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Champ Clone + Epiphone Pacemaker, what do you think??

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I am really on a massive learning curve with amps and bought an amp that I love my 63 Epiphone Pacemaker. I have also arranged on Thursday 8th April to try out a 1969 Fender Champ which is about an hours drive from me. I do not want to buy the Champ as it is a fair bit more than I paid for my Pacemaker and as they do a similar job I am happy with my Pacemaker.

 

But I have had conversations with Musikron and Carverman and they sing the praises of the "Champ".

 

The new Fender '57 Champ. reissue is also way out of my price bracket.

 

But I had a thought I found these on youtube

 

Champ Clones around $300

 

(in this youtube clip the champ clone being played through a 8" Jensen, I have a 10" Jensen in my Pacemaker)

 

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdknIaebqlE[/YOUTUBE]

 

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Basic-6V6-SE-Class-A-5F1-Clone-Tube-Valve-Guitar-Amp_W0QQitemZ120549135550QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAU_Amplifiers?hash=item1c1149d4be

 

So my thought is..............If i bought one of these class A 5F1 clones ready built for around $300 and made a nice head casement then it could sit on my Pacemaker and use the Jensen speaker in my Pacemaker. Giving me two blues amps....Gibson/Epiphone Pacemaker and a Fender Champ for an extra $300..........

 

What are your thoughts you amp gurus out there, I will get two vintage amps in the one space......would it work....

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What are your thoughts you amp gurus out there' date=' I will get two vintage amps in the one space......would it work? [/quote']

 

Still lots to learn about one of the most coveted vintage 5F1 amps, Joe.

 

The originals used different alnico speaker manufacturers (code 465 = Oxford, 137 = CTS, and 220 =Jensen)

 

The type of speaker (manufacturer) will make a difference in the sound of this amp to some degree.

Some of the earlier Champs used Oxford 8 inch, some used Jensen and some used CTS (no longer in business).

 

http://myfenderchamp.com/2009/11/30/tweed-fender-champ-c-17435/

 

Here is a comparo chart on the Jensens..you and specifically the 8 inch ones that you would want for

your "custom champ". Listen to the tone clips for each one and decide...but don't forget what you

are hearing is probably coming through a tiny set of PC stereo speakers, so that speaker in an

amp enclosure is still going to sound BETTER.

 

http://jensentone.com/tonechart.php

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OK this is a good place to start...

 

I was told the speaker in my Pacemaker is a 10" Jensen but I have also read they also used CTS speakers in Pacemakers.

 

Epiphone Pacemaker -65

All tube amp with tremolo. Built at Kalamazoo by Gibson.Same amp as the Gibson GA-5 Crestline, 8-10W, Volume, bass and treble controls. 2 inputs, 10" CTS speaker

 

So how I can I identify the speaker in my amp.

 

P1010295.jpg

 

Then I can get some idea how the combination of that speaker and champ clone may combine, in the pacemaker cabinet. OK that is not the same dynamics as a Fender built champ but a similar recipe with its own dynamic....it is not going to sound like a pig........and it may well be worth $300 to try out......

 

Don't you think......?

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OK this is a good place to start...

 

I was told the speaker in my Pacemaker is a 10" Jensen but I have also read they also used CTS speakers in Pacemakers.

So how I can I identify the speaker in my amp?

 

there should be a manufacturers code stamped on the speaker..see my posts above.

 

 

Then I can get some idea how the combination of that speaker and champ clone may combine' date=' in the pacemaker cabinet. OK that is not the same dynamics as a Fender built champ but a similar recipe with its own dynamic....it is not going to sound like a pig........and it may well be worth $300 to try out......

 

Don't you think......?

 

[/quote']

 

Sure, the clone chassis will sound pretty good with the vintage alnico 10 inch speaker. So I guess

you are just going to make a wooden box to enclose the chassis and then connect it to the existing

Epiphone cabinet speaker through a toggle switch to switch between amps?

