Thoughts on Fender Champ 600?

captain_jack

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Hey all,

If anyone out there has a Fender Champ 600 re-issue, just wondering what your thoughts on the amp are and how it compares in tone to other lower wattage tube amps (especially the Blues Junior IV)? I've never heard of this amp before and and having trouble finding many samples of it on YouTube, but one popped on my local Facebook market place at what seems like a reasonable price (compared to the Reverb listings).

It seems like an odd design, with the control knob and input jacks both on the back. Is that with the idea that you would have had it set up in front of you when playing to an an audience?
 

corliss1

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Yes, that's how the vintage amps got played, and this is based on a vintage design.

Not nearly as versatile as the BJ, but if you like the sound, it's the cheapest way to get it. I don't even think I'd call the BJ "lower wattage" as it gets plenty loud.

LOTS of people like/love/mod/butcher/tweak the 600 - I'd recommend a search on here.
 

captain_jack

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Not nearly as versatile as the BJ, but if you like the sound, it's the cheapest way to get it. I don't even think I'd call the BJ "lower wattage" as it gets plenty loud.

LOTS of people like/love/mod/butcher/tweak the 600 - I'd recommend a search on here.
heh, plenty of people suggest the BJ in "apartment amp" conversations too. By lower wattage I guess I just meant under 15w.

I'll try searching again, unfortunately fender and champ finds tons of threads on the other champion amps. thanks!
 

bottlenecker

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Hey all,

If anyone out there has a Fender Champ 600 re-issue, just wondering what your thoughts on the amp are and how it compares in tone to other lower wattage tube amps (especially the Blues Junior IV)? I've never heard of this amp before and and having trouble finding many samples of it on YouTube, but one popped on my local Facebook market place at what seems like a reasonable price (compared to the Reverb listings).

It seems like an odd design, with the control knob and input jacks both on the back. Is that with the idea that you would have had it set up in front of you when playing to an an audience?
It's a visual copy of the original Champion 600 amplifier, which was one half of a lap steel outfit, the other half being the Champion 600 lap steel (that the tele bridge pickup borrows from).
The "reissue" is just a lookalike with a different circuit, but it's not bad. It's basically a champ with a diode rectifier, so there's only two tubes. I've powered a 2x10 cab with it and it has a surprising amount of clean headroom. Mine was modded when I bought it, but it seems like they all got the same basic changes.
 

Chiogtr4x

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I just got this a few weeks ago,
A Champ 600- like Monoprice/Stage Right 5 watt ( 1 6V6, 1 12AX7, 8" Celestion speaker)
Nice build, $120 shipped
I play at home quietly ( apartment), but will be using this ( with small pedalboard w/ Reverb. Tremolo and OD when needed) for my small gigs .
I have small SS amps, which I love, but wanted to get a small tube amp, back into the mix. My Blues Jr. is too powerful and heavy for my back and gigs...

This has a very detailed, clean volume at low volume- and have NOT yet turned it up yet.

But I can tell it will have good volume and some breakup.
Makes me happy!
 

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thunderbyrd

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i've had one several years, i love it for just sitting here in front of the tv and whittling away. it can be modified all kinds of different ways. i've not used it in any live setting. it gets fairly raunchy when you crank it. a les paul sounds exactly like Chuck Berry on Maybelene.
 

RoscoeElegante

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Hey all,

If anyone out there has a Fender Champ 600 re-issue, just wondering what your thoughts on the amp are and how it compares in tone to other lower wattage tube amps (especially the Blues Junior IV)? I've never heard of this amp before and and having trouble finding many samples of it on YouTube, but one popped on my local Facebook market place at what seems like a reasonable price (compared to the Reverb listings).

It seems like an odd design, with the control knob and input jacks both on the back. Is that with the idea that you would have had it set up in front of you when playing to an an audience?
I found these. Linked here in case you didn't snag 'em:




There are actually quite a few more of them!
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fender+champion+600

Some very nice tones, and I like its old-school look, too. Hope it works out for you!
 

Willie Johnson

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I have one--it's fun, but wouldn't want it as my only amp. I especially like it with some slapback echo. With the simple controls, you need to work the tone and volume controls on the guitar. I've tinkered with mine a lot--changes to the circuit (removed the tone stack, negative feedback, and one of the cathode bypass caps) and physical structure (different speaker, modified rear panel, more transparent speaker cloth). It's quite sensitive to tube changes/choices (stands to reason, with only two of them in there). For what they're going for now, I'd spend a little more and get a Pro Jr, but I got mine for like $125.
 

archetype

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Hey all,

If anyone out there has a Fender Champ 600 re-issue, just wondering what your thoughts on the amp are and how it compares in tone to other lower wattage tube amps (especially the Blues Junior IV)? I've never heard of this amp before and and having trouble finding many samples of it on YouTube, but one popped on my local Facebook market place at what seems like a reasonable price (compared to the Reverb listings).

