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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Caper, Nov 16, 2004.
Anyone here using a SuperChamp or a Champ II? Looking for your thoughts and opinions.
The Champ II is a cool amp, no reverb but good clean and decent OD sounds though mine got sort of raspy with humbuckers and the gain cranked way up.
Despite all the hype and hoopla, the Superchamp was a bit disappointing to me, the reverb was not as good as say a Princeton or Deluxe Reverb, OD sound is ok for 80's R&R but it's hard to balance the volume/ tone between channels, also they share the same tone controls.
Both amps benefit greatly from a real good speaker, Crusty Cabs aka Steve Watson built a new cab for his Superchamp so that he could install a 12" speaker, said it made a world of difference.
Pro's, compact, loud, good clean tones.
Con's, no verb on Champ II, weak verb on SuperChamp,OD channel isn't for everyone, SuperChamp uses some oddball tubes.
I prefered a real good OD / Dist pedal into a SF Princeton reverb over either one.
I think for the $ that these amps are going for these days you can find a better alternative.
Now if you can pick one up cheap, grab it, try it out, maybe you'll love it, if not you can sell it and make some $.
I have a Super Champ and really like it. Mine had a shot reverb, so I can't comment on the original verb, but my amp tech replaced it with a very nice Hammond reverb, and the reverb sounds very nice. Better than on my Princeton Reverb.
The stock speaker is lacking in lower end. So I'd consider changing it.
The overdrive channel is not so hot. But I make a lot of use of turning the volume up to 8 and turning the master down. Sounds very good.
I really like mine. But I don't have a Champ II to compare it to.
Champ II info
the Champ II is the stripped down version of the Superchamp, doesn't have the extra gain stage, same size chassis, cabinet etc....
Caper, for what You'll end up spending You might be way
ahead of the pack getting hold of a Princeton Reverb.
I have two Super Champs with Eminence Alnico's in them and imo the SC is a great amp in a decidedly compact cab. The amps have great reverb. Clean surf music is not a problem. OD is very adjustable. You can get tweed-type preamp gain, or you can push it into singing OD for Santana-like things. I consider the SC to be one of Fender's great amps. Based on the number of times I have had to say; "Those are not for sale", the market supports my opinion. People cannot believe the sound-for-the-size aspect of the SC. If you have never heard an SC with a good speaker in it, you are missing something. The original speaker doesn't do the amp justice. I also am told that the 6C10 can make or break the reverb. Both of mine have great reverb, so maybe I got lucky with that aspect, too. You have to have a good 6C10 in that position...not just functional but good.
The Super Champ or Champ II are pretty scarce so rather than start a new thread what do you think about a Blues Junior vs. a silverface Princeton Reverb? I think the PR is a 72 to 75 maybe?
It really doesn't matter too much what year the Princeton Reverb is...they didn't change much over the years. I would always take the vintage amp over modern production. Just another personal opinion. The SF amp will gain value, it is more repairable, it is more easily modded, and basically is a better amp to my ear.
Ok, as we speak I am going over a SF Princeton Reverb. I was told it was somewhere between 70 and 74, I didn't get a chance to check codes yet, it is in very good condition even came with original cover. Stay tuned for further developements as they arise.
I have a Super Champ and I love this thing! Before this, I owned 2 Vibro Champs and the SC quickly became my favorite of the 3. The reverb sounds nice and you can get some great classic rock or blues tones out of it. The hardest thing to find on these is the footswitch.
Bluefrogs I also have a Princeton Reverb II with an original footswitch. You are right about the footswitches they are becoming scarce and expensive. I got mine from someone here on the TDP but can't remember from whom, I think he is from Michigan.
I have two Champ IIs and have owned a Super Champ and a Princeton Reverb II. The Champ IIs are my favorite and the easiest to take to practice and loud enough to play shows. They sound big with the right 10" speaker. Plus I modded the line out for an external speaker so I can run a 15" and it sounds huge. I ended up selling my SC and PR II because I get the tone I want from the Champ II and don't need the extra features. When I play "surf" I use a reverb unit anyway. Plus the SC and PR II lose their tone with the foot pedal to switch on the lead channel. I think the Champ II sounds better too probably due to a simpler circuit without the reverb and lead channel.
Way old thread.but.....The Super Champ can clone sounds that one can get out of the Champ II. The Champ II cannot possibly do what the Super champ does. Regarding the switch problem with the Super Champ....after I pointed this problem out, our brother Bendyha has given us the cure for that design problem. That can be found in the Super Champ owners club pages. The champ II is essentially the NOrmal channel out of the AB165 Bassman......good straight amps, no doubt.
I have a Super Champ, a Champ II and a 76’ Princeton Reverb.
Best tone = Princeton Reverb
Best size/weight to feature ratio = Super Champ
Best to grab and rock out with (reverb not required there) = Champ II
They’re all 10” speakers, all with Weber’s and I actually DO think the bigger PR box makes a difference. However, for straight out rock the Champ II has no equal I’m aware of.
Yes...the Champ II is a good little amp....unless you want high gain created in the tube domain, which the Super Champ can do in spades. In the lead mode with the preamp gain lower on the dial, the SC can clone that Champ II. I have done it with the two amps sitting side by side. And...the ?Champ II can’t do clean BF Reverb Sonics while the Super champ can do perfectly. I like the champ II, but I have to think that the market spoke loud in clear way back when...and Fender shut down production of the champ II because the Super Champ was the choice in the marketplace with the two amps sitting side by side. The champ II production ceased after 1983. It was almost as expensive as the Super Champ but did not have the abilities that the Super Champ had.
That makes sense. My early 68’ Bassman just has “that sound” to me. Probably why I liked the Champ II so much when I got it set up with the Weber.
Funny thing, the II has much bigger bass response than the SC. I swapped the speakers with no change. Maybe time for some new filter caps perhaps? Or as noted earlier, a different 6C10?
Patton, the response from the Champ II is different, I admit. However, if one is going to use the Super Champ in high gain, that low end is problematic. I have found that IF one does’t run the high gain or at least doesn’t push it much, one can push the Bass up. Outside of the Reverb circuit and the high gain option, there are few differences...but they must be important. Prior to the third gain stage, the two circuits have a couple of differences.....the champ II has a 2.2m resistor and a 470k ohm grid leak real resistor. The SC has a 3.3M...as do all of the Fender Reverb amps....where that 2.2m is in the Champ II, and the SC does not have that 470kohm grid leak resistor. I am not a designer, but there must be a reason for those differences. I will note that the AB165 Bassman has that 470kohm resistor in the same place.
The SC cuts through the stage, though, and stays clear of those low end frequencies where the bass player, bass drum and low side of the keyboards live, though. Sometime what sounds good to us with an amp alone is not the best thing in a group.
two great amps, imho.....
Agreed! As I’m only a home player these days (and didn’t own either amp when I was in a band) I sometimes forget the differences when being part of a mix.
Thank you sir!