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JP~)
01-14-2012, 08:37 AM
Looking for some info/opinions on an old much neglected amp of mine. It's a tweed w/ a 6" speaker and made in the 50's. Has a beautiful clean and warm tone and sounds much bigger then it's size. It's been a closet queen for the last few years, I had originally bought it to play an electric mandolin through and then forgot about it. Got it out the other day, turned the volume up full and dang if it didn't move some air. It has a volume control and no tone control and I believe it's a very simple circuit with one 6SJ7 in the preamp section and one 6V6 in the power amp section

epluribus
01-14-2012, 09:28 AM
What kind of opinions you looking for...or maybe a better way to say it is: What's the question? IMHO those are way-cool amps, great little circuit. Built one on perfboard in the workshop one day, played it for a week or two, quite the banty rooster presuming my transformers were even remotely close.

BTW...neglect? A 5C1? Gasp. :Spank Bad guitarist! Sit!

:)

--Ray

JP~)
01-14-2012, 10:28 AM
:) i don't really have a specific question....more like i would just like to find out more about this amp in general. When i was using it, it was as a small low watt amp to play at low volume, for which it was nothing special, but it got the job done and was easily portable and had a nice tube tone.

I was going to sell it since i wasn't using it, so i took it out and started playing it with the volume up full for the first time and had a holy crap, this is not a toy moment. It had a much bigger sound then it's 5 watts and 6" speaker should have. I decided to keep it and use it and would to hear others experiences with these amps.

Onioner
01-14-2012, 11:30 AM
I have a 5C2 (clone). Pretty close. Basically a 5C1 w/ a presence knob. Yes, please do crank it. Find it a ten or twelve inch extension cab as well, and put a Weber 10A100 in it. Fat and chunky. Mmm...

neils
01-14-2012, 12:43 PM
I have a 5C1 clone mounted into an old Blackheart 1x12. Bought it as a bare chassis but now it acts as a neat little combo.

Mine has a 6SC7 preamp tube though as I asked for that. Nice amp. HB's push it too easy IMO but P90's and Fenders are great with it.

I've tried several speakers, 10's and 12's. Right now I have an Eminence Governor. I know, Brit speaker with Champ. But I like it. The Gov' is a thick full speaker and it tames the bright sound of the amp a bit. I tried a Weber Alnico, not for my ears or this amp.

Cool amp. "9" on the dial is my sweet spot.

Neil

epluribus
01-14-2012, 02:04 PM
Incidentally, in case you don't know, an original 5C1 Champ is relatively rare and exceedingly collectible. You'll pull down some serious dough with one of those on EBay. If it's still got the original Tolex and grill cloth, resist the urge to "upgrade" it...kills the resale. But, of course, if it's a keeper, then do as you will. (I'd be playing this thing to death! :))

Hm...now that I think of it, if you play this, have the filter capacitors changed out. Those are one vintage part you do not want. If one of those fails, it can take significant parts of your amp with it. Simple job that any tech can do, or you can do yourself if you do some homework and know the safety stuff. (Lethal voltages even unplugged!) Very important in old amps. The other mod would be to replace the cord with the three-prong type...those old two-prong ones can put wall voltage on the strings under some conditions. Standard saftey mods in vintage tube amps, expected and understood in the vintage markets.

Beyond that, by all means play it. +1 on cranking it, that's what Champs, esp Tweeds like yours, are famous for. Joe Walsh notably used one, with nothing but a Tele, for many of his James Gang tracks. Mic'd, those things sound huge! Really responsive, beautiful amps in that humble little package. That's a true gem you have there!

--Ray

In case you don't know, check this out to learn a bit about what a Tweed amp is and why it matters to a player. (http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=761171&highlight=heck+tweed)

And as for your 5C1 in particular, be sure to check out the entry here on The Fender Amp Field Guide (http://www.thevintagesound.com/ffg/)...it really is a very special little amp. Scroll down the list on the left to "Champ" and select "Wide Panel."

--Ray

***************

PS...You may know this already, but if you've not looked at the schematic, how 'bout a short tour, to the extent I can describe this amp. (Broad generalizations to limit the scope here, not to be used for circuit-design purposes.)


http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/3554/champ5c1schem.jpg

Starting at the left, the blue oval shows your input jacks. One jack lets your full guitar signal through and is used for lower-output pickups like a Strat's. The second jack has a resistor in there to tame the signal from higher-output pups like vintage humbuckers. But you can plug in safely on either one, depending on how dirty you want the amp to run.

