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  1. #1

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    i recently posted in another thread that the heritage factory is now making harmony solidbody guitars...under the direction of their huge parent company- bandlab...well they have added a vintage styled amp to the mix...asian made...hand-wired...octal preamp tube...6v6 power tube...5 watts into a 6" alnico jensen...priced 399$...




    more info @-

    8418
    – Harmony Guitars


    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 11-12-2019 at 07:53 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Looks great, as does that guitar.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Looks great, as does that guitar.
    unfortunately, as of now the heritage factory made harmony guitars available are rather mundane looking solidbodies...and not cheap!

    harmony once produced tons of cool guitars & basses..so hopefully some of the semi-hollow & hollow styled good stuff will be forthcoming...

    keith used a harmony meteor on satisfaction!! and late great ronnie lane pumped a harmony h22 bass in the small faces


    cheers

  5. #4

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    Holy sh@t, I want two!!!


    That thing looks great. I LOVE octal tubes. In the right circuit, they sound amazing.

  6. #5

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    Thanks for posting! I’ve never heard about that amp before.

  7. #6

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    I've always had a soft spot in my heart (and head, if you listen to some people) for Harmony guitars. I'd take a Rocket with more knobs and switches than a Jaguar in a new York minute! In red. Sheer whimsy. A Silvertone 1446 in black would be welcome as well.

  8. #7

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    Oh man, that looks super cool!!!

    I wish they would have used an archtop in the demo... but I want one! I looks and sounds like everything I wanted the little Champion 600 to be, but wasn't!

  9. #8

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    Before I pull the trigger on this, tell me if I'm missing anything? Downside?

    Looks cool, demo sounds good, handwired, yes only a 6" speaker but it's an ALNICO Jensen, and I'd only be using this at home, not gigging with it... (of course I still need an ES-125 type to go with it... )

    The closest other octal amp in price is the V47 Oahu Suitcase, and it's twice the price...

    Unless I'm missing something, this seems like a great, reasonably-affordable and classy-looking way to get into some octal tube goodness....

  10. #9

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    Oh wow, looks great!

    Practical use on stage will be very limited, if you desire a clean tone while playing with drums......


    *edit: oh 5 watts, that’s Champ-territory, so it stays clean only for living room practice and (drum-less) studio jamming, as the website states. And perhaps quiet coffee-houses for solo gigs? Hence the demo with only dirty tones. Not really suitable as a jazz amp imho......

    Still cool though!

  11. #10

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    It would be cool if they took this same concept and did a 12 watt amp with 10 or 12 inch speaker. If they could keep the price under $500 bucks and include a line out on the back that would be a decent amp for jazz. I've been using a vox pathfinder 15R with lineout on the back with my selmer style guitar and a stimer type pickup. Perfect combo for those late 40's type tones. It would be fun to have and actual tube amp tho. Honestly the vox sounds great and I am able to dial in just a little bit of grit, kinda like the barnyard pedal. The amp only cost me $70 bucks used. So far I've only got positive feedback from all my django buddy players who are quite picky.

  12. #11

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    Theres almost no way I won't buy one of these.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Theres almost no way I won't buy one of these.
    That vote of confidence was all I needed... ordered!

    And if for some reason I decide it's not something for me, I'll give you suchadeal....

    Old-school, new production, octal amps are as rare as hen's teeth (well, affordable ones are...), so this really seems to be a special thing... Nothing wrong with Vintage 47 or Nocturne, and if I were gigging and needed the volume that would be different... but for my own personal use, this sexy thing seems perfect.

    I tried and tried to get the Champion 600 Reissue "there", with mods and a new speaker (Vintage 47 alnico), but it never "arrived"... I think the tiny cab was holding it back (and the 12A_7 tube, of course)... the original C600s WERE Octal, and sounded amazing.

