Super Champ

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by grantster, Apr 25, 2005.


  1. grantster

    grantster Member

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    I am in the middle of a move and have had some major frustrating real estate and contractor issues lately and had to cancel my movers and put some stuff in storage. I took a pickup load of my guitars and amps to store at a friends wood shop. After emptying my truck, I pulled out a super champ, plugged it in next to a table saw and cranked it with one of my strats. I forgot how great these amps sound. I sat in this sawdust filled shop with a cold beer and played for an hour. This is a great little amp.

    Are there other superchamp fans out there?
     
  2. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Lots if you go by the prices on ebay.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Yes! I love Super Champs too. I doubt I'll ever sell mine, although I don't use it much.

    IMO there's no other amp ever made that has the combination of size, weight, power, tone and build quality to beat it, and I really don't think they're at all overpriced even now.

    It's the ultimate one-hand-carry jam amp, for me.

    I did modify mine so the Lead mode is a straight gain boost, not a distortion 'channel' with a volume control though - I always found the Lead sound a bit harsh before. And fitted a proper speaker jack, so I can run it through other cabs...
     
  4. onemind

    onemind Member

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    John, can you elaborate on the lead boost mod more, I love by S-champ as well but never use the distortion channel, I find it way too buzzy, I get much better overdriven sounds on the clean channel with the gain dimed.

    Steve
     
  5. Shea

    Shea Member

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    On my Superchamp, keeping the "lead" volume level below 4 usually works to tame the buzziness.

    Shea
     
  6. tmac

    tmac Goldmember Gold Supporting Member

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    John, please post that schem if you find it. I may try that with
    mine. :cool:

    Or if you want, I can email you a layout and you can put the mod on it and send it back and I'll post it.:)

    Ooo, or even better, get it to Steve to post at blueguitar.org and it will be forever known as the "Phillips" mod (along with the Paul C mod and Stokes mod). Yes, imortality is possible.;)
     
  7. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Found it - or at least one evolution of it (I don't have the amp to check right now, I loaned it out to a friend, and I think I did change it more than once).

    It's quite simple...

    First, remove the wire between the Master and Lead Level pots, and move the wire from the center tag of the LL to the center tag of the MV pot. This bypasses the Lead Level circuit. Leave the .003 cap on the LL pot.

    Second, connect the CCW tag of the LL pot directly to ground, and the other two together and to a long wire (you may be able to use the one which went from the LL pot to the Red jack - I can't remember, but I think there was enough wire to do all this without adding new).

    Third, find the 100K and 1M resistors which link the reverb drive to the pull-switch on the volume control. Replace the 100K with a 470K, remove the 1M, and connect the long wire coming from the LL pot to the eyelet that both went to.

    Basically, the 100K/1M pair is the voltage divider that controls the drive in the Lead mode, so by making the lower part (which was the 1M) variable, you control the drive. The LL pot is only 100K, so you get less gain in the Lead mode than before, but that's a good thing. I picked the 470K to equalize the gain level when the pot is at zero, I think. Also, if you have too little, there is an odd effect when the pot is quite low, since the boosted signal is out of phase with the normal, and you need just enough boost to get above this point.

    I like this mod because it's not very invasive, and the knobs still do what they're marked as, but in a different way. You can also see that now the Lead Level pot is not used at the end of the circuit, the only switching you need is the opto-coupler at the start.
     
  8. tmac

    tmac Goldmember Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks John! Very cool. Sounds like a very nice addition to the Super Champ to give it more versatility. I like mods that don't hack the amp. The lead channel was useless to me (and I imagine many others). Would it be ok with you if I forward this to Steve A (blueguitar.org) so he can post on his site as the "John Phillips Super Champ Mod".

    The "Stokes" and "Paul C" mods worked wonders on my Priceton Reverb (along with a 12" speaker and JJ 6V6's)

     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Certainly - with the caveat that it's an outline, and may require tweaking for individual tastes in gain and tone. It's maybe not a mod for the completely inexperienced, but the overall principle works.
     
  10. tmac

    tmac Goldmember Gold Supporting Member

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    John, a quick question for clarity:

    You do remove the long wire normally coming from the Volume control pot to the CCW lug on the LL control (that will now be grounded) correct? Is this this the long wire you were talking about that can be used to connect the LL pot to the new 470K resistor? There is nothing going from the LL pot the red jack (the red jack is connected to the switch on the Volume pot.
     