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there should be a manufacturers code stamped on the speaker..see my posts above.

 

 

 

 

Sure' date=' the clone chassis will sound pretty good with the vintage alnico 10 inch speaker. So I guess

you are just going to make a wooden box to enclose the chassis and then connect it to the existing

Epiphone cabinet speaker through a toggle switch to switch between amps?

[/quote']

 

Sorry Carverman

 

I must not have explained clearly enough....my bad....if you look in the youtube clip the clone is sitting on the top of an existing amp it is just connected to the speaker of that amp.....what I want to do is sit the clone on top of my Pacemaker like in the youtube clip but with a lead from the clone to speaker inside my Pacemaker if you get my drift....use the same cabinet and speaker for both amps if you know what I mean.....I could switch on the Pacemaker and then if I wanted to switch off the Pacemaker and Switch to the clone both using the same cabinet and same speaker.

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Sorry Carverman

 

I must not have explained clearly enough....my bad....if you look in the youtube clip the clone is sitting on the top of an existing amp it is just connected to the speaker of that amp.....what I want to do is sit the clone on top of my Pacemaker like in the youtube clip but with a lead from the clone to speaker inside my Pacemaker if you get my drift....use the same cabinet and speaker for both amps if you know what I mean.....I could switch on the Pacemaker and then if I wanted to switch off the Pacemaker and Switch to the clone both using the same cabinet and same speaker.

 

 

Yes, I understood what you wanted to do. I just thought you wanted to make a

nice wooden enclosure or something for the chassis rather than have it sit

"naked" on top of the pacemaker..but whatever.

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Yes' date=' I understood what you wanted to do. I just thought you wanted to make a

nice wooden enclosure or something for the chassis rather than have it sit

"naked" on top of the pacemaker..but whatever. [/quote']

 

Yes I would eventually box it up I have had a nice e-mail from the guy who makes these and he made a great suggestion for that. The big problem is shipping it adds a lump to what is a reasonable priced amp. But hope this had may be of interest to Digger and the guys in Australia where McChanson is based also a Kiwis on here may be able to access these easily enough. I am sure some Swedish guy must be knocking these out assembled somewhere. Probably up north where they have snow all year round and the reindeer look pretty.....

 

I get to try a 69 Fender Champ, a Fender Vibro Champ and a Fender Bronco on the 8th of April the guy who is selling them has invited me to plug my Sheraton in. I only have experience of my Peavey and my Pacemaker just need to feel and listen to the difference in these amps. Will take my Pacemaker along when I try the Fenders so I can listen back to back.

 

These clones though $300 the guy wants $770 for the 69 Champ.........So I am wondering is it going to sound $470 better than the clone through my Pacemaker........Also is it going to be that much better than my Pacemaker I have read the Pacemaker is a lot "Brighter" than the Fender Champ, it is going to be educational to listen and get a feel back to back.....all good stuff.........got to be there to know....... and I need the experience I will get on the 4th........

 

You guys who have over the years had the experience of sampling these amps just do not know how fortunate you are......

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Well Carverman here I need your expertise the speaker in my Pacemaker is stamped 449 and when I searched that makes it is a "Wilder" so it is not a "Jensen" as the previous owner assumed, it says 449 and from the list of manufacturers that number is associated with a company called Wilder......I have not a clue......

 

Edit: based in Chicago

 

http://www.vintaxe.com/catalogs_ampgear_wilder.htm

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Well Carverman here I need your expertise the speaker in my Pacemaker is stamped 449 and when I searched that makes it a "Wilder" so it is not a Jensen as the previous owner assumed' date=' it says 449 and from the list of manufacturers that number is associated with a company called Wilder......I have not a clue......[/quote']

 

Probably a defunct manufacturer that was around in the 60s/70s. Epiphone/Gibson

used many types and from different manufacturers. Not all of them exist today.

