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  • Fender Silverface Champ

    I know this belongs in the amp forum, but i've seen a couple of other amp questions here and the posters here generally seem more helpful. i've been looking at these amps a lot today, b/c i'm in the market for a low wattage practice amp for home. Can anyone tell me a little about them? How do they sound? do they work well with pedals? is it worth getting one as opposed to a blackstar ht-5, vox ac4, etc.? should i buy one? pretty much any info is helpful. any help would be appreciated!

  • #2
    I know this belongs in the amp forum, but i've seen a couple of other amp questions here and the posters here generally seem more helpful. i've been looking at these amps a lot today, b/c i'm in the market for a low wattage practice amp for home. Can anyone tell me a little about them? How do they sound? do they work well with pedals? is it worth getting one as opposed to a blackstar ht-5, vox ac4, etc.? should i buy one? pretty much any info is helpful. any help would be appreciated!


    They sound great.
    They love pedals.
    They are very dependable and easy to service.
    George Harrison used a 4-pack of them at Concert for Bangladesh.
    A well-maintained one (recent cap job, good tubes, and decent speaker) should be do-able for around $300, maybe less.

    I love mine. (All 8 of them.)
    "I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." (Edward Gibbon)

    "Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook." (Alan Morgan)

    "Guitar Forums FAQ's: Why Not?"

    Eagle River Manifesto on religion.

    Troll-Alt-Delete

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    • #3
      I know this belongs in the amp forum, but i've seen a couple of other amp questions here and the posters here generally seem more helpful. i've been looking at these amps a lot today, b/c i'm in the market for a low wattage practice amp for home. Can anyone tell me a little about them? How do they sound? do they work well with pedals? is it worth getting one as opposed to a blackstar ht-5, vox ac4, etc.? should i buy one? pretty much any info is helpful. any help would be appreciated!


      Wonderful little amps. Forget clean, just a little more overdrive as you turn it up. It's never clean but sounds great a low volume. Once the volume is past the middle, it really doesn't get any louder, just changes its tone as you go up.

      Works really well with overdrive pedals and is pure bliss if you hook it up to a 1x12 cab. Really simple circuit that just loves NOS tubes! you can very easily change its voice with a preamp tube change. They're easy to mod too but IMO, no mod is needed.

      I was a fool to sell mine, in the search to find the "perfect" small amp. Truth is, it doesn't get much better than the Champ. If I stumble across another, I'll be buying it for sure. If not, I'm going to get me one of those kits they sell.

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      • #4
        I can't comment on the Blackstar or Vox, but I do own a Silverface Champ. I got it 2 years ago and just couldn't be happier with the purchase. I thought I paid a lot for mine at the time (230), but looking at ebay prices, I did okay. As the previous posters have stated, It's a sweet little amp and it does great with pedals. My speaker was shot when I got mine and did a speaker change. Also I changed the output jack so I could disconnect the Champ's speaker and run it into a 2x12 cab I have which makes it sound huge.
        Death leaves a heartache no one can heal
        Love leaves a memory no one can steal

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies guys. i just have a couple more questions. Is ebay the best place to find them, and how much should i pay for a champ or vibrochamp?

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          • #6
            Thanks for the replies guys. i just have a couple more questions. Is ebay the best place to find them, and how much should i pay for a champ or vibrochamp?



            Have no idea what they're running now but if you decide to buy it, consider getting these preamp tubes as well;

            12AY7 (In my opinion, the General Electric is the one to look for)

            5751 (RCA or GE)

            12AX7 (Telefunken or Mullard NOS) (ECC83)

            These tubes can get expensive and in probably any other amp I'd say don't bother but the Champ will let you hear every little nuance.

