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Unread 06-02-2010, 12:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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5c1 Champ

I've spent some time reading up/listening to youtubes and other clips I could find of different Champ circuits. I'm infected with the 5c1 tone... which may pass with time, but for now, oh my. I must have it.

From what I've gathered thus far, there seems to be plenty of 5f1 based amps and kits, but as far as 5c1 goes I only found it at Weber. I like that they will build it for me, as much as I'd like to diy, at this point I just don't have the time for it. With that said...

Any other 5c1 kit suppliers/builders I should look at?
What is your experience with quality of Weber kits/builds?
From the volume/tone perspective 8 or 10" speaker? Over time I came to the conclusion that my 15w super champ xd with a 10" speaker is much louder than I would like out of a practice amp.
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Unread 06-02-2010, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

I have a Weber 8A100T in my 1966 Champ and like it a lot. For it's size, it puts out a surprisingly good amount of low end. When I bought it, they offered the speaker in either 3.2 or 4 ohms and this is what Ted told me when I asked:

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I am looking for a replacement speaker for my 1966 blackface Fender Champ. I'm not looking for anything fancy; just a direct replacement. Going from the descriptions on your web site, the one that I think is going to be best for me is the 8A100T as I'm not looking for early breakup and prefer a smoother tone although, if this one has a little better low end response, that's definitely a bonus. But, I'm open to suggestion for the replacement.

First, will this speaker fit in a 1966 Champ? I'm not sure if that year is considered to be an early blackface or not.

Second, I see it is offered in several versions at different ohms. I believe the Champ is 4 ohms - if I go with 3.2 ohms, will I get a little more headroom/volume out of the amp before it starts to break up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Weber
The 8A100T will work fine and will fit in that amp. It is aggressively crunchy with early breakup and lots of punch. Another speaker we sell a lot of for that amp is the AlNiCo Signature 8 and ceramic Signature 8.

On the 8A100T, the 3.2 ohm would be a little more aggresive and break up just slightly sooner than the 4 ohm model. The 4 ohm would have more headroom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Looking at the descriptions for both the 8A100T and the AlNiCo Signature 8S, they seem very similar. Will one give a little more bottom end over the other? Which one is cleaner?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Weber
Yes, the 8A100T has more punch and low end, and overall loudness. Also, better control at higher volumes.
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Unread 06-02-2010, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

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Unread 06-02-2010, 07:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Man...listen to the difference between this vintage Champ and the Swart:

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Unread 06-02-2010, 08:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

The Swart is a great amp, but I have to go with the Champ.

I have the 5F1 Tweed circuit and think it amazing, but I've never heard a 5C1 circuit Champ. At some point I'll have to look at the schematic and see what's different.

I really favor a 10" speaker with these small amps. They can be extremely articulate, yet move enough air to feel right. The 8" speakers just don't move enough air for my liking.
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Unread 06-02-2010, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Yeah...I like the Swart too but it just got destroyed by the 5F1 in that clip.
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Unread 06-02-2010, 08:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

I did a similar thing with the Deluxe 5E3...built a 5C3 to compare.
The platform lended itself to octals and I didn't really want to deal with
converting to miniatures, plus I was not confident about the current.

A pic of the conversion:


While I know this is no Champ it shares the octal 6S(x)7 preamp.

What I found was about zero headroom, but it was SWEET.
I played with the coupling caps and resistors to give a little breathing room.
Guilty, I can't remember exactly where I ended up.
(I do have highly detailed Autocad drawings...too lazy to grab them...)

But expect an outcome that will be far more tweed than you might expect.
La Grange all day long, but if you want shimmering Fender clean, you aren't likely to find it in that circuit.

Great for some things, but not for that.
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Unread 06-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Thank you for comments, gentlemen, certainly appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hipofutura View Post
I have the 5F1 Tweed circuit and think it amazing, but I've never heard a 5C1 circuit Champ. At some point I'll have to look at the schematic and see what's different.
Here's a clip that did it for me:


He also does one with a strat and p90s. To me that sounds so awesome, but I'll admit to never really being into the "bright Fender cleans".

I do like that ceriatone champ of yours, the circuit switch is just such a cool feature on your amp.
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Unread 06-03-2010, 01:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

I hate to say this, but that clip doesn't do much for me. I think just about any Champ would sound like that if you dimed it, ran hot pups, and used a crappy speaker. I hear way too much speaker distortion for my liking. You could get that same tone with a 5F1 circuit and cheap 6" speaker.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 04:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Dimed? Blasphemy, mister, these go to 12

That's interesting, however. For the sake of discussion, here's another clip.


