Just scored a Super Champ (Rivera) - any tips?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by carljoensson, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    Hi there,
    I got lucky and scored a mint Fender Super Champ (1984) at a pawnshop auction today. My winning bid was 400 dollars, but since all music gear where I live is about 30 percent more expensive than in the US, I might have done an even better bargain. I got the orginal footswitch too.

    This is my new amp
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, so I'm doing my homework all over the Internet. I'm familiar with its reputation, the history of Paul Rivera at Fender and so forth - but very little about do's and don'ts, how to get the best sound out of it and so forth. I'm home with a 1,5-year-old daughter (sleeping) so I have neither been able to crank it or to really check out the lead channel etc.

    The reverb sounds fantastic - I imagine even better than my '71 SF Vibrolux - in the way that it gets deep without muddying up.

    At low volume the amp seems to lack a bit of bass - I get a better "sound balance" (treble, mids, bass) at low volumes when using my solid state home practise amp (Tech 21 Trademark 10).

    This is what it looks like inside:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    So, after googling TGP I've realized there's a few others who have Super Champs. I'm basically just interested in tips and advice on what to do and how to get the most out of this cute little amp. Really neat and handy! I've understood that a 2*12 cabinet really makes the amp bloom. But for now I'm interested in getting the most out of it as a combo.

    I've read some of you has changed the 10" speaker. I suppose mine is the regular one, not the Electro Voice upgrade available at the time.

    The sound I'm looking for is vintage soul/pop/rock/country. Not metal, alternative or heavy 70s rock. I enjoy a bit of break-up but mostly prefer to use clean sounds.

    Thanks for reading - and please chime in if you've got some advice!

    Cheers/Carl

    PS. For those interested the serial no is F411913. The speaker says 064121 67.8406 DS.
     
  2. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    Nice find.

    Get a good speaker.

    As you mention, these sound great when combined with a 12"

    For mine, I put in an EV Force 10 and it kicks pretty good. The magnet and cast frame on this speaker are such- bulkier than the OEM that Fender used, that I had to mount the reverb on the back panel.

    There are also a lot of other options as well-
     
  3. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    These are vastly limited by the cab/spkr size. Pretty near perfect classic Fender tones into a good set of speakers, though.
    You might try an eq pedal to compensate for the cab.
    The od is thin and buzzy, middy, to me. Ok for a weak Santana tone but you can do better with pedals. I think you got a true bargain with the pedal included.
     
  4. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    Excellent price with the footswitch. I put an Eminence Ragin' Cajun in mine it it just roars. I also modded it to have a speaker out jack and with a cab it flat out cooks. Finally I put some Brimar 6v6s in it and they sound great. Awesome amp.
     
  5. PFunk

    PFunk Member

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    I forgot to mention the Brimars as well- nice add!

    Same with the cab size.
     
  6. champster

    champster Member

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    I've found that for tubes it really didn't make that much of a diffrence. Just about any power and preamp tube will sound good. It is important though to get the bias right. I do prefer the JJ power tubes just because of the agressive sound from these tubes. Other power tubes give a smoother tone. The speaker is what makes a real difference. I use a Reverend 1030. I tried a Weber 10A-S which worked ok too, but I really don't care for Weber speakers. The Emi RC works well too.
     
  7. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Umm, $400 is a steal in any country, those regularily sell in the $650-700 range, or more, even without the original footswitch (which costs $100 to replace). I did find mine a little thin sounding-no mid control and the small box. In the end I upgraded to the Princeton Reverb II (very similar circuit but the 12" SRO speaker and a mid control make a world of difference). Still, killer little amp. You'll also find that the sound of the OD changes subtly depending if the pedal is plugged in or if you're switching with the pull pot. I prefer the master dimed and then increase preamp gain to taste... Anyway, cool score!
     
  8. Tonesmiths

    Tonesmiths Member

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    Congratulations on your score! I did quite a bit of experimenting with my SC and found the perfect combination of improvements can be made for under $150. Eminence Lil' Buddy: this 10" hempcone speaker yields great bass response and tames the shrill highs making the drive channel much more creamy. JJ 6V6 power tubes: for tighter bass response and expanded harmonics. Shuguang 12AX7 input & Tung Sol 12AX7 output tube. Also remember to change out that crappy speaker cable (I couldn't believe what a difference that made!) Good Luck, Bender
     
  9. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    Hi everybody,

    Thanks for chiming in - a lot of nice advice to look into. I guess I need to take speaker course 101 somewhere - just to get a brief idea of the typical characteristics of cheramic and alnico magnets etc. I know nothing. Anybody know of a site that covers the basic?