The first place your guitar gets amplified is in your 6SJ7 as you can see. The 6SJ7 is a pretty gain-y tube with lots of output, and is capable of amplifying your guitar signal very accurately...which in this circuit, it does...unless you drive it into overdrive with a boost pedal of some sort. Cool tube, being pentode (five internal elements) and all.

BTW, in newer versions of this amp, the 6SJ7 was replaced by the now-ubiquitous 12AX7. Those are higher-fi tubes, in a way, that can get a cleaner signal to your power tube (aka less noise, depending on how they're used)...but at the cost of that 6SJ7 pentode mojo.

Next your signal sees the red ovals. The resistors and capacitiors inside are there to do lots of things, but one is to shape your EQ, in this case taming the low end for you, so your amp doesn't waste power trying to amplify frequencies it simply can't handle. Part of what gives this amp its famous middle-y tone...it's a very nicely focused amp.

After that comes your Volume knob with the blue/green arrow. Note that the knob is actually just an attenuator...it removes a part of your signal when below 10, but lets it go past totally un-enhanced/un-diluted when wide open. Attenuators do not amplify, they only cut.

From there your guitar signal hits the single 6V6 power tube. The power coming off of your 6SJ7 is way more than enough to push the 6V6 into overdrive where a lot of really cool stuff will go on. More in a minute.

Note, btw, the yellow/red arrow. The resistor and cap there do many things, but among others they make the tube drive more smoothly and responsively, as well as slightly focus-ing your freq response.

'Anyhoo, your signal gets amplified by your 6V6, and travels to your speaker in the green oval. But in addition to being amplified by the 6V6, your signal can also get compressed (sustain, at the cost of some definition), it'll get nice fat guitar-sounding harmonics, and will likely get into heavy dirt as you dial up.

Finally, note your speaker in the green circle. A little 6" banty rooster, that one, operated by a driver magnet made from an Aluminum Nickel Cobalt alloy known as AlNiCo. From those you typically get a very warm sound, with modest headroom before you start hearing distortion (but not the same as "dirt.") and compression. If you do speaker extensions, I'd recommend just installing a jack bracket, rather than pulling that beautiful OEM out of there. However, if you plan on playing this a lot, and loud, you might also remove and replace the OEM speaker just to preserve the original and forego rebuilding the cone or driver or something. It's a great speaker, landmark tone.

Coupla general notes: Note the tiny size of the circuit, very basic, not a lot of fancy stuff to clutter up the way the circuit responds to your guitar. IOW, it's a famously musical and touch-responsive amp owing to the fact that the circuit is so friendly to your guitar. A very elegant circuit, this.

Note also that you have no tone knob. Limiting, you may say, but this is one key to the simplicity of the signal path that makes Tweed amps so famously responsive.

In a nutshell, this is a very pristeen, uncluttered circuit that yields excellent tone performance within the limits of the power supply, and will turn up to give you monster dirt, sustain, and pick dynamics worthy of the best of rock 'n' roll amps. Probably because it is one of the best rock 'n' roll amps.

:beer

PSSSS...Post pix! :banana

JP~)
01-15-2012, 08:20 AM
Ummm.....wow, i think that pretty much answers my question :) i'll snap a couple pics later. The amp looks to be all original

JP~)
01-15-2012, 08:33 AM
http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa326/gtrstuff/photo-5-3.jpg

JP~)
01-15-2012, 08:38 AM
http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa326/gtrstuff/photo-4-1.jpg

neils
01-15-2012, 09:54 AM
Maybe not cool here to plug a guy who is building these old circuits so if anyone wants to try a 5C1/5C2 and other old circuits for PM me.

You could also search for 5C1's at that place where people buy and sell stuff.

I have no connection with the guy, I just bought one and am please with what he built and the price will shock you. Very fair guy. VERY.

Neil

epluribus
01-15-2012, 10:40 AM
Ummm.....wow, i think that pretty much answers my question :) i'll snap a couple pics later. The amp looks to be all original

Pix...you dog! You big lazy dog! That thing is gorgeous, and in pretty nice shape as wide-panel Champs go. Dude, that's no run-of-the-mill amp you've got, that's a for-sure Keeper you have there. Very cool, pix much appreciated...always fun to see cool machinery like this, esp if it's kind of an unexpected find. Obviously you knew you had it, but I gather you had no idea what you had. Makes my day!

