SF Champs

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,365
Champs, vibro champs, and Broncos seem to have jumped in value from $350-450 to over 600 in the last few months. I’m trying to help a couple of young players fund that tube goodness, and they can’t afford that. Any thoughts on alternatives that are affordable?
 

HotBluePlates

Member
Messages
10,613
... over 600 ... I’m trying to help a couple of young players fund that tube goodness, and they can’t afford that. ...
Now is a great time to learn the lesson of delaying gratification & saving towards a goal. $600 / 12 months = $50/month. Add 1 month to cover sales tax if it's a retail sale.

Champs can always be found later. Learning how to budget & pay cash for a purchase is a skill that can't afford to wait.
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,676
Last few months? I bought my '77 Vibro Champ over 10 years ago for $350 and I've been watching them climb steadily in price ever since. They have been selling for $600+ for a several years now. Even at $600 they are a steal.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
6,241
Dang. I got mine 1991-ish in the Recycler for $100. Vibro champs were $110.
Same. I had a 78 Champ that was $75 in 1994, the 71 Vibro Champ was $100 a year later. Sold the Champ 10 years later for $175, still have the Vibro Champ. I don't love it as I prefer larger power and speakers, but I won't sell it because it is quite cute and convenient to play.
 

BootRoots

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,351
If you are looking for more affordable tube-goodness the Blues Jr might be one of Fenders most popular amps of all time. A Peavey classic 30 could also be an option. Probably looking at 300ish on the used market I’d guess.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,365
Last few months? I bought my '77 Vibro Champ over 10 years ago for $350 and I've been watching them climb steadily in price ever since. They have been selling for $600+ for a several years now. Even at $600 they are a steal.

hmmm... I’ve owned five over the last 10-12 years. The first three I really wanted to work... but they sounded small and boxy. Then I found out about Jupiter8 and the WGS speakers. Fat Jimmy’s are also great. Head and shoulders about any Weber I’ve owned (which is a lot).

I know have a pristine Bronco and Champ... both I’ve purchased in the last two years for under $400. Asking and selling price have both jumped since the first of the year. I suspect COVID and few gigs have had an impact.

the other thing I did was the math on the PT. The draw on it (same PT is in a Princeton) for two 6v6’s is the same as a 6L6... dropping on in improved head room, tone, and tad bit of volume. It makes a big difference. I use one for band practice and I keep the other in the truck for dropping into open jams at small bars.

I don’t think they warrant $5-600... I just bout a bf showman for that... but they seem few and far between, so maybe demand is up. I’ll likely look for a blues jr or a peavey classic 20. Thanks all!
 

Rumors of War

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,009
Agreed. It's a toy, and sounds like one. I had a '70 I paid $350 for and did everything I could to make it sound better; replaced the speaker, NOS tubes - ax7, 5751, ay7, different 6v6s. Replaced the "turd" caps, etc... It still sounded like a toy.

The Special 6 I owned was better, and the Emery Sound Superbaby is what I currently have. Although my expectations are also in-line with reality at this point. I have bigger amps to do bigger jobs.
 

saltbird

Member
Messages
1,695
The 5-watt Monoprice tube amp is supposed to basically be a Champ clone and it's only $150. I've never played one so I can't personally attest to the accuracy. Evidently the amp handle is remarkably good quality FWIW haha
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,365
Agreed. It's a toy, and sounds like one. I had a '70 I paid $350 for and did everything I could to make it sound better; replaced the speaker, NOS tubes - ax7, 5751, ay7, different 6v6s. Replaced the "turd" caps, etc... It still sounded like a toy.

The Special 6 I owned was better, and the Emery Sound Superbaby is what I currently have. Although my expectations are also in-line with reality at this point. I have bigger amps to do bigger jobs.
good ideas... the VHT special 6 may be just the ticket. TY!
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,365
The 5-watt Monoprice tube amp is supposed to basically be a Champ clone and it's only $150. I've never played one so I can't personally attest to the accuracy. Evidently the amp handle is remarkably good quality FWIW haha
yah... I bought one new for $100. Pretty much junk, even with a tube upgrade and a Jupiter8.
 

