As much as I love the Gibson BR-9, it is a bit boxy sounding due to its 6-inch speaker. Modifying it would be an abomination and I needed an excuse to have another small amp.
My experiences with Mojotone were positive so I went with the 5F1 Tweed Champ kit. As with my previous build, I substituted the eyelet board for one with turrets - no reason apart from I like turrets. One other modification I made was to put a 25uF cathode bypass capacitor in the first stage. While this was not in the original Fender schematic, or the kit, I've seen many photographs of vintage Fender 5F1 tweed Champs where this capacitor is present. It adds a bit more gain and bottom end - a good thing in my opinion. I also lacquered the cabinet with nitrocellulose and stuck on a reproduction Fender badge.
It sounds good with the supplied JJ valves although the 6V6 had a lot of headroom and didn't overdrive until later. I kept them as spares and replaced them with a GE 12AX7 and 5Y3, plus an RCA 6V6. It now breaks up earlier with a lovely rich overdrive. The stock Mojotone 8-inch speaker has ample bottom end and sounds bigger than it is.
While I have larger and more versatile amps, the Tweed Champ is proof that there is beauty in something small and simple. It only delivers 5W or so and lacks a tone control, but its cleans are full and its overdrive is rich. Who could ask for anything more?Back