Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Champ at Work

Our gig at Jazz @ Jacks in downtown Denver last night had one of those load-ins you dread: Up on the 3rd floor and with long carries. So, I decided to take my lightest amp, the 1971 Fender Champ. I played it at band practice the other day and was impressed by it's nice tone.

Holy crap! When I got it in the big room and cranked it up the little Champ came alive. It was very crunchy and compressed, like you'd expect out of a Champ, but more so. Like a Champ on steroids. It was filthy. And I mean that in a very good way.

This ain't yer daddy's Champ.... It's been modded for harp and has a 10-inch Weber speaker. Bruce Collins at Mission Amps in Denver put in Paper in Oil caps and tweaked the tone stack. He installed beefier transformers and even added a choke. It is twice as powerful as a normal silverface Champ, and way way nastier. It is the junkyard dog of Champ amps.

The gig went well; lots of comments on the harp tone; lots of hyperbole about the band. Our next show is this Saturday at Dazzle Nightclub in Denver, but I plan to play my regular gig rig, the Mission Chicago 32-20 amp. More color and not quite so much grit. But the Champ was a stone blast for one night, and it made the load-in and -out a breeze.

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