Price paid: $ 229
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.
Reliability & Durability — 8
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.
Features — 10
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.