Champ Tube Amp Building

The Tweed Champ tube amp is one of the most famous guitar amps of all time, and with good reason. Used heavily for recording, it sports just eight watts of blissful single ended tube power, with enough volume to jam with a drummer and also deliver beautiful warm tones at low volume. In just three days you can build this faithful classic. It is a beautiful reproduction of the 1950 era tweed Champ with a finger joined pine cabinet and vulcanized fiberboard motherboard, just like the original. The special kit build we are offering for this class includes a variety of optional mods and upgrades that make this one of the most versatile builds in the music world.

Champ Class


Students will obtain a fundamental understanding of this simple circuit design, stage by stage. They will also learn the craft of point to point wiring and how to modify a circuit to shape its tone by changing component values. Through building an amplifier, students will begin to develop the diagnostic skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair other amplifiers.

Special upgrades and options include:

  • All Switchcraft jacks
  • 12 foot AC cord
  • Hum reduction
  • Boost options
  • Treble bleed options
  • Drilled and tapped motherboard and chassis


Tuition: $485 (Lunch included both days)

Kit/Materials + Shipping: $576.79

Total fee: $1,061.79

Check out this video of Kyle from the Chicago band, PEEL, playing through the very same amp that you will build in this workshop.

Champ Tube Amp Features:

  • Circuit: 5F1
  • Output: ~8 watts
  • 1 JJ 6v6 Vacuum Tube
  • 1 JJ 5Y3 Vacuum Tube
  • 1 JJ 12AX7 Vacuum Tube
  • Speakers: 1 Mojotone American Vintage AV8C/ 4ohm 15 Watts Nominal
  • Resistors and Capacitors: Carbon Comp. Sprague, TAD, Orange drop
  • Original Style Black Fiberboard Motherboard w/ Eyelets
  • Switchcraft Jacks
  • Extra long AC cord
  • Modern center taps on filaments for superior sonics and safety


Ian Schneller Ian is the founder and chief instructor of the Chicago School of Guitar Making. Ian teaches Design & Theory + Blueprint CourseElectric Guitar BuildingTube Amp Building and Champ Tube Amp Building. He is also a faculty member of the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute and owner of Specimen Products.

How to Register:

Registrations are limited to 10 students. You can register for any of our classes online, by phone or in person.

Register Online

Make your selection of the class dates you wish to attend (and if applicable, the type of kit) in Available Dates column on the upper right of this page and click ENROLL NOW> Enter the required information and then proceed to pay by clicking the Paypal button and choose your method of payment.

NOTE: It is not necessary to have a Paypal account to use their service.

Register by Phone 773.489.4830

Call us if you prefer to register over the phone with your credit card. We will send you a confirmation via email, or by snail mail if you prefer.

Register in Person

Come by the shop during business hours and enroll using cash, credit card or a personal check.

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday: 12 – 7

Saturday: 12 – 5

Map our location


Click Here for a list of nearby places to stay during seminars, along with transportation information.

Champ2 Champ Tube Amp


Classes are taught by Specimen owner Ian Schneller, or guest instructors Richard Phillis, Pete Mueller or Kye Kennedy. The course description will state who the instructor is for the given class


All classes are held at Specimen located at 1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. Click here for a map

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