            As for the other two tubes...
            5Y3GT (RCA all the way)
            6V6GT (The new TungSol are great)

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            • #7
              Thanks for the replies guys. i just have a couple more questions. Is ebay the best place to find them, and how much should i pay for a champ or vibrochamp?


              ebay, craigslist, and pawnshops would the best places. Depending on conditon, consider btwn 2 and 3 hundred.
              Death leaves a heartache no one can heal
              Love leaves a memory no one can steal

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              • #8


                6V6GT (The new TungSol are great)


                And at $35 a pair, an amazing value!
                "I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." (Edward Gibbon)

                "Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook." (Alan Morgan)

                "Guitar Forums FAQ's: Why Not?"

                Eagle River Manifesto on religion.

                Troll-Alt-Delete

                Comment


                • #9
                  the old ones are great


                  Man, 8 of them? I'm very jealous... I love my '72 that I paid $180 for 2 years ago... all orig except for the speaker... I'll try to find a pic...
                  Originally Posted by marc758


                  There is something about a gold top.



                  The Bassmen - Proud Fender Bassman Players
                  My old band: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/dragstripriot
                  Gibson Les Paul junior/'67 Fender Bassman/Marshall JCM800 cab
                  '91 MIJ fender p bass/'68 Kustom K100/2 15" Marshall JCM800 bass cabs

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                  • #10
                    I've got this one coming in the mail -- all original 1968. I'll report back.



                    And once you're gone, you can't come back/ When you're out of the blue and into the black

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                    • #11
                      Do you guys prefer the champ over the vibrochamp? Any reason?

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                      • #12
                        i own two. a '68 vibro champ and a '68 bronco. the only difference between them is the name. otherwise, they're identical.

                        they're the perfect apartment amp. the small 8" speaker doesn't allow a helluva lot of lows through like a 12" speaker. and those are the frequencies that usually get you into trouble with the neighbors. it stays clean up to about 4, and then starts to break up. in an apartment, by the time you're on 4, its plenty loud anyway.

                        they take pedals really well. other amps, like my Mesa Boogie Subway Rocket (which even though its a small 20 watt amp, i was always getting into trouble with) mask a lot of the differences between pedals. with the Champs, you can really hear the details.

                        i'm not necessarily sure the tremolo circuit is worth the extra cash. i mean, they sound fantastic, but not everybody likes tremolo. i do, and as it happens, i got great deals on them. i'm considering selling the VC, and in the NYC market, i'm asking $400. there are stores here that sell them for $600.
                        The Common Sense Mets Fan

                        There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." - Isaac Asimov, Newsweek (21 January 1980)

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                        • #13
                          I'll take a contrary position, and say I've had a few Champs in my life and was always underwhelmed. Particular if you are using it as a 'practise' amp, I'd look elsewhere. To get the best out of them (IMO) they need to be cranked for some natural overdrive. To sit in front of them and practise at a normal volume they sound dull and puny to me. Others obviously have different experiences, but I thought it would be good to have one naysayer pipe up.
                          Good Deals- machine gunner, DRPool, Urinate Forever

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                          • #14
                            I'll take a contrary position, and say I've had a few Champs in my life and was always underwhelmed. Particular if you are using it as a 'practise' amp, I'd look elsewhere. To get the best out of them (IMO) they need to be cranked for some natural overdrive. To sit in front of them and practise at a normal volume they sound dull and puny to me. Others obviously have different experiences, but I thought it would be good to have one naysayer pipe up.


                            it all depends on what you're looking for in a practice amp. if you're looking for something that sounds like a cranked marshall at 2am bedroom levels, then the Champ isn't for you. in my view, that's what they make distortion pedals for.
                            The Common Sense Mets Fan

                            There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." - Isaac Asimov, Newsweek (21 January 1980)

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                            • #15
                              it all depends on what you're looking for in a practice amp. if you're looking for something that sounds like a cranked marshall at 2am bedroom levels, then the Champ isn't for you. in my view, that's what they make distortion pedals for.


                              For a practise amp, I just look for a nice clear, round, full tone. I don't want any distortion at all. I agree, that's why I use pedals. I've just never been able to get that clear, round, full tone for practise out of a Champ. Probably has a bit to do with the small speaker, and a bit to do with what my needs are.
                              Good Deals- machine gunner, DRPool, Urinate Forever

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