Fender Super Champ XD vs X2

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by damndirtyape71, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    I am a former working guitarist from the 90's (gigs/teaching/endorsement/ product specialst) who now is a very serious hobbyist. I'm a rock guy, with Eric Johnson, Bonamass and Allan Hinds as my grail tones.

    After a short courtship with a Vibro Champ XD, I was in love with the portability and versatility of the sounds and amp voicings. I started noticing via You Tube that the XD had the Blackface Channel 1, as well as the amazing voicings as the VCXD. I was sold.. However, the XD has been discontinued so I took a drive to my local music retailer, and tried the X2.

    My thought after about an 1 hour of various noodling and tinkering. I didn't like it. Why?

    - The tap tempo is clumsy. I couldn't get it to get the timing down (mind you I've got a EHX Memory Man with Hazarai and a Flashback, so setting tap tempo isn't really a challenge. Just couldn't lock in with it.

    - The voicings (namely #3 ) were weak, even compared to the 5 watt Vibro Champ I just prefered that compressed grit. The X2 didn't give it to me at all.
    (#7 Deluxe 65) was a disapointment, I was expecting a bit more honk on that voicing. (14 and 15 the metal voicings were just mud.)

    - The effects were almost digital sounding to my ears. I wonder if the FUSE integration effected that..

    - No Middle selection switch was added to the X2.

    - The FUSE intergration is not the full capacity as the G-Dec and Mustang. You can create presets to load onto the amp but the amp presets won't appear in what would normally be the preset window. Why? If you are going to do it, do it right.

    - Doesn't come with a USB cable. Mustang does.

    - Retail price of $349. A bit too much for a 'Vintage Modified Amp' in my opinion and to me, the value just isn't there.

    I thought it was the guitars at the shop, so I actually came back with my Gibson Les Paul and my Squier Strat the next day to try and debunk my experience. I just had to admit to myseld, I don't love the X2.

    Now, it's not all bad..

    - The front Channel 1 is alone a reason to buy the amp. It's not 100% a Blackface sound, but it's a reasonable close tone for a quarter of the price.

    - From what I understand with tweaking in FUSE you can get the voicings and F/X from the XD.

    - The Marshall amp voicing are pretty awesome. Straight up.. awesome.

    So I labored over this, actually have bought a car in shorter time, and decided to pass on the X2 and try and find an XD.

    Found a used XD at a retailer for a good price, plugged it in and was impressed immediately.

    The thing that does worry me is I hear that there are some reliability issues with the XD but for now that's on the side. I'm totally loving the XD. Got a decent Eric Johnson-y overdriven tone on voicing #3 with Delay that is a lot of fun.

    I really wanted the X2 to kick my ass, it just didn't. Feel free to ask any questions. Happy to help with any insight or info in the decision process.
     
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  2. danzego

    danzego Senior Member

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    That's interesting. I had a SCXD for a short time and ending up returning it because it never fully sat well with me (some days it sounded good, other days I hated it). I think the lack of a 12" speaker had a lot to do with that.

    I do like the Mustang III and its 12" speaker a lot, so I've been looking forward to checking out the X2, especially since it seems that the Super Champ models are now taken from the Mustang line (at least that's my understanding) and there's a head with a 12" speaker cab. Problem is, no store in my area has the darn thing yet. Grrr.

    Anyway, have you played a Mustang III and did you like it? How do you feel it compares to the X2? A shame that you didn't like the Deluxe voicing on the X2, as that's my favorite voicing on the Mustang. I wonder if anything changed so much that it would sound good on the Mustang III, but not the X2 (of course, it could just be our personal tastes, too). :)
     
  3. stratoblaster

    stratoblaster Senior Member

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    Too bad about voice 3 on the X2. Voice 3 on the SCXD is one of my favorites.

    What are the reliability issues with the SCXD? I haven't heard of any.
     
  4. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    Danzego -

    Didn't try the Mustang III, so I can't really base an opinion on that model. I did try the Mustang I and didn't love the onboard effects, probably stupid of me to base my opinion on that, but I did. I also like the dynamic responsiveness similiar that the XD/X2 have, I go from percussive funk playing to dynamic legato so that's a win.

    I agree about personal taste, if you weren't feeling the XD, that might be the scenario. ;)

    I just think if anything if I'm getting either a Mustang or X2, I'm going Mustang. More value, lower cost and more versatility. Was not a fan of the X2.
     
  5. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    Strato-

    LOVE LOVE LOVE setting 3....

    I've heard there can be issues with the DSP portion crapping out.. To me it's worth the risk, it's an awesome amp, imho.
     
  6. Ed B

    Ed B Senior Member

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    It's a little over 2 years and I still love my SCXD. Effects and all.
     
