX7's and 12AY7's. I definitely prefer the AY7's in my amp. A NOS GE12AY7 is in it now. I haven't changed the OE Weber sig speaker but it is well broken in and sounds great to me. Newness is long gone now but I still marvel at the fullness and depth of sound that comes out of that tiny amp! Of the 9 amps I have kept, the two amps I plug into and enjoy the most are the 57 Custom Champ and a wonderful 74 SFSR! The Fender amps I seem to play the least are my minty 74 SFDR and 74 SFVC. Go figure!
     
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  20. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Remind me again the difference between a 12AY7 and a 12AX7 in V1? I remember reading it once, but can't remember which was which.
     
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