  14. #13

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    glad you guys think it cool too...should be great home amp..congrats r9...just remember its asian made..the v47s are truly handmade in cali!! v47 pricing is actually pretty great for usa boutique quality!

    alnico jensen is nice touch!!

    hep to the jive was usin a low watt v47 in band situation..before he got the big boy v47..hope he sees this and chimes in

    bigger things may be comin from harmony..esp if this one does well


    cheers

  15. #14

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    Won't be here until thursday

    I got the shipping notice, it's coming from California.... not Kalamazoo, which is where the company is located. Right off the boat? LOL

  16. #15

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    This would be the perfect living room amp!

    definitely adding this to my Christmas list

  17. #16

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    Just read that there will only be 150 of these built...

    i really don”t need this (just bought a Loar LH700, blew the gear budget for the year)

    But I have one on the way now!

  18. #17

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    I didn't have the money either.... having just bought a Roland Blues Cube Artist (lighter weight for gigging), and a Bad Cat Hot Cat (one of my holy grail amps, a 50th bday gift to myself), I had already blown the gear budget x2. But an OCTAL, NEW, at this price? I couldn't say no. Funny how gear stuff seems to happen all at once... apparently Fender is also making more of the Knotty Pine Princeton Reverbs with the 12" Alnico Cream, another amp I've been wanting... limited edition of course.. but I just can't. Not right now.

  19. #18

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    It's here.

    Very quick review:

    It definitely has that old-school tone I have heard out of amps like Vintage 47, where they are going for that old amp thing. IDK if that's the 6SJ7 specifically, or the circuit, but it does not, for example, sound like the Champion 600 Reissue.

    It does not get dirty... in the demo video, Andy is pushing it with clean boost to get those tones. This amp, by itself, is capable of no more than what I would call "Charlie Christian breakup"... which is fine with me, that's what I'm after. The Champion 600 Reissue got MUCH dirtier... you had to put a 12AU7 in it to get it down to the clean levels this Harmony 8418 is putting out.

    It has to be up at 7 or higher to do this (10 is best). And at 10....

    1) it hums. This is not abnormal, every tube amp I own, when cranked, hums. It's the nature of the beast. It hums less as you turn the volume down, which is of course normal. The Champion 600 hummed. My Bad Cat hums. My Supersonics both hum.

    2) even on 10, it's not loud. At all. Nowhere near as loud as the demo makes it out to be. This is TRULY a "home amp"... even on 10, you won't be disturbing anyone. Which-again- is OK with me... that's MY purpose for this amp: old-school tones at home volumes. Actually, anything below 5 on the dial is so quiet it's not even usable for me... no idea if the original ones were this quiet...?
    [interestingly, the Champion 600 Reissue: out of the box, with it's 12AX7 and Fender tone stack, was much louder and dirtier and brighter. But I disabled the tone stack for more mids, put a V47 hemp cone in for darker tone, and a 12AU7 in for cleaner tone.... and that MODDED C600 did sound a lot like this Harmony, in both volume (lack of) and tone.]

    I only wish I had a proper P90 archtop to play through it, that would be the ultimate test for me. I have a tele, a P90 thinline tele, and my Grestch with Filtertrons. Oh- that's another observation: this amp is not capable of that "Gretsch sparkly" sound... at least not with Filtertrons... the high end is simply not available.

    If you have any questions, fire away. But I'll say that for old-school tones, at low volumes for home use, and cool looks to boot, they done good.

    OH- and there doesn't appear to be a HI and LO input like we are used to; both inputs are the same. As if to plug 2 instruments into the same amp... I assume the originals were like this as well.

  20. #19

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    quick addendum:

    I put a Spark Booster in front of it, and was able to achieve more blackface-y/Gretschy tones (the full-size Spark Booster is an EQ as well as a booster). I guess this is the reverse of say, putting a Junior Barnyard in front of a PRRI.

  21. #20

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    Good to hear.

    Are they really only making 150?

  22. #21

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    That's what the Reverb listing says. The truth probably is: yes, the FIRST RUN is only 150. And if they sell like crazy, they'll make more. If they don't, then yeah it'll be 150.

    It's definitely a niche amp; most players are not looking for something like this; most (newer) players are listening to John Mayer, not Charlie Christian lol.

  23. #22

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    So far, they seem to be selling them exclusively from that Reverb listing. Bookmark it, and keep checking... if the "available" goes down below "10+", you'll know...

