Help with my fender champ!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by serviviente7, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. serviviente7

    serviviente7 Supporting Member

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    Hello guys. I am looking for some help with my fender champ. My problem is that I have a lot of knowledge of guitars and pedals but I have knowledge of amps and speakers! My champ amp is either 60's or 70's and is the three button 6 watt 8" with Jesen speaker (i believe)version. I love that amp for practice and for recording! It sounds fantastic! Here is the thing. It is a little neglected and i will like to put it "up to date" sort of speak. The tubes are original, but the power is starting to "come and go" way too frequent. The original speaker sound very good but it has a little rupture on the baffle. If this were your amp what will you guys do? Will you change or fix the speaker and if so for which one? Will you change the tubes and if so for which one? What other update will you do to this gem?I can not stress enough how good this amp sounds. It is tone for days but it deserves better. I need to make it more reliable. Its just that I am not "technical" and amps are not my thing. Please be as specific and simple as you can. All help will be appreciated. Thanks so much!:BEER
     
  2. cugel

    cugel Member

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    i would give the amp a tune up w/ new caps and tubes etc
    there are only three tubes so you could even spring for some good NOS tubes esp teh 6v6 and also put some good caps in it too
    any reputable tech would love to work on this amp since it will take no time to do and it will be no problem
    i would defintly trash that speaker and get a WEBER alnico 8
    there are several to chose from and i like the hi power one for this circuit
     
  3. serviviente7

    serviviente7 Supporting Member

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    Wow so i should pretty much forget about the stock speaker? The webers are that good?
     
  4. mrface2112

    mrface2112 Member

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    i too would get it recapped. it's much like changing the oil in a car. i would also seek out some New Old Stock tubes for it and get it rebiased. tube preferences will vary from person to person and amp to amp.....but i find you can't go wrong with a combination of RCAs and GEs, as that's what these amps originally came with.

    in my champs, i find the RCA blackplate 12AX7's to have a smooth high end and the GE 12AX7's to be a little more sparkly (and nicer when overdriven). on the power tube side of things, it's not quite as cut and dried.

    As for the speaker.....yes, the Weber speakers are *that good*, expecially once broken in.

    I've got an alnico sig8 in my '66 champ. it's a great speaker and sounds very close to how the original sounded (which I also have).

    However, i've also used the 8A125 (alnico) and 8F125 (ceramic) speakers, and they're fantastic. they're not really close to the sound of the original champ speakers.....but they're just plain great. they're big, bold, loud and extremely smooth when broken in. i had the 8A125 in a '76 champ that i sold, and i've got the 8F125 in a '74 VibroChamp. i think a 2x8 cabinet with one A and one F would be positively massive. :dude


    cheers,
    wade
     
  5. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    What about the Weber Alnico Blue Pup 4 ohm? That's what I put in my SF Champ. I presume the Weber Alnico 8 is 8 ohm. Does that work well with the Champ, given that the Champ needs a 4 ohm speaker? Just curious.
     
  6. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    I respectfully disagree with the previous posts.

    I wouldn't do anything before having a tech check it out. IMO, it's premature to suggest re-capping it.

    If the original speaker sounds good, I wouldn't replace it. If it's the baffle that's damaged, this has no impact on the speaker itself.
     
  7. mrface2112

    mrface2112 Member

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    I hear ya Gregory. IMO, if an amp's more than 30 years old (as almost all Champs will be this year), I think recapping is a prudent idea as most electrolytic caps have a useful lifespan of +/- 15 years. I'd rather recap it "unnecessarily" than have a cap fail in a dramatic way and take the OT with it. But that's me. Of course, your tech's opinion and your own personal philosophies on that matter should make that call.

    Personally, I've got a couple old amps i haven't recapped yet....and a couple i have. As always, YMMV.

    The Weber Alnico Sig8 comes in whatever Ohmage you want it (or at least, whatever's available on the Weber site :bow). a Champ expects a 4ohm load (well, 3.2 to be exact). The Sig8 i've got is 3.2 ohms.

    I've tried the Weber Blue Pup and found it a little "lacking" in the champ. The cleans just weren't what i like to hear out of a champ. however, it took distortion pedals fantastically--GREAT overdrive/distortion sound.

    Ultimately the Blue Pup went into my Vox Pathfinder 15R. Great speaker for that amp.


    cheers,
    wade
     
  8. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Get the Weber speaker and send them the original to repair the baffle (he will tell you if a recone is necessary) then stash the Oxford for special occasions or if you decide to trade up or gasp sell.

    Pick your tech carefully for the cap job. I just had TGP's Wakarusa do my Pro Reverb, he is getting my Super and Vibrolux as well. His work is that good. A little slow but meticulous in his work and fair as fair can be.

    best

    Groovey Records
     
  9. teleamp

    teleamp Senior Member

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    I think if you have a great sounding stock speaker, the Weber is not an upgrade. The best sounding Champs that I have ever played all had original or reconed original speakers.

