Introduced in 1948, named the Champion 800 with an 8″ speaker and, the following year a 6″ inch speaker in the 5B1, Fender’s lowest output amplifer used only one tube in a single ended Class A circuit. After 1953 the 3 watt circuit was renamed the 5C1, elemental and simple, it featured one 6SJ7 pentode in the preamp and one 6V6 beam power tetrode in the power amplifier section with one volume knob and no tone control.
Through 1957, the Fender Champ had a six inch speaker, but the 1958 5F1 model featured an 8″. The 5E1 and 5F1 circuits used a 12AX7 dual triode in the preamp and a single 6V6GT power tube to produce about 5 watts.
Fender Black Face and Vibro Champ
In 1964,the Fender Champ “Blackface” style of circuit and cabinet was introduced. And in 1964 tremelo was added in the Vibro Champ. The Champ switched from Blackface to Silverface four years later. The Blackface cosmetic was reintroduced in 1981 before Fender ceased production in 1982.
Fender Champ Sound
The Fender Champ amplifiers are especially reknowned for their tonal character and as great amp for playing blues. If you listen to ZZtop, the Rolling Stones or Derek and the Dominoes Layla, then you’re hearing that classic 1957 narrow panel tweed Fender Champ sound – one of the most recorded in the history of guitar music.
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