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Amp appreciation: Fender Champ


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At home, I use a 1966 Fender Champ for practice; worth noting is that I replaced the already replaced speaker with a Weber 8A100T when I bought it.


I gotta tell you guys, this is one sweet little amp that sounds much bigger than it's size, especially when you consider that it has an 8 inch speaker. When I turn up the volume to around "6" with my Les Paul, it's nice and clean but with a very fluid and natural feeling compression. With my Strat or Tele, I have to take the volume up higher to get that same effect but the volume, while just a bit much for an apartment dweller like myself, it's still not obnoxious.


I know a lot of the EL84 buzz bombs like the Blues Junior (got one of those too), Blackhearts and Epiphones get the most attention for being able to do high gain sounds, but if you want warm and big in a small package, do yourself a favor and pick up an old Champ. One thing that a lot of people aren't aware of is that the Champ's circuit remained unchanged from the blackface amps all the way through the 70's silverface style. So, you can get a silverface for pretty cheap on Ebay and have the same circuit as a blackface. I just did a search on Ebay and you can pick one up for around $400 - that is a point to point, hand wired, American made, tough as nails Fender amp. Compare that to some PCB board amp with board mounted pots built in some sweat shop for the same money.


Since they don't do a heavy overdrive sound even when cranked, just add your favorite dirt box as these amps are very pedal friendly.


My Champ (with 57 RI Strat, Custom Shop Custom and Analogman King of Tone overdrive):




With my band, I go for the big guns (100w Mesa Stiletto Deuce) but, for home, the Champ is a GREAT amp.

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I have a Fender Champ that I think needs a 12ax7 and a 6L6, the 5Y3 i have replaced but still dosen't sound right. I really don't need this amp or really don't want it. If any of you would be interested PM me and we can talk. It seems to be all original and stock. it is a silverface and looks exactly like Maestrovert posting. I will entertain any and all offers. (lower 48 only please)


I have had it for 15+ years and used it as a practice amp and travel amp until it "fizzed" out about 10 years ago. I started seeing that the value of these started to go up and people were wanting these, I thought it would be a nice little amp for testing repair guitars in the shop, so I dug it out and powered it up and noticed the rectifier tube (5Y3) was over heating. So I bought a replacement and installed it. The amp "works" but the sound is bad, low volume and kinda distorted. So, I really don't know what it needs nor do I have the time to deal with it or the "want". So if any of you could fix it easily and use it I will make a good deal for you.


Let me know if interested!



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here's a pic of my '73....it's bone stock' date=' an' absolutely killer for recording:





What a lot of people are unaware of is that the silverface Champs are exactly the same as the blackface ones from the 60's except for the control plate which is purely a cosmetic detail. When CBS took over Fender, they change the circuits of a lot of amps but left the Champ alone. So, you can buy a silverface Champ, which while it's less collectable than a blackface, sounds exactly the same. For around $400 on Ebay, you get a sweet 5w, hand wired, PTP Fender amp that is perfect for home use - and they're usually in great condition as they rarely leave the house! The only reason I bought the '66 blackface that I have is because it was built the same year I was born (lame reason but I never said I wasn't shallow ;) ).

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