Fender Champion 40


deepiper9
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deepiper9
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03/28/2023 3:29 am

In another post here I wrote about getting a Fender Champion 50xl amp from my wife for my birthday. Well after a few months of me and the amp not getting along so well, and some technical issues, I sent the amp back in exchange for a Fender Champion 40. Much happier now. I like the more retro Fender look of the amp. Virtually the same features as the Champion 50xl. Easy to use and get some good tones with. Loud...oh yeah. It has the stock Fender speaker in it over the Celestion the 50xl had. Honestly, it meets and exceeds my needs. 


# 1
manXcat
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manXcat
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03/28/2023 10:07 pm
#1 Originally Posted by: deepiper9

In another post here I wrote about getting a Fender Champion 50xl amp from my wife for my birthday. Well after a few months of me and the amp not getting along so well, and some technical issues, I sent the amp back in exchange for a Fender Champion 40. Much happier now. I like the more retro Fender look of the amp. Virtually the same features as the Champion 50xl. Easy to use and get some good tones with. Loud...oh yeah. It has the stock Fender speaker in it over the Celestion the 50xl had. Honestly, it meets and exceeds my needs. 

G'day!  


Pleased for you to hear you're getting along with and loving your new Champion 40. The Champion series are remarkable amps. Not only sound wise, but straighforward ease of use practicality.  Underrated and often overlooked as a first amp because they are digital yet aren't the epitome of every current bell and whistle novelty sought by the Katana/Mustang review and fanboy influenced crowd most of which beginner and many 'not so beginner' guitarists will never use for an aeon if ever. Fender Champions are a definitive case of the efficient purpose in "less is more", although they have plenty of options not to be limiting to students nor the average guitarist.

Inexpensive for what they deliver, the Champion 100 2x12 (footswitch included) in particular punches way above its pricepoint. Here's just a singular example of how good Champions can sound


Oh., and a heads up without any pettily intended chastisement. Rather a guiding hand for future reference. This topic/thread properly belongs in the Gear Discussion sub-forum. Read the Gear Forum Review Rules. They self elaborate why. No biggie. Mod may move it. Cheers.


 


 


# 2
deepiper9
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deepiper9
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03/29/2023 2:53 am
#2 Originally Posted by: manXcat

G'day!  


Pleased for you to hear you're getting along with and loving your new Champion 40. The Champion series are remarkable amps. Not only sound wise, but straighforward ease of use practicality.  Underrated and often overlooked as a first amp because they are digital yet aren't the epitome of every current bell and whistle novelty sought by the Katana/Mustang review and fanboy influenced crowd most of which beginner and many 'not so beginner' guitarists will never use for an aeon if ever. Fender Champions are a definitive case of the efficient purpose in "less is more", although they have plenty of options not to be limiting to students nor the average guitarist.

Inexpensive for what they deliver, the Champion 100 2x12 (footswitch included) in particular punches way above its pricepoint. Here's just a singular example of how good Champions can sound


Oh., and a heads up without any pettily intended chastisement. Rather a guiding hand for future reference. This topic/thread properly belongs in the Gear Discussion sub-forum. Read the Gear Forum Review Rules. They self elaborate why. No biggie. Mod may move it. Cheers.


 


 

Thank you for your reply. I really do like this amp and look forward to using it for years to come. I did purchase a Fender 2 button footswitch similar to the one the gentleman in the video is using. Works great and makes it fast and easy to flip between both clean and the voice/effects channel.  I have watched the videos of the guitarist before. Great tone and sound using common, affordable gear. Take care and have a great week. 


Dee


# 3
manXcat
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manXcat
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03/29/2023 4:39 am
#3 Originally Posted by: deepiper9

Thank you for your reply. I really do like this amp and look forward to using it for years to come. I did purchase a Fender 2 button footswitch similar to the one the gentleman in the video is using. Works great and makes it fast and easy to flip between both clean and the voice/effects channel.  I have watched the videos of the guitarist before. Great tone and sound using common, affordable gear. Take care and have a great week. 


Dee

That Fender Ch Select/Effects on/off footswitch is great. Nicely constructed, long detachable cable and sturdy with a metal casing. Really improves the enjoyment of using the amp. I have one for each my amps. Some of the smart footswitches required are propietary e.g. Blackstar FS-10 & FS-11. FS-8 is like the Fender unit and can be used across multiple amps requiring only a dumb two button on/off latching footswitch. 

