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NAD - Super Champ Super Pro Series

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Bendyha, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Bendyha

    Bendyha Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Sometimes falsely referred to as the Deluxe Super Champ (adding a fourth fender model name (...so why leave out Reverb ?)) With the brown knobs and face-plate, and the solid oak cab, why not call it;

    The Deluxe Woodie Super Pro Series Brownface Super Champ Reverb.

    I'll just call this one; mine..........Who has the other 99 ?

    upload_2020-1-26_15-36-40.png
    As some of you might have noticed, I'm quite fond of the Super Champ. So I've often thought of getting a second one, but never did quite make the plunge. Then I spotted this one up for offer and thought, JUMP.
    It wasn't exactly cheap, but I have seen many normal black tolex Super Champs on offer for the same, or even higher prices. So considering the scarcity of the beast, I guess it was quite a good deal - certainly one I am happy with. A standard new PR '65 would have cost the same, and I would much rather this amp.
    I haven't compared it to my other one yet, which is over in the practice room, but this one sounds just fine. Made in early 1984.
    upload_2020-1-26_15-38-10.png

    Open it up for a look. The main cap-can seems to be the original from 36 years ago, so maybe I will change that. And everything inside seems to be untouched.....as to whether I make and other changes..:D

    For those of you who don't know the facts about this amp; It is exactly the same, iinside, as the normal Super Champ that Fender made between 1982 and 84, which was designed by Ed Jahns and Paul Rivera.
    For more information, let me hand you over to Paul Rivera himself, in this collection of statements he made about the amp.

    What did Paul Rivera have to say about the on the Super Pro Series :

    Aside from the regular model, we made a special run of a hundred Princetons in oak cabinets that we had made in an organ cabinet factory in the Midwest somewhere. We called them the Super Pro Series. We also did a hundred Super Champs and a hundred Concerts in wooden cabs, and they’re now the most sought-after amps of that era.”

    I came up with a plan in ’82 to sneak some new amps past the accounting department. I got so tired of the negative ‘You can’t do a low-volume amp’ thing that I conspired with purchasing and the factory in Hoopeston, Illinois. I had some dovetailed oak plank cabinets done in Indiana by the company that made home organ cabinets for Gulbransen. The front panels were made by Miller Dial in Champagne Beige and Choco Brown. Mellotone had a run of matching grille cloth made as well. Kurz-Kasch made the knobs for us and did a perfect colour match. It was a fun project, and we did succeed in doing it below the corporate radar. We called them the Super Pro Series, and we did the Super Champ, Princeton II, and Concert 1x12, each with an EVM speaker and a padded brown slip cover. We only built a hundred pieces of each one for the whole world. They are rare puppies. I have Super Champ #1.”

    Paul Rivera on the Electro-Voice EVI 10 speakers:

    EV 10 is really a magical speaker. I first started using EV 10s somewhere in the 70s when I was modifying Vibroluxes for people like Lee Ritenour and Mitch Holder, and getting a lot of inquiries of how they can change the sound of their Vibrolux, make it louder, make it more reliable, you know, putting em in Tremoluxes, and, uh, also the predecessor to the Super Champ was my own modified Champs, where I'd insert a push-pull output stage, a Princeton output transformer, some extra gain stages on a, on a Champ or Vibro-Champ chassis. And the problem was, is finding a really good-sounding ten. So the solution to the good-sounding ten wound up being the EV 10.
    Now when I went to Fender and I started designing the Super Champ and brought them the whole Super Champ concept, I thought to myself, regardless of the tens that were able to get; ceramic magnet tens; we need something that really projects a lot more volume, is reliable for multi-year-long tours that, that won't blow out so easy. And so the EV 10 was a candidate, and we put the EV 10 as an option on the Super Champ. In fact the Super Champ Woodies - the Super Pro Super Champs, with the limited run that we did - were all equipped with EVs as standard. And it was a big change.
    Now, I mean, why an EV? Well it has a huge motor. It's got thick top plates, thick bottom plates and a tremendous amount of electromotive force. What does that translate to? It translates to efficiency and output. You can gain anywhere from 6 to 9dB difference between an EV 10 and another ten. So let's say that it was a 3 dB difference, which it, it is usually far more than that. You're doubling your output power. So a little 20-watt amp is going to sound like a 40-watt amp just by having an EV 10. Unfortunately, they don't make them anymore. And, fortunately for us, we do have a small number of them that we'll be using in a limited run of amplifiers. But they are just a fabulous ten.
    If you look at the entire equation - of the amplifier, the output transformer, the speaker - and you create a single unit, the EV 10 is a highly inductive speaker with a lower DCR than a standard 8 Ohm speaker. I think the DCR is like 5.7 Ohms or so. And as such, because of its inductive properties as well, it forms a very peculiar - and in a positive way - coupling with our particular output transformers, and I first observed this with EVs on Fender Deluxe Reverbs back in the 70s when I'd be modifying Deluxe Reverbs for Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton and putting EVs in it, and then watching the fact that the waveform was very, very peculiar (the waveform) because that particular output transformer - coupled with the actual inductive reactance and EMF and everything else of that EV, created its own sound, and that output transformer is a big part of that, out of that equation. If you were to, say, stick a ceramic magnet, standard 8 Ohm, CTS or Eminence or Pyle, that same thing, you'd have a completely different result. And it's obvious; you can actually see it on an oscilloscope. It is not like Voodoo; it's real.............
    ….........So, for example, in the Super Champ, as well as in our Pubster 25, there is a coupling effect between that transformer and the speaker; and that it is a magic unit of the equation. And the way that they work together and the way that the wave-form actually does not, it doesn't even look sinusoidal; it looks more triangular when it comes out, because of the peculiar reactance issues between that output transformer and the voice coil motor assembly of the EV.”



