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Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:56 pm
OK,well so the likes of VB and such who have the Fender Champ XD, or X2 variants......pros and conns please? been looking at demo and reviews, and not seeing much that would hold me back!
I guess the X2 is the latest model/variant? seems like a good buy at $349 US at musiciansfreind ?
Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:58 am
Ahhh - the old GAS problems strike again!
My only reservation on the XDs is how well they recreate the more overdriven voices, and generally I find I'll stick with a cleaner voicing and then use an o/d pedal on it - but everyone here knows my aversion to distortion so that'll be no surprise. For me the biggest pro of the Fender XDs are the cleaner sounds. The SuperChamp has a big plus in having the clean channel as totally seperate from the channel with the various voicings. The Voicing Channel on the SuperChamp XD is the same voices as the VibroChamp - they are effectively going to produce pretty similar sounds .... except that the 15W Super with 10" speaker gives a different spin to the sound than the 5W Vibro with 8" speaker. I can't necessarily say that one is better than the other though - the Super is better at projecting lower notes for sure. There is more volume to get the sound jumping out of the speaker with the SuperChamp though, which isn't always convenient. Anyways I've ended up with an A/B Y splitter a couple of days ago and in the very limited time I've had to play have been playing with the guitar signal going to both amps at once to try to get the best of both worlds ... and mixing a voiced channel setting from the Vibro and the clean channel for the Super has been, well, rather
Probably due to my older age and due to my impatience with learning new tricks and my increasing dislike of the technical issues of involving a computer in my music, I found myself drawn to the XD series rather than the new X2 repacements. I know the X2 has Fender Fuse software and that with, as Fender put it, "computer connectivity you can also custom tailor your amp’s voicing and effects to your personal taste. Your rehearsal and recording sessions will really come alive with the unlimited tones that can be created with the Super Champ X2". But TBH I've ended up not using the Fuse software very much at all on my G-Dec3 30 - I just can't be bothered with all that faffing about and wrestling with compatibility issues of memory cards and with the amp suddenly deciding it needs updated when it already has been. I love the simplicity of the XDs - one voicing knob with Gain. Volume, Treble, Bass, FX Select, FX level - clean channel just Volume, Treble, Bass, FX Select, FX level. Ohhh ... and as befits my RVB alernative new name I have to say VB loves the sound of the onboard Reverb - guess it's a Fender speciality.
I have also heard some demos of the new X2 model and not been as convinced by the sounds/tones as with the XD - but that could just be my personal taste. But that was why I leapt on getting a SuperChamp XD while there were still a few new ones left with warranty up for sale. I think your own ears have to judge the X2 on its merits and I know that most people find the technical aspects of the software tweaking much easier than me.
Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:20 pm
Hey Tom, I have a super champ xd have had it for a few years now, its a nice little amp. I really only use the clean channel and the only fx I use is the reverb but it sounds really good. I changed the speaker in mine first put an eminence legend 1058 in it sounded good maybe a little brite, then later put a emonence copperhead in there which was much better a bit more warmth and alittle bit more clean headroom. I took mine to a blues jam once and it worked ok just loud enough and I had a clean boost pedal in front to pump up my solos. If I was to get one today I would get the 2 in the head version then you could use a different cabinet with it, I pluged mine in to my blue jr speaker once ( a eminence cannabis rex ) and it made a big difference in the tone much fuller and louder, thought about doing like HBL did and making a new cabinet and converting it to a head but haven't done it yet. A freind of mine said he saw one of the local blues bands and the guitar player had the superchamp2 head with a 2+12 cab and a pedal board and said it sounded really good. I have put pedals in front of mine also and they do take pedals well. Also I guess with the fuse software you can go in a tweak the fxs and a few other settings in the amp that you can't in the xd. Anyway great little amp, don't think you could go wrong with one but really think you want a 12 inch speaker it just makes a big difference in tone! Dan
Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:40 pm
Wow, thanks guys for all the great....and quick info!! I actually just retuned from guitar center........lucky for me they were out of stock of allot of the fender stuff right now! It was a good thing probably.......I may have bought something on a whim. Dan, the head version is a great idea, and had forgot about that option. My son has a big 4x12 marshal cabinet.......hmmmmmm, wonder what that would sound like!
