Ceriatone Vibro Champ clone, yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by funkmaster, Dec 17, 2009.


  1. funkmaster

    funkmaster Member

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  2. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I've been studying up on Cieratone amps for the last couple months, and have been very impressed. All the pictures, sound clips, and reviews have been excellent. In fact, it's almost spooky how you can't find anyone who'll say boo about the things. They're universally loved. Very high quality designs, builds, and tone. I'm thinking about doing a 2550 (Marshall 50W Jubilee clone) build in January.
     
  3. funkmaster

    funkmaster Member

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    Thanks for the input KGWagner! I'm really interested in these. They're hand wired in america which is at least 7 thumbs up from me. It might be my very first tube amp head in the future. All I need now is a valve junior cab with a weber 12f150 speaker.
     
  4. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I don't think they're wired here, unless you buy the kit and wire it yourself. Otherwise, they'd be dramatically more expensive than they are. I know in pricing up the 2203s and 2550s, there's only $100 difference between a complete wired/tested unit and the component parts kit you build yourself. It would have to be a seriously hungry tech to build an amp of that complexity in the US for $100 - he'd be working for about $4/hr. McDonald's pays twice that to flip burgers. Certainly no company could do it.
     
  5. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    Ceriatone has a great reputation for their clones. Their larger wattage amps are great deals. But why by a Vibro Champ clone for $420 when you can get a real one in great condition (silverface) for about $300?
     
  6. Squigglefunk

    Squigglefunk Senior Member

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    +1

    most of their amps fall into this category IMO
     
  7. RyanFromQA

    RyanFromQA Member

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    :agree I just sold my Silver Face Vibro Champ for $415 on ebay, but that was only to recoup the fees. I had it up on Harmony Central for $375 shipped.

    Having said that, the Ultra Champ from Nik would be a great amp.

    Interestingly, I modded my Vibro Champ last year very much like the Champ Ultra. It was based on Gerald Weber's "Tweedifying" Mods, but I made it switchable on the front panel. I even posted the schematics and instructions in great detail on Harmony Central . . . . hmmmmm. Oh well I'm glad someone's putting it out there.

    Anyway, with the switch up, you get the tone stack active, which kills a lot of gain, and gives you blackface cleans. Flip it down and you essentially have a 5f1 with Tremolo. Let me tell you what, Tweed Champ snottiness with tremolo is awesome.

    If I were to build a Champ Ultra, I would make a few tweaks. First of all, I'd bump up the treble cap to .022, I liked that value better than the 250pf. I'd also increase the power resistor from 10k to 22k, the lower voltage kept the gain from being too out of control.

    However, if I was Nik, I would've given the Champ Ultra 2 volume controls. This would've been easy to do with a DPDT switch. The reason I say is because bypassing the circuit gives you an order-of-magnitude volume boost that can be quite shocking. It doesn't look like Nik's put anything in the circuit to compensate for this, and I can say that it's probably twice to three times as loud when you put it into tweed mode.
     
  8. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    :agree Quality is fine but the smaller amps make no sense, economically. Get the Fender.
     
  9. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    Computers are the same way. You can't build most consumer-grade machines much cheaper than Dell or HP can, but if you get up into the gaming- or workstation-class units, it's pretty easy to simultaneously save a pile of cash and end up with a better machine as well by building it yourself.
     
  10. mcinku

    mcinku Member

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    I own one of these...
    [​IMG]

    I wanted an original but could not live with 8" speaker... so I decided to get this amp and build a cab with 10" speaker. BTW with an old amp recap job is a must,... and a thing like that will increase the price as well, so to me Ceriatone is cheaper option.
    My Champ has also 4-8-16 impedance switch which is also cool. Champ sounds awesome through 1x12" cab.
    This was recorded with Greenback speaker... http://www.jam-world.de/Musik/Mman/jams/BF_Champ.mp3
    I also installed switchable bias resistor, so I can use 6V6 or 6L6 for more power.
     
  11. Gtowngearhead

    Gtowngearhead Member

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    Ceriatone is based out of Malaysia. Nik can put them together if you want. What you need to look at is the shipping table. The amps are an amazing value... before the shipping cost. That can add another $150 to the price. If you were going to do a ceriatone, the best thing to do would be buy the chassis, board, and parts, then get MM or heyboer transformers wherever you are and save on the shipping costs. Then you can hook up everything to the board and have a good deal on an amp.
     
  12. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Ceriatone 'wreck clone that Nik built and a kit I'm working on. Cool stuff!
     
  13. RyanFromQA

    RyanFromQA Member

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    If I could justify a 50 watt amp, Nik would get my money for an ODS, for sure.
     
  14. itkindaworks

    itkindaworks Member

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    This^. Lot's of killer amps, but alot of the time the shipping cost breaks the deal.
     
  15. RyanFromQA

    RyanFromQA Member

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    I may have mentioned this in another thread, but when it came to the 5e3, It's going to be cheaper for Little Dawg amps to build me one than it would be to get the kit and assemble it myself. And I'm guessing there will be infinitely less cursing from trying to get it to work.
     
  16. fendyrbendyr

    fendyrbendyr Member

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    I know this is an old thread....I am about to build a Champ Ultra...How would you install a second volume control? I cannot read schematics but I would appreciate any help.....thanx
     

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