Wilder was Chicago based (where the head office of Gibson) was located (CMI)

Chicago Music Inc..and probably had a contract with Wilder. Similar to the

old Geib hardshell case manufacturer in Chicago that made cases for Gibson

for many years then went out of business. Gibson was using Faultless for a

while in the 60s..don't know who makes their cases now.

 

http://www.webervst.com/morecode.html

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These clones though $300 the guy wants $770 for the 69 Champ.........So I am wondering is it going to sound $470 better than the clone through my Pacemaker........Also is it going to be that much better than my Pacemaker I have read the Pacemaker is a lot "Brighter" than the Fender Champ' date=' it is going to be educational to listen and get a feel back to back.

[/quote']

 

Amp and speakers are a lot like different guitars and different pickups. Each type is

unique and different. It all depends on what sounds good to your ear when you

are playing a guitar through it. Dont forget that the EQ section (bass/treble) may

be engineered differently for each type of amp..so the EQ section of your Gibson

made Pacemaker is not going to sound exactly the same (frequency response)

as the Fender engineered Champ..although the Champ will be a lot closer to

Gibson amps than any other Fender amps.

 

Each amp and speaker has it's own unique sound signature..only you can determine

which one sounds better..the clone through your pacemaker 10 inch or the real

mcCoy..a Champ through its Jensen 8 inch. There is a reason that they are asking

so much for the 57 re-issue Champ (besides inflation of course)..otherwise you could

get them for $150 or so. I tried out a small Fender amp a while ago (10 inch speaker

tiny magnet and SS guts...sounded exactly like a piece of crap..and it was a Fender

made in China.

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I cannot find much at all about Wilder amps and speakers other than they were in production from 1960 to 70's one or two very good reviews on Harmony Central. Seems a solid speaker that sounds really nice. what is stamped on the speaker is (small) 449 (large) 3DW. I wonder what the 3DW denotes??????

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1960 to 70's one or two very good reviews on Harmony Central. Seems a solid speaker that sounds really nice. what is stamped on the speaker is (small) 449 (large) 3DW. I wonder what the 3DW denotes??????

 

 

 

 

That's easy. It was the particular model number of that speaker. Every speaker manufacture has them.

Forget about trying to cross reference it as that speaker is no longer in production and hasn't been for

some time. Some of the vintage ones can even be re-coned if they are damaged due to accident or blown out.

It will cost as much or maybe more than an off the shelf..but there are rebuild places that specialize in

musical instrument speaker repair.

 

here's a sample of modern day Jensen.

http://www.loudspeakersplus.com/html/jensen_chart.html

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the guy wants $770 for the 69 Champ

That's too much for that amp. Why is he asking such a ridiculous price for an amp that's not even close to being considered "rare?"

 

69 Fender Champ, a Fender Vibro Champ and a Fender Bronco

The only difference between these is the vibrato circuit in the Vibro champ. Otherwise, they're electronically identical.

 

Fwiw, if you look around, you should have no trouble at all in finding a silverface Champ for $300. Imho, the only valid justification for paying big bucks for a champ would be a blackface or driprail (67/68) model. Otherwise, they're all the same, so there's really no advantage to paying several hundred more for one over another.

 

Try to remember as well that, in spite of today's glowing obsessions over these amps, they were built with what was, at the time, very cheap components, including the speaker. There was also a very small change in the amps from blackface to silverface that made a pretty dramatic impact on the output tube.

 

Specifically, the primary transformer was changed, yet the rest of the circuit remained the same. This would've been fine and dandy, had the new primary tranformer povided the exact same juice that the original did, but this isn't the case. Instead, the newer iron virtually cooks that 6v6, because the voltage and current is just too stout for specs on that tube.

 

Both of these issues, the cheap, crappy stock speaker, and the ridiculous bias point on the 6v6, contribute to an offensive, flubby, loose, sloppy, farty low end in these amps.

 

The cure for the speaker issue is, obviously, a speaker upgrade. The Weber 8" alnico (used to be called a p8q) is a simply beautiful speaker for these amps.

