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Fender Champion 600 Reviews
I purchased this amp to get some nice fender cleans at low sounds levels and it doesnt dissapoint. At 6/12 volume its about talking level and crank it up to 10-12 on the high channel its way past shouting level- quite enough for home use.
The amp is responsive to playing dynamics and breaks up nicely when attacked right.
I it is a well built amp, durable amp, despite only having it four/five months i know its built to last.
I would highly reccomend this amp to anyone on a budget looking for a first tube amp or anyone wanting a good quality portable amp.
This is a great little amp. For anyone that doesn\\\'t know, the original Champion in its various forms is one of the most legendary recording amps ever, used by everyone from the Rolling Stones to Radiohead. At 5w it\\\'s not really suitable for band rehearsals or gigging unless you can mic it up well and have the monitors and PA to cope with its low volume output. Personally I probably wouldn\'t gig with this amp, but it\'s not impossible. If you want a quality no-frills practice amp you can crank without seriously offending the neighbours, or an amp for recording (where you don\'t want high volume which can lead to mic distortion), then this thing has serious potential.
I say potential for good reason. There are some genuine problems with this amp in its stock condition, which arise from its mass produced nature. There is an audible mains hum when you switch it on (the amp was designed to run off 230v, mains voltage in the UK is 240). There are some cheap and poor quality components used. The valves may be of the decent quality Sovtek or EH variety, or they may be poor Chinese manufactured alternatives (depending on what the factory was using at the time). There is no standby switch.
So why then, you might ask, have I given this amp 9 out of 10? The answer is that it has serious class A Fender tube tone, and that these problems are all easily and cheaply resolved if you know what you are doing (if you don\'t then find an amp tech who does, it\'ll be well worth it). If you perform a quick search on the internet for suggested modifications, you\'ll quickly find various options for sorting these problems out. And with a little bit of polishing, this rough diamond can be transformed into a real jewel.
If anyone is looking for the trademark Fender clean sound on a budget, this is your best bet. That classic chimey, glassy tone is here, rich and full. You won\'t get a huge amount of low end from the 6\" speaker, but the quality of the tone is absolutely lovely. That Fender clean sound we all know and love comes from an EQ which cuts the mids and lets the flamboyant top end shine through. The circuit for this amp is based on the 1964 Blackface Champ, and that sound is what it does best. The Pro Jr and Blues Jr also produce nice clean sounds, but they are fuller and rounder than the classic Fender clean tone, which is what the Champion really nails.
If you turn this thing up, then the distortion you achieve is quite distinctive. You hear more distortion from the little speaker than you do from the valves. If you try a new one of these out, you may find the distorted tone a bit fizzy or flappy. Rest assured that this will mellow into something far more palatable when the speaker is properly broken in (modifiying the amp will also help a lot as discussed earlier). If you think of \"You Really Got Me\" by the Kinks, that\'s the kind of distortion I\'m talking about. It\'s not incredibly versatile, it won\'t be to everyones taste, but it\'s a useful and useable tone in the right setting. In my opinion, this is where the Blues Jr and Pro Jr shine, and if you\'re after a more heavily overdriven Fender tone then I\'d recommend saving your pennies. Of course, you can use the speaker output to plug this into a cabinet (which disconnects the internal speaker), and this will alter your tone according to what you\'ve plugged into. You can get purer valve distortion in this way if that\'s what you\'re after.
This amp really helps the characteristics of your guitar shine through. Stratocasters and in particular Telecasters sound fantastic through it. If you leave the volume on 12 (maximum) and turn down the volume on your guitar, the sound will clean up and you can achieve some of the best tones this amp will produce.
It\'s a legendary amplifier the Champion, and this reissue does it proud in my opinion. Even in stock condition, it\'s very good value for money. There are some issues arising from the mass production techniques that bring it to us at this price point, but with a little love and care it can compete with the originals.
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