  24. #23

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    Don’t forget, this through a bigger cabinet would be a very different amp.

    A 6 inch speaker is like putting a governor on a Ferrari. You really don’t know what it can do until you remove that bottleneck.

    That being said the six inch speaker, while being a one trick pony, is a cool trick.

  25. #24

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    From what I can tell, the originals had either 6" or 8" speakers. Remember- this was a "student/practice" amp, not a performance amp like the EH-185...

  26. #25

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    Cool, exactly what I'm after. I want something my wife will let me keep in the living room

  27. #26

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    No reverb? Useless!

  28. #27

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    LOL. Well that's going a bit far, imo. It DOES benefit from reverb... I AM using my Surf Rider reverb pedal with it. However- I just did some digging and found a cool little reverb pedal for $30... this is what I'd get to "mate" with the Harmony, if it were going in the wife's living room...

    Mosky Spring Reverb, $32 on amazon

    Harmony 8418 Reissue Amp-mosky-jpg

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    From what I can tell, the originals had either 6" or 8" speakers. Remember- this was a "student/practice" amp, not a performance amp like the EH-185...
    A larger efficient speaker or two could bring the level up to non drum/brush territory, at least I would think based on the single ended/low watt amps I’ve experienced.

  30. #29

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    Probably. But that's not my usage. I WANT a quiet amp for this purpose. But yeah- if you wanted to use this in a band, if you put an efficient 10" in it (IDK if a 12" would fit), it could be made louder I'm sure. Loud enough? IDK.

  31. #30

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    just a quick update....

    Still digging this little amp. It really is cool, right out of the box. Crank it to 10, turn the guitar down, and it's old school tone. I have decided to try ONE experiment on it (it doesn't need any "upgrades", even the tubes are NOS, this is more of a slight tonal change, personal preference)... I just ordered a Weber Alnico 6" with a ribbed cone, for a little more headroom/later breakup, and a bit more clarity. (the stock Jensen P6V has a smooth cone, earlier breakup).

    When the amp is on 10, it cleans up very nicely with the guitar's volume knob... I do wish for a LITTLE more treble... not much... just a touch... and I think the Weber will provide it (you can always turn a guitar's tone DOWN, but you can't ADD high end/clarity.)

    Will let you know!

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    just a quick update....

    Still digging this little amp. It really is cool, right out of the box. Crank it to 10, turn the guitar down, and it's old school tone. I have decided to try ONE experiment on it (it doesn't need any "upgrades", even the tubes are NOS, this is more of a slight tonal change, personal preference)... I just ordered a Weber Alnico 6" with a ribbed cone, for a little more headroom/later breakup, and a bit more clarity. (the stock Jensen P6V has a smooth cone, earlier breakup).

    When the amp is on 10, it cleans up very nicely with the guitar's volume knob... I do wish for a LITTLE more treble... not much... just a touch... and I think the Weber will provide it (you can always turn a guitar's tone DOWN, but you can't ADD high end/clarity.)

    Will let you know!
    Great update review. To expand the tones of your amp try using an EQ pedal. Not only can you fine tune each frequency, you can also use it as a clean boost. Enjoy that little amp.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Great update review. To expand the tones of your amp try using an EQ pedal. Not only can you fine tune each frequency, you can also use it as a clean boost. Enjoy that little amp.
    I tried an EQ pedal, and I was able to get a more clean (by using it's volume control) and mid-scooped tone using it... it wasn't much different than turning down the guitar tho (my guitar has a treble bleed on the volume control). Think Johnny Smith vs Charlie Christian lol. I also have a reverb pedal I use to add just a touch of ambience.

  34. #33

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    Old-school tone? Octal bliss? On a budget? I've been using a Bogen Challenger PA head, converted to guitar use. It's @70 years old, puts out 30 watts, and I can run any size cab I want with it (although I'm partial to this li'l 1x12 cab):
    Attached Images Attached Images Harmony 8418 Reissue Amp-challenger_9065-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 07-19-2020 at 11:27 PM.