 

The cure for the bias issue is to increase the cathode resistor value from the stock 470r to 1k, 5 watt. Change the cathode cap and other electrolytics, including the cap can filter cap, while you're in there, and do mind the "this can kill you" warnings that need to accompany any recommendation to open an amp chassis. If you don't know how to do it safely, hire it done.

 

When these amps are 100%, have the bias set properly, and have a useable speaker, they're fantastic. Otherwise, they can actually be rather dismal. I HATED mine for years, until I upgraded the speaker and got the bias under control. Afterwards, it became my main recording and home rehearsal amp. Sounds really good into a 4 ohm 2x12 cabinet too, btw.

 

Oh, and as for speaker loads, the OE spec is 3.2, I believe. You can get this from some suppliers, including Weber, but it's really not necessary. 4 ohms is fine. Anything else is not. The output transformer in these amps is miniscule, and will not tolerate much of an output load mismatch.

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That's too much for that amp. Why is he asking such a ridiculous price for an amp that's not even close to being considered "rare?"

 

Hi M-Theory our whole gear economy is different here in Sweden some prices are crazy some things that are commonplace for you are rarely found here just last sunday I sold a modified Joe Pass for $830 and the guy was happy to pay that.....The 69 Champ I could probably bargain the guy down to $600 but to be truthful I would rather buy the clone for $300 and to hell with the mysticism and brand names.......I just want to go and listen to those amps for the experience. I wish I had played as many amps you fella, I am a noob blues fanatic who has an amp I am happy with but is as curious as hell to know what is out there.....

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The 69 Champ I could probably bargain the guy down to $600 but to be truthful I would rather buy the clone for $300 and to hell with the mysticism and brand names.......I just want to go and listen to those amps for the experience. I wish I had played as many amps you fella' date=' I am a noob blues fanatic who has an amp I am happy with but is as curious as hell to know what is out there.....

 

[/quote']

 

..and this coming from a forum member that was (earlier) willing to shell out a fair amount for vitamin Q

tone caps....similar to Bumble Bees..those magic elixirs for "tone". [crying]

 

I would suggest to go with the clone for $300..after all it's just a bunch of resistors, caps,

a couple of transformers, and 3 tubes...there isn't much "mystique" or "mojo" about it.

Some even swear that the tube rectifiers add a "sweeter tone" than a solid state full wave rectifier..

...as if one can hear the difference of the way DC is rectified..(LOL!)

 

Basically, what makes an amp unique is the type of tubes and the speaker/enclosure.

and just the electrical engineering approach for economical mass production of that particular amp

and still make a profit for all concerned with the sale of the amp.

 

Some forum members may want to argue that fact..but this is my opinion.

 

Custom amp builders that build amps for several thousand..may add better quality components than

production factories..but you can only put in what is currently available on the aftermarkets.

THD (distortion) and headroom (soft overload in tubes because of their unique structure and harmonic

response is the big difference between tube and solid state amps). The speakers and too some degree

the design of the encloser (cabinet resonance) is the other. The human ear only hears a certain range

of frequences, and the response of most ears rapidly taper off beyond 10,000 hz.

 

Some claim to hear harmonics beyond that..but maybe they have dog ears and the required brains

to actually hear and process those kind of frequencies.

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..and this coming from a forum member that was (earlier) willing to shell out a fair amount for vitamin Q

tone caps....similar to Bumble Bees..those magic elixirs for "tone". [crying]

 

I would suggest to go with the clone for $300..after all it's just a bunch of resistors' date=' caps,

a couple of transformers, and 3 tubes...there isn't much "mystique" or "mojo" about it.

Some even swear that the tube rectifiers add a "sweeter tone" than a solid state full wave rectifier..

...as if one can hear the difference of the way DC is rectified..(LOL!)

 

Basically, what makes an amp unique is the type of tubes and the speaker/enclosure.

and just the electrical engineering approach for economical mass production of that particular amp

and still make a profit for all concerned with the sale of the amp.