To me these are missing the brights that are turning me off the later circuit Champs. Granted this is youtubes, my ears vs your ears, etc. so it's fairly moot.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

That clip is a better demo as it doesn't have all the speaker distortion. I believe you could do the same setup with a 5F1 circuit and you wouldn't know the difference unless you could play them back to back.

I just bopped around youtube and listened to several clips of the two circuits. I can't see where the 5C1 circuit sounds any brighter than the 5F1. There are too many variables to really tell. Different guitars (single coil vs humbuckers), different speakers, different music, and some use slides. My Champ can get quite shrill if I want.

This weekend I'll try to find time to look at the two schematics and see what's different.

Keep in mind the factory speakers were junk in these amps, and many have been replaced. Not uncommon for the replacement speaker to be no better than the original as these are/were cheap amps and most people don't want to put a $150 speaker in them.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 04:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

I just took a look at the two schematics. The 5F1 is running a higher B+ which will give it a cleaner signal. The real difference is in the preamp driver. The 5C1 is a single pentode while the 5F1 is a dual triode. I don't know what affect that has on the signal. It's not a commonly used approach so I can only assume we have evolved beyond it and was therefor not as good.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 05:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

I see your point, it puts this in a different perspective for me.

Just so there's no misunderstanding, I do want to point out that I never said 5c1 was a better circuit than 5f1, or that it sounded brighter. I just prefer the tone that I thought was majorly attributable to it.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 08:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

The internet truly is remarkable. It enables us to share facts, opinion, experiences, and anecdotes. I can't begin to measure what I've learned from MLP and other online sources. It's not only a tool I use for work, but it adds an entirely new dimension to hobbies.

My fault, I misunderstood your comment about brightness.

I'm curious to see where you end up with your amp search.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Ah, yes.

Oh.
Hi there.

BTW and stuff.

(Hip is right, I was just trying to throw in some real world experience).
See above, somewhere.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

5E3, 5C3, 5F1, 5C1 ... I constantly have one eye open for an explanation of this nomenclature; have even tried to search for it a few times, but ...

My best guess is that these letters and numbers were used by Fender to refer to particular circuits, but, I dunno.

So? Does anyone know what they are, and care to explain?

p.s. Hey, Cyg, I saw your post about that amp! Yet another beautiful thing from your always very interesting bench.


(I also think the tweed Champ kills the Swart in that video, but, who knows how they've been set up ... if it was about which one to own and other similarly presently impossible daydreams, I'd probably buy the Swart before the Champ, unless I could get a really good look at the Champ first ...)
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

They are the Champ circuit numbers. Started out in the late 40's and then evolved through the 5B1, 5C1, 5E1, 5F1, then into the Black Face, and ultimately the Silver Face.

I may have missed some. The 5F1 is the "Tweed" circuit, which is widely recognized as the pinnacle of Fender SE designs.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

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Originally Posted by Quill View Post
(I also think the tweed Champ kills the Swart in that video, but, who knows how they've been set up ... if it was about which one to own and other similarly presently impossible daydreams, I'd probably buy the Swart before the Champ, unless I could get a really good look at the Champ first ...)
Quill, next time you're in Maine come try my Ceriatone VC. I'll think you'll be convinced!
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Well, thanks! 5F6-A is one of the Bassman circuits, yes? So is it the "1" that tells you it's a Champ circuit? Presumably, "6" might mean "Bassman" ... and Deluxe, Super, Twin, etc might have their own numbers ... that letter in the middle, "A", "B", "C", etc. looks like a revision level ... can't help but wonder what the "5" is about; maybe that indicates "Fender"? Wouldn't be the first time a "5" is in place for an "F", to avoid confusion ...

I suppose any good book on Fender amps would tell all, but ... this is so much more sociable, don't you agree?
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

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Originally Posted by hipofutura View Post
Quill, next time you're in Maine come try my Ceriatone VC. I'll think you'll be convinced!
Talk about impossible daydreams. Man, if I ever can, I will. I have not seen yet a picture of a Ceriatone build, or heard a clip here or anywhere else, that did not blow me away. Just great, great stuff.

I have looked at their JTM45 kit many, many times. And then been completely distracted by all the gazillion other things they do ... amazing, the ground that company covers.

Right now, I am so completely happy with my old Twin, with two power tubes pulled, and this is before the Mercury OT and choke I have sitting on my shelf have been installed ...
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Jah.
A,B,C...seem to be revisions on the circuits.

I did not get the invitation but Maine is very close to my homeland.
Was born in NH, my family deep in the heart of Maine goes back 300 plus years.

I just happen to like the warmer climes.
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Unread 06-04-2010, 10:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Quill: From "The Soul of Tone" by Tom Wheeler...Starting in the early '50s, a three-character code appearing on tube charts affixed to the amps' interior side panels revealed the decade of manufacturer, then a circuit variation, and finally the model.

