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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

1955 fender champ

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by powerwagonjohn, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

    194
    Apr 30, 2013
    minnesota
    I was out of town last week and as usual I was checking out guitar stores. I ran across a 1955 Fender Champ with serial #9198 on the chassis but the paper tag is missing. The amp is otherwise pretty clean considering how old it is. Nice tweed and grill cloth. The speaker has a code 465651 so I assume it has been replaced. My question is the power transformer which is a Triad 8140. I know the earlier mdl. 600 used a Triad PT but I don't see any using this particular one and most of the 1954 and 1955 seem to use a lay down PT as opposed to the stand up variety. The shop is asking $1350.00 for the amp and it sounded great. I had a hard time walking away but I just don't know a lot about these amps. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
    thanks john
     
    Archtop Bill likes this.

  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    I always like to see the insides so I can tell if caps have been replaced. The 55 would have had a 6inch speaker from the factory, which many find less desirable, but I've heard some great ones for sure. Price is probably about right if everything is in good shape and original.
     

  3. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

    194
    Apr 30, 2013
    minnesota
    I would look inside before I bought it but it is pretty original as I can tell with orig. cord and handle. Except for the speaker and the Triad power transformer? I was interested as it is an early Champ and a real point to point build. I would bring it to my tech. for a complete check up if I bought it. I guess with no definitive information I am over the amp so if someone is interested it is at Bizarre Guitars in Phoenix AZ. The manager is a real down to earth guy and drives a Dodge.
    Thanks john
     

  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    +1 on knowing what it is before buying. FYI, it will not be a point to point amp. fender’s last PTP construction was done in the late ‘40’s. That amp will be a handwired eyelet board, which is how all Fender Tube amps from the late ‘40’s through 1985 were built.
    The amp is likely a 5D1 for which I find no schematic. It might be grid leak biased in the input gain stage. It could be a 5E1...1955.
     
    GuitarsFromMars likes this.

  5. jackleg

    jackleg Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    371
    Aug 19, 2004
    are you sure about not being handwired?
     

  6. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    @Wally said eyelet board, not point to point, construction. He didn't say it wasn't hand wired.
     
    Wally likes this.

  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    jackleg, if it weren't for printed resource material I gathered decades ago, I would be lost. On page 43 of the book "Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years" by John Teagle and John Sprung there is a picture of the last point to point Fender circa 1946 and the first eyelet board Fender amps circa 1947. Great book full of info and photos. Fwiw, both of those circuits would be called rat's nests today. I am sure they worked well, though....or we would not be talking about old Fenders today, right?
    I suppose terminal strip usage came first to aid in construction. then, eyelet boards and turret boards were the next step in the evolution and probably allowed what we would consider to be 'non-skilled labor' to become a part in larger scale mass production. I say non-skilled in the view that those very talented and hard-working people who put the eyelet board Fenders amps together were very good at their job but they were not technically trained people. They were taught to perform the task at hand. That type of good labor built some great amps. We know today that low production number amps built by the designer/engineer cost a lot more than does mass production. Same back then.....Chet Atkins traded a Fender tweed Deluxe and a sizable amount of money for the first Ray Butts Echosonic amplifier in 1952.....Butts got a Fender amp and something north of $2K in today's USD, iirc.
    anyway....if the copyright didn't prevent it, I would post a picture of that picture.....but I don't have the expressed consent to do that. I tried to find something like it on the 'net and didn't run across anything that is already in the www domain to exhibit.
     

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  8. jackleg

    jackleg Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    371
    Aug 19, 2004
    thanks for input, but what am i missing here? my '54 champ has all components grounded to a sheet of copper, with caps and resistors soldered ends to ends?? viewing similar ebay offerings reveals the same. ??? thanks
     

  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    jackleg, I will admit that that info on page 43 of that book pertains to the Deluxe amp. Perhaps the Champ went to eyelet board construction later??? Here is a picture of what is claimed to be a 1954 Champ....it is eyelet board construction.

    upload_2017-12-9_12-44-49.jpeg

    HEre is a claimed-to-be 1953 Champ...it is PTP.


    upload_2017-12-9_12-44-9.jpeg

    So, I stand corrected as pertains to Champs. IT seems that circa 1953-1954 is when the construction changed for the Champ amp.
     

  10. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

    194
    Apr 30, 2013
    minnesota
    The amp I was looking at is the same as the 1953-54 amp with the rear mounted controls and a brown painted face. The output transformer is mounted inside as in the lower photo. The serial #9198 puts it in 1955 by what I have read. I guess it may be the last of the old style amps and built to use up old parts. Someone needs to go get the amp so we can all learn about it more.
    Thanks John
     

  11. jackleg

    jackleg Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    371
    Aug 19, 2004
    yes, my '54 is identical. i have seen '56s that are eyelets, so i believe you are correct about 53-54s being ptp. good luck
     

  12. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Holic

    842
    Aug 3, 2014
    North of There, NY
    Uhh Wally, I think you got the wrong first picture. Too many tubes, knobs, etc to be a Champ.
     
    Wally likes this.

  13. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Holic

    842
    Aug 3, 2014
    North of There, NY
    Best as I can tell, the Champs (800, 600, 5C1, and 5D1 wide panels) from '48 to '55 were all point to point. When the 5E1 came out in 1955 it was with the eyelet bd. Late 1956 was the first 5F1. Hope that helps. It can be confusing because of overlaps. :confused:
     

  14. corliss1

    corliss1 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    I think somewhere around 54/55 is the cutoff from the copper control panel guy to the top mount ones.
     

  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    IT is one of those days....I should be sitting under a tree watching clouds!! I googled '54 Fender Champ for sale and didn't look at anything beyond the fact that it was eyelet board. Apologies....
    Here is what is purported to be a 1954 Champ...and it is a PTP amp.

    [​IMG]
     

  16. jackleg

    jackleg Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    371
    Aug 19, 2004
    for amp construction, how much simpler can it get??
     

  17. Mayas caster

    Mayas caster Tele-Meister

    495
    Dec 21, 2015
    Caraquet N.-B. Canada
    She is in the normal price range. Personnally, I never buy a vintage amp without its original speaker, in or outside of the amp.
     

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