GC Black Friday Champ 600 vs ?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by onenotetom, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

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    On sale for $149 plus 15% coupon = $127 plus 8.9% tax. This deal gets me thinking so I start to research. The research shows that it needs at least a new speaker and tubes so another $60 or so. Now with tax we are around $200.

    I can build a 5f1 for $250. Bugera has their BC15 with 8" speaker for $129 shipped. Their V5 is $199 shipped. The V5 is an el84 amp, has an 8" speaker and reverb. It sounds good in the reviews. I am sure there are other options as well.

    I will probably do nothing now and eventually build the 5f1. Comments?
     
  2. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    If you are able to build you can do as good of a job as a C600. Plus you can put in an 8" speaker right away, as well as tubes of choice, rather than waste the time correcting the C600s shortcomings.

    Having said that I have one, and like it! I only changed tubes, and it made a difference.
     
  3. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Champion 600 is good for those who are wanting to lean how to mod, but do have some electronics experience, i.e., know how to read schematics and soldier. I got mine with the intent to mod it, but I got mine used and it came with a second PCB. I also got mine used for about 1/3 the cost of a new one. I did the full 5F1 mod to the PCB, made my own 8" speaker baffle with real grill cloth and swapped in some better modern production tubes. Sounds really good, very similar to a 5F1. Was it worth it, monetarily wise no, but I don't get gear or mod it for the money, I do it because of the enjoyment I get from doing it.

    To me, any low to mid level amp is going to need something doe to it to fit my taste. Most large production amps manufacturers skimp on tubes and speakers. So I usually give them a little time to break in and I figure out which way I want to go (unlike my AC15C1, I played the ones in the stores and a friends so much, I knew which way I wanted to go with it). Speakers swaps, tubes and if applicable, reverb tanks, are really mods, the change with the turn of a few screws and/or a plug or two. New tones and character that easy. These things can go back stock, if you decide to sell it. With the C600, making a speaker baffle, recovering it with new grill cloth, a speaker and new tubes aren't really mods, as they are temporary parts swaps, as they can go back stock. Those other amps will most likely require the same parts swaps, as they are cheap amps too.

    Building your own 5F1 can be done for about that price, but that would be skimping or really shopping very frugally. Rarely do I find builds like this to come in on budget, there are all the little nickle and dime things that add up. Big thing here is you better have some decent electronics skills and the tools to do the work. I have a speaker cab I build awaiting Tolex, grill cloth and hardware, along with a couple of other cabs that need little parts. They all work, but each needs the little things, which I have to get together another parts order to finish off.

    I love the work I've done on the stuff i build and have gotten good results. My latest build still has some trouble shooting to be done, I just have to get the time to do it now. With the holidays it may be a while, but I look forward to finishing it. Once you start building gear, it seems you always need something, to finish it or tweak it, but its all fun.
     
  4. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

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    Points well taken. My 5f1 budget does not include the cabinet as I have enough left over from my 5e3 build to make a cabinet. I also do not have a problem with the mods it is just that the original attractive price gets me into other options.

    Someone just posted on the other GC thread that the Blackstar HT-1 non reverb is on sale for $99.
     
  5. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Madjack pretty much said it, but if you spend enough time on the internet, every amp made today needs a new speaker and tubes. The people who play more and read less just don't know it. :)

    I bought one of the 600s during the first run when they closed them out for $99 figuring I was going to do a bunch of mods to it just for fun, but I played it for quite awhile stock. When I did put a new speaker and grill cloth on it there was an improvement in as much as what I like, but I also almost always want a more efficient speaker in small amps because I like to play louder and cleaner at home. Ultimately I stopped there, and realized that the amp really wasn't that bad stock (especially for what it is, and the price) and eventually sold it for what I had into it. I suspect that the other amps you mentioned would pretty much need the same upgrades.

    I ended up buying a 5F2A kit from TDPRI vendor Fallsrockshop earlier this month when they had their sale and it's a big improvement over the budget 5 watt amps, especially since it has a larger cabinet than a tweed Champ and could fit a 10" speaker.
     
  6. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think Guitar Center will honor the 15% off on a sale item.
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The Black Friday disease is eating your brain!!

    1) Buy a cheap amp and spend more money making it pretty good, but not cheap.
    2) Build a great amp that's exactly how you want it.
    3) Get caught up thinking about all the other cheap amps on sale that you could spend more money on making pretty good.
     
  8. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

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    Exactly! Thanks for the reality check.

    Ultimately I will probably follow milocj and build a 5f2a as that is what I probably will be the most happy with.

    Easier to sit here in my chair, surf the internet, and ask questions that I already have the answer to.:lol: Hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have an old 5f1 built by Kendrick, and am very interested in finding or building a 5f2a.
    The 5f1 is in a little head box, and I can't seem to make up my mind about a 1x10 or 1x12 combo cab.
    Some nice pine sits drying, and the dovetail jig sits waiting...

    Plenty of cabs around to plug into, but it seems like a 1x10 would best utilize the small amp factor.
    But it sounds great through a Celestion Gold, and the only 10" Gold I have is in a Brown Princeton.

    I should sell the Prince with a Jensen and make a 1x10 combo cab for the 5f1/ Gold.
    OTOH I have some nice early 70s CTS tens, and some really tight big magnet 60s Brown Jensen tens.

    How to decide!!!

    Luxury problems,

    Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  10. beachbreak

    beachbreak TDPRI Member

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    I've been listening to alot of the stock vs. mod Youtube videos relating to the Champion 600. I honestly like the tone of the stock amp when it is barely on the verge of breakup more than the modified ones. To my ears it has a very old timey, Robert Johnson type of sound. The mods bring it more into the "modern blues sounding" realm, at least to my ears. I kind of like the bassman sounding "tone stack" which is removed in some of the mods.

    Anyway, I wanted a smaller amp for den playing so I first ordered the VOX AC4TV Mini but cancelled the order before it shipped. The gain sounded too buzzy to my ears with the breakup occuring too early at lower volumes. I then ordered the Champion 600 from MF, $149 free shipping. Can't wait to receive it and play.
     
  11. tombm3

    tombm3 Tele-Holic

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    Best of all tweeds ?

    Just noticed a decent looking amp that might be able to satisfy all your low power tweed urges.

    Tweed Royal

    Not sure if it's a "great" price but I love the concept.
     
  12. beachbreak

    beachbreak TDPRI Member

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    Got the Champ 600 today. That was the sweetest $149 I ever spent. Such a sweet tone. My tele sings with this thing. It's more of a clean sounding small amp. I'm not in love with the breakup but it sounds beautiful when it's on the verge. Very quiet amp as well, not in terms of volume but noise. Might be awesome with a tasty overdrive pedal in front.
     
  13. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Anyone ever build one of these?
    It is an interesting amp, I'd live to hear from anyone who has built and played this amp.
     
  14. strat1

    strat1 TDPRI Member

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    The Champion 600 is a good bedroom or practice amp. I spent a good deal of time with different speakers. The were:

    1) Stock - sounded ok clean, but ratty at higher volumes
    2) Weber Signature ceramic - Aggressive and crunchy, changed the amp sound dramatically
    3) Jensen Mod 6 - Sounded like the stock speaker, slightly tighter sound
    4) Weber Signature Alnico 6 (fully ribbed) - Best sounding speaker, kept the original sound but much tighter and sweeter.

    I also changed the speaker grille cloth which helped a lot and added the Tungsol 6V6 and 12AX7. With the Weber Alnico, this was the perfect combination.
     
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