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When I turn my 5F1 Champ up to 12....

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by James Knox, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    ... I don’t really like the tone. I know, lots of guys like to “dime it” and “Rock n roll”. But for my ears, The distortion from 10-12 seems on the harsh and ratty side. For me, the sweet spot is around 7-8. Nice compression, great tactile response, etc.

    Maybe its from years of my ears acclimating to the sound of OD pedals hitting the amp on the edge of breakup. My 5 watt Champ sounds glorious on 7 with a Barber Gain Changer (Or my new Favorite, an old Tech 21 Oxford pedal, wow!) and a Carbon Copy Delay.

    I’ve noticed most Champ YouTube demos are done on Bridge pickups; Tele, Paul, Strat, etc. They all sound that way to me also. Ive never heard a Champ Demo with rich, creamy overdrive.

    I’ve researched old threads regarding Champs, biasing, voltages, dissipation, red plating, etc. I’ve experimented with higher voltage PT taps, different cathode resistors, different V1 resistors, etc, and always come back to stock values.

    Saw a recent YouTube where Premier Guitar John B is interviewing some famous Producer who says he has been using a Tweed Champ and a Tweed Tremolux for ALL guitar tracks lately. Some studio Ace Engineer told him, and now he share, that the secret to recording with “old tweed amps” is to NEVER turn them up over 3 or 4.

    What kind of playing experience are you getting with your Champ these days and what setting or set ups are your favorite?
     
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  2. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You're not alone. You can find folks who disagree (really? about an amplifier?? :D), but the majority opinion is Mr. Champ ain’t happy dimed. This is a little amp with a little OT and a little speaker. A Super Nova is not a bored and stroked big-block SS Chevelle. If it ain’t happening here by 10 or so, it ain’t happening...

    You have a lot of experience. You’re right: Trust your ears. :):):)
     
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  3. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    If you dime it, basically all you have is the grid leak left. A .022uF coupling cap and just 1M grid leak isn't a good recipe.
     
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  4. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    There's more to the picture
    Than meets the eye
    Hey, hey, my, my


    Thank you, one fourth of a super group, N Young.
     
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  5. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    I like mine best on 7-8 with a nice OD pedal pushing it. Glorious tone! Spent about two hours this weekend jamming through my buddy's old Rat through the Champ on 7 and it was fantastic!
     
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  6. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Here it is. The secret to recording “old tweed Fenders”

     
  7. irie

    irie Tele-Holic

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    I tend to agree, I think they sound best between 3-7ish. That being said slamming the front end with humbucker's when its cranked up to 12 is quite an experience.
     
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  8. gabasa

    gabasa Tele-Meister

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    I don't dime anything, I like, "rich-clean," so 3-4 maybe on my tweed Fender-style amps.
    I only have tweed Fender-style amps.
     
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  9. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is how I use mine. Between 3 and 4.
     
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  10. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I liked mine best set to the off position, unplugged, and set in the corner. Just could not get into it, too dark for my taste. But I have heard others do amazing things with those amps. I am pleased to hear yours works for you.
     
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  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe you should look into voicing your amp to your liking. That would be a fun project to read about.
     
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  12. J. Bonkosky

    J. Bonkosky Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    You are right that would be a fun project to read about. I did try this on a limited scale with varying degrees of success. To me the appeal of the tweed Champ is its simplicity. I was not interested in radically altering the circuit, cabinet, speaker configuration, or control layout. Ultimately I sold the amp to someone it was better suited to.
     
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  13. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Could you elaborate or post a link regarding? Trying to learn, thanks.
    Sorry James
     
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  14. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    When grid voltage nears zero, the input impedance drops. To put it as simply as possible, this causes a little dance (RC time constant) between the coupling cap and the input impedance.

    I highly recommend Merlin Blencowe's books. Akin partially explains it here, but he's primarily talking about this problem in the power amp, but the same principles apply to all tube gain stages.

    https://www.aikenamps.com/index.php/what-is-blocking-distortion
     
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  15. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Yuck. They sound like crap dimed.
    4-5 is where its at
     
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  16. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a tweed Champ clone with a 12" ceramic speaker. I generally run it between 3 and 4...though sometimes as high as 7 (mine has no sound at all below 3) if I'm keeping the guitar volume up.

    However, I've also had good success with diming it but keeping the guitar volume rolled down to get a similar room volume as having it on 3-4 with the guitar turned up. I find this brings out more richness and complexity in the clean tones.
     
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  17. 2L man

    2L man Tele-Meister

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    Measure power tube cathode resistor and voltages! Perhaps bias point is too off from A-class linear ooeration?
     
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