Here's a minor inexpensive mod I made to mine to improve its stomp button footprint for socked/bare feet and visual functionality. Zoom to view the footswitch closer. Mine are no name generics from AliExpress bought by the 10 pack per colour. I use them on all my CN style button pedals. Highly recommended.

No doubt your Champion will see many years of practical enjoyable use for sure. I like its tones. Although I don't have a Champion 40, I still use my 40W solid state practice amps almost every day. I have two as liking it, I upgraded to the latest model V3 when a too good not to opportunity presented, but didn't sell my original V1 which is almost 6 years old now and soldiering on like a trooper. Keep them in different rooms, so the original still gets used too. 



# 4
deepiper9
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deepiper9
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04/03/2023 4:39 am
#4 Originally Posted by: manXcat

That Fender Ch Select/Effects on/off footswitch is great. Nicely constructed, long detachable cable and sturdy with a metal casing. Really improves the enjoyment of using the amp. I have one for each my amps. Some of the smart footswitches required are propietary e.g. Blackstar FS-10 & FS-11. FS-8 is like the Fender unit and can be used across multiple amps requiring only a dumb two button on/off latching footswitch. 

Here's a minor inexpensive mod I made to mine to improve its stomp button footprint for socked/bare feet and visual functionality. Zoom to view the footswitch closer. Mine are no name generics from AliExpress bought by the 10 pack per colour. I use them on all my CN style button pedals. Highly recommended.

No doubt your Champion will see many years of practical enjoyable use for sure. I like its tones. Although I don't have a Champion 40, I still use my 40W solid state practice amps almost every day. I have two as liking it, I upgraded to the latest model V3 when a too good not to opportunity presented, but didn't sell my original V1 which is almost 6 years old now and soldiering on like a trooper. Keep them in different rooms, so the original still gets used too. 


Nice rig there! I like the foot/stomp button covers for the footswitches. So far the only pedal I own is the Fender footswitch. The button covers are cheap so it looks like an easy mod to make the footswitch more comfortable to use.


How are you liking your Yamaha Pacifica? My acoustic that I play daily is a Yamaha FS800. I recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable, quality acoustic guitar. It's gotten me though Guitar Fundamentals 1&2, plus a lot of the lessons under the acoustic "styles". I've learned alot of songs from GT, jamming with a buddy of mine, and other sources as well. 


I currently have 4 electric guitars. 3 Squires and an Epiphone Les Paul Speciai II. The Squires are:


Squire Affinity butterscotch Telecaster. My favorite.
Squire Bullet HT Stratocaster. |
Squire Bullet Mustang.


The Epiphone I bought used. It needs some work and a good setup. Should be a nice little rocker afterwards.  


 


# 5
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04/03/2023 6:43 am

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# 6
manXcat
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04/03/2023 9:30 am
#5 Originally Posted by: deepiper9

Nice rig there! I like the foot/stomp button covers for the footswitches. So far the only pedal I own is the Fender footswitch. The button covers are cheap so it looks like an easy mod to make the footswitch more comfortable to use.


How are you liking your Yamaha Pacifica? My acoustic that I play daily is a Yamaha FS800. I recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable, quality acoustic guitar. It's gotten me though Guitar Fundamentals 1&2, plus a lot of the lessons under the acoustic "styles". I've learned alot of songs from GT, jamming with a buddy of mine, and other sources as well. 


I currently have 4 electric guitars. 3 Squires and an Epiphone Les Paul Speciai II. The Squires are:


Squire Affinity butterscotch Telecaster. My favorite.
Squire Bullet HT Stratocaster. |
Squire Bullet Mustang.


The Epiphone I bought used. It needs some work and a good setup. Should be a nice little rocker afterwards.  


 

The footswitch caps are pretty much a quintessential accessory for the contemporary standard latching style footswitch button. I fit them to all my footswitches and pedals. Press fit, those generics I linked to are inexpensive and have a decent lifespan.