  35. #34

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    That's certainly cheaper than a Vintage 47 (which is quite awesomely priced, at about $1K, for their EH-185). The Harmony was less than half of that.... it does suffer a little from the 6" speaker and smaller cab, but it still sounds really good. I considered putting an 8" in (and a 10" might even fit), but decided it sounds so good "enough" that it wouldn't be worth the extra expense or bother (a new baffle would have to be made as well). Even the new speaker I ordered isn't necessary, it's really just for my own musings. They honestly spec'ed the 8418 out really well: I even tried some of my own tubes in it, and the OEM NOS tubes sounded best. Won't surprise me at all if the OEM smooth cone Jensen also sounds the best.

    You can't beat the price, for a handwired, NOS-tubed, octal, Jensen-Speakered (no foam-surround POS in this amp... are you listening Fender Champion 600 Reissue???).... plus, it looks damn sexy enough to keep in the living room without the wife complaining LOL.

  36. #35

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    OK.... the Weber Alnico 6" with ribbed cone: it tightened the bass, added some brightness and clarity... but IMHO, to the detriment of the amp/tone. This amp is designed to sound a certain way... old school (of course when it originally came out it wasn't old school LOL). But the Weber ribbed cone made it sound more modern. It wasn't a huge difference, but the plain strings before (with the OEM Jensen smooth cone) were nice and fat, while the Weber introduced enough high end to make them thinner/harsher, and less pleasant to my ear. The Weber had me wishing the amp had a tone control, so I could turn it down. (you could of course do the same thing on the guitar... but I like getting things as close to "good" on their own, without the help of EQ pedal, tone controls, etc. It give me more room to adjust that way.

    However... this could also be guitar-dependent... a 17" archtop with humbucker could maybe benefit from the increased clarity, high end, and tighter bass. I'm actually going to keep the Weber around, as I'm keeping this amp, I'm sure other guitars will come and go... and it'll be nice having the "instant re-EQing" of the Weber, if required. Yes, an EQ pedal works too... but I like things simple. That's what I love about the Harmony: 1 knob, plug in, turn it up, and go. It is what it is. (I do add a reverb pedal for a little air).

    BTW... the tonal differences were not huge. Big enough to give me a preference, but not that different. I think whoever designed this reissue did a really good job at spec'ing the speaker and the tubes... I've tried others of both, and the OEMs sound best to me.

    Also BTW- it's built really well. I pulled the chassis and the baffle. The cabinet is very solidly constructed, and the chassis wiring and soldering is neat and clean. I remain impressed with this little, octal, handwired, amp for $400.

  37. #36

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    good stuff!

    celestion has a 6" speaker..non alnico..(drats)...but has an efficient 97 db sensitivity...which will really maximize those watts...6 db louder with 1 watt than the jensen...

    cheers

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    OK.... the Weber Alnico 6" with ribbed cone: it tightened the bass, added some brightness and clarity... but IMHO, to the detriment of the amp/tone. This amp is designed to sound a certain way... old school (of course when it originally came out it wasn't old school LOL). But the Weber ribbed cone made it sound more modern. It wasn't a huge difference, but the plain strings before (with the OEM Jensen smooth cone) were nice and fat, while the Weber introduced enough high end to make them thinner/harsher, and less pleasant to my ear. The Weber had me wishing the amp had a tone control, so I could turn it down. (you could of course do the same thing on the guitar... but I like getting things as close to "good" on their own, without the help of EQ pedal, tone controls, etc. It give me more room to adjust that way.

    However... this could also be guitar-dependent... a 17" archtop with humbucker could maybe benefit from the increased clarity, high end, and tighter bass. I'm actually going to keep the Weber around, as I'm keeping this amp, I'm sure other guitars will come and go... and it'll be nice having the "instant re-EQing" of the Weber, if required. Yes, an EQ pedal works too... but I like things simple. That's what I love about the Harmony: 1 knob, plug in, turn it up, and go. It is what it is. (I do add a reverb pedal for a little air).

    BTW... the tonal differences were not huge. Big enough to give me a preference, but not that different. I think whoever designed this reissue did a really good job at spec'ing the speaker and the tubes... I've tried others of both, and the OEMs sound best to me.

