Champion 300 Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 05/19/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Champion 300
It combines great tones, killer looks and ease of use with the excitement of Fender DSP effects. It includes reverb, delay, chorus, flange, tremolo and more! And also it features the same legendary "dynamic" touch-sensitive response you expect from a Fender. With features like these, other amps can't touch it!
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.4
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 7.5 
 Votes:
 55 
reviews (5) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Champion 300 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 18, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 229

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: The Fender Champion 300 has dual inputs feeding into a single Fender special design 10" speaker that provides 30-watts of solid-state power. I also appreciate the onboard DSP effects, 16 variations in all, including vibratone, reverb, delay, tremolo, chorus, and flange. There is also a FX level dial which is handy for adjusting the level of each effect. The amp has 2 channels, clean and drive, and individual volume control for each and a single three-band EQ for both. // 10

Sound: I chose this amp over the others that I was looking at for its clean channel, and Fender doesn't disappoint. The clean channel is clear even at high volumes and works perfectly with my acoustic-electric. If you leave the amp alone it has a very soft buzz most of the time, but it becomes practically unnoticeable as soon as you start playing and you'd never hear it unless you were listening for it. The distortion channel is fairly noisy even at low volumes, however, and only seems to get worse as you go higher. Again though, I wasn't looking for a real brutal distortion amp or else I'd have gone with a Line 6 or Crate. The effects are pretty diverse for an amp of its price range and I've been pretty happy with them so far. The amp is not particularly as loud as some, it is only 30-watts after all, but I think it would be able to hold alright in a jam session or perhaps for smaller venues. // 8

Reliability & Durability: In terms of reliability I can say at least that it hasn't broken down on me yet. I cannot say that I'd expect to have it go anytime soon though, partly because Fender has a good reputation and also because I don't tend to push amps much. Especially in its purpose as mostly a practice amp for me I don't think I'll have any problems with it anytime soon. All the dials and switches feel solid and I don't think I'll have much of a problem there either. I haven't gotten around to playing any gigs yet, but besides the fact that I don't have money to get a backup for it, from what I've seen of it so far I think I could trust it without a backup. // 8

Overall Impression: I play mostly rock but I've been known to pick a few songs in other areas as well really just whatever I feel like at the time. So far it's handled everything I play pretty well; I haven't had many complaints with it. I've been playing about a year now and this is the first amp that I've purchased but I did lots of research in stores and online and talked to some of my friends before I finally settled on this one. For what I wanted it is perfect. If it were stolen I would be temped to get another of the Champion series but maybe with a bit more wattage. I probably wouldn't be willing to spend the extra money to go up to the next one though, so I think I'd probably settle quite contentedly for the same one. The final decision is: for its price range this amp is simply the best I have found yet for its features and sound output. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Champion 300 Reviewed by: info2new, on july 31, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 465

Purchased from: Malta

Features: This amp is very suitable for the styles I play, although my style should include Marshall amps, I use this Fender Amp, because it's easy, and the sound qualtiy is much clearer, in my opinion. I play styles such as Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, etc. The amp features 2 inputs one for regular pickups the second for high output (active) pickups. Volume dial. Channel select to switch between gain and clean channels. Gain dial-adjusts distortion and seperate volume dial for gain channel. Channel indicator lights up when gain channel is selected. Dials for treble, mid, and bass. Seperate volume dial for effects-onboard effects are Vibratone, 3 levels of delay, 4 levels of reverb including combo of reverb and delay, 4 levels of chorus including combo of chorus and delay-chorus and reverb, 2 levels of flange and 2 levels of tremelo. External footswitch input for optional Fender 1-button pedal. Input for headphones for silent practicing. Large red light indicates power is on or off. Power switch on back and power socke, power cord included. // 8

Sound: I use a Gibson Les Paul Classic and a Fender Stratocaster with this Amp, both go well on it, though Fender is better, because it has the match, and sound qualtiy together. It suits perfect to play those Pink Floyd, and Guns N' Roses tunes, but it's not really meant for, Black Sabbath or AC/DC. It does the classic Fender big-amp clean better than any other small amp I've heard, like some have said, it sounds like a little Twin or Deluxe. With the gain channel on about 3 it's also capable of some killer blues & classic rock tone, and it truly does respond to the guitar volume & tone controls in a more lifelike way than most SS amps. But, the clean channel is voiced a bit on the bright side as some have also mentioned. This is easy to fix by opening 'er up and soldering another capacitor across C10. Without looking I believe I used about a 100 or 120 pF, silver mica (although a ceramic disk will work). The part designators are marked on the circuit board and you don't even have to unsolder anything. Experiment with different values, but I found that once you go over a certain size you start losing clarity & punch. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'd gig with it, I always do, Wether there's an excelent PA or just Mic'ed, but check those input jacks first, and whatever you do don't drop it. I had my amp broken down, alot of times, but thats because I didn't care of the Input Jacks, I used to drop them on the floor, etc. but If you take really care of it, it turns out to be a perfect amp. I certainly can depend on it, and I will keep on doing shows with it in the future. // 9