Pacificas are superb. Every one of them punches well above its respective segment weight. I have four of them of varying configs and segment levels among my inventory. That PAC112V OVS was my first Pacifica and initial guitar I bought when I returned to guitar. I still play it regularly. Been modded since. It now has a Seymour Duncan TB-4 (JB Trembucker) in the bridge & GraphTech TUSQ nut. It looks a lot better in the flesh than that image suggests. That pic was a rubbish exposure I hastily found to illustrate an example the footswitch button caps. 

The smaller bodied Yamaha FS800 is a superb acoustic choice in its segment. 👍 It'll take you a long way on your journey.

I'm fond of Teles. Leo got the design right. I appreciate why it's your favourite. What year model is your Affinity? 

I recently took the opportunity to buy a Squier Bullet Tele and can only remark that Squier have really lifted their game over the past two or three years in the particular. Build quality is stunning considering its price point and tier in the hierachy. It's truly enjoyable to play. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Same guitar different paint, better player.

Re your guitar inventory list. Config versatility there. Plenty of scope for your journey. 👌





# 7
deepiper9
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04/04/2023 1:49 am
#7 Originally Posted by: manXcat

The footswitch caps are pretty much a quintessential accessory for the contemporary standard latching style footswitch button. I fit them to all my footswitches and pedals. Press fit, those generics I linked to are inexpensive and have a decent lifespan.

Pacificas are superb. Every one of them punches well above its respective segment weight. I have four of them of varying configs and segment levels among my inventory. That PAC112V OVS was my first Pacifica and initial guitar I bought when I returned to guitar. I still play it regularly. Been modded since. It now has a Seymour Duncan TB-4 (JB Trembucker) in the bridge & GraphTech TUSQ nut. It looks a lot better in the flesh than that image suggests. That pic was a rubbish exposure I hastily found to illustrate an example the footswitch button caps. 

The smaller bodied Yamaha FS800 is a superb acoustic choice in its segment. 👍 It'll take you a long way on your journey.

I'm fond of Teles. Leo got the design right. I appreciate why it's your favourite. What year model is your Affinity? 

I recently took the opportunity to buy a Squier Bullet Tele and can only remark that Squier have really lifted their game over the past two or three years in the particular. Build quality is stunning considering its price point and tier in the hierachy. It's truly enjoyable to play. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Same guitar different paint, better player.

Re your guitar inventory list. Config versatility there. Plenty of scope for your journey. 👌




My Affinity Tele is a 2019-2020 model I think. I got it as a  Fathers Day gift from my wife and son right after all the Covid-19 madness started. It does'nt have the belly cut outs on the back like the newer Affinity Tele's. It's more old school Tele. Heavier than the newer Affinity Tele's. I have seen one of the candy apple red with sparkles like the one in the video. 


You mentioned a couple of Blackstar amps  in one of the previous posts. Do you own one? I have a BlackStar Fly 3 mini amp. Small little battery powered amp that sounds great. I use it in our bedroom for practicing over lunch breaks from work and whatnot. I plan on taking it on the road with me when I go on vacation later this year. Very light and  easy to use. 


 


edited
# 8
manXcat
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manXcat
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04/05/2023 12:29 am
#8 Originally Posted by: deepiper9

My Affinity Tele is a 2019-2020 model I think. I got it as a  Fathers Day gift from my wife and son right after all the Covid-19 madness started. It does'nt have the belly cut outs on the back like the newer Affinity Tele's. It's more old school Tele. Heavier than the newer Affinity Tele's. I have seen one of the candy apple red with sparkles like the one in the video. 


You mentioned a couple of Blackstar amps  in one of the previous posts. Do you own one? I have a BlackStar Fly 3 mini amp. Small little battery powered amp that sounds great. I use it in our bedroom for practicing over lunch breaks from work and whatnot. I plan on taking it on the road with me when I go on vacation later this year. Very light and  easy to use. 


 

Fender's current business practice is to change the contractual OEMs of their Squier Bullet and Affinity series Telecasters frequently, so batches from year to year or into different markets domestic and international can emanate from different manufacturing origins. Mine (2022 model), was manufactured in China and differs from the Indonesian manufactured ones of previous years in several respects, positively I'm pleased to say. Affinitys were manufactured in both Indonesia and China during the period yours was built, which will be annotated on the back of its headstock. Current model Affinitys are made in Indonesia and have changed in several respects from production of 2019 through 2021, COVID years when production was severely reduced and facilities stressed.

