Fender Champ-Amp 5C1 Tube Amplifier (1954)

Fender  Champ-Amp 5C1 Tube Amplifier (1954)
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Item # 10437
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Fender Champ-Amp 5C1 Model Tube Amplifier (1954), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 7014, tweed fabric covering finish.

The classic "home" amp in any configuration, the Fender Champ is as simple as it gets but still remains one of the all-time great amplifier designs. The 5C1 model is still the earlier iteration of the circuit also found on the smaller "TV Front" style Champions. This newer "wide-panel" design still features the original back-mounted control panel, equipped with just a single volume knob. While generally they are not as loud or over saturated as later '50's and early 60's examples, the 5C1's are famous for being equally toneful at a lower level.
Height is 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm.), 12 in. (30.5 cm.) width, and 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm.) deep.

This lovely example has a tube chart with serial number #7014 and the stamp DD indicating assembly in April of 1954. It has a moderate amount of wear for its age, mostly to the lightly lacquered tweed covering. This shows some scuffing and minor wear mostly to the corners, but overall retains a very attractive lighter patina. The grille cloth is very clean overall, save for a few light stains, and free of any tears or punctures. The front Fender logo plate is a reproduction. The rear-mounted faceplate is in good shape save for a few scratches around the Fender Electric Instruments Co. print and a couple minor dings but with the rest of the stenciled graphics remaining nicely intact overall. The back panel screws are newer. The original handle is also in good shape still and has many years of use ahead.

Electrically, this little Champ is nicely original. The original 6" Permaflux 6-L speaker bears the stamp 395-402, dating it to the 2nd week of 1954. It still retains its original cone and sounds fantastic. Both the power and out transformers are original and marked 6500 and 189 stamped twice, likely a misfire/partial for what should be 70189. The latter output transformer is correct for the amp and its leads and solder joints appear original, despite the leads to the speaker having been spliced to themselves at some point. The fuse holder has been replaced. It was wired by Lupe whose masking tape signature marker is still stuck to the chassis. The amp has had our routine maintenance performed, including a new grounded 3-prong power cord, cleaning of all pots, sockets and jacks, replacement of all electrolytic caps and biased to spec.

This lovely little amp looks and sounds excellent, while lower wattage than their later descendants, with a quicker ramp up to overdrive and a bit less headroom; meaning you can crank it in the living room and not wake the neighbors! Overall Very Good + Condition.