GAS: School me on Champ or Champion Amps please

giogolf

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I want to add a Champ or a Champion to my collection. Some of you will see my reentry into Fender style amps landed me on a 65 DRRI which sounds glorious, but isnt perfect for everyday home use. Some house keeping here: I will never use my equipment outside my house; those days a re long over, the guitar is for my own enjoyment and collection from now on.

So, we have Tweeds, BF, SF, Champion 600's, X2, XD.. so many Champ!! Besides the X series, which really doesn't interest me, are they all similar, or vastly differ in what they do?

I was thinking of building a Mojotone or Boothill 5F1 Tweed, but then came across a few listings for the Champion 600 for what I think is a great deal, based off sold prices on Reverb.

I also thought, if the Champion 600 didnt work out, I could gut the chassis with one of the 2 kits above for a conversion.

Half of me wants to really build something, the other half just wants to get my hands on something to play with immediately.

Last thing: the speakers in these things dont really matter to me if they do not sound good; I have an exterrnal 1x12 cab that I use for my other stuff to eliminate certain sonic variables.
 

Gaz_

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That's a real shame! The only one I really know about it the XD... and I think it's excellent, especially for home use. With the two channels, the "clean" is a classic fender tube clean, crunches up around 7/8 with a tone section and effects.

And then channel 2 is still a tube circuit (someone else will know the ins and outs) but then it comes with the "modelling" side, which I didn't think I'd be interested in, but is easy to use and also sounds pretty damn good, especially at "home" volume.

But I hope you find what you're after!
 

kuch

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I would vote for a BF or SF vibro champ.
Long story but I got my mid 70's SFVC about 10-12 years ago in a trade, the owner just threw it in for free to sweeten a deal. It sat in a corner for years till I finally fired it up and WOW, I love it!!
It's my go to amp for playing at home-the only place I play anymore. I always wanted a reverb unit to go with it but I finally figured out that that was overkill and recently picked up a reverb pedal.
It sounds killer if you ask me.
My backup amp is a 65PRRI.

Catalinbread Topanga Burnside.jpg


A few years ago, I was really obsessed with getting a Fender EC Vibro champ and finally found one used, in mint condition for a "reasonable" price. Others may disagree but no matter how much I tried, I didn't like it. I eventually sold it and if I remember it correctly, that's when I started using my current SFVC.
 

Phrygian77

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Tweed champs have no tone controls. They're very mid forward and sound best with single coils if not just flat out dimed. Blackface Champs and Vibro Champs have a little mid scoop, less gain, and do a better clean than the tweeds. All of those are single ended (single 6V6). They have an 8" speaker and so they have that small cab, small speaker sound.

The Rivera era Super Champ and Champ II are completely different amps based on the Princeton Reverb.
 

giogolf

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I would vote for a BF or SF vibro champ.
Long story but I got my mid 70's SFVC about 10-12 years ago in a trade, the owner just threw it in for free to sweeten a deal. It sat in a corner for years till I finally fired it up and WOW, I love it!!
It's my go to amp for playing at home-the only place I play anymore. I always wanted a reverb unit to go with it but I finally figured out that that was overkill and recently picked up a reverb pedal.
It sounds killer if you ask me.
My backup amp is a 65PRRI.

View attachment 981736

A few years ago, I was really obsessed with getting a Fender EC Vibro champ and finally found one used, in mint condition for a "reasonable" price. Others may disagree but no matter how much I tried, I didn't like it. I eventually sold it and if I remember it correctly, that's when I started using my current SFVC.

That is one sexy verb pedal!

I had a SF Champ about 20 years ago..At the time, being a fulltime musician playing a SF Twin out live, I thought it was total crap.. It cost me $30 and I think I sold it for $40.

Now being much older and not needing anything loud nor playing out every again.. I come to appreciate all flavors of small amps. I will start my quest :)
 

Chiogtr4x

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It ain't a real Champ, but one 6V6, one 12AX7, a Celestion 8" in a nice-looking $120 ( shipped!, ) package. ( price up, since Christmas, when I got mine)
Edit- I should say here that I'd love a real vintage Fender Champ, but the cheapest SF ( not Vibro-Champs) ones are +$500 it seems... So that's why I got the Monoprice


Nice clean detail w/Volume and Tone at NOON, and a crunchy little monster with these knobs cranked ( good R&R/blues breakup)
Volume is surprising, loud enough to gig with if drummer isn't insane!

- my only criticism is power cable is short, so this amp has its own extension
 

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kuch

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That is one sexy verb pedal!

I had a SF Champ about 20 years ago..At the time, being a fulltime musician playing a SF Twin out live, I thought it was total crap.. It cost me $30 and I think I sold it for $40.