Overall Impression: For around the apartment this is by far the most fun amp I have. With a P90 neck pickup I can nail original Santana, Eric's Woman tone, early AC/DC, or any number of classic blues sounds. Does justice to my Strats & Teles, PRS Soapbar SE, & humbuckers. It responds well to external pedals (FullDrive, TS9, choruses, etc) as long as you don't overdrive the input with excessive pedal gain. Funny how Fender's been trying for over 30 years to build good overdrive into their amps and usually the results are not so great, or worse. Somehow they succeeded in doing it in this little thing. SS and all. I have been playing oover 6 years now and I own a Marshall amp, Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, and 2 acoustics. I use effects with it too, wether it's a Wah, delay or distortion, It's perfect for the job. If it was stolen or lost I would definately buy another one if I have the cash. I wish it had a pedal switch though, because you would easily change effects and sounds from it, but I guess it's cool the way it is too. // 9

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overall: 9.5
Champion 300 Reviewed by: laffyjam, on august 02, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This amp has built in effects featuring flange, chorus, reverb, delay, tremelo, and vibratone. This amp has clean and overdrive channel switching and it has a headphone jack and a footswitch jack. This amp is a very versitile amp, it can be used with alot of styles of music and the effects on the amp are useful too. // 10

Sound: I mainly play this amp with a Fender American Telecaster with a hot rails pickup in the bridge and I play mainly metal. The distortion on this amp is great for like an Iron Maiden or Judas Priest sound. The distortion is very smooth when the volume is low on the amp, but when you turn the volume up it gets a little rougher. This amp is not noisy at all on distortion or clean channel, and the clean channel stays clean for how high you put the volume up to. The only problem I've had with this amp is the clean channel doesn't handle my hot rail humbucker very well, and when you play a low string hard the amp makes a little crackling noise. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This amp is a great amp for small gigs and practicing with a band. And I could rely on this amp. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a good amp for a fairly cheap price. I've been playing for about 2 years and I think this is the best amp I've had so far. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Champion 300 Reviewed by: NightGLower, on january 29, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 158

Purchased from: Axe Music

Features: This SS amp is really really impressive for the price, I bought it to build up gear again since I moved and sold everything I had. I can play all I want with this, makes a really good practice amp or even you can use it on a small gig. Features 2 input jacks one for normal passive pickups and other for active pickups, a lot of dials so you can shape the sound as you please, making it darker for your metalish riffs or brighter for killer solos. Has also a digital sound processor which you could add a variety of effects, really good feature for the price, the effects go from vibratone to tremolo, reverb, delay, chorus, a flange; and you can even mix some of them that are pre-built in the dial, you can control with a dial the amount of processing you want. oh and a footboard input, and the so needed headphone jack. // 9

Sound: Well regarding sound I would have to make a list, I've played a whole lot through it, a Schecter 007, an ESP M-1000, an Ibanez RGT42DX, and I played a huge variety of styles, from Dream Theater, rush, pagans mind kind of proggy, to dragon force, night wish, Iron Maiden, Santana, Guns N' Roses, Creed, and everything is a big 10 to this amp suit my style so far (that is a whole lot of this mixed) the clean channel is impressive I crank that amp to the maximum and it delivers just a mellow buzz you don't notice unless you listen closely, the overdrive channel is really lousy, suits for really low (7 strings, low tuned) riffs, but also for a really bright solo if you play with the EQ a bit, the distortion is good, not excellent if you are looking for massive distortion try a Crate or a Messa instead. // 10

Reliability & Durability: In this field I don't have much to say since I have only had it for a little while, but it looks really sturdy, maybe if you don't take the proper care the front layer will rip open, or the dials may fall down if you don't treat them right but besides that it's really really sturdy, all is protected you can even put the power cord in a little Velcro holder in the back. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly progressive rock, it works perfect for the gain because it's not excessive or too weak, the clean channel is so good it's unreal for the price paid, I've been playing for almost 6 years now and this is the best you can buy as a practice amp or band rehearsal amp, for a gig I like to go big so mostly I just rent a big stack and play through it. If this were stolen I would buy a new one right away or go bigger don't know, depends on my bank account. the best of this amp is the on light, big Red crystal in the front that impresses me when I play at night, it's so better than the square on switch. I wish it had separate FX control for each channel, or a little chip to save those settings. But I can't complain it's the best of the best in that price range. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Champion 300 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 19, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 179

