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  • Fender champion 600 reissue

    So many of you know I had my heart set on a 70's champ. I still would love the champ but sort of want to save some money to put towards other things. I am only looking for a strictly practice amp and the Champion 600 reissues catch my eye. I want a really low wattage tube amp because I am moving into an apartment in about a year so it fits that bill. I am not looking to get a cranked fender tone, just a clean fender tone. I know the speaker in the amp is garbage, but I thought I would get a nice 10" speaker and build a new cab for it and then would have a decent clean sound to use with my pedals. Also, would it be hard to install a tone control on one of these? And I know these are not the BEST AMPS EVER but I know that with a few easy mods (new speaker, cab, and tubes) they can be OK little amps. Any feedback? I could get a 600 used for about 100bucks and by the time I add a good new speaker, tubes, and possible the tone control, I would still be under budget of a 70's champ that meets my expectations.
    Happiness. Only real when shared.

  • #2
    The Champion 600 is a lower voltage 70's champ with fixed treble/mid/bass controls, it is not a reissue of any previous Champ 600/Champion 600 amp.

    The pre set tone controls are easily altered to change the EQ if required.

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    • #3
      I did not know that, so its pretty much a similar tone to the 70's champ? would increasing the speaker to a 10" give me good headroom?
      Happiness. Only real when shared.

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      • #4
        Well, the 70's Champ actually runs a lot more voltage, so sounds different, but they are the same circuit.

        A better speaker would help some, even a decent 8" might do the trick?

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        • #5
          yeah that was another option. I wont be cranking it like I said its only for practice so getting a nice clean tone shouldent be too hard, I would build a completely different cab for the speaker and use the current one as just a head. If I had an 8ohm speaker, and the 600 runs on 4 ohms, is there a way I could make the speaker 4 ohms?
          Happiness. Only real when shared.

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          • #6
            Yes, by incorporating a resistive attenuator network (google this), even for apartment use an attenuator can be useful for a Champ.

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            • #7
              I've done a lot of work on these amps, some repairs but mostly mods, and we have been selling a Champ 600 mod kit at a pretty brisk pace (this is NOT shameless self-promotion folks, just an FYI). These amps are, quite simply, excellent mod platforms and there are a few companies doing the same.

              Can you make it sound closer to an original Champ 600? Yes. Can you add a tone control? Yes. Can you boost gain? Yes. You can also change tubes, change the speaker, change the grille cloth, and any other number of endless mods, because it is a pretty basic amp that just needs some help out of the starting gate. However, some people like 'em just fine.

              Here a a couple of links at the Telecaster Forum and YouTube that you might enjoy:

              Champion 600 Upgrades - Telecaster Guitar Forum

              Champ 600 Owners Club - Telecaster Guitar Forum

              YouTube - Tele + Champion 600

              YouTube - Fender Champ 600 mod. + Utrera Custom guitar
              John R. Frondelli
              dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

              "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "

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              • #8
                Isn't the speaker in a Champion 600 only 6"? Not a lot of choice for replacements. Can you fit an 8" in there?
                "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Steve Conner View Post
                  Isn't the speaker in a Champion 600 only 6"? Not a lot of choice for replacements. Can you fit an 8" in there?
                  Yes, you can shoe-horn an 8" in there, and it's a popular mod, as is swapping out the somewhat thick grillecloth.

                  The CH600 borrows the preset tone stack trick from the old 6G6 Bassman circuit. The tonal shaping it provides is more BF than Tweed, and a common mod is a tone stack ground lift switch, which essentially removes the tone stack from the circuit. Or, you can add a pot there instead. Some people rip out the guts and use aftermarket Champion 600 tag boards and add a tube rectifier to turn it into a version of the original. The sky's the limit with these.
                  John R. Frondelli
                  dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

                  "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "

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                  • #10
                    I put a new Jensen speaker in mine along with American NOS tubes and it doesn't sound bad at all, but nothing like my 76 Champ.
                    It does make a good practice amp if you aren't playing Death Metal.

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                    • #11
                      I got the 600. Its actually really sweet, I am pretty impressed. I am not a huge fan of the speaker but This is what I originally posted that I planned on building a cab for it. I replaced the tubes and that helped a ton. I plan on building a seperate cab for it to house a (I think) 10" I think that would be really suitable for me. I can only find 8 ohm 10" speakers though :/ I want to make this into a head/cab thing, I cut up some pictures of an old champ 600 to show you guys what I am thinking about doing. I think it looks really awesome! Anyone know of a way to make a 8 ohm speaker usuable for 4 ohms without getting an attenuator and all of that? And how would an attenuator even control the ohms? I thought they just controlled volume?
                      Happiness. Only real when shared.

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                      • #12
                        Hella1Hella: "Anyone know of a way to make a 8 ohm speaker usuable for 4 ohms without getting an attenuator and all of that? And how would an attenuator even control the ohms?" A resistive attenuator is a voltage divider between the OT and the speaker, that shows the OT an appropriate load (4ohms in your case) whilst dropping the voltage (power output to the speaker).

                        For instance you could use a 4ohm resistor in parallel with your speaker (2.7ohms total for 8ohms & 4ohms in parallel), fed by a 2ohm dropping resistor in series with the OT hot lead. This would show the OT 4.7ohms, whilst cutting voltage to the speaker in half & output by 75%. If you used a 1ohm dropping resistor, instead of 2ohms, power would be halved. Use 10W rated resistors, or better.

                        Or make life easier by fitting an 8" 4ohm speaker. Weber VST does 4ohm versions of most of their speakers.
                        Last edited by MWJB; 02-18-2011, 10:12 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Or why not have a dig inside and see if the OT has an unused 8 ohm tap?

                          Or again, replace it with one that does. Champ OTs are pretty cheap. A bigger OT would probably be a nice mod anyway.

                          Ghetto way: Just connect the 8 ohm speaker to the existing OT, it will probably work.

                          As MWJB points out, an attenuator wastes most of your power anyway, so it's easy to make it any impedance you want.

                          My favourite attenuator is an 8 ohm resistor across the amp output, then a 22 ohm one in series with the speaker. I find that tames a 3 watt amp nicely so I can crank it right up in my apartment. You could use 4 and 15.
                          "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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                          • #14
                            Or you could check out Antique Electronics Supply. They have a Jensen Mod 10-50 in 4 ohms. 50 watts is more than you need with a Champion 600, but who knows what other mods one might do.
                            I have used Jensen Mods in a few of my amps and they sound good.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks guys very helpfull. I think I found a very simple solution though. Weber DOES offer nearly every 10" speaker they have in 4ohm so I will probably go with that. And they have alot with late breakup which is what I am really wanting. I have heard great stuff about the Weber speakers.
                              Happiness. Only real when shared.

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