Tommy Biggs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,333
Agreed. It's a toy, and sounds like one. I had a '70 I paid $350 for and did everything I could to make it sound better; replaced the speaker, NOS tubes - ax7, 5751, ay7, different 6v6s. Replaced the "turd" caps, etc... It still sounded like a toy.

The Special 6 I owned was better, and the Emery Sound Superbaby is what I currently have. Although my expectations are also in-line with reality at this point. I have bigger amps to do bigger jobs.
how did it sound through a 4x12?
I had a BF that was a bit boxy for what I was doing (I was also a young moron) so I’d run it through a variety of cabs, which made it sound a lot more open. I just made an RCA to 1/4” cable I kept in the amp.
(oh yeah, I paid $50 for the mint 1965 champ)

For a small amp rock I used a Tech 21 TM10, which was nice. That sounds huge through a bigger cab.
Special 6 looks like a really nice option.
 

timibucktwo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,038
View media item 229913I bought this off of a kid in HS for $25.00 back in the mid ‘70s, just about every part has been replaced at one time or another, but has been my most relied upon amp since then & can’t imagine not having it around.
Start saving now! I’m guessing that some boutique amps could be had that would be as good or better nowadays, nothing magical about them, just solid straightforward amps that stand the test of time & I wish I’d bought a SF as a backup when they were reasonably priced, would probably go with another option at current prices.
 

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,790
Super Champ XD. I sold my silverface Champ, because it really didn't do anything the XD couldn't, and needed to be dimed to really do it's thing.
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,676
hmmm... I’ve owned five over the last 10-12 years. The first three I really wanted to work... but they sounded small and boxy. Then I found out about Jupiter8 and the WGS speakers. Fat Jimmy’s are also great. Head and shoulders about any Weber I’ve owned (which is a lot).

I know have a pristine Bronco and Champ... both I’ve purchased in the last two years for under $400. Asking and selling price have both jumped since the first of the year. I suspect COVID and few gigs have had an impact.

the other thing I did was the math on the PT. The draw on it (same PT is in a Princeton) for two 6v6’s is the same as a 6L6... dropping on in improved head room, tone, and tad bit of volume. It makes a big difference. I use one for band practice and I keep the other in the truck for dropping into open jams at small bars.

I don’t think they warrant $5-600... I just bout a bf showman for that... but they seem few and far between, so maybe demand is up. I’ll likely look for a blues jr or a peavey classic 20. Thanks all!
I see way more BF Showman for sale than Vibro Champs and yeah they sell for the same price. Demand is higher for a cheap 5 watt tube practice combo thus the higher price. So the Showman is a great deal, but only if that’s what you want. Price out any 5 watt PTP wired tube combo amp from a builder today and it’s clear that $600 is still a steal for the VC. Just because the Showman, which has little demand, is a better deal and cheaper, that doesn’t mean that $600 for a 5 watt PTP wired tube combo isn’t a good deal. Compare that to a vintage 5e3 vs a modern clone. The clone is going to come in way cheaper than the vintage amp. You’ve still got the opposite situation for a Vibro Champ. When the VC gets up to around $900-$1200, about the same as a decent clone, then they are no longer a good deal.
 
Messages
1,422
Agreed. It's a toy, and sounds like one. I had a '70 I paid $350 for and did everything I could to make it sound better; replaced the speaker, NOS tubes - ax7, 5751, ay7, different 6v6s. Replaced the "turd" caps, etc... It still sounded like a toy.

The Special 6 I owned was better, and the Emery Sound Superbaby is what I currently have. Although my expectations are also in-line with reality at this point. I have bigger amps to do bigger jobs.
Not to sound argumentative, but it's pretty amazing how many great songs were recorded with those "toys".
 




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