    I would start with tubes, depending on your budget, I would suggest NOS. Try www.kcanostubes.com he knows his stuff.
     
  10. serviviente7

    serviviente7 Supporting Member

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    Thank you for all the replies i now have a great starting point. The recap is something that i do not know much about but i might have to consider doing since the amp is starting to give me problems. Like i said it is starting to "act up". The power "comes and goes" and so the amp is not reliable at the moment. As far as the tubes I am strongly considering changing them also because God knows they are old...but i will leave that to the tech. If i do need to change them I want to get as close to the originals as possible because i just love the way that thing sound. Right now the have one of the exact amps i have on the emporium and i can not believe that at $275.00 it has not sold yet. I have seen them go as high as $475.00 in excellent condition. Someone will be getting a deal...for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  11. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    I hear ya. I do like my Blue Pup, but you're right, the cleans sure could be improved. But I do love the way it takes fuzz pedals, and even without pedals, cranked all the way up, it sounds great. I should try out one of those Sig8 speakers and hear the difference.
     
  12. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    Yes.I replaced the stock speaker with a Weber.
    My '71 Champ save for the speaker is completely stock.
    Even the tubes and two prong plug.
    If I were you I would call Mike at KCA tubes and get a NOS rectifier and 6V6.
    The pre should be fine unless there is alot of noise.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. serviviente7

    serviviente7 Supporting Member

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    That is the same exact amp i have. Boy that thing is sweet!!! I can not wait to do him justice!
     
  14. mrface2112

    mrface2112 Member

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    it's a british-voiced speaker....i didn't expect it to give me fendery cleans. so i oughta be "fair" with my assessment. but i got a great price on one, so i HAD to try it. that's the rule around here, right? :rotflmao

    but i do have to say that when i hit my Hyde with the blue pup, the other guitarist in my band *immediately* looked up with WIDE eyes. after the song he said "what'd you do to your overdrive sound, that's the best i've heard it!"

    and i concur with you on cranking it up. nice breakup.

    if you're looking at a weber for nice cleans, i would actually steer you towards one of the 8*125 speakers instead of the sig8. they're just beautiful sounding cleans. the sig8 is nice--very "accurate" to the original champ speaker......but the 8*125 is just a better sounding speaker. not to mention a whole lot louder.

    that said.....every weber i've ever had has needed considerable break-in time and they always sound sweeter once broken in......

    cheers,
    wade
     
  15. steadygarcia

    steadygarcia Member

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    Sounds like I may have to try one of those out. I should also play my Champ more to really break in my Blue Pup too! The sad fact about owning plenty of gear is that you don't always get a chance to play any one piece enough!
     
  16. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    I found the original 67 Oxford more forceful and overdriven on 9.5, 2.5, 2 on the dials with the vibro off then the new Weber 8 125 ceramic I replaced it with. The Weber is not as loud and does not resonate with "that" sound. However once the amp is hot it is a wonderful tone just not "that" tone.

    I pop in the Oxford sometimes for Layla and other Love songs tones.
    Tom Dowd says Derek used a Vibro Champ much of the time in the studio with Duane. Just bang out the opening salvo for Little Wing and you will see what I mean. SWEET

    This honey has RCA Blackplate 6V6 Telefunken 12ax7 and a GE rectifier, 2 prong and all the original parts and caps. Reliable source tells me this Amp belonged to a known obsessive compulsive nit picking git picker named Eric Johnson, but so what -- its mine now. Treading on thin Ice but it is so perfect! Seems he sold his Dumbell and wanted to buy it back so he sold off most of his stable including this and a hand tuned Carol Ann

    [​IMG]

    gut shots below

    http://s227.photobucket.com/albums/dd195/grooveyrecords/67BF VibroChamp/


    enjoy the music
    GrooVey RecOrds
     
  17. Rick1114

    Rick1114 Member

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    First off - sorry for the huge images - i don't know how to make them smaller!

    Here's my newly aquired '66. I have the original speaker, but I have a Weber 8A100 (alnico) in there now. If you are looking for something that's *very* close to the stock speaker in sound & output - this is it. At $70, It's kind of expensive compared to the other offerings from Weber, but it's a little beefier and very chimey.

    I had the cap job done, but it came all original. I also had a 1/4 inch speaker jack installed in place of the RCA, so I can easily plug into other cabs. I have all the original parts in a bag. For tubes it came with an RCA rectifyer and power tube and 2 Mullard 12AX7's and those are not going anywhere.

    Groovey - I would love to hear a clip of your VC. It looks very similar to mine and wondering how close they would sound.

    Rick
    [​IMG]

    Here's the inside prior to the cap job...
    [​IMG]
     

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