Silverface Champ

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by JustABluesGuy, May 7, 2021.

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  1. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I might have a chance to buy a silverface Champ Amp. I have only seen a pictures of it, and it looks pretty rough.

    I am not an electronics guy, and so I won’t be able to look and see if it is totally original. I am going to try and bring a guitar to test it, but that might not be possible since its a yard sale.

    It looks like it might have a replacement speaker and power cord. There is also what looks like a crusty transformer?

    What would you folks recommend as a maximum offer without much more info than these pictures?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer as far as value.

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  2. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The tape note also says 'solid state rectifier' — you’d really want a gutshot at minimum, but at a yard sale that ain’t happening. I can’t decode the chassis stamp either; I expect an A followed by five digits. If it turns on and plays, you might offer $50-$100 if you really want a SF Champ, then assume you may have to pay a tech $50-250 (or whatever) to bring it up to spec. It doesn’t seem likely to be a collector, so you gotta decide how much you want a project / player / pig in a poke.

    Do you live somewhere floods happen? Even basement floods?
     
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  3. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Power cord may be original. At some point Fender dropped the 2-prong, but I don't know when. Speaker obviously not original. If it is relatively quiet and sounds good, I personally wouldn't go much over $200 without opening it up. They are a nice little amp and easy to work on, but will likely need a cap change and other maintenance, so keep that in mind. My first offer would be $50.
     
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  4. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the feedback. I do want a player. I know it’s not going to be a collector. I also don’t care for a huge project because I can barely find my way around a soldering iron and don’t even have a trusted tech.
     
  5. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Oh, and we have had some flooding in the area. There are no basements in the area that I know of because the water table is pretty high except during droughts.

    I thinking that if I can bring my guitar and it functions at all what is a fair price. If it isn’t functioning at all I will probably pass unless it’s $50-$100.
     
  6. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    It almost certainly needs service, and would at least need to be investigated to see how they did the solid state mod. $50 maybe, but much more than that, I'd pass.
     
  7. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the feedback. The nicer versions seem to command pretty high prices these days, so I doubt I can get for $50. If it works I would have been willing to go to $100 easily.
     
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  8. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the feedback! That’s two suggestions for $50 max. I have a feeling that they will be asking more, but we’ll see.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    That's a good thing to know. If you bought it you'd need a decent tech — we'll all say immediately, but if you really wanted to test your luck and just play it until something failed, then still, almost for sure, soon enough...:)
     
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  10. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it's not moldy, I'd jump for $50-100. But then, I enjoy rebuilding stuff. ;)
     
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  11. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    So, a champ service:

    $40 for the cap can
    3 on-board electrolytics - $12
    With the amount of moisture it looks to have seen, I'd plan on a few resistors too. If a tube is noisy, that's $20-25 depending on the tube.

    1.5 hours labor at your local rate.

    Do we NEED more voltage in a champ? That solid state rectifier weirds me out.

    So...let's say you have $60 in parts, plus an hour or two labor. Add that to your price.

    Then it's the what ifs - what if the transformer is funky? what if that speaker is shot or just doesn't sound good in that amp. You kinda have to go into any vintage purchase thinking "I'll do what it needs to make it work"
     
  12. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I give the same advice about taking widowmakers to a tech immediately. I’m sure I can find one, I just haven’t needed one for a while.
     
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  13. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Right. I guess if it’s cheap enough I will grab it and look for a tech. I have also thought about learning some basic electronics repair, and Champs are pretty simple.

    There is a very good chance that I won’t learn electronics or find a tech, so I want to spend the minimum on it.

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
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  14. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    48A33F1B-1872-43C9-9D5D-AC9D4CDDE724.jpeg

    I agree with the guys here, and I think you’re in a good place. Buy only if irresistible price. After all: Moldy, rusty, modded weirdly? Oh, and in the pic, ugly. :D

    Actually, I’d be surprised if it actually played. But a competent tech could probably fix it all, even replace the transformers and speaker, for less than some folks pay for Champs nowadays. OTOH, if I had that much to spend, and didn’t do rebuilds myself, I’d look for a nicer example.

    Oh, and we’d all support your wish to learn some amp service skills. OTOH, I might not start with a cap can amp. Replacing those stinkers is one of the hardest 'simple' service steps.
     
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  15. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I would spend that without even asking everyone. I’m not too good with a soldering iron yet though. It might be something cool to learn on, or more likely will be a nightmare unfinished project knowing myself as I do.

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  16. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    If you want something that's going to give you good performance and don't plan to actually seek out a tech, look elsewhere :D
     
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  17. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    The nicer examples I have seen tend to be pretty damned pricey. I also worry that they might not be very original at all. They might look nice, but cost much more and still need repairs.

    I know! Why am I looking at vintage amps when I’m so ignorant? I love amps, AND antiques.
     
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  18. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks cap’n obvious! ;)
     
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  19. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Something no one has noted - even if the guts are junk, if you clean it up (preserving patina), some people would pay $50 or perhaps more for just the cab. Tried pricing new cabs online lately?? Wood is expensive!!
     
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  20. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Not ignorant at all - you're on here, asking questions, doing more than most that just jump in and spend dollars without a clue.

    Every "vintage" amp needs a tech. 60s blackface that looks shiny and mint and they are asking top dollar? Tech time. Hot Rod Deluxe from 2000? Tech time.

    Caps dry up and need to go after 15-20 years no matter the amp, brand, initial quality, use, or any other factor. It's just a thing.

    As long as you have some type of idea what you're getting into, that's what really matters.
     
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