    Paul Rivera on the Super Champ:

    It is an 18Watt amplifier with a single 10 inch speaker, that utilized a completely different topology than any Fender before it. And it was my desire to create the ultimate pocket-rocket – which is just a high-gain, super-screaming small little amp that you could sit on a stool, do a gig, record a session, whenever it was, take it in your suitcase, and do a fly date with it, and we succeeded. This has become quite a legend, this Super Champ.

    I own two of them; I own one of the first prototypes, with a four tube preamp, as well a production version; here. I found this one in a local dealer, it was in perfect condition, and I had to snag it.

    So, anyway, it utilizes, like I have said before when we where talking about the Stage Lead, utilizes the reverb driver circuit as part of the distortion character for the lead sounds on this amplifier. It uses two 6V6 output tubes – 6V6's are some of my favourite output tubes, and the reason being is - they sound very close to EL84's, or 6BQ5's, except they're a lot more reliable. Great distortion tones – super-warm, fat – and so this amplifier does it all.

    So a lots of the 80's guys like Steve Farris, with Mister Mister, and Alan* from Go West, and Warren DeMartini, and so on, lot of these guys played these amplifiers in the 80's, and they would do their entire tour dates with a pair of these in stereo. It just has that great distortion sound, and a really decent clean sound, and because it's only 18Watts, they could keep their stage volume fairly low. It also became a hit in the recording studios, because its got such a classic tone for such a small size, easy to mike, and so-on.

    Some of the features on this amplifier, of course, like I've said before, came about from my modifying Fenders for the session guys in Los Angeles. So features like this pull fat switch, came from Jay Gradon and I when we worked together on the six position fat switch. And so the idea of actually doing a lead sound, also came from Princetons and Champs that I modified for people in Studio City.

    We developed a really cool 10 inch speaker for this amplifier, specifically for this amplifier, when I was at Fender, and we had an optional speaker as well. It came standard, with a ceramic magnet, 10 inch, and the optional speaker was an Electro-Voice 10. Now when we did the Electro-Voice 10, it added a huge amount of headroom, at least 5dB of headroom, over what the stock speaker was. The only penalty, was a lot of weight.”


    * In 1982, Alan Murphy changed from Mesa Boogie amps, to use Super Champs on stage and for recording, up until his death in '89. Alan owned 3 Super Champs, unmodified apart from changing the foot-switch to control the mid-boost rather than the reverb.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
    Treynor, peteb, gridlock and 3 others like this.
  2. BluesOwl

    BluesOwl Tele-Holic

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    I'm glad you have one. A good karma payback?
     
  3. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    That's a sexy amp, right there. Congrats!


    Love that color combo!
     
  4. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus Tele-Meister

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    Well I have never heard of / seen one of these. Had this appeared magically before me....I do believe that I would have been forced to pull out my wallet. I love it.

    Let's see the back please.
     
  5. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Holic

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    Wow!!!
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Pretty cool, very Boogie ish. I wonder if it's similar to the Red Knob Champ 25? Big brother to the Champ 12. They go dirt cheap usually. Rivera did come cool things, albeit some parts were not that good.
    I have 3 of those EV10's. Monster speakers.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Congrats, Bendyha. One of the two or three of these that I have seen for sale was back in the mid-‘90’s, and I
    Was not eager to ‘afford’ that one. It was David Gilmour’s Super Champ rig....the amp and the matching speaker cab with another EVI in it. It went for, iirc, $1350 on eBay. I had given $175 each for mine maybe two or three years earlier. That $1350 was stiff at that time...but hey, it was Gilmour’s so it had that pull in the market in addition to its rarity.
    I have to say, though, that if I came into one of these I would probably build a new grilleboard covered in tweed type cloth...or oxblood...or wheat...or cane...or basket weave. Since it is Velcro attached, it is a non-invasive cosmetic change that does not affect originality. The wood and the brown faceplate call for some other cloth to my eye. Ommv....

    :D...happy and green...I am.
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    the Champ 25 is nothing like the Super Champ. In fact, the Champ 25 is closer to the modern Super ?Champ X-digital
    Nmps in that it is a hybrid. The preamp is all solid state...analog only in the Champ 25..no modeling.
    As you can see above, the Super champ is a handwired, all-tube amp. It is a Princeton Reverb without tremolo, and it has mid boost and gain boost options. Handwired with BF, Tweed midrange, and all of the gain you could want. There are not very many amps with that description. It would be pricey today built in that manner. When they were introduced they were $295. The price went up to $349 before they were discontinued in 1985/1986.
    Yes, I am a fan....no adherent! I also consider them undervalued....by a lot. My opinion only affects my local market! Lol...
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Interesting. I had assumed it was just the big bro to the Champ 12, but looked at the schem now and yeah, it's not.
     
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