I have some pretty high BQ as in flawless comparatives, and have to say I was astonished at the QC, BQ, and finish on the Squier Bullet Telecaster 2022 model example I received. I even lucked it with a dark shaded Laurel fingerboard on my build. So a tick to Fender in that regard. Astonishing even at its regular price point. I felt like I stole it at the price I bought mine for at a boxshifter's Boxing Day sale. Interestingly, according to the information on Fenders' own US and Australian websites, (I can access both courtesy of VPN regardless they forcefully regionally auto redirect) the standard Squier Bullet Telecaster models currently distributed both in America and Australia are both the Chinese production models available in only the standard two colours of Black or Brown Sunburst. No FSR Bullets distributed or available in Australia. I made my own with that 4 ply Black Pearl pickguard. 

Including a Blackstar Unity 60 bass amp, I currently own and use 9 standalone amps excluding a portable PA and other amp simulator pedals or devices like the NUX Might Plug.  Seven of those standalone amps are Blackstar and the other two are Fender. So yes, I own and use Blackstar and am undeniably a Blackstar amplification afficionado.

Fly 3's are superb and versatile practice mini-amps. I wouldn't be without one. Mine sees regular use.

I'd actually like to buy the recently released Blackstar Debut 50R (MOSFET tech) amp. Like the Fender Champion 40, although different tech it takes the KISS 2 channel approach. But, although its price is very very right, I can't justify the spend when I already have tools that do an adequate job for me. OTOH I'd be very tempted toward one if I didn't own an amp looking for my first or even second amp. If they come up on can't not super sale I may buy one out of curiosity later this year or next, but I had a big spending year the past 12 months in the particular, so my budget is under self restriction right now.


# 9
deepiper9
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04/05/2023 2:23 am
#9 Originally Posted by: manXcat

Fender's current business practice is to change the contractual OEMs of their Squier Bullet and Affinity series Telecasters frequently, so batches from year to year or into different markets domestic and international can emanate from different manufacturing origins. Mine (2022 model), was manufactured in China and differs from the Indonesian manufactured ones of previous years in several respects, positively I'm pleased to say. Affinitys were manufactured in both Indonesia and China during the period yours was built, which will be annotated on the back of its headstock. Current model Affinitys are made in Indonesia and have changed in several respects from production of 2019 through 2021, COVID years when production was severely reduced and facilities stressed.

I have some pretty high BQ as in flawless comparatives, and have to say I was astonished at the QC, BQ, and finish on the Squier Bullet Telecaster 2022 model example I received. I even lucked it with a dark shaded Laurel fingerboard on my build. So a tick to Fender in that regard. Astonishing even at its regular price point. I felt like I stole it at the price I bought mine for at a boxshifter's Boxing Day sale. Interestingly, according to the information on Fenders' own US and Australian websites, (I can access both courtesy of VPN regardless they forcefully regionally auto redirect) the standard Squier Bullet Telecaster models currently distributed both in America and Australia are both the Chinese production models available in only the standard two colours of Black or Brown Sunburst. No FSR Bullets distributed or available in Australia. I made my own with that 4 ply Black Pearl pickguard. 

Including a Blackstar Unity 60 bass amp, I currently own and use 9 standalone amps excluding a portable PA and other amp simulator pedals or devices like the NUX Might Plug.  Seven of those standalone amps are Blackstar and the other two are Fender. So yes, I own and use Blackstar and am undeniably a Blackstar amplification afficionado.

Fly 3's are superb and versatile practice mini-amps. I wouldn't be without one. Mine sees regular use.

I'd actually like to buy the recently released Blackstar Debut 50R (MOSFET tech) amp. Like the Fender Champion 40, although different tech it takes the KISS 2 channel approach. But, although its price is very very right, I can't justify the spend when I already have tools that do an adequate job for me. OTOH I'd be very tempted toward one if I didn't own an amp looking for my first or even second amp. If they come up on can't not super sale I may buy one out of curiosity later this year or next, but I had a big spending year the past 12 months in the particular, so my budget is under self restriction right now.