...Hopefully yours too... :beer

--Ray

Hey Neils, welcome to the asylum! No huge sweat mentioning builders or mfgrs here, as long as you're not just out-and-out shilling. We talk about builders all the time. Just be sure to let folks know if you have connections to anyone relevant to the thread. Anyhoo, enjoy the place...but don't eat the donuts with the purple streaks that the nurses give you.

neils
01-15-2012, 11:43 AM
OK cool. Nope just a satisfied customer. His name is Carl Carassco. Honestly looks like he takes his chassis photos on his mom's kitchen table.

Search eBay for "5C1 Champ". You'll hit is 5C1 chassis I bought w/o tubes for just $255!!!!! Price of a freakin' pedal right? It is built into a 5F1 chassis so cabs are easy to find. Amp for price of a pedal? No brainer to me. PTP, no turret boards, barely a terminal strip.

See his other builds. He also does a 5C3 Deluxe starting at $400 for an assembled chassis. Add tubes, most of us have the tubes anyway except for the Octal pre-amp tubes. MM trannies are some of the upgrades.

He does a Supro Thunderbolt that intrigues me. Love to hear a good demo of it.

I'd ad a photo of my 5C1 but I see no place to do that here.

Neil

Onioner
01-15-2012, 12:28 PM
Just for the record, my 5C2 came from the same guy (on neils' recommendation, no less). Good stuff.

epluribus
01-15-2012, 05:09 PM
OK cool. Nope just a satisfied customer. His name is Carl Carassco. Honestly looks like he takes his chassis photos on his mom's kitchen table.

Search eBay for "5C1 Champ". You'll hit is 5C1 chassis I bought w/o tubes for just $255!!!!! Price of a freakin' pedal right? It is built into a 5F1 chassis so cabs are easy to find. Amp for price of a pedal? No brainer to me. PTP, no turret boards, barely a terminal strip.

See his other builds. He also does a 5C3 Deluxe starting at $400 for an assembled chassis. Add tubes, most of us have the tubes anyway except for the Octal pre-amp tubes. MM trannies are some of the upgrades.

He does a Supro Thunderbolt that intrigues me. Love to hear a good demo of it.

I'd ad a photo of my 5C1 but I see no place to do that here.

Neil

Pix...love it. You need an Image Shack account or something similar to post pix. There's a FAQ about it someplace, same page as all the things you can do on TGP where they'll tear your head off and stuff IIRC. :)

Onioner
01-15-2012, 05:15 PM
Pix...love it. You need an Image Shack account or something similar to post pix.

Like this:
http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/2926/imag0089h.jpg

Note that I bought a prototype, at a discount, out of ugliness. Suits me just fine. I'm (still) in the process of building a cab for it. Then I'll mess with a faceplate.

Also, at the risk of dropping my coolness by like a thousand points, that purple jewel is probably coming out. I know purple's got the best tone, but I just don't dig the look.

Edit: And, yes, if I must state the obvious, the OP's is about a billion times cooler looking.

epluribus
01-15-2012, 05:47 PM
Au contraire, it has a nerd-cool factor all its own. I have a thing about warpo FrankenCircuits and such. Maybe not as uber-hip as a Wide Panel Champ, but it's a great rig nonetheless. But pull that purple jewel and you're the ugly Lennon Sister. :)

4jHXJLC9bFE

--Ray

Actually none too shabby on the harmonies, but I'll never admit it...

neils
01-15-2012, 05:54 PM
Onioner, Ha! Mine is prettier.

Mine just looks like a 5F1 except the Pre-amp tube is alot bigger than a 12AX7.

I could put a photo on Smugmug I bet and link to that.

Really just look at eBay photos, they look like that.

Just got done playing for a couple of hours with my 5C1. Very low volume, Wampler Ecstacy boost for some grind, I mean really low volume, playin' my R4 to some old Cream.

As I said I like mine with a 12" speaker. What I want to do is get a Deluxe Tweed size cab but built for a 5F1 chassis. Or just get a 5E3 cab and make a "spacer" that will mount like a 5E3 to the cab but hold a 5F1 chassis. That way if I ever buy or build a 5E3 I already have a cab.

Carl does an Octal tube 5C3 for $400, jut add tubes. I've got two old Hytron 6V6's and old 5Y3's, just need the 6SL7's.

