From a company that mainly focuses on guitars, Fender has always managed to hold its ground when it comes to delivering high-performance amps. The new Champion 40 amplifier for electric guitars is made of high-quality materials that make it sound clear and sharp.
The single powerful speaker combined with numerous onboard effects is enough to turn heads when it comes to this amp, but perhaps the main reason why so many professional guitarists prefer this item has to do with the overall sound quality.
For a 40W amp, this packs a real punch. When looking for an amp, the main feature to take into account is how loud it will deliver your guitar sound, and the Fender Champion 40 was born to be loud.
Despite its small dimensions, the product is loud enough to cover halls and medium-sized venues without requiring additional speakers but can be perfectly used in the comfort of your own home as well.
Assuming that you want to throw a small party with your friends in your basement or backyard, the Champion 40 is everything you need to keep your crowd entertained for the entire evening. The sound is crystal clear and has enough drive and color to compete with more “professional” amps that cost twice as much.
Perhaps the most common issue customers might have when purchasing the new Fender Champion 40 amp is the low-level buzz or humming they might get after a while. Although the product delivers plenty of volume, when trying to test its limits, it may emit a buzz.
The same buzz can be heard when plugging the amp to a set of headphones to practice playing the guitar without waking up the entire house or neighborhood. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to remove the buzz and most users prefer to ignore it rather than changing the amp with a new one.
Main features explained
One of the first features you notice about the Champion 40 amp is its lightweight yet sturdy construction. The product is manufactured in China, like most other sound engineering devices, regardless of their price tag and brand.
Weighing just 35 pounds, the amp itself is quite light given the amount of power it delivers. It is made of seven-ply ¾-inch medium-density fiberboard and comes with an angled front panel.
The fiberboard that surrounds the speaker is also worth mentioning as it is stable and strong. You can notice the dimensions of the wood surrounding the speaker fitting were not reduced to save weight, which is often the case with other manufacturers. Given the sturdy wooden case, you expect a rich, full, and crystal clear sound, exactly like the one delivered by the Champion 40 amp.
This classic product from Fender is maintained with its iconic black and silver grille cloth black vinyl body shell. The metal corner protectors included, located on the sides where the cabinet sits on the ground, absorb shocks and vibrations and reduce friction which may cause damage to the amp in time.
As a result, the product can be easily moved from one room to another, without worrying about damaging the electrical components inside or upsetting the wood case to distort the sound. And, if you don’t want to push the amp or drag it across the room, there is also a handle available with nickel-plated caps that makes transportation easier and more convenient.
The black control panel features plastic control knobs with silver centers to perfectly blend in with the rest of the amp’s design. Every knob is in the right place and makes playing a breeze, even for newbies. Everything seems familiar and convenient, which delivers great user experience.
Overall, the product is well-made and sturdy, so it will resist constant wear and tear.
One of the most important features of an amp is represented by the control board. The new Fender Champion 40 comes with two channels and a single input. One channel is used for the clean amp while the other allows you to use it for a selectable amplifier voice.
The basic controls of this amp include one volume for channel 1 and Volume, Gain, and the Voice controls on channel 2. The basic controls also include treble and bass, FX level, FX select, and TAP. Apart from them, the amp boasts other onboard effects that allow you to adjust the sound volume, level, and even add some nice effects on it.
The built-in effects are designed to color the sound and help you create unique tunes every time you play your guitar. The Delay, Chorus, Reverb, and Tremolo are all controllable to a certain degree from the amp itself. One twist of a knob and you’ll create a unique sound that has the right amount of crisp and clarity, according to the music genre you prefer.
Remember that, even though we’re talking about an affordable amp that is usually considered suitable for beginners, you’ll benefit from a wide array of effects and loops to create amazing and high-quality sounds.
They might not replicate the exact sounds delivered by a professional pedal that costs a small fortune but, for its price, the Fender Champion 40 does its job admirably. Therefore, the product represents an excellent choice for beginner guitarists or those who are looking for affordable music equipment to practice or record demos.
As with all other knobs available on the Champion 40, the controls are convenient and easy to reach, improving the overall playing experience. Everything is done naturally and smoothly, so the guitarist will only focus on the intensity and tonality of the sounds delivered.
Amplifier modeling effects
Every guitarist knows that a good amp will not only intensify the signal of the sound but will also “modulate” it to sound a certain way. Essentially, every amplifier of a newer generation will digitally recreate the sounds of certain iconic amplifiers from the past, generally the ones from the early 60s and 70s.
It is also the case of the Fender Champion 40, that gives you the option to create “metal” sound-alikes which give a certain tonality to your sounds. The technique allows the guitarist to play with various intensities and modulations and deliver more historically accurate sounds, similar to the ones from the older-generation guitars.
However, don’t forget that we are talking about digital recreations and not exact replicas so, no matter how hard you try, your sound won’t perfectly mimic the one heard on stages 50-60 years ago. They are a great inclusion with this particular amp and can be further used to create new sounds and “colors” for your sounds.
In other words, the Fender Champion 40 allows enough ground to experiment with various modeling effects until creating something entirely original or mimicking as close as possible past sounds. Either way, the amp represents an affordable choice whether you’re rehearsing, playing for small crowds, or even registering your own music in a small home studio.
The digital Amp modeling allows you to recreate the voice of everything from a classic Fender amp to a heavy metal one, and everything in-between, depending on your style and preferred music genre. Generally speaking, most users will prefer the Champion 40 amp for music genres like blues, soft rock, soft metal, pop, and even hard rock.
And, if you don’t want to disturb the neighbors or the rest of the house while playing, you can simply use the headphone output.
Now that you know the main reasons why you should opt for the Champion 40, let’s take a closer look at this particular model and reveal some other cool features you’ll benefit from.
As we have already mentioned, the most important accessory of the amp is the headphone output jack socket that will mute the speaker output. This allows for quiet practice and represents a convenient form to use the amp when you’re sharing the house with other members of the family or your basement isn’t exactly soundproof.
There is another auxiliary input for your smartphone or mp3 player so you can play along with pre-recorded music, allowing you to practice your solos, make covers of your favorite songs, or create new tunes from scratch.
Channeling the retro vibe, the Champion 40 benefits from an open back design that allows convenient storage for tuners, cables, and other accessories within the body of the amp. This means no more messy wires all over the floor and a lower risk to trip and fall when you’re not paying close attention.
The open-back design is particularly useful when playing on small stages and you need the floor clear for the rest of the amps, pedals, and accessories used for live gigs. The footswitch is another great accessory that allows you to easily take control of the amp’s functions without taking your hands off your guitar every time you need your sound modulated.
Other accessories in the package include a lead, plectrum, and a cleaning cloth to remove all dirt, debris, dust, and stains from your amp and keep it in perfect condition after every use.
One drawback would be that this particular type of amp with an open-back design is not great when combined with bass amps, no matter the volume.