This amp really shines when it comes to recording if you are using the Fuse software. With this, you can get in control of more settings and tweak all of the amplifier’s functions separately. Capable of editing extra effects parameters, this software will be quick and smooth to install on iOS and Windows devices.
The graphics will run smoothly and are laid out nicely so that you can understand everything. Editing with this software will be a fast task. Furthermore, the universal ASIO driver will also run smoothly making recording a trouble-free job.
In terms of sound, the tones that you record will sound authentic, while overdrives will respond well to reverbs, detailing them accordingly, and will accentuate changing dynamics. While the general distortion tones are decent for rock and metal stuff, the classic Fender sound will convince you.
Remember that this product is aimed at the guitar player that wants to record and play at home, and for that purpose, it checks all the boxes. Made to last and good-looking, it will entertain you for a long while. With the pair of 6V6 and the small enclosure, this compact beast will offer you the power needed to annoy your neighbors or the be heard in your band.
While doing decently when it comes to clean sounds and the first channel (which is not the main one), the amplifier lacks in terms of high-gain voices and the use of the second channel. Based on amplifiers like modern Marshalls or Fender’s Super-Sonic model, the gain voices don’t sound that great, and if you’re using them at high volumes, there are physical limitations that prevent you from obtaining a good sound.
This is a small bright-sounding amplifier that can become overwhelmed by strong distortion. That is the reason why the amp is better suited for home recording rather than professional applications.
Main features explained
Design and build
This cabinet comes with the classic Fender blackface design and it has a traditional look for a 1×10 combo. There is a single input that feeds into 2 separate and switchable channels that share a common treble and the same bass EQ controls, as well as a DSP effects section.
Compared to similar Fender models, the first channel of this one has a simple volume control, while the second channel comes with the volume control, gain knobs and a rotary switch with 16 positions that let you select the amp voicing. There is a single speaker output at the back, a footswitch input, and a line out. There is no footswitch included, however.
In terms of effect controls, you have another rotary selector that lets you switch between them and an adjustment knob with a single controllable parameter. You can get similar features to this model in the amp head format called the Super Champ X2 HD (where HD stands for head and not HD sound).
When it comes to the construction of this amplifier, similar to many other fairly-priced Fender amps, the cabinet is thin and light and it has a floating front baffle that is minimally braced to offer some sense of durability. Despite this, it feels well designed and solidly put together, with a well-placed upholster on it. It is also comfortable to carry with one hand given its lightweight design.
Similar to other small Fender models such as the Deluxe, the Deluxe Reverb, or the Princeton, this model uses a pair of 6V6 power-amp valves and is rated at a power of 15W. It also employes a 12AX valve that works as a phase splitter, helping with making the preamp ready for the signal coming to the Class-AB valve power amp.
When it comes to the two channels, the first one is not the master channel, and it can provide some blackface-style clean tones. It has enough headroom to showcase a trademark Fender sound. Thanks to the lightweight design and the layout of the circuits, the 10-inch speaker will lean towards a brighter sound. This can become a bit harsh on the ears if you are pushing the treble too high.
However, if you are using a compressor pedal before the amp and you add some reverb or delay from the pedal or the amp itself, you will found some enjoyable clean sounds. There is not much bass here to talk about, given the small woofer dimensions, but fortunately for guitar players, you won’t need that much bass.
Placing microphones close to the amplifier will put more emphasis on the low frequencies, but you will have to roll off the bass anyway, so you don’t clutter up the mix when recording.
The second channel, on the other hand, is the main Super Champ X2’s voicing, expanding the sound range of the amplifier significantly. You can use it to alter the compression and overdrive functions, to add coloration, while the different voicings will do good in imitating a wide range of classic amps.
Furthermore, Fender’s own sound is represented with care, and while the amplifier can be boxy-sounding and have a quick distortion, it can also sound bright. Some of its characteristics are laid out in an inefficient manner, but with some tweakings, the amp becomes really interesting and highly usable.
The sound reminds you of Fender classics, but it can also provide some vintage Marshall or Vox-style sounds that you can work with to expand your style, especially in the overdrive department. This amp will sound good across the board if you are using it to record at home.
This is also a digital amplifier, utilizing the Fender’s Fuse software, which is free and compatible with Mac and PC devices. This is a combined editor, a librarian, and even a practice partner. The main use is that it offers access to an extensive library where you get free backing tracks that you can use to jam along.
What is more interesting is that the software allows you to change parameters that you otherwise couldn’t just form the front panel of the amp. With the software, you will be able to save presets on your computer and get to work there editing the settings separately, exporting them to the pedal afterward.
Depending on the amplifier, the Fuse software can offer multiple functions, but in most cases, it gives a mid-range tone control. With this amp, it also offers presence control and a bright switch. These are essential control if you want to optimize the sound of your guitar, especially if you have a bright-sounding setup.
There are so many parameters that you can work with thanks to the software, as you are able to adjust the amp’s sag and tube bias settings and many others. While not having an ample effect on the sound, professionals will be able to notice the small effects they have on compression and overdrive functions. You can also set a noise gate with the software, as well as a USB gain control function.
The software comes with a drop-down menu where you can choose the model that you have, and while there are settings meant to be used for certain amps, you can use them on your specific model. Of course, certain settings meant for bigger models will feel funny on the Super Champ, but this can also mean that you get to expand its sound and your style if you wish.
Recording and effects
When it comes to the actual recording, the cleaner sounds will be more convincing compared to the heavily distorted tones. However, this amp will perform well enough in every category when recording, sounding like its true self, giving out a ton of good sounds capable of working well in any mix.
If you are intending on using this for a professional setup in a studio, it won’t do that good, for the really prominent parts. It falls short in terms of realism, subtlety, and depth in some parts, so that’s why it wouldn’t be recommended for recording a professional piece of music.
Handled with the help of the ASIO (for PC) and Core Audio (for Mac) drivers, the USB digital recording doesn’t directly involve the Fuse software. But you can always run the software alongside your DAW if you want to adjust the guitar sound the way you are used to doing it. When it comes to direct recording, the amp faces tougher situations.
When recording through the USB, and you use the volume knobs you will only affect the signal coming out of the speaker and not that going through the USB. however, the USB audio signal is set independently and you can modify it using the USB gain control if you use the Fuse software and its advanced amp settings.
This is a hard thing to achieve, however, as you will have to monitor the sound via the software and you will need to deal with some latency. An analog line out of the mixer might be the preferable choice in this case.
But if you are using Fuse, things can be made much easier, especially when it comes to extra effects. There are plenty of variations for the initial reverb, modulation, or delay effects. On top of that, you get to play with compression and distortion.