Need advice... should I put an offer on this Fender Champ, and how much?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by feralchild, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. feralchild

    feralchild Member

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    So Craigslist post this morning: "Fender Champ. Probably needs new tubes. BO or Trade."

    No other info. Pic looks like a Fender Champ alright, which is what I'm looking for (if the price is right).

    I shot him an email to inquire about the serial number and the tube issue. Hopefully he can give me more details. I have no problem buying it if the tubes are just shot, but if the problem turns out to be something else, I could be screwed.

    I don't have a tube tester but I could maybe bring some fresh JJs when I go to test it out. If it makes good sounds, what would be a smart offer? I'd love to get it for 250.

    More updates later... if the guy responds.
     
  2. feralchild

    feralchild Member

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    His response:

    "I still use it, but it has cut out a few times."

    That doesn't sound good. Bad tubes don't just "cut out" do they? They degrade and eventually stop working. Right?
     
  3. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    A red-plating or failing power tube will definitely cause the output level to drop and/or sound very bad. If the sound completely stops, cuts off, zilch, I doubt it is a power tube. I suppose it could be a tube problem though.

    What model and year Champ is this? Is it a hand-wired 5F1 Champ like you see kits for? Is it a newer Champ with a printed circuit board?
     
  4. Darkness

    Darkness Member

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    Champs are super easy to repair because of their simplicity. Unless the transformers are sketchy, which is unlikely, the cost of tuning it up should be extremely cheap. Even if the iron is shot, new trannies can be had for a nominal fee. Also, these are great platforms to learn the basics of tube amp function and repair. My champs have taught me quite a bit.
     
  5. KR-100

    KR-100 Member

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    Could be something as simple as dirty pots, jacks, tube sockets ect....... Deoxit works wonders.
     
  6. rockonomics

    rockonomics Member

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    This. My first line of troubleshooting would be to wiggle the geetar cord when it cuts out. Could be a simple matter of bending the spring a bit.
     
  7. feralchild

    feralchild Member

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    Looks like an early-mid 70's but I won't know for sure until I get the serial number.

    I am certainly not shy about working on it and learning a few things. Hopefully after I check it out for myself I can tell what the problem is. This guy is not giving me much in the way of useful info.
     
  8. LPVM

    LPVM Member

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    Bringing a fresh 6V6 & 12AX7 to swap through woundn't be a bad thing. Just take off the appropriate amount from his asking price to cover a typical bench charge which is perfectly understandable since you would be buying an amp with an unknown issue. If the deal seems good go for it. A bad transformer isn't going to cut in and out. Listen for crackling & popping when you plug in. Often times crackling, popping and cutting in & out is nothing more than loose or dirty preamp sockets. Other times it's dieing tubes. Unplug the tubes and plug them back in and see if any noise goes away. I've experienced those symptoms with my own amp and then found a preamp tube almost falling out of it's socket. I pushed it back in and all was well. As others have said, there isn't much to go wrong in a Champ and components are cheap.
     
  9. feralchild

    feralchild Member

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    Would a 6L6 work? Don't have any 6v6 on hand...
     
  10. lpcustom

    lpcustom Member

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    Forget the 6L6...that could cause more problems.

    Bring 250 bones, offer 200. A Champ is a great find at either price.

    Good luck!
     
  11. guitarcapo

    guitarcapo Senior Member

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    I wouldn't pay a dime over $150 if it had repair issues. Easy to fix or not.
     
  12. feralchild

    feralchild Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I will check it out and play it by ear. Hopefully I can use the repair issues as leverage to get it for a steal...
     

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