 

Some forum members may want to argue that fact..but this is my opinion.

 

Custom amp builders that build amps for several thousand..may add better quality components than

production factories..but you can only put in what is currently available on the aftermarkets.

THD (distortion) and headroom (soft overload in tubes because of their unique structure and harmonic

response is the big difference betwee tube and solid state amps). The speakers and too some degree

the design of the encloser (cabinet resonance) is the other. The human ear only hears a certain range

of frequences, and the response of most ears rapidly taper off beyond 10,000 hz.

 

Some claim to hear harmonics beyond that..but maybe they have dog ears and the required brains

to actually hear and process those kind of frequencies.

[/quote']

 

1) The caps cost $4.50 and were bought as opposed to $1 caps

 

2) I will go with the clone through curiosity and underlying sense there is a lot of bullshit talked about amps.

 

3) Your opinions are respected though this forum is a tiny speck in the universe.....

 

4) When I have "experienced" a good few amps over the coming years I will settle with what suits my musical taste and pocket regardless of the "deep science".

 

Carverman, one thing that makes me happy is that after all your years of listening to and working with great amps and guitars you are content with Korean Guitars, GFS pickups and a Peavey Valveking amp, which give you what you want.

 

As you have very convincingly argued on many occasions, these are good gear at reasonable prices, why pay more?

 

You seem to take a very practical approach having heard all that is out there.

 

Your gear gives you the tone you want.

 

This leads me to the conclusion that simplicity is the key.

 

I will set up my guitars and keep it simple and sweet......was just curious....

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Carverman' date=' one thing that makes me happy is that after all your years of listening to and working with great amps and guitars you are content with Korean Guitars, GFS pickups and a Peavey Valveking amp, which give you what you want. [/quote']

 

Well Joe, it's not necessarily what I want, but what I can afford at my age and whether it represents good value

for my money, considering I only play what I want and mostly for myself.

If I somehow unexpectedly inherited a princely sum of money from a long lost relative or had the good fortune

of winning a small lottery, then money would not necessarily fit into the equation.

I would personally travel to the Gibson factory in Memphis and buy that $4300 blonde

Gibson ES-175..which to me is still the quintessential jazz guitar..but the reality of my

financial situation prohibits me from doing that.

 

As you have very convincingly argued on many occasions, these are good gear at reasonable prices, why pay more?

You seem to take a very practical approach having heard all that is out there.

 

I am satisfied with the Korean and Japanese made guitars that I currently have and two types of

GFS pickups and my Peavey Valveking yes. I also have a $2600 Takamine classic with a piezo bridge

and a separate acoustic amp that I also enjoy playing. Together these items cost well over

$3000 cdn with tax. I also have made 3 homemade LP type guitars, two which are semi-acoustic

and unique..there are no other guitars like them. Each one is about a $1000 investment with

wood, h/w and hardshell case...so it's not just Korean made guitars for me. I make what I

play..well..at least 3 of them, that is.

 

Your gear gives you the tone you want.

This leads me to the conclusion that simplicity is the key.

 

You don't need to spend a small fortune to enjoy playing guitar. Ok, I probably have around

8-10 grand invested in my assortment of guitars and amps..but if I can't enjoy a hobby at

my age, what else is there in life to look forward to.???

.ok..taxes and death... or death and taxes, I suppose. [blink]

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Carverman nothing more sure than death and taxes......more power to your thumb, plenty of those sweet Wes runs with that fleshy digit.....long life and sweet chords.....

 

I also have made 3 homemade LP type guitars, two which are semi-acoustic

and unique..there are no other guitars like them. Each one is about a $1000 investment with

wood, h/w and hardshell case...so it's not just Korean made guitars for me. I make what I

play..well..at least 3 of them, that is.

 

Also going to do a search on the forum for photos of these very interesting items in your collection.

