Fender amps have always managed to hold their ground even though this company was always primarily focused on guitars. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for a Fender amp, we wouldn’t have Mesa/Boogie today. Simple as that. Fender Champion 40 combo continues this tradition and brings you the legacy of their amps with a new twist. Best thing of all, it is priced more than reasonably. If all you have is $200 to spend on an amp, this combo is one of the best choices you can make at the moment. Let’s go over its features and see why this is the case.
Controls, in general, are one area where Fender took a path of their own. Some will go as far as to say that Fender’s control clusters are chaotic. Whether that is true or not is a purely subjective thing. However, it might take some time to get used to their layouts. This model brings clean channel volume, gain, volume and voice selection for the second channel, a two band EQ, FX level control and FX select knob. On top of that, you also have a channel select button as well as the tap tempo button. Pretty simple, weirdly laid out, but overall effective. It is also worth mentioning that the knobs they’ve used are pretty accurate. They give you solid feedback, thus allowing you to easily make quick adjustments.
One glance at this combo reveals that Fender went with their vintage design. If you were to hit that time machine and send this thing back five decades, it would fit right in. Those who appreciate Fender’s earlier designs will love the Champion 40, simple as that. The amp comes with a single 12-inch speaker that delivers some 40 Watts of power at any given moment. This type of girth makes Champion 40 a great choice for practice as well as gigging in smaller venues. With two channels and a decent selection of effects, you are bound to have a great foundation no matter what application you have in mind. Bang for the buck, this pup is among the best out there.
If there is one thing Fender amps are known for, at least their tube models, it’s their clean tone. Fender has successfully managed to port a goof portion of that tone into Champion 40. Will it sound like Twin Reverb? Probably not, but it is as close as you can get for this kind of money. Needless to say, clean channel simply rocks. It packs enough definition and clarity to get the job done and then some. One push of the button and you are in overdrive territory. Here you can dial in a variety of tones suitable
for both blues and rock. With that said, Champion 40 comes with a few aces up its sleeve, allowing those who appreciate a heavier tone some versatility as well.