    Also BTW- it's built really well. I pulled the chassis and the baffle. The cabinet is very solidly constructed, and the chassis wiring and soldering is neat and clean. I remain impressed with this little, octal, handwired, amp for $400.

    Hello, I recently built something similar. You may want to solder in a 470pf bright cap across the MV pot. Mine is on a switch. It’s a nice option to have, especially with humbuckers. It gives just that bit of air I think you’re missing.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    good stuff!

    celestion has a 6" speaker..non alnico..(drats)...but has an efficient 97 db sensitivity...which will really maximize those watts...6 db louder with 1 watt than the jensen...

    cheers
    That would actually be detrimental to me- this isn't a gigging amp, it's a home amp. And cranked, it still doesn't disturb neighbors. It's actually perfect in the home-playing-volume dept.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove
    Hello, I recently built something similar. You may want to solder in a 470pf bright cap across the MV pot. Mine is on a switch. It’s a nice option to have, especially with humbuckers. It gives just that bit of air I think you’re missing.
    Correct me if I'm wrong... but what that cap does is retain treble as you roll down the volume? Just like a treble bleed cap on a guitar. My guitars all have treble bleed caps, so I don't need one on this amp... and it's a quiet enough amp (it's the quietest 5W amp I've ever owned... 5W can be LOUD), that there's no point in turning the volume down anyway LOL. Just leave the amp at full whack and turn the guitar down, works beautifully.

    Good news is, being neatly handwired, and with very few components, modding the thing wouldn't be any trouble for the novice.

  41. #40

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    Just to sort of give you some audio examples of what I get out of this amp...

    At full whack, guitar full up, it's in this neighborhood, except a HOME volumes, which is brilliant.



    And then, just listening to this again last night, this is what you get when you roll down the guitar vol a little (and maybe the tone knob too, rig dependent...)



    Charlie Christian is definitely in there too... I suspect with an ES-125/150 (and the P90/CC pickups), it would be very close. I think of this little Harmony as a "home version" of an EH-185 (not that the EH-185 is too loud to use at home, as the below video demonstrates... but the Harmony is smaller, and less than half the price of say, the Vintage 47 EH-185G... which I STILL want, lol). And, just like the EH-185, just crank the amp and control everything from the guitar... most of you guys have probably seen this, our forum member and titan player, Johnathan Stout...


  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    (it's the quietest 5W amp I've ever owned... 5W can be LOUD), that there's no point in turning the volume down anyway LOL. Just leave the amp at full whack and turn the guitar down, works beautifully.
    .
    facinating the different ways people experience things ...

    earlier , it was stated that the amp hums on full volume !

    also it was stated that the amp was not loud and therefore was good for home use

    maybe i’ve got something wrong somewhere ....

    if they made a version with the same octal pre amp but a bigger power amp (2x 6v6 or 2x 6L6) with a 10” that would be very cool indeed ....

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    facinating the different ways people experience things ...

    earlier , it was stated that the amp hums on full volume !
    It does... as does EVERY tube amp I've ever owned. They were never intended to be run on full volume, that's just how the players' did it, whether because they WANTED the distortion (Fender Champs in rock and roll) or because they needed as much clean volume as they could get (Charlie Christian, turning amp full up and then reducing the distortion by using the guitar volume control.)

    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    also it was stated that the amp was not loud and therefore was good for home use
    Yes. Not sure where you're getting confused?

  44. #43

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    The amp I built has ZERO hum, even at full volume. I suspect the choke and proper grounding help.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove
    The amp I built has ZERO hum, even at full volume. I suspect the choke and proper grounding help.
    Well, I can't say, because I don't know, how close this reissue circuit is to the original... it SOUNDS like an amp from the 40s-50s. I have no idea if they stayed true to the circuit to get the same tone, or if they did something else... it does have a 6SJ7 preamp, along with a 5Y3 and 6V6, so they kept THOSE parts of the circuit. If it's a circuit clone, then I would imagine the original also hummed when cranked. UNLIKE FENDER's Champion 600, which resembled the original in LOOKS ONLY... it sounds nothing like the original, using different preamp tube, different speaker, and entirely different circuit. It was a Champion 600 in appearance only.