I'm a fan of the Fender Champion line (20, 40, 100). I've got a 20; it's a solid, no-fuss, at home, practice amp... full range of decent sounds, not a lot of adjustments to futz with, lightweight, etc. I've played a 100 (don't own one) and thought it too was a great amp for garage jamming.

Anyway, I wanted to up my at-home-practice-amp game, so I got the Champion 40. The 12" speaker (to thicken things up a bit) and the two-button footswitch were appealing. It sounds good. The larger speaker does make the tone more rich and full. And the footswitch works but... two concerns:

1. There's an annoying hissing sound (like tape hiss). It gets louder if you turn up the treble and/or the volume and exists on both channels. This doesn't happen on the 20.

2. When you switch channels with the footswitch, it's not an instantaneous switchover. There's like a half second where all sound cuts out. This makes it pretty hard if you're playing something that requires an immediate transition from clean to overdrive.

So before I go down the service path, have any other Champion 40 owners out there experienced these issues?
Last edited by muelco at Feb 27, 2017,
muelco Firstly, that is $179 USD (if you bought it new) for a fairly small side-step. All the 40 has over the 20 is 20 extra watts of power and a 12 inch speaker. If it is a step up for you, great- but when I think step up, I would want something with better inherent circuitry- not just a power and bass boost.

If the hiss sound is very low in volume, likely it is normal for an amp of this tier. It is just noise that leaks into the circuit somehow. If it is distracting/over your guitar, I would just take the amp back and get a replacement. The footswitch thing is kind of weird, which is grounds for me to want to take it back regardless of the hiss situation. I would not try to get it serviced if you bought the amp new, just take it back. If you bought it used, there is not much you can do.

If you want to try to get an exact replacement and see if you just had a dud from the factory, cool. But if you'd like, we might could recommend something to you a bit more worthwhile.
Will Lane Thanks. Yeah, as I mentioned, this is just for at-home use. I'm not recording with it, I'm not gigging with it... just practicing, really. In this capacity, it suits my needs well. No need to bring pedals back and forth from the practice space; there's enough on the amp itself... but not so much that I'm continuously futzing with settings. And the 12" speaker is a big sonic upgrade from the 8" one in the 20... even at low volumes. Add the footswitch to the mix and it's definitely a worthwhile upgrade... for me.

But I digress. What this thread is really about (hopefully) is hearing whether other Champion 40 owners have experienced similar oddities.

Anyway Will, thanks for the advice. I'll probably end up taking it back; that footswitch thing is likely a deal breaker. I do like the amp though, and would still be interested in hearing from other Champion 40 users... I know you're out there! Help!
muelcoI've had a Champion 40 for a few months now and love it. I also have the two-button foot switch which works great. I haven't noticed any delay in its activation when using it. I too, would like to hear from other Champion 40 owners, to many times posts like these get abducted and go off topic. Good luck.
onetimer441 Cool! Thanks for the info! Seems like I've got a bum unit. Now is it the footswitch or the amp?! You're not hearing any hiss out of yours?

Anyone else out there with Champion 40? What has your experience been?
onetimer441 I was able to bring the amp (and the footswitch) back. I asked at the shop if they wanted me to demo the weirdness. The said, "nah." They didn't have another one in stock, so I'm back to my 20 for the time being. I'll upgrade... eventually. Maybe another Champion 40. I really did like it... just not the hiss and footswitch weirdness! Any idea how often Fender upgrades this line? These models are about 4 years old... maybe they'll come out with something else soon?
muelco Im a Champion 40 user, and yeah, what you said about your unit was weird. I would suggest you to take a look to the Fender Mustang range (not the new GT ones, as people are saying they are not that good) but the old ones, I honestly don't remember if they were called V2 or something along those lines. Maybe take a look at "intheblues" over at Youtube. He speaks highly about those amps.
My fender champion 40 amp made a hissing sound even with the volume turned all the way down. I returned it.