1986 Fender Super Champ Deluxe

The ’86 Super Champ Deluxe featured here is one of the last examples of the modern circuitry upgrades that were housed in a more traditional package.

In response to a steep decline in amplifier sales in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Fender restructured their amplifier design team in 1982. Managed by Paul Rivera—of Rivera Amplification fame—the team moved quickly in creating the II Series of Fender Amps, which were produced until 1986. Often called “Rivera-era amps,” this line included recognizable model names like the Showman, Deluxe Reverb, and Twin Reverb, as well as new models, like the Studio Lead, London Reverb, and Montreux. Each model sported one or more modern upgrades, including master volume controls, channel switching, active tone controls, graphic equalizers, and effects loops, among others.

The ’86 Super Champ Deluxe featured here is one of the last examples of the modern circuitry upgrades that were housed in a more traditional package. With a nod to the early days of Fender Tweed amplifiers, the Super Champ Deluxe amps came with a natural oak cabinet and brown grille cloth. Two 6V6GTs pumped 18 watts of power into a 10" speaker, while a Master Volume knob controlled the overall output volume. Pulling out the Volume knob, or hitting a button on the optional footswitch, engaged a mid-gain lead channel, re-routing extra gain from the 12AT7 tube driving the reverb on the clean channel. A second Lead Level knob controlled output for this lead channel. If the player needed some extra cutting power, a tug on the Treble control resulted in a strong midrange boost.

Thanks to Glenn Weatherford for listing this amp on Gear Search. Whether you’re looking for a vintage piece or the latest on the market, there’s a great chance you’ll find it at Gear Search. More than 47,000 pieces of gear are listed, including some of the rarest gear in the world.

Multiple modulation modes and malleable voices cement a venerable pedal’s classic status.

Huge range of mellow to immersive modulation sounds. Easy to use. Stereo output. Useful input gain control.

Can sound thin compared to many analog chorus and flange classics.


TC Electronic SCF Gold


When you consider stompboxes that have achieved ubiquity and longevity, images of Tube Screamers, Big Muffs, or Boss’ DD series delays probably flash before your eyes. It’s less likely that TC Electronic’s Stereo Chorus Flanger comes to mind. But when you consider that its fundamental architecture has remained essentially unchanged since 1976 and that it has consistently satisfied persnickety tone hounds like Eric Johnson, it’s hard to not be dazzled by its staying power—or wonder what makes it such an indispensable staple for so many players.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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