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  7. Job-Job type Job

    Job-Job type Job Senior Member

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    I'm sure there's used XD's out there. I've been using mine as my "bedroom" amp since I bought it a couple years ago. Overall it sounds killer, though it gets a little fizzy on some of the higher gain settings when I back off the guitar volume. Still, for jamming here at home I've been very satisfied with it.
     
  8. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    Job-Job

    I think for the clean tones on Channel 1 as well the channel 2 voicings it's just amazing for a practice amp. I also am curious to see how it sounds for recording.

    I love the XD. Best $175 I've ever spent..
     
  9. Ed B

    Ed B Senior Member

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    Exactly how I feel. It's been my living room amp for over a year.
     
  10. redcoats1976

    redcoats1976 Senior Member

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    why buy used?sam ash is selling new ones for $149...
     
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  11. stratoblaster

    stratoblaster Senior Member

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    V3 boosts volume over most of the other voices. I wonder if they tried to normalize all the voices to be closer in volume and that cut the nuts off of it?

    I spend most of my time in the tweed and BF voices (V1-V6), Marshall (V8), and channel 1. And of those, I spend most of my time in V3 or V6.
     
  12. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    Strato - They actually do even the volumes on the X2. That's the only thing I'm not crazy about on the XD is the inconsistency in volume for the voicings. That said, it didn't make a difference.

    Redcoat - Sam Ash is blowing out the 5W Vibro XD. I actually bought one last week, but upgraded to the XD at 2 channels and 15W. The XD is discontinued. My guess is the VCXD is going to be discontinued as well. I'm actually considering keeping both.
     
  13. Scooter2112

    Scooter2112 Senior Member

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    I have (and love) the VCXD, but was interested in getting a SCXD.

    Since you have both, what are your thoughts on any differences that you've found? Would it be worthwhile to have both?

    For my interests, I like the tones and versatility. Most of the reason for my interest in the upgrade is for more wattage, and it has an 8 ohm output, which happens to match my Marshall 4x10 cab.
     
  14. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    going from 5w to 15w, more headroom. 8inch vs 10inch speaker. Also Class A to Class AB with the two channels. Both are great, I just like the XD a bit more.
     
  15. RonGibson

    RonGibson Senior Member

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    I have the SC X2, and think the ability to modify the voicings is worth the extra money. I do think fender could have done a better job at setting them up in the first place.

    Going into the advanced amp settings in fuse and just changing the cab setting has a huge effect on the tone. A few of the voicings were totally useless to me until I modified them. I mostly play blues so the metal settings are somewhat useless to me, so I am going to delete them and replace with what I like.

    If you are not getting what you like in a voice you can usually get it in a little bit of time. I think of it like messing with knobs on a pedal board to get what you want.

    I do think the SCXD is a great value, especially at the current prices.
     
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  16. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    Ron -

    Can you post some video / audio of your tones? I just haven't been crushed by anything out of the X2, and hoping that some Custom tones via Fuse will make this a worthwhile purchase, as it stands, I would rather get a Mustang III than an X2 if something happend to my XD.
     
  17. RonGibson

    RonGibson Senior Member

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    You wont be crushed by the X2 tones if I'm playing it.

    Sure I'll do some. It might take a while, I don't have anything with this amp recorded right now. The stuff I like you might not. Slightly overdriven blues is my thing and this amp does that really well, IMO.

    I think the X2 is capable of at least all the sounds the XD has, you just have to mess with it. When I bought mine the guy at my local music store(60 miles away, I live in Montana) showed me how to customize it. He said right off that the XD had a couple of great stock voices that the X2 didn't. But it would be no problem to get them if you want. I have been setting it up the way I want it, that's what I like about it.

    By the way, voice 3 on the X2 is the 57 Deluxe, I'm still messing with that one.

    .
     
  18. damndirtyape71

    damndirtyape71 Senior Member

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    I'm more interested in the custom settings
     
  19. walter

    walter Junior Member

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    Hello,

    I'm thinking about the X2,

    Can anyone help me :

    does the X2 have a "headphone - out" possibility ?

    thanks.
     
  20. strat1701

    strat1701 El Diablo Cazador De Hombres Premium Member

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    I sat in with a band a few weeks ago and had to use an X2. When I asked earlier what amp I'd be running thru I was told 'an all tube Fender' :rolleyes: IMHO you're either an all tube amp, a solid state amp, or a modeling type amp. ANY permutation of a 'hybrid' of any two all results in the same conclusion....

    Even with a tube screamer I had to dial that plenty to get some balls out of the amp, and since it wasn't my amp I wasn't about to mess with the guys settings, but man I never heard a les paul sound so thin...
     

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