 

PS. I had to make a decision yesterday a straight choice between The Emperor II and a Zephyr Blues I found for sale. I would have ended up putting M90's in the Emperor so I went for the Zephyr Blues squared everything with the two guys and pick the ZBD up on the 19th. I am sure you would approve a Tiger Blonde beauty, Peerless made and exactly what I have looking for while having flings with the JP and Levin. This is the guitar the guy kindly sent me some extra photos.

 

instrument028.jpg

instrument038.jpg

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our whole gear economy is different here in Sweden

Sorry! Didn't realize where you were! I totally understand your dilema.

 

My trusted luthier lived in England for a while during the 70's, and said, while we were talking about Marshall amps, that the plexi super leads used to be stacked like firewood at local music and second hand stores. Similar to Fender amps in the US during that same period. I bought my '66 pro reverb for $250 in about 1990, but could've probably gotten it for $50-$100 during the 70's. I also bought my '77 vibro champ for $50 in a pawn shop, in the mid-80's. I don't know that I could've gotten that one any cheaper, frankly.

 

Fwiw, I haven't played tons and tons of amps, but have experienced a few interesting ones. I would agree with you that it definitely takes some experimentation to nail down "YOUR" thing. For a while, I was into buying, fixing up, and gigging with various elderly amps, because they each have their own coolness factor that's worth checking out, if not marrying oneself to.

 

Over time, however, I finally figured out that "MY" thing was old school Marshall. For me, the classic plexi tone and crunch were the epitome of electric guitar tone. Now that I know this, some of my other amps will be sold to fund my 2 remaining amp goals, though I can't see ever parting with my vibro champ. I love that amp for some applications...I love the size and portability, I love how it sounds mic'd up with that Weber alnico in it, I love how it sounds through my 2x12 bassman cabinet, and I just love it overall and see no reason to sell it, because I wouldn't be able to get for it what it's worth to me.

 

I once mentioned an interest in a '57 gibson GA-6 to my amp tech buddy. I'd found one for sale on Ebay that eventually sold for very little...around $500, I believe. I'd read that, other than one resistor value, these amps are identical to tweed Fender Deluxes of that era, and had constantly heard people rave about those Fenders. He just said "Yeah, if you're into that kinda thing, they can be cool, I guess."

 

It took me some time to realize what he was referring to, but now I understand. All of the coolness in the world doesn't mean a whole lot if that doesn't happen to be what inspires you. It's a very personal, highly subjective journey that really only has deep relevance to you, so you can pretty much toss out what others may have said about a given amp. Whether somebody else loves or hates a given amp really has no bearing on how YOU will feel about it. Good luck with that journey!

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I am sure you would approve a Tiger Blonde beauty' date=' Peerless made and exactly what I have looking for while having flings with the JP and Levin. This is the guitar the guy kindly sent me some extra photos.

 

[img']http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae271/JoeSamick/instrument038.jpg[/img]

 

 

She is a beauty! Joe. I love flame maple and sitka (bearclaw) spruce. These are

two woods that create a beautiful instrument. The ones I made are also natural finish,

because I prefer the beauty of the wood to shine through.

 

So now, you are starting to understand what it means that a guitar should be part of your soul.

When you get her, play her until there is a "connection". You will know when the music starts to flow from out of

your soul, then the man and the instrument are one and indistinguishable.

 

 

Here are my Carverman specials.. (The Legacy, Bluesmaster, The Tribute)

th_My_custom_guitars.jpg

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The Vintage Epiphone Pacemaker Amp is one of the best sounding amps I've played / heard . ( been messing with this stuff since 1989 ) in my humble opinion.

 

I have only been messing with this stuff since last August and can only cross reference with a very few amp / guitar combinations.

 

I love it.........it suits me.

 

really looking forward to the arrival of one or two items over the next few days but my Pacemaker is a key piece of kit for me....

 

Get my modified Sheraton back this week and hopefully my Firebird really looking forward to plugging into my Pacemaker and seeing how things combine....

 

Got a strong feeling the Pacemaker is going to like Firebird pups...

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