Ex. 5F1 = 5 (decade 1950s) F (circuit revision) 1 (Champ)

Tweed Fender amps by model number:

1. Champ
2. Princeton
3. Deluxe
4. Super
5. Pro
6. Bassman
7. Bandmaster
8. Twin
9. Tremolux
10. Harvard
11.Vibrolux
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Unread 06-04-2010, 10:47 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

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Originally Posted by Cygnus X1 View Post
Jah.
A,B,C...seem to be revisions on the circuits.

I did not get the invitation but Maine is very close to my homeland.
Was born in NH, my family deep in the heart of Maine goes back 300 plus years.

I just happen to like the warmer climes.

Anytime Cyg!
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Unread 06-04-2010, 11:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Just a little comment here. The 5C1 is one very special amp, I want that myself, it's a blues amp sort of speaking, that "octal" tone some people love and some people hate.

I love that sound myself, I've wanted a 5C1 ever since I had the opportunity to audition one, a vintage one mind you, but still...

That little guy has a lot of growl, it's a different animal, and I just love the thing.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 12:31 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

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Originally Posted by 0x00 View Post
From the volume/tone perspective 8 or 10" speaker? Over time I came to the conclusion that my 15w super champ xd with a 10" speaker is much louder than I would like out of a practice amp.
Im on the market for a new speaker for my SF Champ. There are some more things to consider about the volume of 8 vs 10 speakers, like magnet and voice coil size. A 8" speaker with a 1" voice coil, wont be as loud as a 8" with a 1 1/4" voice coil. And hell, since youre going for a kit/custom build, you could go with a 12" if you wanted. Basically it comes down to what you want out of it.

this clip for example, is all about the speaker distortion, to maximize that you would probably want a smaller, maybe straight coned speaker (as oppose to ribbed cone) if you want a cleaner sound, a bigger, less sensitive speaker would be good. Until I get my speaker straightened out, I am running thru my Deville 4X10 cab, I prefer the Champ coming through a big cab/more speakers
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Unread 06-05-2010, 04:10 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Case24 View Post
Quill: From "The Soul of Tone" by Tom Wheeler...
AH! So great, thanks, Case24. At last the sun shines through the clouds! I'll see if I can get a look at that book, too. Cheers!
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Unread 06-05-2010, 08:51 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Torres Engineering has champ kits and while I don't remember exactly whether or not the 5c1 is one of the options I do remember that his kits can be built several different ways. Might be worth a look.

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Unread 06-05-2010, 09:23 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

OxOO, If I were in your situation I'd buy a 5F1 kit and build it as a 5C1. If not happy, just convert it to the 5F1 circuit. There's not much to these amps. Just about the easiest platform to work with, and the differences between the two circuits are nominal.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 07:59 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

Don, Internet sure is. I'm glad my thread sparked your interest, I for one learned a great deal from your posts on this board. Weber describes this kit as "the real grinder", so I thought that's what that sounded like. As far as my amp search goes... I stumbled into a TopHat portly cadet, shipped, for less than just the Weber kit. So I snagged it. I'll have to see if tweed champ chassis will fit into that cab when it arrives.

Cygnus, Didn't mean to come off as if I were ignoring your posts.. that's great to hear! I notice you said 6s(x)7, meaning these tubes are interchangeable in series similar to 12a*7? I recall reading 6sj7's that are used in that circuit are becoming difficult to replace as they are out of production.

Tele, I'm glad you chimed in! I saw you mention this circuit a few times while I was searching the board before starting this thread. Now you just got to build one of these so I can hear it!

ben420, thanks! that's the thing though, the more I learn about these things, the more I see that when it comes down to it, there are just so many variables, the only way to really know is to stick your ear to it... I guess I'm just hearing opinions before dropping the $$.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 08:15 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: 5c1 Champ

00, the 5C1 is not the amp for everybody, either you love it or you hate it. I auditioned one, then listened to some old guy play through a similar circuit, it was pure pleasure to do so.

It's a very basic amp, you can save a bundle if you buy the parts yourself. Even if you don't like it that much, I can tell you, there'll be a time when you go "damn it, glad I got this thing"...

I finished that dumble I was building, wayyyyyyyyyy too complicated to try it again! Tested it once, I was blown away, well worth it. However, it was too much and now I'm waiting to buy a cabinet for it, and it's gonna be a long wait because i spent way too much on a couple acoustics, with yet another one coming soon if things work out.

But a 5C1 is a project I'd try, easy to build and fun! Don't have a lot of free time now, but still, it's a great hobby!
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