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Amp Input - Normal or Bright Amps, tubes, speakers & everything AMP related

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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fender Champion 600 hum

Hi all,
I just got a Fender Champion 600 from E-bay delivered today. I;m getting a pretty loud hum with the volume at 1. When I press the volume switch in the hum stops but resumes when I depress it. Does this mean I have a volume switch problem? I'm not familiar with this amp so any help would be great. Also any recommendations for improving the stock version to something better.
Thanks,
Sal

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Old April 14th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have one and it does have a slight hum to it but there is no change in the volume of the hum when I tap the volume knob. The volume pot in it does seem a bit cheap as it is noisy when turning it. As I always play mine at 12 I don't know if I will worry about replacing it. The only thing I did to mine was throw a set of JJ tubes in it and I don't really see me doing anything more to it, I bought it to use as a practice amp and it works great as is for that.

...Greg
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Old April 14th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This hum is annoying loud and it doesnt change when I play. It's like playing over the hum which is driving me crazy. It's hard to focus on what I'm playing. Does this sound like something that is loose? I can't imagine Fender selling many of these amps if this problem is consistant with all these amps.

Sal
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Old April 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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...any recommendations for improving the stock version to something better.
Try changing the tubes, itll mellow the tone out(less harsh) and should be one of the first places you try to trouble shoot or even "mod"....speakers for that cost dirt, and the grill cloth is another point.
I dont own one of these, Ive got one friend who brought this amp to my attention, and another one who recently purchased one...I keep fighting the temptation but cant avoid these topics either. If I can find one under $100, I'll probably scoop one up.

The reason I say try tubes, is the times Ive heard noises coming from a newly acquired (used)amp has been scratchy pots, and strangely enough tubes remedied that...Ive even had times where a known guitar has appeared to have scratchy pots through a newly acquired amp...replaced the tubes and that went away as well. Could be a poor ground too.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The hum on mine isn't all that loud and definitely can't be heard over my playing. I would try what Sprocket suggested first and throw some decent tubes in it. I replaced the cheap Chinese tubes mine had in it when I bought it with JJs before I even turned it on so I don't know if the hum was louder with the cheap tubes or not.

...Greg
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ive noticed that when I jiggle the volume knob I can silence the hum a great deal. Does this mean that control is defective?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Try playing your guitar through the amp while pushing on the volume knob a bit. If the signal goes in and out, it most likely is a faulty volume pot. They use a plastic shaft pot on these and they are a bit fragile as a result. You can either replace it with another PCB pot or replace it and the jacks with open panel style ones, if you're a bit adventurous. There's a thread on the Fender Forum with visuals on how to do it:

Public Service Announcement Fender Champion 600 - The Fender Forum
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Old April 14th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input guys. You mentioned changing the tubes. Now heres a dumb question, when I removed the back I only noticed one glass tube, now stop laughing. What am I not seeing?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The only dumb question is the one you don't ask if you aren't sure. :-) That glass tube is the 6V6 (power tube). Looking at it from the back the 12ax7 (preamp tube) is to the left, basically behind the output jacks, it has a steel sleeve (with a spring in it) that you have to remove to get at that tube. It takes a twist to get it off, if you look at the slots at the top of the sleeve you should be able to determine which way it needs to go (to the left on mine). I will take a pic later if you still aren't sure on it.

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Old April 15th, 2009, 09:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks Greg. What would be a good substitude for those tubes and should I also change out the speaker?
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Old April 15th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Greg. What would be a good substitude for those tubes and should I also change out the speaker?
Any 6V6 or 12AX7 type tube will work...I say 12AX7 type cause that tube comes in many flavors, you might wanna pick up one of each to see what you like, such as a 12AT7 or 12AY7 or even a 5751...each one of those will give you different levels of gain.
Nice 12AX7 type tube chart

If you can find a guy locally that collects vintage tubes, like I did, youll be very pleased...but if you cant try and find somebody who carried American tubes at a decent price...if not Russian is my second choice...then JJ's.

The speaker change? Should you?
I say, why not? At about $20 itll be the least expensive speaker swap youll ever do...it can only help.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If you do plan on replacing the speaker here is something from the Weber site on getting their 6' speakers to fit in a Champ 600. Personally I am going to leave mine til it breaks in some, the guy I bought mine off hardly used it as he didn't like the sound of the amp with humbucker equipped guitars (a common complaint). Anyway, here is what was said:

Mounting this speaker in a Gretsch G5222 and Fender Champ 600. From J.P. Glavey Jr.

Some 6V6's might be about 3/16" to 1/4" inches taller than the Chinese tube these amps come with. To fit this speaker with the factory tube in place, loosen the two screws that hold the chassis in place. There are two machine screws on the side and two wood screws on the faceplate.
Pivot the face plate out at the bottom. Cut a hard rubber hose washer to about 3/8' in length and place two of these spacers under the chassis faceplate at the bottom. That will cause the chassis to tilt slightly out to make the proper clearance.

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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks Greg. What would be a good substitude for those tubes and should I also change out the speaker?
I know you are in the US, however, some retailers offer kits for small amps like the Champ. I got a valve + speaker kit for my Epi Valve Junior from these people. They also do one for the Champ

Watford Valves :: Product - FENDER CHAMP 600 KIT CH6
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Old April 15th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If you do plan on replacing the speaker here is something from the Weber site on getting their 6' speakers to fit in a Champ 600. Personally I am going to leave mine til it breaks in some, the guy I bought mine off hardly used it as he didn't like the sound of the amp with humbucker equipped guitars (a common complaint). Anyway, here is what was said:

Mounting this speaker in a Gretsch G5222 and Fender Champ 600. From J.P. Glavey Jr.

Some 6V6's might be about 3/16" to 1/4" inches taller than the Chinese tube these amps come with. To fit this speaker with the factory tube in place, loosen the two screws that hold the chassis in place. There are two machine screws on the side and two wood screws on the faceplate.
Pivot the face plate out at the bottom. Cut a hard rubber hose washer to about 3/8' in length and place two of these spacers under the chassis faceplate at the bottom. That will cause the chassis to tilt slightly out to make the proper clearance.

...Greg
Im pretty sure thats just the weber though, and it costs double what the Jenson costs.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There's a company in NYC that sells a mod kit. Let me know if this sounds good. 3-resistors, 2- capacitors, electro harmonix tubes and a jenson mod-6/15 speaker for $70 plus $10 shipping.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 03:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What I would do if I were you is just address the hum issue first and then move forward from there. If you are happy with the tone of the amp once you get rid of the hum, then there is no real need to mod it. If you aren't happy then just try some different tubes and see if that does it for you. Take it one step at a time rather than dumping a ton of money into something you just might not like in the end anyway.


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Old April 15th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There's a company in NYC that sells a mod kit. Let me know if this sounds good. 3-resistors, 2- capacitors, electro harmonix tubes and a jenson mod-6/15 speaker for $70 plus $10 shipping.
Id do the speaker and tubes alone...Id also find some wheat grill cloth.
The caps and resistors sound overpriced...you shouldnt need any of that to by-pass the tone circuit or the negative feedback loop, what other kinda mods would you wanna do? I guess I just dont understand the need for the caps and resistors.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice Greg. Beers are on me.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How about turning it into a blues jr? Who's got the kit for that? Sprocket you get a round also.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I guess Im just impulsive...and the replacement speakers are dirt cheap, there is room for improvement...and in my opinion that grill cloth NEEDS to be addressed, and thats why Id do the speaker, I mean youre in there already *shrug* ...and its cheap!(and it cant sound worse)

I like beer! *burp*
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