Ok yeah I looked mine up online on serialnumberlookup.fender.com and it was built in China, 01/2020. Father's Day here is in June so it was new. Whats different about it is it is a string through body where when I was looking at them on youtube and different retail stores here it said the Affinity Tele's were a hardtail like my Squire Bullet Strat is. Both of my Squire Bullet guitars were built in Indonesia. I like them too. I just had a setup done on the Mustang. I really like how light it is. It was a floor model at Guitar Center where I live so they gave me a few dollars off it. Plays great now with the setup done. I went to a heavier gauge string on it because of the shorter scale length. Well not that much heavier. From 9's to 10's. Still playing 9's on the Tele and the Stratocaster. 


One of my guitar heros is Jared James Nichols and he uses Blackstar amps. When I get a couple more years experience under my belt I want to get a Blackstar, just not sure which one. Are any of yours tube models? How are there solid state amps? I currently own 3 amps. The Fender Champion 40,  Fender Mustang 1 (v.2), and the Blackstar Fly 3. The Mustang was the only one available at the time I got my Tele. I don't use it that much. From what I understand the Fender software that was used to download different tones and voicings to the amp is no longer supported. 


edited
# 10
manXcat
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manXcat
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04/05/2023 8:57 am

You lucked it getting a Chinese "crafted" Affinity. The build quality is better. Not sure if it was the labour force skill levels or the contract value/spec. The higher the contract price paid under the contract, the better build the units will be. Either way, the Chinese model Squiers were/are better IMPE, and I say that without bias owning guitars OEM and O manufactured in both countries. e.g. Ibanez, Gretsch, Yamaha, Cort, Squier.

String through vs top load. Lots of emotive argument, but IMPE, it's moot. I have both types on Teles and it's neither here nor there AFAIC. Makes absolutely no difference to tuning, tone or sustain. OMMV but that's my observation and experience based conclusion. String though does visually 'feel' like you're getting something extra, Classic originality (?), though. Just the human condition. Recent Squier models have been all over the place on this. I had expected to get an Indonesian one rather than the latest 2022 model as they were the outdated images the seller was illustrating on their web site, but when mine arrived it was Chinese current build and top load. For the pittance I paid I wasn't about to complain or send it back, nor did I care much at the fact because upon opening, inspecting and playing it, I was delighted. It's an astounding guitar for the $, a delight to play with several particular advantages to the Chinese build I won't elaborate upon here other than mention that both pickups in the Chinese version are much higher output & superior tonally, the low output pickups in particular being a noted weakness of the Indonesian Bullet Teles. 

I don't have a Mustang or Jazzmaster, not even the faux Affinity versions. I was looking at one of these recently in it's rather fetching Burgundy Mist. Sale price was very tempting. I've read and head really good things about them and I don't have anything with unique Jazzmaster style single coil pickups, even the Affinity ones. But, one can't have everything and I had already spent those potential funds elsewhere, so for the moment no sale.

Jared James Nichols is a Blackstar ambassador pretty much. Check this out. Jared James Nichols, Blackstar amps and Paul Kossoff's Gibson. Listen to that tone! WIN-WIN-WIN. Besides "The Beatles", "Free" as was are my favourite band ever.

I have one valve Blackstar in the Artist 30 Blonde 2x12 (Vintage Celestions) with 6L6 power valves. I also have a Blackstar ID Series 260 TVP which is a valve emulating amp but selectable for multiple power valves types. e.g. 6L6, EL34, EL84, KT88. They're all very good, but the KT88 is uttely gobsmacking and possibly my fav emulation if I had to choose one. It does an amazing job and not only sounds like valve, but responds to touch/feels like playing valve. The ID Series TVP have been superseded since by the Silverline Series. Primary differences latest (still) SHARC DSP, Celestion speakers instead of Blackstar (OEM?) and a cosmetic overhaul. The ID Series TVP 260 has morphed into the Silverline Stereo Deluxe. Obviously I'm biased, but Blackstar solid state amps, hybrid and valve are state of the art across all segments. There's something for everyone, and the prices are right. 

All amps which interact through firmware will eventually be incompatible with newer features when superseded, and amps dependent upon software whilst remaining functional, will be the abandonware. e.g. The Fender Mustang as you relate Fender's abandoning of support for it. That's just a characteristic of the age we live in.  They want you to buy the latest version, upgrade.