    I sort of know what sound I'm after - not so interested in the lead channel - I play mostly clean rhythm, the occasional doublestoplicks. Think Steve Cropper, Bobby Womack, Reggie Young (my chops aren't 10 percent of theirs, though).

    But how to get there? Right now the amp feels very bright, and I could use richer bass somehow.

    Bender: interesting what you say about the speaker cable! Is it really that bad? What kind did you buy to exchange it with? - Oh, I suppose any hifi-store should have good stuff, right. Or maybe I could just chop of a few feet from my home stereo.

    I found the manual over at http://www.superchamp.dk - I'm gonna read that and see where it takes me. I'm a bit puzzled when it comes to the channel switching and how to make most use of the treble/mid push/pull-knob.

    Thanks again,

    Carl
     
  10. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    For other people searching for info, there was quite a lot of stuff on the Weber site. http://www.webervst.com/sptalk.html

    I get the impression that Weber is the small boutique brand, while Eminence, Celestion etc are big companies, right? And therefore, Weber is also a bit more expensive?

    I see there are speakers the break-up early and late - and I'm not really sure what I want - how early is early? So really if there's anybody playing my style of music I'd be most interested in your speaker choice.

    Thanks again,

    Carl
     
  11. merkaba22

    merkaba22 Member

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    Last month I bought the 22 watt bigger brother, the PR II, w/ a Scumback that I found while looking for a Super Champ after playing one with an EV Force in July. The EV Force makes a great improvement over the stock Jensen.

    I found that the best "simple" mods would be getting nice AX7's and power tubes (I am using Telefunkens and JJ's), and a great speaker like the Scumback or EV, etc.

    Last week, I finished a clone of the cab in hardwood (in this case 2/3 maple and 1/3 purple heart) and found it makes the biggest difference of all by improving the overall balance and the tone of the gain channel (the clean is/was fine).

    Even though the above was really remarkable, I am pursuing mods including the replacing caps with Sozos and transformers w/ Mercury Magnetics and a couple of other things since these are point-to-point amps and it being over 20 years old.

    Great price: I was at a Vintage Guitar show last and they were selling for $1100 -- take the money you saved and max it out!!!
     
  12. anibas

    anibas Member

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    +1 on the Lil' Buddy-I put one in mine,and it made a world of difference with that amp.
     
  13. 55 Jr

    55 Jr Member

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    Mine is F200004.

    # four off the line.

    :)

    I played all weekend with it plugged into an eighties Marshall 1982A 8 ohm cab loaded with 55 hz G12H-100 speakers. I used the clean channel/treble 10/bass 10/mid boost pulled/reverb 5/lead level 10/ master at whatever. Boost with a FDII in comp cut mode.

    Very good sounding amp.

    I have a period correct EV speaker in there. It's ok for around the house but the weak link here is the cabinet.

    Plug into something bigger and you will be very impressed.

    I'm thinking of getting a bigger combo cabinet built.

    Great price on yours!

    Best regards,

    Brian
     
  14. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    Hi again,
    well I'm considering what replacement speaker to buy now. If I want a big sound I have my Vibrolux, so right now the thought of having the tiny combo Super Champ is very appealing to me. I keep hearing good arguments for all kinds of speakers. At least it good that so many seems happy./C
     
  15. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    The biggest improvement I made to my Super Champ was to have Rob at TruTone cabs make me a new cab for it to fit a 12" speaker. Now I have an EVM12L in there and it is a real fire breather! I also had the bias balance changed over to a bias adjust and run JJ's in there biased pretty high. The end result is an amp just a bit taller than the standard Super Champ but that will hang with just about any gigging situation.

    Oh and I know, you want pics. I'll snap some overnight
     
  16. merkaba22

    merkaba22 Member

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    + 1000 on a new cab, front mounted, hardwood (not soft/fast growth pine currently available), 12" depending on sound / new caps and or MM transformers -- the amp is over 20 years old and probably could use it.
     
  17. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    So here's the little beast...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. 55 Jr

    55 Jr Member

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    That would work for me!

    If you don't mind me asking, what was the cost for the cab?

    Best regards,

    Brian


     
  19. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    It was a long time back and also involved a partial trade so can't accurately recall. Rob is great to work with though and offers a great value so give him a shout here:
    http://www.trutonecustom.com/
     
  20. carljoensson

    carljoensson Member

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    Great looking amp!

    /Carl
     

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