$50 to a great sounding Super Champ XD

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by StudioRat320, May 28, 2008.

  1. StudioRat320

    StudioRat320 Member

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    I've had this amp for a while and I liked it, but felt it could be much better.

    I bought a Tung Sol 12AX7 and replaced the piece of crap that was microphonic and rattling. Why would Fender use such a ****** tube for the preamp and such nice (EH 6V6's) for the power section? If you gotta increase the price by a couple of buck for a superior tube, I say do it.

    Next, I replaced the piece of crap speaker with a Made in the USA Fender Ceramic rated at 30 watts. This made a HUGE difference in the sound. not only is the amp louder, but the clean channel has more definition and dare I say chime. The drive channel's many different settings sound better as well. Especially settings 2, 3 and 8. Off the hook!!

    $10 for the Tung Sol and $40 for the speaker. Fender would sell so many more of these at $349 if they did these 2 simple upgrades. Hell, I'm gonna get another one and try a few other speakers and tubes for different tones.

    I highly recommend the Super Champ XD as a great grab and go amp. These mods honestly put it in a league with amps costing much more.

    I'll be posting clips soon and let you guys be the judge.

    Peace
     
  2. StudioRat320

    StudioRat320 Member

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    Bump for those who missed it
     
  3. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    You're preaching to the choir, brother!

    I posted last week about how crappy that stock Chinese speaker is. I replaced it with an Eminence Rajin Cajun which made this amp louder, cleaner, and fuller than the Blues Jr.!

    I also had a 12AX7EH laying around and figured what the heck...replaced it assuming there would be no difference...MADE A HUGE difference and all rattles are now gone. These amps are killer for under $400 by the time you buy a speaker, tube, and footswitch.
     
  4. StudioRat320

    StudioRat320 Member

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    I've been playing pretty much exclusively for the past day or so and the speaker is starting to break in a bit. I have a 4 hour rehearsal tomorrow and I'll be able to open it up even more. It's really starting to sing now.
     
  5. richey88

    richey88 Member

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    So I went to change the p/i 12AX7 tube in my SCXD last night. I uncrated the amp from the shipping carton myself, so I know no one was messing with it before I bought it. Lo and behold, the 12AX7 was an EH! I wonder if they didn't do a run of them with EH and ran out or what?

    I also replaced the stock speaker with a 10" I had from a Sam Ash "Guitar Research" amp that I had lying around. Speaker says "Megatone". Definitely an improvement over the stock speaker; boy the magnet on the stock spkr was light!! Coolness!!

    My vote for best inexpensive combo for 2007-08!! Loving it!!
     
  6. yakyak

    yakyak Supporting Member

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    :agree

    I really like mine. I put a JBL K-110 in it. Changed the stock 12ax7 to a GT12ax7m. I have a lot of vintage 12ax7's and 6v6's. I might experiment this weekend. Will let you know the results. I think the preamp is pretty much solid state in these though. The 12ax7 might just be used to warm it up a bit. As long as the tube is decent,it may not make that much difference in sound quality. I could be wrong.
     
  7. Ooogie

    Ooogie Member

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    I'd be really interested in hearing your findings. My SCXD is scheduled to arrive on Monday and I was planning on going with the EH but if you find something better please let us know...

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  8. IIIBOOMERIII

    IIIBOOMERIII Member

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  9. phatster

    phatster Member

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    The amp is a real sleeper with the upgrades....now need that footswitch...where???:mob
     
  10. richey88

    richey88 Member

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  11. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow....the Super Champ XD really sounds that good with the speaker/tube changes??
     
  12. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    Yep. I went through a Hot Rod Deville, a SuperSonic, and a Blues Jr. before keeping the SCXD. Toasted them all on tone and features. Sheer loudness is another story, but I don't need all that :)
     
  13. phatster

    phatster Member

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    The Chinese got it right!!!
     
  14. fazendeiro

    fazendeiro Member

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    Because it's an inexpensive toy amp?

    :confused:
     
  15. richey88

    richey88 Member

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    Swear to goodness mine had a stock EH in the phase inverter slot.....
     
  16. StudioRat320

    StudioRat320 Member

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    I beg to differ. The amp is great for recording. I even got some great tones before the upgrades. Now the amp sounds even better.

    It's also a great grab and go amp for gigs. People are shocked at how good it sounds and soundmen love it.

    i promise I'll post some before and after clips asap.
     
  17. Marshall Man

    Marshall Man Member

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    I'm looking to get one of these myself. Everyone raves on these...got to get down to GC!
     
  18. mude

    mude Supporting Member

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    Continue to enjoy this little guy. Gigging at a spot that is small and we have a very tight space to setup in........hmmmmm........sounds like a good night for the XD.

    Evan
     
  19. tao_of_stan

    tao_of_stan Member

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    Hi guys! I'm an acoustic guitar player switching over to the electric side.

    I want that sweet singing wailing sound of electric guitar lead. In other words having that smooth sustain with overdrive bite, but without the dirty or gritty distorted component in the sound (Gary Moore's Still got the Blues is an example, but many great blues and rock players also have that smooth lead sound).

    I bought an American Tele, which I like a lot. Now I'm looking to pair it up with Super Champ XD for tube sound and versatility of DSP amp modeling. A youtube review by Don Andersen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek6PiHd-H2U) at 3:23 sounds like the beautiful lead voice quality that I'm so eager to get. But I also see folks saying it's the luck of the draw, and some of the SCXD come with a horrible sound.

    I'm wondering if the basic mods you've described here (speaker and tube swaps) would get me the guitar voice that I want with SCXD. I want a budget solution, and the 2-3 grand vintage amps are not a realistic alternative, while the Champ could be. I'm hoping for advice whether to decide to order it off musiciansfriend or look for another amp.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  20. pitseleh

    pitseleh Member

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    I don't think it's the luck of the draw at all. The amp sounds how it sounds stock; some people just like it more than others.

    The basic mods would get you there, I think. It might even get you there without them, but with a solid speaker and a tube change, it's a very nice amp. If you want to spring a bit and get a 12" extension cab or rehouse it in the one of the Newell cabs, it'll get you there even faster, I think.
     

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