I looked at and played through the Epi Valve Jr, Fender Pro Junior, and a couple of solid state amps before deciding on the Champ. It was a toss-up with the Pro Junior, but I like the very basic aspect of the Champ.
It could be better if it included Fender's beautiful reverb but I am more than satisfied with it mainly because of the tone I can get with it and the fact that it IS pedal friendly. Using the RP50 processor, I can get almost any tone I want.
Price: $200.00 (new)
Where Obtained: local music store
This amp is a re-issue of the Fender Champion 600, produced by Fender Musical Instruments between 1949 and 1953. Originally a "student's amp" but now a collectible tone monster, it has a low input which is like the orignal design, and a high input that is noticeably louder. Outside of that feature there is little else. An on/off switch and a volume control. It's simplicity is it's virtue.
Two tubes, a 12AX7 and a 6L6. 5 watts, and that's enough for me. I play with friends on occasion, but mostly at home alone.
I use a wah pedal occasionally, a DigiTech RP50 processor, and also use a Boss SD-1 with it. Most often I don't use any effects with it except for a touch of 'verb with the RP50. It seems to be very pedal friendly, though.
Through the Champ, my Jackson guitar with humbuckers doesn't sound as good to me as my Strat or my Les Paul with P90's. Not that it sounds bad...just not as good as the other two. I play the blues, and it's well suited for that. I wouldn't recommend it for heavy rock or metal. But for classic rock, country, and the blues, it's a very nice piece of equipment
It breaks up nicely at high volume, yet is not quite as loud as some 5 watt tube amps I've heard. It's much quieter than the Epi Valve Junior as far as extraneous noise goes, but not as loud. Not much headroom in any 5 watt amp.
Plug in, turn up loud, and play!!
I've had it for 6 months and have played it daily. Seems to be put together well. It might suffice as an amp you could use to jam with your friends, but it would have to be mic-ed to use it in a live situation with a drummer.