Now being much older and not needing anything loud nor playing out every again.. I come to appreciate all flavors of small amps. I will start my quest :)

I know what you mean. In my younger days I wouldn't have been caught dead with a VC. I think that's why there's so many out there in mint condition. They were tucked away in closets and attics because nobody wanted to play them.
As you said, I don't have any need for the heavy artillery amps anymore...

Have fun!
 

schmee

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A basic SF Champ is low priced and good. They can be nasty, I dont know how/what you play at home.
A Vibro Champ is more $ and IMO too much more on the market.
Champs are cathode bias and it is a bit different sound, smooth/transparent. (haha)
I have heard good things about the VHT 6. Not sure about longevity.
 

Vibroluxer

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Since you already have a Fender Deluxe you have an amp with a classic Fender tone. For that reason I wouldn't recommend a BF or a SF Champ.

A tweed Champ is a thing of simple elegance and they aren't all that expensive. I bought a 57 Champ RI for $720 and a Swart 6v6se $775 and I would easy recommend either. You also won't go wrong with Lil Dawg amps. Jim makes a first rate product and if you do a search on lil dawg, you wont find anything hut the very best reviews.

Let us know what you choose.
 

NoTeleBob

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I had a Champion 600 reissue. In the $200 to $250. Fine for home use. No EQ at all, so you need to front end it with something else, pedal, modeler, etc. Even something like a $30 Timmy clone is fine to get EQ. Then you can overdrive it too if you like.

Fairly neutral, especially after you replace the suede that Fender calls grill-cloth. Better with an 8" stuffed in there, but if you have a larger extension as you mention, you're good. It was glorious though a 12".
 

The Angle

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I'll throw in the obligatory plug for the VHT Special 6. It's sort of a deluxe tweed Champ. In addition to the volume knob you get a tone control with a tone cut switch that gives it a more scooped voice, pentode and triode modes, a 10-inch speaker in the combo version, and it's hand-wired so mods are straightforward. They're easy to find used, for about a quarter of what you'd pay for a Fender Champ.
 

giogolf

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Since you already have a Fender Deluxe you have an amp with a classic Fender tone. For that reason I wouldn't recommend a BF or a SF Champ.

A tweed Champ is a thing of simple elegance and they aren't all that expensive. I bought a 57 Champ RI for $720 and a Swart 6v6se $775 and I would easy recommend either. You also won't go wrong with Lil Dawg amps. Jim makes a first rate product and if you do a search on lil dawg, you wont find anything hut the very best reviews.

Let us know what you choose.

Good point.. I should probably clarify how I intend to incorporate this into my rig:

P15R in to my ET90 1x12 cab for Voxy goodness from Petty to U2 sounds
DRRI for BF clean and everything in between with my Pedal board
"Want" Champ like amp to mimic Layla and Rolling Stones tones.

Guitars: Tele, Strat and LP
 

giogolf

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It ain't a real Champ, but one 6V6, one 12AX7, a Celestion 8" in a nice-looking $120 ( shipped!, ) package. ( price up, since Christmas, when I got mine)

Nice clean detail w/Volume and Tone at NOON, and a crunchy little monster with these knobs cranked ( good R&R/blues breakup)
Volume is surprising, loud enough to gig with if drummer isn't insane!

- my only criticism is power cable is short, so this amp has its own extension

This could be interesting
 

Chiogtr4x

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This could be interesting

Everything I buy is cheap, or say, affordable budget ( just never had the $$, but still like an assortment of cool gear)

This amp allows me to do something I could not do with the vintage tube combo amps I used to own ( just too loud IMO):

Turn a tube all the way up & just hear what that really sounds like- cranked/pushed tubes- no OD pedals ( not that I wouldn't use one, I just wanted to hear what that really sounded like)

So it was a curiosity thing ( based on amp popularity/reviews) and its sound does not disappoint.

(Can't comment on how well chassis is put together, or quality of components- I know nothing, other than what I read or hear in reviews)
 

rdjones

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Note that "most" Champs use a 3.2Ω output transformer/speaker arrangement which is quite often expressed as 4Ω.
Just something to be aware of when connecting extension/external speakers, although a mismatch is tolerated. I'd avoid a 16Ω speaker.

I solved this concern on my late CBS Champ with an 8Ω OT.
 

giogolf

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Note that "most" Champs use a 3.2Ω output transformer/speaker arrangement which is quite often expressed as 4Ω.
Just something to be aware of when connecting extension/external speakers, although a mismatch is tolerated. I'd avoid a 16Ω speaker.

I solved this concern on my late CBS Champ with an 8Ω OT.
Yeah, my extension cab with WHS ET90 is 8ohm.. so not horrible but not ideal.. So if I don’t like the pure champ tones ill swap the transformer or buy another speaker
 




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