Cant go wrong with one of these or these or ....? So many to choose from including the magnificent sounding Studio 10s in 'pick a power valve' flavour. 6L6, EL34, or KT88


# 11
deepiper9
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04/06/2023 4:10 am
#11 Originally Posted by: manXcat

You lucked it getting a Chinese "crafted" Affinity. The build quality is better. Not sure if it was the labour force skill levels or the contract value/spec. The higher the contract price paid under the contract, the better build the units will be. Either way, the Chinese model Squiers were/are better IMPE, and I say that without bias owning guitars OEM and O manufactured in both countries. e.g. Ibanez, Gretsch, Yamaha, Cort, Squier.

String through vs top load. Lots of emotive argument, but IMPE, it's moot. I have both types on Teles and it's neither here nor there AFAIC. Makes absolutely no difference to tuning, tone or sustain. OMMV but that's my observation and experience based conclusion. String though does visually 'feel' like you're getting something extra, Classic originality (?), though. Just the human condition. Recent Squier models have been all over the place on this. I had expected to get an Indonesian one rather than the latest 2022 model as they were the outdated images the seller was illustrating on their web site, but when mine arrived it was Chinese current build and top load. For the pittance I paid I wasn't about to complain or send it back, nor did I care much at the fact because upon opening, inspecting and playing it, I was delighted. It's an astounding guitar for the $, a delight to play with several particular advantages to the Chinese build I won't elaborate upon here other than mention that both pickups in the Chinese version are much higher output & superior tonally, the low output pickups in particular being a noted weakness of the Indonesian Bullet Teles. 

I don't have a Mustang or Jazzmaster, not even the faux Affinity versions. I was looking at one of these recently in it's rather fetching Burgundy Mist. Sale price was very tempting. I've read and head really good things about them and I don't have anything with unique Jazzmaster style single coil pickups, even the Affinity ones. But, one can't have everything and I had already spent those potential funds elsewhere, so for the moment no sale.

Jared James Nichols is a Blackstar ambassador pretty much. Check this out. Jared James Nichols, Blackstar amps and Paul Kossoff's Gibson. Listen to that tone! WIN-WIN-WIN. Besides "The Beatles", "Free" as was are my favourite band ever.

I have one valve Blackstar in the Artist 30 Blonde 2x12 (Vintage Celestions) with 6L6 power valves. I also have a Blackstar ID Series 260 TVP which is a valve emulating amp but selectable for multiple power valves types. e.g. 6L6, EL34, EL84, KT88. They're all very good, but the KT88 is uttely gobsmacking and possibly my fav emulation if I had to choose one. It does an amazing job and not only sounds like valve, but responds to touch/feels like playing valve. The ID Series TVP have been superseded since by the Silverline Series. Primary differences latest (still) SHARC DSP, Celestion speakers instead of Blackstar (OEM?) and a cosmetic overhaul. The ID Series TVP 260 has morphed into the Silverline Stereo Deluxe. Obviously I'm biased, but Blackstar solid state amps, hybrid and valve are state of the art across all segments. There's something for everyone, and the prices are right. 

All amps which interact through firmware will eventually be incompatible with newer features when superseded, and amps dependent upon software whilst remaining functional, will be the abandonware. e.g. The Fender Mustang as you relate Fender's abandoning of support for it. That's just a characteristic of the age we live in.  They want you to buy the latest version, upgrade.


Cant go wrong with one of these or these or ....? So many to choose from including the magnificent sounding Studio 10s in 'pick a power valve' flavour. 6L6, EL34, or KT88

Checked out the links to all of the Blackstar amps you posted above. The two I really, really like are the Blackstar Debut 50R and  the Studio 10. Love the sound of the Studio 10. I have no experience with tube amps, i have never owned one. I saw there are two models. The Studio 10 6L6 and the same but with EL34 tubes. The one in the video did impress me. I thought about it then I wondered how it would compare with say a Fender Blues Jr. The Debut 50R reminds me alot of my Champion 40. Same price range as the Champion 40 on Sweetwater. Like yourself though i have put myself on spending restriction as far as gear purchases go. We have some home projects coming up so I am investing mainly in lessons, both here on GT as well as taking in person lessons with an instructor. 


ManXcat thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of amps and guitars with me. Really opened my eyes to alot of good equipment out there. I look forward to messaging and sharing more with you about guitar and music. All the best to you and your family.


# 12
manXcat
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manXcat
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04/09/2023 3:46 am

👍


# 13

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