Give me ideas for my Champ 600 conversion/ Mods... please

giogolf

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So, I acquired a Champion 600 for next to nothing and I want to play around with it to make it my own.. I sent it to James Engineering LLC in Georgia to do the work for me.

What Im having do regardless is as follows: 1. rewire it to a turret board and remove all the PCB's. 2. Swap the tranny to convert it to 8ohm.
My plan is to make this a head only to use with my WGS et90 12" speaker and my other cab with a Weber California 10"

What I need help on is, what should I do sound/ mod wise?
Should I have him add a tone knob?
Make it a minnie 5F1 minus the rectifier tube?
Make it a minnie franken 5f2 with a tone control?

This is strictly for home/ studio playing only; I will never play out... So choose your suggestions accordingly please.

I have a 65 DRRI which is great but may sell because its to loud, so should I aim for cleaner pedal friendly 5f2 or something? I will rely on OD pedals for grit as it will be rare for me to be able to crank it to get tube distortion..

Tell me Im crazy or guide me towards the light because I am all over the map hear :)
 

allesz

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Can't really tell about the different champ versions.
But for home use is nice to have a tone control.
At full volume It would be a different story.
 

giogolf

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Can't really tell about the different champ versions.
But for home use is nice to have a tone control.
At full volume It would be a different story.
Does a tone control only work on this at certain volumes?

Does adding a tone control make it more like a 5f2 wiring?
 

radiocaster

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No, it's based om the Blackface/Slverface, you can easily add a two or three band. For a single tone control you have to mod more.
 

giogolf

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No, it's based om the Blackface/Slverface, you can easily add a two or three band. For a single tone control you have to mod more.
How would I convey this to my amp builder? Like this?

1. Replace all PCB to turret
2. Convert from 4 ohm to 8 ohm
3. Add Treb/ Mid/ Bass control or just (Treb/Bass)

Do I have him leave the 2 inputs or just keep the High instrument input?

Thanks
 

radiocaster

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How would I convey this to my amp builder? Like this?

1. Replace all PCB to turret
2. Convert from 4 ohm to 8 ohm
3. Add Treb/ Mid/ Bass control or just (Treb/Bass)

Do I have him leave the 2 inputs or just keep the High instrument input?

Thanks
image.png
 

radiocaster

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I suggested the eq because it would be the easiest if you don't remove the pc board. If you remove it, then you are working from zero. You could just build a Marshall preamp into it or whatever.

You can put whatever you want in there, but even if you spend $1000, it won't be worth more than $300-400 (probably not that much) max if you want to sell it.
 
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archetype

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If I were me, I wouldn't go through with all those plans just because I've got a husk of a C600. All you're reusing is the tubes and possibly the transformers.

Buy or build a 5F2A. It can be tuned to be cleaner if you're driving it with a GritPedal.

You can convert a coffee table into a battleship, but it's easier and cheaper to just build a battleship in the first place.
 

VintageSG

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Replace the grille cloth with something that passes sound, not wind.
Basic service.
Add an external speaker jack.
Buy a VHT Special 6/Ultra head and a decent 10" or 12" cab, equipped with the driver of your choice.

Diamante encrusted coproliths aside, the VHT option gives you what you want. An EQ pedal fills the rest.
 

bottlenecker

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It sounds like you're just building an amp. I'm not sure what a champion 600 has to do with it.
Personally, I would keep it a champ. Build a tweed champ clone in it, fine. But absolutely keep a speaker in it, even if it's plugged into a cab most of the time. The most eq I would consider is a tweed princeton style single tone control. Anything more and it just doesn't make sense in a c600.
 

Powdog

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To take advantage of the circuit upgrade you might think about squeezing an 8” speaker in there. You’ll have to modify the baffle and move the output transformer. The stock 6” speaker is pretty awful.
 

Powdog

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If you really want a tone control and don’t want to drill an extra hole in the chassis you can use a stacked potentiometer.
 

giogolf

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I am really surprised that a majority of you say to keep it stock... I honestly didn't see that coming.

I basically got the amp for free in my acoustic guitar acquisition. Its sounds ok, a bit to muddy maybe. Also the volume control spins in circles but some how works ( so that needs to be replaced)

In another thread about these amps here; when the Volume pot goes south the suggestion was to just convert out the controls PCB to a wired version for easier future repair and minimal cost over just sourcing a volume pot that fits the PCB so I was really thinking of just converting it to a 5F1 at that point.


So how about this, I leave the circuit as is and just swap the 2 PCBs to Turret boards and leave it 4 ohm and put an 8" speaker in it and call it day?
 

mexicanyella

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If it works now, and there’s no definite sonic benefit to converting to turret boards, why not do a speaker swap to address the muddy issue, install an extension speaker jack to give further non-muddy options, and then call it a day?

Your investment remains low, and you have a fun little portable tube amp.

Once you start talking about sending it off for work, and reworking the circuit, and changing it in major ways to facilitate easier future repairs...that sounds to me like an argument that applies more readily to a high-end “investment amp.” My understanding of the Champ 600—correct me if I’m wrong—is that it’s kind of in the Epiphone Valve Junior class, simple, inexpensive, works well for some and is the wrong tool and not versatile enough for others.

If that’s a fair assessment, I say keep it simple and inexpensive and have fun with it, and invest your tube amp money in something personalized and employing high-end construction techniques from the get-go.
 

bottlenecker

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View attachment 985654 To take advantage of the circuit upgrade you might think about squeezing an 8” speaker in there. You’ll have to modify the baffle and move the output transformer. The stock 6” speaker is pretty awful.

Mine came with a jensen alnico 6" someone put in it. It's got a cool thing it does. If I was only going to use it as a combo, I might want an 8", but if using it with cabs mostly, it doesn't make sense to crowd the cab for a sound that is mostly an occasional convenience feature.
Cab volume sometimes matters as much as speaker size, and even an 8" in the larger tweed champ cabinet will sound too small when someone wants a fuller sound.
 

bottlenecker

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My understanding of the Champ 600—correct me if I’m wrong—is that it’s kind of in the Epiphone Valve Junior class,

Kind of, in that it's cheap and champ-ish, but it's a big jump up from the valve jr. It's good enough you can change a few things and it sounds good enough to keep.
Once it goes on a turret board though, then it's building. May as well change all the parts.
I think people want to build in it because the cab looks just like the original 50s champion 600 lap steel amp.
 

mexicanyella

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Kind of, in that it's cheap and champ-ish, but it's a big jump up from the valve jr. It's good enough you can change a few things and it sounds good enough to keep.
Once it goes on a turret board though, then it's building. May as well change all the parts.
I think people want to build in it because the cab looks just like the original 50s champion 600 lap steel amp.

I can see that; they do look cool. Whichever way the OP decides to go, I’d be up for reading about it and checking out some sound clips if possible. It sounds like Em interesting project at any investment/reworking level.
 

giogolf

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Everyone is recommending a speaker upgrade but… in my first post I said it will be used through my 12” extension cab..
 

BCblues55

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Here’s what I did to mine:

Upgraded grill cloth
Upgraded speaker to Jensen MOD 6
Put tone stack resistor on a potentiometer

The Champion 600 comes with a tone stack that sounds more like a Blackface amp than the Tweed Champ. By putting the tone stack resistor (I believe it’s R17) on a potentiometer, you can open up the tone. It’s a much rawer sound that is closer to the Tweed model.

Also, whatever mods you do, the amp is still going to be noisy, especially at higher volumes (which is where this amp shines). Good luck!
 




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