Fender Champion 600

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Fender Champion 600

Postby grady » Thu May 31, 2007 5:39 am

I picked one of these up on my way to a gig this evening and it's a very very good amp.
I put it to the test tonight and I'm thrilled with it.

It's a very good sounding amp.
The 6V6 power tube sounds great.
It's a nice change from the current crop of small EL-84 combo amps out there.

If you're looking for a great sounding little Blues amp, try one of these.
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Postby jeffl » Thu May 31, 2007 11:23 am

I played some harp thru one at the store yesterday Grady. I did an a/b with a Epi Valve Jr., and for harp, I thought the Epi easily sounded better than the Champion, but the Fender had a smaller speaker and cabinet, with the same output. I realize that harp and guitar are two different animals when it comes to amps,though. The Fender cabinet work is far superior to the cheap looking Epi. The Epi's real cheap, and you can't hide that fact in the look and feel of the construction.
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Postby 601blues » Thu May 31, 2007 12:26 pm

:shock: When I picked up my epi's Valve jr. that was the sole purpose,for my harps, I was actually going to get the champ, but I read on several Harp sites they perfered the valve jr. for harps so thats what changed my mind, And I have ta say I happy with the valve jr's sound
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Postby bignick » Thu May 31, 2007 12:27 pm

I have really changed my amplication philosophy. I used to think that you had to have at least a 50 watt tube amp to do anything.

My tone has never sounded so good than on my 5 watt Ugly and it is loud as all hell. The crop of 5-15watt tube amps out there in this price range are awesome. I admit that it took a bit of convincing to get rid of the "Big" amps. I always saw 5 watt amps as being little toy practice amps. I was an idiot for thinking that.

I admit that I thought that little Fender was expensive at $199 for a 5watt, but after playing through a 5watt BadCat at Elderly for $1500, its cheap as hell for what it is.
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Postby grady » Thu May 31, 2007 6:34 pm

I love this little amp.
It got a good 3 hour workout last night.

Heading out for another gig tonight.
Can't wait to plug the little beast in.
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Postby rustyslide » Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:03 am

Apparently it uses the standard Fender tone stack, just with straight resistors rather than pots, so if you wanted to add an EQ to it, it shouldn't be too hard; there's room inside (and out) for a few more pots or switches.

There are pics and schematics linked from this thread on the FDP Forum. There are currently 551 posts, so I'd skip to the end and work backwards, as it started when the amp was announced.
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Postby grady » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:32 pm

A few interesting ideas there Rusty.
Thanks !
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Postby bluejay » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:15 am

Spent a while with the Champion 600 today at the local shop. The most notable thing about it to me is the transparency of the sound. The guitar you put into it is the sound it will give you.

Sitting next to it when I stopped in the shop was a brand-new Squier Tele in the $230 range. With the Squier plugged in, the amp seemed weak and a bit shrill. Couldn't get any real drive out of it even on the high-gain input. Very disappointing.

Then I plugged in a very nice used MIM Deluxe Strat and it was like a different amp. The better pups brought the Champion to life. The tone was smooth, full and clear no matter what pup combination or tone settings I put the Strat on. And the guitar and amp both at full volume even got the attention of the store clerk, who had doubts it could only be a 5-watter.

So if you try it out, try it with a guitar/p.u. combination you like or know the characteristics of. Seems to definitely be a case of garbage in/garbage out. With only a volume knob and the choice of high or low gain inputs, this little sweety isn't going to cover for a crappy guitar or pick-up.
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Postby grady » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:52 am

That's exactly what I love about this amp !!
You put a good guitar into it and you get a great tone.

Tonight, I played some slide thru my 600 using my Les Paul and it was an unbelievable TONE !!
Amazing, simply amazing.

Another thing that will kill the tone of this amp is using a crappy effects pedal in front of it.

I only use the FullTone Fat Boost,Maxon OD808, Holy Grail Reverb and occasionally a BOSS Chorus Ensemble with this amp.

The price on these amps is bound to go up once people get to buying the things up.
I'm thinking of buying another one just for the heck of it before the price skyrockets.
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Postby leftyguitarman » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:28 pm

After reading about how much you love yours Grady, I went and read more reviews all across the big wide intraweb tubes. I may have to go to GC when I get back to the states and go try one out.
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Postby jeffl » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:20 pm

I wrote about doin' an A/B comparison at the music store with my Silverface '78 Champ a while back; my take was that the two amps were nearly identical in sound. What I like most about the 600 is its very compact size, and distinctive looks. IMO, however, my 5-watt Epi Valve Special (NOT the Valve Jr.) runs circles around the 600 (but it's a bigger speaker and much bigger cabinet, albeit a similar price).
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Postby bluejay » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:45 am

Hey Bubba, guess I'll have some fun next time I find a shop that has both the 600 and the Valve Special. Yeah, right, I need another amp...lol.
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Postby jeffl » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:33 pm

I wrote in an earlier post about stoppin' in at Dave's Guitar in LaCrosse,Wisconsin, and they had a whole row of 5-6 watters on the floor, arranged in ascending order pricewise. The row started with a Valve Jr. (Epi), a Valve Special (Epi), a Kustom, and then the Fender, a new Gibson GA-5 Skylark re-issue, and a Victoria 5f-1, and some other high end boutique babies, including the "distressed" re-issue Tweed Champ. I hop-scotched my way up the line, blowin' harp thru a Shure Bullet and a delay, and fell in love with the Valve Special. It had by far the largest cabinet, and the subsequent additional low-end response hooked me. I don't like the cheap Chinese "wanna be" look of the Epi (Mainly the cheesy plastic Epi logo on the grill ) , but its sound is there.
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Postby texas blues » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:06 am

Grady the Fender Champion 600 I played last week at GC listed at $269 less tax. I thought it was a good amp but the buzz it had, ala torn speaker type of buzz only after turning past 7, soured me a bit. I'm going back this next weekend to try out another one, if they have any new ones in and give it another try.
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Postby texas blues » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:11 am

oops I missed Jeffl's post about the A/B between the Champion 600 and a '78 Champ. I've had a '78 Champ and to my ears there is no comparison. The '78 to my ears was way more loud (at 6 watts no less) and had much better tone. I actually liked the good sound I got from the 600 but in no way does it compare to the older Champs, either silverface, blackface, vibrochamp or other. Just my opinion.
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