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Fender Champion 600 – Review

Before I start I have to point out that I’m reviewing this amp with sound as opposed to using descriptive terms.

I’ll let you be the judge.

My opinion is that this is a great amp for the money.

Prices vary between £125 and £140 dependant on where you purchase.

Usual blurb product blurb:  Scroll past to get to audio

The Fender Champion 600 is a fun and affordable tribute to a rare and historic Fender amp.

The Fender Champion 600 is a 5-watt tube amp with a 6” speaker and 1950 “two-tone” looks. We added a higher-gain preamp circuit to let the overdriven tone exceed that of the original, and we added a choice of high- or low-gain inputs. Internal speaker jack enables use of a larger speaker cabinet.

Fender Champion 600 main features include:

  • Type: TUBE AMPLIFIER
  • Output: 5 watts
  • Ohms: 4 ohms
  • Speakers: One 6″, 4-ohm Special Design driver with ceramic magnet (0073904000)
  • Channels: Two (Instrument and Microphone)
  • Tube Preamp and Tube Power Amp (One 12AX7 tube; One 6V6 tube).
  • 5 watts into a 6″ Special Design speaker.
  • High-gain and low-gain inputs; hotter preamp circuit than the 1950 original for warm natural overdrive when turned up.
  • Single volume control.
  • External speaker output.
  • Brown and blonde vinyl covering; vintage-correct 1950 “two-tone” cosmetics.
  • Leather strap handle.
  • Red jewel pilot light.
  • Controls Volume
  • Weight 15 lbs. (7 kg)
  • Dimensions Height: 11″ (28 cm), Width: 12″ (31 cm), Depth: 7.5″ (19 cm)
  • Tube Complement 1-12AX7A, 1-6V6 (diode rectifier

The recording of these audio examples was done with two shure dynamic mics – I’m experimenting at the moment so bare with me.

I’ve used an SM57 and an SM58.

Like I said I’ve moved these around until I was reasonably happy.

Amp has been placed off the ground on a very small stool and in the centre of the room – my house is open plan.

I’ve played using a Fender Telecaster (mexican) fitted with a Seymour Duncan at the bridge.

As you can see I’ve got the Tele going through an Electro Harmonix Double Muff.

I’ve set the Fender Champions amp volume to between 6 and 7.

Other equipment used for reference,

Behringer 1622FX, standard XLR mic cables and Planet Waves guitar cables.

Recorded to PC using Sonar.

No fx or processing used.

Each audio example has been played three times:

Pedal State:

Clean(bypass) -> Single Muff on -> Double Muff on.

Guitar: for each pedal state.

Toggle switch down -> middle -> up.

First Example: Open Chords

[audio:http://untidymusic.com/audio/Champion/OpenChord.mp3]

Second Example: Funky

[audio:http://untidymusic.com/audio/Champion/funk.mp3]

Example Three: Palm Mute and Power Chords

[audio:http://untidymusic.com/audio/Champion/Palm_MuteRIFF.mp3]

Finally Example Four: Lead

[audio:http://untidymusic.com/audio/Champion/Lead.mp3]

—->

Hope you enjoyed my hacking, note: you may if wearing headphones notice that the amp has quite a strong hum.

When you’re playing it’s not that big a deal and if recording it is only really apparent when listening on headphones.

Listening through my monitors it doesn’t seem that much of a problem.

When I record my next song using this amp I’ll report on how the hum affects the track.

Until then.

Enjoy.

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