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Posts Tagged ‘1958 fender champ’

I was so excited to finally get one of these several months ago! I played it A LOT until the original caps finally wore out and started to leak both fluid and the amp started leaking electricity (i.e. I could feel current when I touched the amp – not good!

So I had my good friend and amp genius, Jeff Aragaki of Aracom Amps overhaul the amp. I just got it back a few days ago, and it totally kicks ass! Among Jeff’s mods were:

  1. Replace the original two-prong cord with a grounded three-prong cord. For this, he had to make some adjustments to the heater.
  2. Replace the original caps with new Sprague paper caps.
  3. Replaced the original speaker with a new Weber 8″ speaker.
  4. Provide a way for me to use either the internal speaker or an external cabinet. This was done by connecting the output wire to a jack and running that into a custom switch box that he constructed.

But Jeff actually did one better, and that was to put the amp chassis in a larger tweed cabinet that had a 10″ speaker. What a difference in volume and tone!

That amp is VERY special, and it’s not a small wonder why Jeff Beck is now using Champs. He can get great tones at lower volumes! For instance, here’s a new praise song I recorded using just the Champ for the guitar tracks. The rhythm track was recorded using the 10″ speaker with the mic at the rim of the speaker cone pointed along the angle of the paper so I could capture more of the low frequencies. The “lead,” overdriven guitar used a closed-back external 1 X 12 cabinet with a Jensen Jet Falcon. It sounds like it’s coming from a much bigger amp!

For guitars, I used my trusty Squier CV Tele for the clean rhythm, and used my Gibson R8 Les Paul for the “lead.”

The thing that struck me about playing the amp was how it really responded and felt like an amp 10X its size. The touch-sensitivity and dynamics, especially when cranked, are spectacular with lots of overtones and harmonics. Being naturally brightly voiced, this amp never gets muddy. It’s actually rather unsettling to play this amp at times because it sounds much bigger than it actually is. That’s VERY cool!

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