Purchased from: Guitar Heaven

Features: I'm reviewing a Fender Champion 300 Solid State Amp. Mine was made in 2006 in Indonesia. The Champ 300 has since been discontinued, and I might have purchased one of the last "new" ones in existence. Mine was a demo model that had spent roughly 3&1/2 years on display without ever being sold. Upon doing some research into this amp, I believe that there were a number of technical issues in the amp that were never ironed out (something about a smooth clipping circuit or possibly an extra internal tone control, the details were lacking) and it was discontinued. But I've had mine for five months and have put it through it's paces, and it hasn't yet showed its age or any defects. It features two inputs (0dB & -16dB), 16 different effects settings, a three band EQ, a headphone jack and a foot Switch input. It puts out 30 watts through either a clean channel, with very nice clean tones up to moderate volumes, or a dirty channel, which can be set up to go from light overdrive to tons of fuzz. Overall, This amp works well in a bedroom or dorm for solo practice, and the Headphone Jack allows for some late night playing, however at lower volumes the Champion 300 can be "touchy" and it may take a very delicate touch to get the right settings and sounds. Where the Champ 300 really stands out is at moderate volumes when practicing with a band. The ten inch speaker can be heard over drums and at top volumes the amp can even drown out the Floor Tom drums. For Gigging, it is loud enough to gig in a bar or even a half-full gymnasium without being. In fact, the ability to gig with a Champion 300 was one of the selling points of this amp before it was discontinued. Unfortunately, the sound quality degrades extremely fast after passing the '9' mark, but that's only really affected me one time. However, since it has been discontinued, it may be hard to find the appropriate one-button footswitch that would work with this amp (The only one I've found is a special order through a authorized dealer at a ridiculous markup). For Features, I'm rating it high because it is a nice "workhorse" gigging amp, with about 15 more effects than a comparable amp, but I'm dropping it to an 8 because most of those effects aren't practical for gigging or practice (see Sound). // 8

Sound: The clean channel produces good, classic Fender clean electric guitar tones, and only starts to break up between 8-9 (with Fender Single coils, 7-8 with Humbuckers). By the time you hit ten the sound will have became pretty dirty, but still manageable. The dirty channel mimics tube distortion really well on lower gain settings, but you cannot get a real 'sharp' distortion for metal with only the gain channel. The Dirty channel also starts to break up at higher volumes. Because of how the amp controls are set up, the Gain Knob also effects Volume pretty noticeably, so each increase in volume also adds Gain which compounds the breaking up problem and makes the higher levels of the Dirty Channel just noise and not very useful except for maybe New York-style Punk. The on-board effects are split between the 'good' effects and the 'bad' effects. The three Delay and and three Reverb (and the combined Reverb+DLY) settings sound very nice and really Shine when used at medium-low levels. The either two Flange settings work very well when the Gain Knob is turned up, otherwise they are not much better than you most basic Flange pedal, but still usable by all means. The Chorus effect is a very weak, even in the Combined Chorus+DLY and Chorus+REV settings, and you'll be hard pressed to hear a Chorus effect at any level. The Vibratone (or Rotating Cabinet effect) and two Tremolo settings are practically unusable for anything but Progressive except at extremely low levels. All in all, this Amp's sound is very Fender and very Rock-n-Roll. The great clean channel (or dirty channel with a little Drive going) plus the incredible reverb effect make this amp ideal for a Blues Man on a budget. Alone, I would trust this amp to be able to tackle anything from Blues to Hard Rock to Punk. Metalheads might need a few external effects to get the sounds they want and Proggs might wanna try something with a few more effects. For Sound, Nine. It would be ten, but as a solid state, it breaks up really badly at highest levels. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Reliability: Excellent, hands down. I feel that I am reasonably justified in trusting that every time I flip the Switch that the Champion 300 will spring to life, ready to work. After the amount of abuse I put on this thing in the last 5 months, I would not feel disappointed or gypped if it crapped out on my tomorrow, but still feel very sad. But the thing refuses to quit. However, you should expect to have to change the speaker after playing prolonged periods at max volume. Durability: Unlike some other amps, the Champ 300 is practically built for a battlefield. The construction is solid and I've dropped my Champ onto hard floors and concrete sidewalks without anything much more the surface scratches. Reliability and Durability: TEN. Provided I don't keep dropping it, I expect this amp (except for the speaker) to last longer than I will. // 10

Overall Impression: I believe that the Champion 300 is the best guitar-related purchase I've ever made. If it were lost or stolen I would go back in time and buy two, since it's discontinued. I mean, the only way this amp could be better is if it had a 12" speaker. When I bought it I compared it to a comparable sized Fender Frontman (I don't remember the model), a Fender Deluxe, and an Epiphone Valve Jr. Half Stack and a Peavey 30 watt (also I don't remember the model). The Champ blew the Peavy, the Epiphone and the Frontman out of the water. The Deluxe is definitely the better amp, but not by as much as one would think. But the deluxe was out of my price range, so I went with the Champion 300 which has yet to let me down. Overall Impression: Fender outdid themselves on this little solid state. It might be a good thing they discontinued it or it would have been a serious contender against the Fender Blues Jr. at a fraction of the cost. // 10

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