NUAD: Fender Champion 50XL


Feb 27, 2020
I just paid $169 for a clean used Champion 50XL. First impressions:

The clean channel will be loud enough if the drummer is a mature adult. Higher volume is possible on the distortion channel. With channel-switching amps I normally play only on the distortion channel, set for low gain, rolling back my guitar volume for clean rhythm. The cabinet honks nicely at high volume.

The treble and bass controls are well-voiced and powerful. 12:00 treble is too bright, but back it off just a little and it's OK.

The effects are usable but unimpressive. A nice touch is the effect level knob. The auto-wah (envelope follower) works surprisingly well for soloing.

Main selling point: the amp is very light in weight, 20 pounds or less. This is a big point. Otherwise I might have bought a used boat-anchor Peavey Bandit for the same price.

I looked at the Quilter Aviator Cub. Lightweight, loud, but not cheap.

Overall impression: The Champion 50XL is OK, especially at a used price.