Fender Super Champ X2 or XD?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by finnplayer, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. finnplayer

    finnplayer TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    I had set out a while ago to buy a SCX2 at my local store and they have been on order for several weeks. In the meantime I bought a nice used SCXD and am liking it quite a bit. I bought it at Guitar Center and can return it as I'm still within 30 days of purchase.

    Now the store calls and has a SCX2 for me if I want it. What would you do - keep the XD or go for the X2? I know the X2 has even more features with the Fuse software, but I don't really care about that. The main deal is the X2would be new with a warranty :cool:

    Thanks for your advice,

    Doug
     
  2. celeste

    celeste Friend of Leo's

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    Personally, I like the X2 way more the the XD. With the X2 if your signal processing board fails (which has proven to be more reliable then the XD's) you still have a useful amp, because there is a signal path that does not include the processing board. With the X2, you can make your own model patches, tweak the existing ones and share with others.

    With the XD, you get an amp with a processing board that is of questionable reliability, that if it fails is not really repairable, which renders the amp unuseable without some major surgery making a new preamp for it, or plugging your pedal board into the FX return. While the amp is working as it should, there is no all tube signal path, everything that comes in the input goes through the processing board. The models on the processing board are all you get, and they can not be changed or modified.

    Did I mention I like X2 better, I think it is just a better thought out package
     
  3. finnplayer

    finnplayer TDPRI Member

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    Celeste,

    Thanks for your input.

    I went and checked out the SCX2, I do like them but not enough to fork out another $150 over the $200 I have in my XD (I thought the store would give me a better price on the X2). I was able to get a 1 yr. warranty on my used XD from Guitar Center. I know I run the risk of the XD crapping out and having an unuseable amp on my hands, but at least I have some protection.

    The XD I bought seems barely used so I would think it's got quite a bit of life left in it. The more I play the XD the more I really, really like it :D

    That said, my dream amp right now is a '65 Princeton Reverb RI - I tried one and they sound fantastic with my Tele. So I'll play the XD for a while until I can swing a Princeton....
     
  4. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd keep the XD. I was thinking about "upgrading", but after playing my friend's X2 I'm not so sure its an upgrade at all. Channel 1 sounds the same but I wasn't that impressed with the new channel 2. I purchased a spare XD when they were blowing them out for $199 instead. YMMV, as always.
     
  5. burtonfan

    burtonfan Tele-Afflicted

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    Finnplayer

    Good choice in the XD. I bought one used on ebay last year with no warranty (obviously) and have used it more than I ever imagined. I'm no fan of USB, software, digital tone-tweaking, or any of the other fancy features on these overly complex digital quagmires. I'm extremely old school so the XD alone was a big leap for me...the X2 takes a perfectly useable "modern" amp a little too far for an old dog like me. That being said...

    My XD has performed flawlessly in the last year and I've even started gigging with it. I know nothing of the circuit configuration gobbeldygook the other poster mentioned (although he may be absolutely correct), I'm just a guitar player. The XD has performed flawlessly for me. I'm sorry they stopped making them because if mine crashed, I'd buy another.

    G'luk!
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS Friend of Leo's

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    Look in the Amp Owner's Forum for the Super Champ XD. 'Nuff said.
     
  7. finnplayer

    finnplayer TDPRI Member

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    Thanks very much for the feedback all. I did venture over to XD Owner's Forum and there is tons of love for this little gem. I'm going to just enjoy mine :!:
     
  8. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Regarding the warranty, a couple years ago a friend who had purchased his XD used from GC had trouble with the amp. He called Fender and they honored the warranty and sent him a new one. He did have to take it to an authorized Fender servicer first, tho. If you have trouble, you might give it a try.
     
  9. acoustic rob

    acoustic rob Tele-Holic

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    Since you already have the XD, I think you're doing the right thing by keeping it and saving towards a PRRI.
     
  10. lareplus

    lareplus Tele-Afflicted

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    keep it. . .it's a good amp, save your money for a big change if you ever want a different amp. .
     
  11. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

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    I too am one of many, many happy SCXD owners. It may not be the best guitar amp on planet earth, but nobody seems to have been able to come up with a better sounding amp for the same price - at least when it comes to the clean channel.

    There is an SCX2 thread here on TDPRI which hasn't taken off the way the original SCXD thread did. Though it's still early days to draw firm conclusions, it seems to me that the SCX2 isn't as popular as its predecessor was when new.

    Additionally, there are several SCXD owners who bought SCX2's expecting improved sound - and then ended up returning the SCX2's because they found that (in their opinions) the SCX2 sounded worse, not better.
    Well, there you go! Did you know that the SCXD seems to be essentially half Fender GDEC (the digital modelling solid-state preamp part), and half Fender Princeton (the tube part)?

    Yes, it's true - this "cheap" amp, the SCXD, shares most of its tube power amp design with your dream amp - the '65 Princeton Reverb! Don't take my word for it, go to the Fender website, go to the support section, download the official Fender schematics for the SCXD and '65 PRRI, compare the power amp sections in both schematics, and see for yourself. The real Princeton does have better transformers and a few other small differences, but the SCXD tube amp is very, very similar.

    On the SCXD's clean channel it seems we can hear that shared Princeton DNA, which is probably why this amp's clean tones are so good. On channel 2, on the other hand, you hear a good bit of the sound of a GDEC, and that is why the channel 2 sounds are not as popular as the channel 1 sounds, though some people do enjoy them.

    When it comes to the new SCX2, it looks as though it might be half Fender Mustang (instead of GDEC) and half Fender Princeton. The Princeton part will presumably sound as good as it ever did, so the clean channel can be expected to be as good as the SCXD's.

