Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Inside the Fender Champion 600

There are a few relatively pleasant surprises inside the Champion 600.
Granted, the bar is pretty low for current production budget amps,
but here's a few things I was glad to see.

Fender Champion 600 mod power resistor

The 3 higher power resistors are all floated well off the circuit board
(one of them is shown in the middle above).
This allows them to dissipate heat more effectively and keeps them
from cooking the pc board when they get hot.

Modding the Fender Champion 600 - 6V6 octal socket
Even though the octal socket for the 6V6 is mounted to the pc board, the socket also screws to the chassis when the amp is fully assembled. When it's screwed down it has a pretty decent mechanical connection. Not perfect, but better than average for today's amps.

There are plenty of amps in which the only mechanical support for the tube socket is the solder that makes the electrical connections for the tube pins. These inevitably get strained when tubes are taken in out. Usually they cause an annoying intermittent failure long before they crap out completely.

Modding the Fender Champion 600 - 12AX7 preamp socket

The 9 pin preamp tube socket isn't quite as good but better than a lot I've seen. It's mounted directly to the board with no independent mechanical support. The top ring on the socket fits pretty snugly into the hole in the chassis. The pc board mounting screws are close enough to the socket that the board doesn't flex too much when the tube is wiggled out of place.

Modding the Fender Champion 600 - input jacks volume pot

The plastic jacks are better than I expected them to be. And the way the small front panel circuit board is implemented it would be easy to eliminate the card completely and replace the jacks and the volume pot with more robust components. There's also plenty of real estate immediately available for switches and such - both under the chassis and on the front panel. I'm planning to have a few switches in there, at least for the testing phase, so it's nice to have the space.


Anonymous said...

i have a 9 volt booster circuit that i'd like to add to my champ. is there an easy place to tap for 9 volts?

thanks for all the information you've made available...

Syrus said...

You could add a small mains transformers 230/110 V to 9V, which would mean, your effect has its own supply. Could be handy, because this would mean that you just plug in the amp and tap/daisy chain nine volts from the amp. Portable and easy.

*Altough this requires working with mains voltage inside. Be careful, if you don't know how to go about this, ask.* ;)