  11. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Ah, right! It's the other way round, it goes to the switch on the volume first, then to the jack afterwards - it doesn't make any difference electrically, the switches are simply in series, and the way I described it is the way it's shown on the schematic. But if it's the other way round that certainly explains why the wire is long enough! I didn't remember it clearly (it's years ago :)), but I did think there was enough wire.

    Feel free to experiment with different values and let me know if you get anything useful! - the three you might need to change are the 470K resistor, the bleed cap across the LL pot, and possibly a cap in parallel with the 470K - I have one marked on my drawing (.022uF), but I'm pretty sure I took it off again...

    I forgot to mention in my earlier list of mods, the fitting of screen-grid resistors BTW. 470-ohm, 2W wirewound.
     
  12. tmac

    tmac Goldmember Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok, thanks John, I thought that's what you meant. :) I'll give your mod a try when I get a chance. It would definitely be cool to put the other "channel" to good use.

    Yes, screen grid resistors are a must and I remember you telling us about the undersized 47 ohm bias supply resistor that usually burns out too - needs to upgraded to a 1W.

    Also I like changing the "Mid" resistor from 4.7K to the more typical 6.8K too. :cool: I also had the change the bias resistor because it was running tubes way hot (like around 32 ma).

    Sorry for derailing the thread a bit with the mods, but this is a great little amp that can easily be used for gigging, especially if a speaker jack is fitted and you use it as a head with a nice 8 ohm cab. bbarnard has a 2x10 Jenkins cab that is very sweet with it. They're cool as a low volume practice amp but when you crank 'em a bit they bloom. They're also very quiet, no idle hum or hiss at all. With JJ6V6's they're plenty loud, maybe more than a Deluxe Reverb and the reverb is great.

    Take to a good tech and let him do the reliability mods and put in a speaker jack and you're good to go for some cool Fender tones.

    John, it's about time to get your amp back!;) Thanks man, you're a great resource.
     
  13. Sneaky

    Sneaky Member

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    Yeah Baby! You should try it with a 12" speaker....

    [​IMG]

    :dude
     
  14. tmac

    tmac Goldmember Gold Supporting Member

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    Man, that's stunning!:dude
    Did you do the cab? What speaker you got in it?

     
  15. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Shhhh, the Princeton Reverb II with the EV speaker option is the best of the Rivera era Fenders. It has a mid control to dial out the buzziness, the 12" speaker gives it more authority and it just sounds better than the Deluxe Reverb II and up amps. It's a bit heavier with that speaker, though!
     
  16. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Actually I didn't like the Princeton II as much as the others - too midrangy. At least until I fitted mine with 6L6s, and even then I thought the Concert sounded better (on both channels), admittedly with the disadvantage of being a lot heavier. The Princeton might be a better choice for bluesier tones though. The Princeton is also the loudest 20W amp I know of - even louder than a Mesa Studio .22 - I sold mine to the other (rhythm) guitarist in the band I was in at the time, thinking it would keep him under control, since he was always too loud. He can't do much harm with a 20W 1x12", can he? Wrong. He just dimed the thing all the time! I had to move up to a BF Bassman head and a Marshall 4x12" to get over him - the Concert wasn't actually enough, for the sort of tones I wanted... full and only semi-overdriven. The problem was that the Princeton was so distorted and mid-heavy, the way he set it.
     
  17. Sneaky

    Sneaky Member

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    No, it's a Crusty cab. I've got a Celestion Blue in it now. Sounds great.

    money shot....

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Gary F.

    Gary F. Member

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    Who is Crusty and how do i get one of his cabs? I've got two superchamps and I love them dearly. At least one should have a 12" and the appropriate cab.

    Gary
     
  19. Sneaky

    Sneaky Member

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    I don't think Crusty has a website. Here is his E mail (I think it's current) or you can probably track him down at the Weber VST amp board.

    gz34@comcast.net <gz34@comcast.net>

    -Pete
     
  20. Lamont

    Lamont Member

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    Ive allways been a two(or stereo) amp guy at gigs but the space on stage is allways an issiue.I use my superchamp as the 2nd amp .D-13 RSA 23 and the SC as the extention,sounds huge. At this one club years ago that we used to play,id use the SC through an old Marshall 4-10 and i swear i could get Dumble lead tones.Bit of Super champ history ,If anyone remembers the rock band Ratt,alot of there songs were recorded through a SC through a Marshall 4-12 .The first thing to do is replace the stock output jack w/ a 1/4" so you can plug into any 8 ohm cab .The 2nd thing is to stock up on the 6c-10 tubes
     

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