Champ 25 SE Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 03/15/2013 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Champ 25 SE
Best trade I ever made. The famous Fender clean is in this amp and it shines through.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 9
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review (1) pictures (1) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
Champ 25 SE Reviewed by: ferdius, on march 15, 2013
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Purchased from: Pawn Shop

Features: The Champ 25SE model was made in the U.S. by Fender, during 1992 through 94. It is a 25 watt amp with a solid state preamp, and a tube power amp. It uses 2 6l6GC tubes and a 12AX7 for the phase inverter. It comes with reverb, standby and seperate controls for the 2 channels, volume, bass, middle and treble plus a mid shift boost button for the clean channel, gain, contour, bass, middle, treble and volume for the gain channel, a master reverb plus a "loudness" (master volume) for the amp. It comes with a Fender 12 inch speaker, an input for a footswitch, and line out in the back, effects in and out inputs on the front. // 9

Sound: I use this amp with a Epiphone Special 1 with P90's, an Epiphone Dot and a Frankenstrat. To start out, it has a beautiful clean channel. It just rings out tone with an undeniable crystal clean and warmth that comes from the tubes. Fender amps are known for their clean settings and this amp is no exception. It also has a mid shift button, that when used gives a totally different clean which is really cool. You can go from surf, to pop, to clean blues to jazz just by using the settings and the shift boost. When I started to play it and get used to it, I found myself smiling uncontrollably as I haven't had an amp that gets such a pure and beautiful clean tone. And turning up the volume, the headroom stays clean. The distortion channel, while not the greatest (more than likely due to the solid state preamp), is definitely usable. By setting the gain low, and playing with the contour, I have gotten a crunchy sound that is good for power chords and rhythm work. I am going to get a good distortion pedal for lead work, and I feel it will work well with the channel. The distortion is just a little to harsh when the gain is turned up for lead work for my tastes, but again, this is my preference. The reverb works beautifully. Overall, I am very pleased with this amp, and am glad I got it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Simply put, this thing is built like a tank. It is of solid construction, and this amp has some weight to it which is nice. The tubes are in solid and has some protection for them and it looks like servicing will be relatively easy. For 25 watts, it is definitely loud enough to gig with, and even though it does not have a speaker out, the 12 inch speaker that is in the amp is clear and projects a very good sound. This amp was made in the U.S. and it shows, the wood construction and the tolex fit tight, and overall, the amp exudes quality. // 10

Overall Impression: I traded a Line 6 Spider III HD150 half stack that I paid $120.00 (no lie) for this Fender. Best trade I ever made. I like to play rock, blues, powerpop and even some country and this amp does it all. The clean channel, which is where the tube tone comes through is warm while retaining a chime and clarity that is second to none. The famous Fender clean is in this amp and it shines through. While the gain channel is a little harsh for my liking, even though the pre amp stage is solid state, I can get a good rhythm tone with it and will only need a pedal for lead work. This amp was made in the U.S. and it shows, the fit, finish and overall quality shines through. I played this amp side by side with a Hartke GT60 Piggyback mini stack, a Peavey Envoy and a Crate and there was NO comparison, not on build quality and more importantly tone. Too bad Fender didn't keep making this amp. // 9

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