Neil

epluribus
01-15-2012, 06:00 PM
BTW, I put input/output extension jacks on all my gear just to mix and match cabs. Srsly gotta count watts and ohms (Z-Matchers are great, but cost a tad of feel), but way too much fun to miss, and saves a ton of time swapping speakers on baffles.

Agreed...I have a Kalamazoo Model II (5F1-ish) that makes a gorgeous tweed-y mini-Deluxe when running into a Deluxe-type cab w 1x12. I also use Webers, prefer the 12A-125 for the Kzoo. Tho an AlNiCo Sig 10 is no slouch!

--Ray

Onioner
01-15-2012, 06:10 PM
Mine is into a 10A100, but I just got a 12A125A for the 5e3, and as soon as I have a cab to put it in I'll give that a go too. I don't know though. I likes some speaker breakup w/ the Tweeds. adds to the rough and tumble feel.

neils
01-15-2012, 07:07 PM
Speakers? I've got a 10" "Blue Frame"Eminence/Fender Alnico, Eminence 1058. Liked them both, different. Nod goes to the 1058 for guts. Man that thing sounds big.

For 12's I've tried Hellatone 30. I like that. It is in a 1x12 Tone Tubby pine cab. Great cabs BTW. Also tried the Tungsten/Weber t12Q Alnico. Not for a Champ IMO.. I have a Weber 12F150B. Nice with a Champ. Now using the Eminence Governor with the Champ.

Main reason I'm doing that is I rotate the 12F Weber and the Hella 30 in the TT 1x12. I use that cab with an Emery Superbaby. That leaves the Tungsten or the Gov' for the 12" Champ box.

Need a proper pine box for that Champ.

Neil

JP~)
01-24-2012, 04:02 PM
Forgot to ask 2 questions...

midrange - where does this amp fall in respect to how much midrange it has?

is it gigable and normal sized venues?

epluribus
01-24-2012, 04:37 PM
Tweeds, esp older circuits, are aaaallll about mids, esp when pushed. IIRC the mids peak somewhat lower than they do in typical older Marshall circuits, but well above Blackface Fender circuits. BTW, seems to me that these Tweed circuits don't display anywhere near the mid-dropoff that most all 60's-era amps did with two- and three-knob tone stacks. As for highs, the later ones do have a really nice hot twang in the top end, but once again IIRC the 5C-1 doesn't twang so much as bark...not a ton of high-end definition.

Giggable...definite maybe...like with a really quiet band. If cleans are needed, I'd say no way, not enough headroom. But if you can run it fairly dirty, you may have a chance. Generally, however, I'd say probably not...asking an awful lot from a squishy little amp like this. But mic'd...awesome! :banana

--Ray

Wanna see what a frequency plot looks like for an amp? Try Duncan Amp's Tone Stack Calculator (http://www.duncanamps.com/tsc/), a free download that lets you build typical tone controls and then see what your tweaks do to 'em. Simply capture one plot each for a Fender, Marshall, Vox, and a one-knob (Big Muff) tone control system, changing the color on each one, and see how they compare. Instantly makes sense.

Even in amps with no tone controls at all, you begin to get a feel for the frequency-response curves and peaks in various well-known amps.

Onioner
01-24-2012, 04:56 PM
midrange - where does this amp fall in respect to how much midrange it has?

Fat. Big lower mids. All Tweeds are mid-heavy, but the octal really emphasizes the lower end of that.

is it gigable and normal sized venues?

Unmiced, and remotely clean? No. Even if you just want a full on cranked filthy sound, still probably not without a mic.

Custom Deluxe
01-24-2012, 05:37 PM
Thanks for posting some comments about Carl's amps. I've been watching them for a while now and haven't pulled the trigger. I may do his Deluxe since I kind of already have a tweed Princeton with my Alamo Model 3 (8" speaker) and Vintage 47 Supro Spectator (10" speaker). I'm really diggin' those octal pre-amp tubes!

RupertB
01-24-2012, 08:41 PM
Another thing that sets the 5C1 apart from other Champs/VCs is no NFB. A good thing IMO. I was tweaking my sf VC & wound up pulling it out entirely. Much improved sound IMO.

I have a homebrew 5F1 head that I'm considering doing the same with.

neils
01-24-2012, 08:45 PM
Well I've been pleased with my Champ. Think will go up
for sale though as I've just bought the antithesis, a 5F6A
Tweed Bassman. It is a 2003 relic version modded to turret
board etc.

Neil