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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a new early 70's Champ amp today!
Wondering if anyone has links to options for speaker changes/tube suggestions, etc.

Thanks!


 

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Discussion Starter #3
I over-paid a little... these usually go for about $250-275 (I paid $300).
The Vibro champ's are the ones that actually go for about $350.
 

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Congratulations, Flashpunk. Because I can see no trace of sparkle in that grillcloth, I'm imagining that it's older than my '77.

Investing in a modern high quality 4-ohm speaker is a win-win situation, even if the present speaker sounds great.

Upon any eventual resale, your great-sounding Fender speaker (with matching numbers?) will guarantee top dollar.

For the present, you can use the Champ in anger, as the need arises, secure that you're not about to blow a matching-number speaker. And it can happen with old speakers.

Tubes? The funny thing with my Champ is it was born with the best 6V6 power tube in the world, or it seems that way, and techs doing sample tube-swaps in the shop keep coming back to the original 1977 tube and giving up.

Rectifier (5Y3) and preamp (12AX7) tubes are another story, though, and you'd be wise to invest in spares. A selection of different 12AX7's or 7025's can be a fun sort of wine-tasting thing. Rectifier tubes from bigger Fenders seem to be a debateable mod, because they cause voltages in the amp to jump over spec and could damage the ouput transformer. Better research first.

Costs? Not much. Last time I checked a Kendrick or Weber 4-ohm was about $85 and preamp tubes are about $15. People make some generalizations about brands and nationalities of tubes, and they may be right, but nothing beats trying an individual tube to see if you like it.

Grillecloth: maybe see page 215 in Teagle & Sprung "Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years." Does your colour thread look orange, or blue?

You might want a spare fuse, although if it blows there is something else wrong.

Dating, try:

http://www.tcguitar.com/articles/gagliano.html

Little parts, try:

http://www.angela.com/

It's normal for a Champ to have a half-hour warmup cycle, like a pot of soup, during which it will change from slightly too clean to slightly too dirty at, say, 4. If it really is too dirty the #2 input is handy.

You may get an approximate facsimile of a tweed Champ sound by putting your bass and treble on "10" (but I anticipate some debate on this!) as the Tweed Champs had no tone controls.

Pricewise, I actually paid $350 plus tax at Songbird -- in 1999 -- after comparing three.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, im shocked that you had paid that much.
I've seen these amps go for $250-275 on the Gear page in the last few months.

Perhaps it was the markup of buying at a store? Consignment fees, etc?
 

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I bought my very early 1970 champ (69 pots/transformer codes) in August of 2006 for 250 US. I changed the original Oxford speaker to a weber that I picked up on ebay for about 40 dollars and stored the original away for now. It is a great little amp for taste testing tubes, especially the 12ax7 (the amp had the original RCA's in it when I bought it, stored away as well). I tried several NOS tubes and settled on a mullard in the preamp section and a NOS Tungsol 6V6 and 5Y3 rectifer. I really only heard a minor difference w the 12ax7 though. The RCA's are being saved for the day it gets sold, way in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How would you say the change from the Oxford to the Weber was?
I hear that its a much more efficient speaker, so it makes the champ much louder..

Does it sound better? or is it just louder?
 

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Champs are often great as is. Play it for awhile and see if you are happy. If it has an old CTS speaker in it you may want to switch that out. Weber makes the best replacements, don't bother with the new "Jensen" speakers as they are Jensen in name only.

TG
 

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Congratulations FlashPunk, they really are great little amps. Like Davestp I also have a 1970 Champ which I also bought for $250.00 but I bought mine back in 1995. Unlike Davestp I didn't change the tubes or speaker. They're great "apartment" amps and mine still has the original owners manual in the back of the amp.

I bought my very early 1970 champ (69 pots/transformer codes) in August of 2006 for 250 US. I changed the original Oxford speaker to a weber that I picked up on ebay for about 40 dollars and stored the original away for now. It is a great little amp for taste testing tubes, especially the 12ax7 (the amp had the original RCA's in it when I bought it, stored away as well). I tried several NOS tubes and settled on a mullard in the preamp section and a NOS Tungsol 6V6 and 5Y3 rectifer. I really only heard a minor difference w the 12ax7 though. The RCA's are being saved for the day it gets sold, way in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I believe the previous owner changed the speaker to a Jensen... theres no markings on the speaker though, so i cant be sure.. He just said it was a Jensen.

I'm seriously considering ordering a Weber... I'll much around with it as it is for a little while though..

i'm really excited about it, i think it will make a great recording amp.
 

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Nice little amp, I'd like to get my hands on one of those too. When it comes time for tubes you can't beat the tubestore in Hamilton they offer online service, ship super fast and are great to deal with. I've been using JJ's for the past 4 years. Keep an eye on the weber board for a used speaker.
 

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Hi,

I changed the speaker only really to keep the original in it's original state. It sounded ok but farted out a bit at high volume w humbuckers, more or less fine w single coils. The weber is an alnico sig8, I got it used from a seller in BC on ebay. It sounds clearer, a little less muddy but not by much. I would say it is only marginally louder but not by much as well. The original oxford is ok in an amp of this power but the weber is a bit better but only a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Goddamit, now you've got me wanting to order one of those, and a Blue Dog for my vox! argghhhhhghgh!
 

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I'll give you a good tip on recording a Champ. I read a number of years ago that Frank Zappa got a huge tone out of his Champ by laying it on its back and putting a mic directly over top of it. Of course if you want it to sound more "Marshall" or "Boogie" like you can also use a distortion pedal with it and use this same method. I've never tried this myself but it seems to make sense that the Champ would have a bigger sound this way.

I believe the previous owner changed the speaker to a Jensen... theres no markings on the speaker though, so i cant be sure.. He just said it was a Jensen.

I'm seriously considering ordering a Weber... I'll much around with it as it is for a little while though..

i'm really excited about it, i think it will make a great recording amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Interesting tip Kenmac...

could the "on the back" tip be creating a seal so that the champ becomes kind of a closed back cabinet?
 
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