    The Mustang preamp in the SCX2, on the other hand, is definitely an acquired taste. If you like the Fender Mustang amps, you'll probably like the SCX2. If, like me, you're not a fan of the Mustangs, you'll probably like the SCXD's channel 2 sounds better than the SCX2's.

    I've had my SCXD for a couple of years now, and still enjoy channel 1 every time I turn the amp on. I've never been a fan of the channel 2 sounds, though some are certainly usable.

    But if I was looking for a new Fender amp today, I'd be considering the new Fender Excelsior, a Blues Junior, or, if I was feeling reckless about spending money, the '65 Princeton Reverb.

    The SCX2 would definitely not be on my short list. At best it does not sound any better than the SCXD, and there is a growing body of opinion that maybe it actually sounds worse on channel 2.

    -Gnobuddy
     
  12. Scott57

    Scott57 Tele-Meister

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    I personally prefer the SCXD so I believe you made the correct choice. In addition, the comments about how the new model X2 has "proven" reliablity over the XD is beyond my scope of reasoning. Besides, I don't recall ever hearing of a SCXD board going bad althought I'm sure they could.
     
  13. Ramjet

    Ramjet TDPRI Member

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    XD not reliable? - I have played over 50 gigs, and even more practices with mine in the last two years with no problems. I do strongly suggest changing to an Eminence Ramrod though if you plan on gigging with this amp.
     
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  14. burtonfan

    burtonfan Tele-Afflicted

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    I love my XD. I've never had any problems.
     
  15. iowacarver

    iowacarver Tele-Meister

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    I absolutely love the SC X2, I think it's an awesome amp for Fender cleans. I am not into distortion stuff so I don't bother with that but the channel one clean tube side is an awesome sounding amp to me. Kicks butt all over my Blues Jr. The tweed and black face models are great as well in my opinion. Sound worse than SCXD on channel two.. hard to believe. As good as channel one is, I can get the channel two side to sound as good as channel one clean and dirt it up if I want as well. The Princeton, Deluxe and Twin and the rest of the tweed models all sound awesome and you can create some great sounds with them. The solid state Jazzmaster model makes a great acoustic amp. Don't really care about the metal stuff. I am sure the XD is just as good, but the X2 worse.. I have a hard time believing that.

    Corey
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  16. whiteop

    whiteop Tele-Afflicted

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    My XD sounds great. Great little amp for the money and it's a tube amp, has effects and 16 voicings which makes it even better
     
  17. losergeek

    losergeek Tele-Afflicted

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    This is the first I've heard of this, can anyone confirm it? It's my understanding that from a design standpoint the XD and X2 are basically the same, but the X2 has the ability to update the presets. Both amps have a channel which doesn't use the 'voices' but I believe the consensus was that the XD still uses the preamp (which is digital) for this channel so I wouldn't expect the X2 to be any different. I believe the only way to bypass the 'digital' portion is to do the 'effects loop mod' which has been documented elsewhere on this board....but again, I'd have no reason to think this is different between the XD and X2.

    Otherwise, consensus on the board seems to be that the X2 is better if you want to tweak but that people seem to like the stock voices on the XD better if you don't want to tweak. Personally, I have a VCXD for home playing, and I wouldn't pay any extra to have access to the fuse software - the whole point of the amp for me is that it's a simple modeller - gives me lots of variety without needing to spend hours fiddling around to get the perfect sound as I did with my last modelling amp (yamaha dg60fx)
     
  18. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

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    Dunno about consensus, but some things are not decided by majority vote. This is one of them - the fact is that you're right, consensus or not!

    I can tell you for a fact that SCXD preamp (both analog and digital parts of it) is used on both channels (clean and drive). Anyone who can read an amp schematic can verify this from the official Fender SCXD schematic.

    What we don't know for sure is exactly what the DSP (digital stuff) is doing when it comes to the clean channel. We know for sure that the tone controls and effects are all implemented in DSP, and it's probably also doing other things as well, such as EQ/voicing which is traditionally done with resistors and caps in a tube amp. The big question is whether the DSP is also attempting to fake tube "warmth" on the clean channel, or not.

    Whatever it's doing is fairly subtle, though, because we can hear the "tubey" character of the amp on the clean channel, it's not hidden by whatever the DSP is doing. Usually digitally faked tube distortion seems to sound harsh and nasty, and we're not hearing that on the SCXD clean channel, so my guess is the DSP is not actually trying to fake any tube distortion at all on the clean channel, and what we're hearing really does come from the tubes in the amp.

    That's probably why almost everyone likes the clean channel on the SCXD, but the drive channel is an aquired taste - some like it, some are indifferent, some hate it.

    There is as yet no official schematic for the SCX2, and I don't have one of these newer amps, so we can only guess as to how similar it is to the SCXD. My guess - and it's only a guess, not a certainty - is that all the engineers did was use the firmware from the Mustang amps in the digital part of the SCX2 preamp, and add just enough hardware changes to support the changes (LCD display, USB interface, possibly a more powerful DSP chip, etc).

    -Gnobuddy
     
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  19. JohnS

    JohnS Friend of Leo's

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    Makes sense.
     
  20. xdaddict

    xdaddict NEW MEMBER!

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    XD or X2 ? Had an X2 very tweekable but ALWAYS sounds like a modeller/Pod/Line 6.
    The sound of the XD especially into a 2 X 12 cab, blows you away! So real, open and airy, not artificial and compressed to death! The pre-amp tube IS used in the XD sound signal path and the power amp section is 6V6 Princeton circuit based. As to repair on an XD , its easy for a good tech to put all problems straight, tons of tech web tips on simple general faults. For my money the XD will be sort after for many years by discerning muso`s. I`ve gigged XD`s via 2x12 (large pub/small hall)and it copes fine, sounds great!!
     
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