I am going to go back to the store later in the month and see what they have in stock then, and sit and play a few models.
Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:38 am
ratfinkdan wrote:I really only use the clean channel and the only fx I use is the reverb but it sounds really good.
Seems to be exactly where I'm heading on mine in the short time I've had it. The clean channel is based on the Blackface voice, but is quite different to the Blackface settings 4, 5 and 6 on the voicing channel. The clean channel sound is fuller and more pure in nature to my ears. I used to use an EHX Nano Reverb pedal with my amps, but the built in reverb on the SuperChamp (and Vibro too) is so good I no longer use the pedal.
You and I both go for the cleaner sounds Dan, so I suppose it's no suprise we both gravitate to the clean channel.
ratfinkdan wrote:I changed the speaker in mine first put an eminence legend 1058 in it sounded good maybe a little brite, then later put a emonence copperhead in there which was much better a bit more warmth and alittle bit more clean headroom.
Guess it's a factor with any small amp - there's going to be an improvement with a larger speaker if it's good quality and a good match for the amps sound. The 10" speaker on the SuperChamp cerainly gives a stronger sound than the 8" VibroChamp - though I think the two together adds something again. I remember a few years back when I got a Vox AC4TV there was a 10" spekaer version and an 8" - smallish difference in price but a huge difference in sound. Then there's also upgrades of the tubes to be consudered as HBL also did with his SuperChamp. I do think the sound of the factory set up amp is very competitve at its price point. I have suspocions that amp upgrade GAS is goinf to be taking over from guitar upgrade GAS with me this year! A whole new subject to learn about - oh goody!
ratfinkdan wrote:I have put pedals in front of mine also and they do take pedals well.
Agreed about the pedals, With the SuperChamp I certainly feel that the clean channel with a good OD pedal beats the overdriven voices on the second channel. The way it takes pedals well would make me more inclined to go for the XD option and use good pedals or a good (preferably analog) multi-fx rather than go down the X2 route for the Fuse Software. Keeping the computer out of it and minimising the digital cleverness.
Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:57 pm
VB we do both go for simalar tones, don't know why I go more for clean tones than overdriven tones just seems to suit me better. And like you I think the clean channell on the xd just seems to sound more natural or real I'm not sure maybe I hear a bit of digital something in the 2nd channell. I don't know why Fender seems to put weaker speakers in their amps, I beleive they are eminence speakers but there always seems to be a better speaker choice. I know a lot of guys put the eminence rajun cagin speaker in their xd but I heard it does change the tonality of the amp, I wanted to keep as much of that fender sparkle as possible and the cooperhead was what they recommended as a replacement in the princeton amp so I thought it would work well in the xd. I did change tubes once in my amp, only because one of the power tubes died, didn't go nos or anything , think I put in some messa tubes that had the same power rating, didn't notice any difference in tone though.I think the superchamp xd is a great little amp, small, light is easy to move around, gets fairly loud and has great tone. Also if you want a fender cover for your super champ the blues jr cover is just a little bit bigger so it works really well and their pretty inexpensive. Enjoy, their a fun amp! Dan
Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:28 am
Interesting info Dan - thanks.
ratfinkdan wrote:I know a lot of guys put the eminence rajun cagin speaker in their xd but I heard it does change the tonality of the amp, I wanted to keep as much of that fender sparkle as possible and the cooperhead was what they recommended as a replacement in the princeton amp so I thought it would work well in the xd.
A lot of times I see details on recommended speaker upgrades to the SuperChamp I see words like punchy, aggressive and early break up. Certainly not what I want! I had this from a local Fender dealer as well when asking about replacement tubes for the VibroChamp - they had one which they thought would be ideal because it would give much earlier distortion. Ahhh well - I should be used to being out of step with what's popular.
Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:38 pm
I like the Super Champ XD with a 10"speaker, but LOVE it with a (old) 12"
the 12"gives it more Low and in my case kills a little of the highs, lovely