CHAMP ELECTRONICS -" THE VINTAGE VALVE
THE CHAMP LB-100 TUBE AMPLIFIER (c1975)
100 watt amp head recently "surfaced" in a second-hand shop down in
Kent. It is one
that I produced sometime around 1975, so I was delighted to see it
again after thirty three years !! However, I think that the following
correspondence with John, a friend of the person who now owns it, will
serve to provide a full explanation...........
JOHN'S INITIAL E-MAIL TO ME:
"Hi John, I've just
been looking at your website and at the Champ 200-MP amp that you built
A friend of mine
bought an amp from a second-hand shop here in Kent a couple of years
ago, and it's only recently that I had a close look at it, inside and
out, as he believed it was an early Sound City! But I was sure that it
was not, and once I'd seen inside I was very sure about that, but knew
that it was well designed and built. It seemed quite unique too as I
hadn't seen another like it!?
I took some photos of
it, and having just looked at the 200-MP on your site, it reminded me
his amp, both inside and out.
I've attached a few
photos of this amp for you. Maybe you can say if this is one of your
amps and perhaps put a date to it?
Hope to hear back from
Best wishes, John."
MY E-MAIL REPLY:
Yes it is one of my Champ-Amps!! I can only tell you it is from the
seventies but exactly when......I don't honestly know! My gut-feeling
about 1975. One thing I can tell you though is that it is one of the
later Champ-Amps. It is actually an LB-100 (Lead/Bass 100 Watts). It's
a twin channel / master volume but the transformers are deliberately
over-size. This improves things a lot, especially on bass guitar!
Notice it is on a steel chassis rather than aluminum, which I used
originally. Plus, I didn't spray them with any kind of Hammerite paint
at the time. (I was trying to keep the costs down!)....Check-out the
Thanks so much for the
photos and information on another of my "old beasts"....turning up
around 200 miles south from where I had made it and about 35 years
Kind regards, John."
AND A FURTHER E-MAIL FROM JOHN:
Hi John. Good to hear
back from you, and great to hear that this amp is one of yours! It's a
lovely sounding thing and is in regular use. it currently resides at a
local recording studio.
Best wishes, John.
have just today (24/09/08) received an e-mail & some photos from
Mark....the actual owner of this amp. His interesting mail is shown
below along with two photos of the amp being gigged........Cool
I am the actual owner of the
Champ Amp that John of UnLabel sent you pictures of recently. It's a
nice little amp but it has been abused over the years: when I first
rescued it from the junk shop it blew all its valves as someone had
ground down the valve seats (without telling anyone). I didn't return
it to the junk shop as was my right as I thought it'd get ruined even
more. I instead invested in a local amp guru (Fred) through a local
shop called Beat'n'Track who diagnosed the problem and sorted it out
(about 5 years ago). Just recently, while it was at a local recording
studio, somehow the voltage selector on the back got set to 100 volts
without anyone knowing and that blew all the valves again (and a few
other things). It went back to Fred, who immediately spotted the
incorrect voltage setting. I can only assume that someone thought they
were changing the ohmage selector (which is at the other end of the
panel but looks almost identical) in order to use a different speaker
cab to the Sound City one that it was with. All very annoying and
expensive, but the amp is working again now and has had its first live
gig outing in 2 years (see attached photo featuring Everyone To The
I have decided that it is safer
that it does gigs with me than that it stay at the recording studio
(despite now being hard-wired to 240 volts). Everybody that uses it (as
we share the backline at my gigs in order to get more playing done) is
very impressed by it and seem to start looking for similar old valve
amps from Birmingham for themselves...
Mark - "We were called Nifty Eagu & The Glo-Pilots: I am
playing the Les Paul, and my son who is playing bass is using your Champ amp
just behind him on the right of the photo (put through a rebuilt Sound City cab
with Fanes in it). Photo taken in Summer 2007at The Forum in Tunbridge Wells, Kent,
Another picture showing the Champ LB-100 in action during September 2008.