Fender 57 Champ Reissue and EC Vibro Champ?

joff

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I have the opportunity to get an extremely good deal on a new EC Vibro Champ...and i have been keeping an eye out for a nice 2nd hand 57 Champ Reissue but nothing seems to come up here in the UK/Europe...and i wondered what any of you who own either model think about them and how they compare? I know that some people do not like the EC badge on the Vibro Champ...but putting that aside is it the better choice of the two amps?

Btw...before anyone says...i do not want to build one myself! :)
 

Splattle101

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...Btw...before anyone says...i do not want to build one myself! :)
Doh!! But...well...nngggghhh...ggnnnn...ewwwk...ooood...mmmmnnnaaaaiiik....it.

But jokes aside, they're both hand made so they're both probably good amps. The EC one has name brand transformers, but I leave it to our knowledgeable transformer snobs to tell us whether these ones are good or not.

The EC amp has more fruit (i.e., trem), so it might be more versatile.

The 57 Champ is a re-issue of a tried and tested favourite that you know is good. The EC amp is a variation on it, but I doubt it's a dog.
 

Dr.Distortion

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I've had Blackface Champs and Tweed Champs.
I still own a Tweed...
They just sound better in my opinion...
 

sonar

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I really like the idea of a tweed champ with an output tube bias tremolo circuit, but at $1000 US map?

The Blackface Vibro Champ is a bit different than the EC, including a different tremolo (pre-amp modulating), tone stack, NFB, etc.
 

joff

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Doh!! But...well...nngggghhh...ggnnnn...ewwwk...ooood...mmmmnnnaaaaiiik....it.

But jokes aside, they're both hand made so they're both probably good amps. The EC one has name brand transformers, but I leave it to our knowledgeable transformer snobs to tell us whether these ones are good or not.

The EC amp has more fruit (i.e., trem), so it might be more versatile.

The 57 Champ is a re-issue of a tried and tested favourite that you know is good. The EC amp is a variation on it, but I doubt it's a dog.
So the EC might have better transformers...interesting.

I am not so bothered about having the Tremolo on the EC...but it does have an attenuator switch which halfs the W iirc which would probably be useful.

I do like the idea of the 57 Champ Reissue because it looks similar to an original one...but finding one is proving to be difficult.
 

MUSTANGCAT

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I guess just like finding good old used Marshall stuff here is becoming more impossible all the time. Over in jolly old England you blokes are screwed for finding old Fender amps as well I imagine. In all due reality only so many of them were shipped over. I've had my eye on that 57 tweed EC VC myself. I say if you do have a interest, do yourself a favor and plug it in first to make sure before dropping your pounds on it buddy. It is suppose to have a different vibro setting then the Silverface or Blackface ones. This old boy has a 78 silverface VC himself. I dig Fender stuff, always have.
 

Alex W

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The Fender "EC" Vibro Champ has one-knob tremolo. All you can control is the speed of the tremolo, whereas the fixed depth is pronounced. This is in contrast to blackface and silverface Vibro Champs, where you can control both the speed and the depth. Of course, you can turn the tremolo off altogether and you're no worse off than having a regular tweed Champ.
 

sonar

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The Fender "EC" Vibro Champ has one-knob tremolo. All you can control is the speed of the tremolo, whereas the fixed depth is pronounced. This is in contrast to blackface and silverface Vibro Champs, where you can control both the speed and the depth. Of course, you can turn the tremolo off altogether and you're no worse off than having a regular tweed Champ.
Good point about the BF/SF intensity control, but I tend to crank my Vibro Champ clone's intensity to 10 most of the time. So the lack of a depth control wouldn't be much of a loss for me.

While a lot of players seem to prefer Tweed I'll take the Blackface Vibro Champ circuit over a Tweed Champ any day, but I'm a BF/SF fanatic. The BF's preamp tremolo alone is worth the price of admission.
 

joff

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I am surprised that they did not fit a Tremolo depth control on the EC Vibro Champ or the EC Tremolux...the EC Twinolux has a depth control. However...i have heard that the depth has been factory set well and sounds great.
 

DonMI6

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I actually bought an EC Vibro Champ a few weeks ago! I was really looking for the regular '57 Tweed Champ 'cos I'm not a trem fan, but this is what they had in the shop. I played it alongside one of the '60s based Marshall 1 watt Anniversary models (which I quite liked by the way!) & eventually bought it home. I mainly play a Telecaster but I also have an ES-335 & it was a demo on Youtube of a guy playing a 335 through one that got me interested.

It has a great sound at relatively sensible volumes, especially if I keep it cranked & control the volume with my guitar. I have an AC15C1 which I love, but it's a much more powerful amp & I don't really get the best out of it at home.

Seems well built, the tubes will get swapped at some point, but no hurry there. The speaker seems good but needs a lot more playing to break in. I doubt it's got the volume to gig with unless mic'ed, but that's really not what they are for. Like a lot of people I baulked at paying around $1000 for a little amp like this, but I don't regret it at all now, because I seriously think it's exactly what I was looking for.

BTW, it was missing the EC badge on the grille cloth. Saved me the trouble of removing it myself!







 

joff

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Looks great...does the attenuator work well?

Does it sound as good with humbuckers as with single coil pus?

It looks better with the EC badge missing...i think the little signature on the control panel is enough tbh...did they forget to fit a badge or does it look like it fell off?
 

DonMI6

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G'day Joff, Firstly, the EC badge, I don't really know the story, but it wasn't on in the shop. There's no marks or anything where it was supposed to be so I don't know if it ever had one, but I definately would have tried to remove it if it had.I really bought it to partner the Tele, but my 335 sounds great through it, the trick is that single coils use input 1 & humbuckers use input 2. They are high & low output respectively. The low power switch does work well to me. Low power volume is significantly quieter than High power, but still quite loud when I turn everything up. The tremelo sounds like tremelo, not my thing at all. I have tried a reverb pedal, which works ok, & I've used a TS9 which sounds good as well. Most of the time I just plug straight in. To me, it sounds great all on it's own.
 

joff

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Thanks for that info.

Have you ever played thru' the 57 Champ Reissue...and if so did it basically sound the same?

Does the EC Vibro Champs' attenuator suck any tone...and when used does it give a nice early breakup?

Sorry about the questions btw! :)
 

DonMI6

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Questions are fine mate;) No, I haven't tried the '57 Champ Reissue, from what I can tell they are very similar & I would guess sound similar. The attenuator/low power switch works for me, no obvious tonesuck, but others may hear it differently. As for breakup, My Tele pickups as low output as they come, so I really need to push the amp to get it to turn gritty, but I have noticed a surprising (to me) amount of sustain at even quite low, clean volumes. The Classic '57 'buckers in my 335 are a different story, it starts to get nice & dirty very early, around 4-5 on the amps volume.
 

joff

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Having done a bit more reading up...the 57 Reissue Champ has 3 valves (one GT6V6, one 12AX7 and a Rectifier valve)...but i see that the EC Vibro Champ has 4 valves as it has two 12AX7 preamp valves...is one just for the built-in Tremolo or do they both work together all the time?
 

chrisuk

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As you suggest I'm pretty certain the extra valve is for the tremolo circuit.
 




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