Best Tube Amp for Pedals: Fender Super Champ X2 Reviewed!
Technology has played a major part of changing many facets of our lives. With the introduction of the Internet to households, technology has leapt bounds we could only imagine decades ago. This trend is also prevalent in the music industry, specifically on how it developed the best tube amp for pedals.
Guitarists, before, who want to record their work rely on traditional valve-powered guitar amps. Today, however, software that you can download online and even mobile apps has taken this role. And in this article, we reviewed one of the pioneers of such trend- the Fender Super Champ X2.
Fender was one of the first names that emerge on the guitar amplifier industry six decades ago. To cope up with the ever-evolving market, they introduced the FUSE software portal so anyone who owns a compatible Fender amp can do all their modeling on their PC.
The Super Champ X2, like many of the modern Fenders, has a classic smart finished exterior that has some hint of the “Blackface” era of the 60’s. From its layout to the downsized reflector knobs and the flat aluminum badge, it certainly feels like a blast from the past.
This 15-watt, 1×10-inch combo amp has a 12AX7 preamp tube and two 6v6 tubes. It comes with two channels which can be switched using optional footswitch. This instrument also has USB output which you can use for speaker-emulated digital recording.
Its voicing knob also comes with an array of 16 different amp types such as British, Metal, Tweed, etc. and 15 effects that can be control adjusted.
The Super Champ X2’s straight through valve channel can also emulate some of the classic amps from this manufacturer. As for digital effect section, it includes a tap tempo control which you can use to adjust the effect’s timing and modulation.
Moreover, the amps drive channel stores 16 different voicing that include some of the popular amp tones from American and British vintage and modern styles. The device also comes with a delay time feature, modulation rate controls for the chorus and rotary effects for the speaker.
The amp is also very portable. It weighs only 23 pounds and has the following dimensions: 14.8 inches x 8.8 inches x 17.5 inches. The instrument’s real panel also has access to USB socket which you can connect to your PC/Mac and interact with the Fender’s Fuse software.
Other features found on the rear are: optional two-button switch, single speaker outlet and a line out which you can connect to the PA equipment jack or to the recording.
Overall, the Fender Super Champ X2 looks very dynamic and reliable.
Sound-wise it remains to be one of the top contenders in its group. The sound it produces is realistic and can easily be reflected in its recorded tones. Its overdrives are very responsive and are able to adjust on the dynamics, while the reverbs are enthusiastically smooth.
While one could argue that it is not the best live digital guitar amp currently available, its 6v6 power gives it a solid foundation especially when recording your sessions.
Some of the metal and heavy rock tones have the tendency to fizz; you can still find some uses for them.
Despite the many praiseworthy features of this amp, it also has some rough edges that certainly need to be sorted out. When we tested it out, we noticed some buzz on the distortion channel when we put it on high range.
- Has a digital effect section that can give you classic, vibrant, psychedelic effects
- Augmentable delay settings which you can set at short or long tempo
- PC/ Mac connectivity plus the downloadable FUSE software
- Classic smart finish with genuine Fender feel
- The sustain has a serious buzz
- The quality of the speaker doesn’t do justice to the amp
For the price, it’s a very solid piece of equipment. Even without the added features, it’s still a decent amp which you can use to practice a multitude of songs. Because you can change many of its settings using a PC, you can experiment with different adjustments even those you can find online.
Who Should Buy the Fender Super Champ X2?
Fender’s main target markets for this instrument are beginner guitarists who want to practice on their home studio. The amp is easy to use and a perfect investment for guitar players who wants to record their guitar sessions in the hope of improving and playing small gigs.
The amp is also a perfect fit for those who want to play some of the nostalgia from Fender’s back catalogue. With clean and over reaching voicing, like the ’65 Deluxe that sounds close to the real deal, it’s one tube amp that keeps on giving.
If you are a member of a band, this is one of the best products which you can take with you during your jamming sessions because of its portability. Its connectivity with computers also gives it an edge, especially when you are trying to play out a song that you are unfamiliar with.
Overall, the Fender Super Champ X2 is a product that can benefit anyone who wants to level-up their guitar skills by listening to their own recording. From there, you can easily compare it with the original song’s rendition or be critiqued by a pro guitarist.
The Fender Super Champ X2 is a superb amp for beginners. Its clean channel delivers a clear and well-defined sound. The reverbs are also great along with the overdrive mods.
While this device only has bass and treble (which is what you expect for a beginner amp) and no mid-range control, it still sounds great. Several of the effects are also very handy and are quite similar with the ones used by some of the mainstream bands of today.
This is easily one of the amps we can recommend for your first amp. Every feature is technologically sound and will definitely help you when you want to mimic the music of past and present guitar influences.