Fender Champion 20 Practice Amp

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,220Member
edited August 2019 in Guitar Chat
I bought one of these for my boy's 21st and it is great. £107.

Bear in mind that I paid £80 for a very basic amp in the '80s - volume, bass, mid and treble was about it, with a very muffled sound. It may have been 30 watts but it didn't seem any louder.

The Fender is clear, classy and offers various amp simulations: Tweed, Blackface, British, Metal and others I can't remember. It also has effects which can be dialled in intensity - chorus, delay, flange, tremolo, vibrato and combinations of all (no ability to foot-switch unfortunately.) It has an echoplex style thingy a'la John Martyn and (most importantly) a headphone input (most vital for a student in shared accommodation on work placement - a baker and cleaner in residence getting up at stupid O'clock.)

What most impressed me was the quality of the overdrive using the Gain over Volume. Pure quality.

No line-out I'm afraid - though I did tell boyo that a gigging amp is in a separate league altogether and should be thought of as important as the main instrument and that he is going to have to spend more money. (My '80s amp didn't have a line-out either.)

I did have to drag myself away from Marshall as this would have suited the Gibson aesthetic of his guitar better (he has a Les Paul copy.) The Fender amp simply offered a better spec.

Well. To think. To get a fraction of this in the '80s I had to shell out another two hundred quid on pedals and that's in old money ! Beware that - despite the authenticity and quality of the sounds coming from this amp - the sound is small. The clue is in the designation 'practice' amp. Don't expect to be able to get up on stage with it or even to be able to play a church or cafe. In this respect I loved its toy-ishness which made me feel young again - that I really could be on the road to Glasto and that I really could become Jimmy Page. I could have kissed the little blighter !!! (The amp, not my boy.)

A good buy. A terrific buy in fact. This is not surprising since I followed owner's reviews in my decision to buy it. My boy is well happy and has himself a great set up for a young man. To date: Vintage V100 Amber Les Paul copy, Martin OOO15m and his new amp. He has most bases covered, I'd say and any aficionado would be impressed to walk in his room and see the bang-for-buck efficiency in putting together a collection that any player would find joy in messing around with.

What I'd have given to have all that at his age - then again, I could afford to buy a house without putting his mum on the game.


  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 968Member
    There is much to be said for the digital world, for a few years it's been getting better. I remember my first encounter with the Roland Cube series, They were very feature packed and in a live context sounded quite good. But they gave me ear fatigue after a while which was a shame. I've tried other such things and had similar experiences, although the pace of digital amp technology has ballooned and now is very good. I've even bought a line 6 HX fx for live use.
    Don't forget that a good number of classic rock hits were recorded with the original Fender Champ!
    I would envey your boys gear arsenal, for a student that is impressive and he's a lucky boy.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,220Member
    edited August 2019
    I kick myself that I sold the Roland Cube Street (RCS) but that was at a time that none of us were interested in electric guitars. It would have done the job but my decision was based on the fact that he needs a practice amp... and his next should be MUCH better, not merely RCS better.

    He has a good adviser.

    I've encouraged him to accumulate good gear that will not be too valuable before he gets married. He is the marrying kind, which is nearly always unfortunate for a guitarist.

    The lump sump I have been saving decades for has already been spent on a new bathroom. Always ALWAYS something in the way of that J45.
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