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I have been checking out the 57 Custom Champ from Fender online, anyone have one ? How is it ? I know Victoria makes some , one model with a 12 inch speaker , any others out there members have experience with ? Seen anything for sale ? Not looking for a kit.
 

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I had a kit built Supro 1606 clone which was essentially the same circuit as a champ. I sold it because to get a decent sound it was too loud for home use and it was not loud enough for live use unless it was miked. Great sound but it didn't work for me.
 

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I have one and like it a lot. My friends that have heard it like it too. Went to a jam a few days ago and someone said to make sure and bring that amp. It is loud and cuts through pretty good for 5 Watts. I think it’s as loud as my 15 watt fender. Only has a volume control and I’m using an LPJ so only one pickup at the bridge. It’s my favourite amp. Expensive little bastard but if you can afford it the cost issue kinda goes away the first time you bring it home and plug it in. All the same though you might want try one before buying.
 

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A Gibson GA-5. Very very close to the Fender Tweed Champ. There slight variants on the ones in the 50s and 60s, some know as the Skylark. You can control the breakup by swapping the 12ax7 less gainy tubes like the 5750, 12at7 or 12au7. They were reissued somewhere between 2000 and 2010 and not in large numbers. Should be half the price or more than a new tweed champ Had one and traded it some 8 or so years ago. Quite the ballsy little amp.

YouTube vid of GA5 with LP Jr.
 

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@Morattoampshop makes a KILLER tweed amp. It's based on a 5E3 Deluxe but has beefed up transformers, a switchable negative feedback loop, and some other tweaks. I'm convinced that he should market it as a signature model. I've been underwhelmed by Tweed Deluxe amps in he past, but not any more.


Edit: I'm now noticing you said "Champ". Have you considered a Deluxe?? lol
 

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I have a Fender Champion 600. It's surprisingly effective for the price. I changed out the felt grillcloth, swapped the speaker for something vintage, popped in a 5751, et voila! I also clipped one of the resistors to bypass the tone stack.

It's a little noisy though. I'd love to have a proper tech go through it and jigger it so it's not so hissy. Anyone?
 

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There's a Trinity Tramp up FS on TGP at the moment. Those amps are an outstanding take on the Champ platform IMO.
 

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Not sure if Valvetrain make a Champ version, but my 205 Tallboy (Princeton take) is a pretty cool amp.
 

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I had the Victoria 5112 which is Victoria's take on the tweed champ but with a 12" speaker, and it was an amazing amp.
 

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I had the Victoria 5112 which is Victoria's take on the tweed champ but with a 12" speaker, and it was an amazing amp.
I bought that amp & it was much less boxy sounding than a vintage 5F1 I also had at the same time. My only gripe was the lack of a tone control, as it could be a little dark sounding with 'buckers.

Also had a ValveTrain 205 (not the Tall Boy version). The tone control was nice but the 8" had the boxiness of a Champ.

Last year I scored a mid 60s Supro that is Champ-like but has more features & tonal flexibility: Bright/Normal Inputs, a Tone control & Trem. The original 6x9 oval speaker is long gone so the previous owner rigged up an “overlay baffle” to accomodate an 8” speaker. I've got a Weber P10Q in there now, which was a nice improvement.
 

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@davetcan put a Pro Jr. into a 5E3 cab. That sounds like a great amp & probably a lot less $$$ vs. a Victoria or vintage 5F1.

P.S. I can’t believe vintage Champ prices these days. 5 yrs. ago I had a ‘60 with a 3-prong, changed speaker & cap that I couldn’t get a grand for.
 

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@davetcan put a Pro Jr. into a 5E3 cab. That sounds like a great amp & probably a lot less $$$ vs. a Victoria or vintage 5F1.

P.S. I can’t believe vintage Champ prices these days. 5 yrs. ago I had a ‘60 with a 3-prong, changed speaker & cap that I couldn’t get a grand for.
I'd been running the pro into a 1x12 ext cab and really liked it so I decided to go for it. Got the cab from Mr. Bell for a very reasonable price and i couldn't be happier with the results.
 

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There's only so much one can do, or vary, with a three-tube amp (12AX7, 6V6 or EL84, and 5Y3). You can stick in a tonestack, but that either requires an additional preamp tube or else results in passive sgnal bleed that reduces "grind potential" (the Champion 600 has a traditional Fender tonestack, but with a fixed EQ curve). You can add or omit a "Tone" control. The classic Princeton 5F2-A (I'm blessed to own an original 59 for the last 40 years) added a control to what is essentially a Champ that results in little signal loss. Of course one of the things it also added was a larger cab and speaker.

Other posters here have noted the use of larger speakers and the larger cabs they require. Five watts can seem like a lot more when a larger more efficient speaker in a more efficient cabinet can generate more bass and more volume. The only caveat is that larger speakers can often require more amp output to generate their own breakup. That's not necessarily bad, since power stage clipping may be exactly what you want, and a speaker comfortable being pushed by a puny few watts merely conveys that clipping accurately without altering it or adding to it.

FWIW, I run my Princeton through an old JBL 2110 8" speaker, bought in 1977. More efficient, more bass, more top end. I got rid of the stock Jensen early on and never regretted it.

Another thing that can differ between Champ variants is the power supply. Within limits, the plate voltage applied to the power stage will increase or decrease output power. I've tinkered with my Princeton over the years, swapping a solid-state rectifier or a GZ34 tube for the 5Y3 the Princeton normally uses; each delivering different power to the power tube. I've also subbed a 6L6 tube for the stock 6V6. You can do that, although you CANNOT do the reverse. Typical plate voltages for a 6V6 remain within safe limits for a 6L6 but typical 6L6 plate voltages generally exceed those safe for a 6V6 by a substantial margin.
 
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