Anyone ever mod their VC to tweed specs?

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Anyone ever mod their VC to tweed specs?

Postby steel1953 » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:47 am

I've got a SFVChamp that's okay, but not very inspiring. It seems most harp players that use Champs use tweed Champs.........

I have a chapter in my Kendrick book about doing this. I just wondered if any of you guys have, and what did you think?

Brian
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Postby jeffl » Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:15 pm

I've got a '78 Silverface Champ that I've vowed NOT to modify because it's in nearly pristine condition and I've decided there's other ways to get the tone. For instance, I just stick my Holmes Harp Commander in front of it, and that helps. I think it's just a matter of taste though....; Why not jus' build a clone from scratch,or buy one from somebody?
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Postby t bone bruce » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:09 pm

If you go down the scratchbuild route, the Tweed Champs have to be one of the simplest circuits going. Also the Kalamazoo Model One, which always seems to get good reviews. There's something satisfying about making your own amp. I used a Tweed Princeton 5F2-A schematic, and gradually modifed it to get the sound I wanted.
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Postby thebluesbox » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:02 am

I dont think I will ever build from ground zero, too much involved above my head. But I did buy prebuilt components and assemble them myself with my choices of speaker, grill cloth, handle and hardware etc. and that was a pretty satifying project, after that I had it modded by a good friend, this was a 5F1 champ, I sold it after I built it and started on other projects to assemble/build and sell.

My good mod buddy encouraged me not to be stuck on one brand like fender for example, their or a lotta other good stuff out there even some you would not expect to meet the "quest for TONE" expectations. Sense them I have been building and experimenting with other vintage amp stuffs. Now as you all might have seen in the equipment blues section im daring to cross the line into older vintage solid state territory and see whats on that side of the river!

I have tried and owned a lotta different jems of amps and I have found that it does matter what amp you have that will shape your sound but another fact is really and truely a lotta other amps you wouldnt concider THE amp will sound just as cool, for example I tried a little danelectro SS amp for harp and this little guy honked some serious grit, you couldnt tell it didnt have tubes.
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Postby jeffl » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:46 am

Hey Steel1953, d'you have any vintage ampsellers around you who have a Tweed Champ for sale that you could go in and testdrive....? I know this is unlikely,since most of 'em get sold pretty quickly, but it'd at least give you an idea of what they sound like. You might find it interesting to check out http://www.harpgear.com . Brian Purdy is a contributor here, and he builds what I'd call "SuperChamps",and has some audio clips on his site of some very accomplished players crankin' thru his amps. Remember that if you mod a Champ, you're still gonna have just a Champ,i.e., it won't be loud enough to serve as a good stage monitor if you're giggin' at higher volumes in a club; you'll need more than 6 Watts for that, unless you can bleed yer mic'ed amp back thru your own stage monitor, without gettin' in the singers' ears.
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Postby songdog » Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:03 am

I have a 1960 tweed champ. It's a great amp for practice but as others have said, it's only 6 watts. I've done a few minor mods to it (that are easily reversible) but the prices keep inching up for them on EBay so I think it's better that I leave it stock. It will be worth more in its original condition should I ever decide to sell it.

That said, I'm slowly accumulating the parts to build a tweed deluxe clone.... about 20 watts with a single 12" driver which should be just about perfect for gigging.
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Postby steel1953 » Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:50 am

My whole reason for modding the VC is to NOT have to buy/build another amp. A few caps and resistors is way cheaper. I just thought that maybe one of you had done Kendrick's conversion, and had an opinion.
Actually, when I get some $$$ ahead, I've thought about building Bruce's 5F2H.....The idea of using a 6550 tube for harp sounds cool! I've modded amps, and built a tweed deluxe, though it needs some tweeking for harp. It's not hard if you have a layout bluesbox. T-Bone is right. Feels good to know you can make your own.
I know it's only about 6 watts Jeffl, but when I use small amps, I always use a pair in stereo, usually the VC and a Deluxe. That is unless I'm miked through the PA. Then I'm lazy.............

Hey bluebox, which model dano did you try? The best blues player around these parts recomended the Dirty 30 to me. He uses that along with other amps.

Jeffl, my VC is NOT stock. I can see keeping it original if it's in great shape. Mine is really clean also, but has an Allen OT, and a different speaker, so I don't worry about it. Plus, all the mods Gerald describes in his book are easily reversed, in case you want to put it back to stock.

I think I'm going to go for it.. It's less than $5 worth of parts!...............Brian
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Postby jeffl » Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:05 pm

Geez '53, that's one of the most well organized responses to multiple posts I've ever seen around here,lol! I think I've got a good idea of where you're comin' from now. Best wishes.
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Postby jeffl » Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:57 pm

BTW,my Champ doesn't inspire me that much either,mainly 'cuz of it's stock limitations. I jus' love lookin' at it, and it will do the job,when pre-amped. The amp that last inspired me was the Gretsch 6161 that I wuz lookin' at a coupla weeks ago; it was a great soundin' amp, at a very reasonable price. I jus' soured on the deal 'cuz I have no need for a mid-size amp right now, since I'm not giggin' AT ALL, and I can't rationalize spendin' any money on equipment. If I do have to play a gig, I'll jus' use my Classic 30...it works fine when pushed. I have no idea where my next fix is comin' from; I jus' need to stay focussed on practicin' and gettin' better while I'm doin' nearly nothin' else (only jammin' a coupla times a month lately).
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