It seems like an odd design, with the control knob and input jacks both on the back. Is that with the idea that you would have had it set up in front of you when playing to an an audience?

57 pages of Champ 600 Club, right here:
 

captain_jack

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Apparently I'm having an off day with my search skills 😬. Thank you all very much for the replies, I appreciate it and I'll go through all this info tomorrow.
 

middy

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I tried one at GC a long time ago. Plugged a Tele in and turned the amp all the way up, then controlled volume and tone with the guitar’s knobs. It sounded damn good!
 

archetype

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Apparently I'm having an off day with my search skills 😬. Thank you all very much for the replies, I appreciate it and I'll go through all this info tomorrow.

It can be difficult to locate a specific club if you don't know the specific name. Their naming isn't uniform.
 

middy

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I always use google to search instead of the built in search. Just use the site: command. E.g.; go to google and type

Champ 600 club site:TDPRI.com
 

Pointmonger

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I bought one way back when when they were going for $99 new. Still own it. I put an old RCA 6v6 and an old 5751 in it and plug it into a 12" cab. It sounds great to me.
 

BCblues55

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I got one several years ago and have enjoyed it, although it’s nowhere near being my primary amp.

As has been noted, there are lots of mods that can improve the sound. First off, replace the diaper-like grill cloth. (Get some fabric from a fabric store instead of buying specialty cloth.) That mod in itself helps a lot!

Next, find the resistor that controls the tone stack (R17, IIRC) and snip that, or drill a hole and put it on a switch. Or better yet, hook it up to a potentiometer so you can adjust it. The 600’s stock tone stack is similar to Blackface amps, and taking it out gives the amp more of a Tweed sound. As I mentioned, I put the tone stack on a potentiometer so I can add grittiness if I want it.

You will also see recommendations for disconnecting the Negative Feedback resistor (R19?). Personally, I didn’t find that it made that much of a difference. YMMV

You can also replace the speaker, if you find you really like the amp, but it’s still going to be a boxy-sounding (and kind of noisy) small amp. Like the original Champ. Hooking it up to a larger speaker certainly helps.

Fun amp to play with, and it was a great learning experience for me. Hope you enjoy it!
 

vernon

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I had one and modded the hell out of it. Better tubes, speaker, grill cloth, etc. sounds somewhat better. But… it’s simply not loud enough to function outside your bedroom with other instruments. It’s nothing like a Tweed Champ. And don’t try to ship it… the cheap particle board baffle won’t hold up to any bumps, drops, or jolts. I learned the hard way. It is cute though😎
 

InstantCoffeeBlue

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I had one for a while back when I was living in a studio apartment. At the time, I had an 18-watt Marshall and a Fender Pro Junior, both of which were unplayable in that place unless I wanted the neighbors banging on the walls within seconds.

The Champion fulfilled a role at the time - it gave me a way to plug into something and have electric guitar sound at a time when I was in a new place, wasn't in a band and was feeling a little isolated. I used to throw blankets and couch cushions around it so I could record demos with it at night, and actually got some surprisingly usable recorded sounds out of it. In the room, though, it always sounded small and was never that satisfying. YMMV. I think if I were looking for something to fulfill that role again, I'd get a Yamaha THR5. Yes, the Champion 600 has tubes but that doesn't mean it sounds particularly great, and by the time you crank it up to the point where you're getting overdrive, it's too loud for apartment playing anyway.
 

jays0n

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I use one as my main at home amp. Have had it probably 10 years or more, and love the sound. I often use it with a 12” speaker cabinet.

It’s my fav sound out of my amps actually. The only mod I have done is the quiet mod sold by the eBay seller alnicomagnet something or other. It was noisy before and dead quiet now. The mod just filters the DC power really.

I would be sad if this amp died.
 

havlma1

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I had two Champ 600 RI in last years and I liked them a lot so I stepped up and got myself a proper 57 Champ RI eventualy. The Champ 600 has nice clean mid heavy sound. I have tried several different 6" speakers and also standard Fender grill cloth, but I liked the amp stock.

Compared to Blues Junior - both amps are very different. Champs are very specific and have wonderful sound, but to cover other sonic territories you need also some other amps :)
 




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