Straight up trade BF Champ for BF Showman? Yes!

KeepItSimpleTele

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Posts
203
Age
43
Location
Vancouver
It amazing me that I see BF Champs selling for the same or more as BF Showmans. Straight up trades or even a profit. If you have usable cabs around already for the Showman like I do seems like a no brainer? I am a pedal guy for my overdrive so I can just turn the Showman down to non ear bleeding levels :)
 

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
3,862
Age
71
Location
Spring TX
I think a large part of this phenomenon is fueled by the weight issue and the demographics of a lot of us on TDPRI, that being, we're a collection of old geezers, me included. Back in my 20s-40s, I would have loved to have a Showman or Dual Showman head and a cab with a couple of JBLs in it. Being the old, frail husk of my former self I am, I find that a maximum weight for an amp that I'm willing to deal with is about 45lb. My main gigging amp, a 79 VR is a case in point. When I acquired it last November, both speakers were dead. Having a pair of JBL K110s around, I put 'em in, and they sounded GLORIOUS. However, they brought the weight up to around 55 lb, which was a bit too heavy for my arthritic hands, so I put in a pair of Jensen Neos that brought the weight down to around 40-42 lb, making it very giggable.

On personal preferences, I like amps that have sufficient power to gig with, without getting into breakup territory. Because of this, anything less than a Deluxe Reverb just doesn't have sufficient clean power to make me happy, and I don't really like amps without onboard reverb. So, a BF Champ is not an amp I'd be likely to have, or desire. A Showman, with reverb, would be a yes.
 

Tommy Biggs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Posts
3,147
Location
Northern NJ
I had a bf champ for a long time, it sure was portable. It had to be turned up waaaay loud for any breakup. I never loved the speaker, and mostly ran it through a 12 in another cab.

I would have done that trade too.
 

KeepItSimpleTele

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Posts
203
Age
43
Location
Vancouver
I think a large part of this phenomenon is fueled by the weight issue and the demographics of a lot of us on TDPRI, that being, we're a collection of old geezers, me included. Back in my 20s-40s, I would have loved to have a Showman or Dual Showman head and a cab with a couple of JBLs in it. Being the old, frail husk of my former self I am, I find that a maximum weight for an amp that I'm willing to deal with is about 45lb. My main gigging amp, a 79 VR is a case in point. When I acquired it last November, both speakers were dead. Having a pair of JBL K110s around, I put 'em in, and they sounded GLORIOUS. However, they brought the weight up to around 55 lb, which was a bit too heavy for my arthritic hands, so I put in a pair of Jensen Neos that brought the weight down to around 40-42 lb, making it very giggable.

On personal preferences, I like amps that have sufficient power to gig with, without getting into breakup territory. Because of this, anything less than a Deluxe Reverb just doesn't have sufficient clean power to make me happy, and I don't really like amps without onboard reverb. So, a BF Champ is not an amp I'd be likely to have, or desire. A Showman, with reverb, would be a yes.
I’m into reverb as well…and the stand alone reverb unit is the same size basically as the Champ! They look comical side by side :) I think the weight, aging backs, and packing thing can’t be understated. I certainly don’t want to haul huge 2x15” cabs anymore! Having said this….a pine 2x12” with Celestion Neo V-Types really is ok at 40 lbs. That’s what I’ll pair with the Showman.
 

KeepItSimpleTele

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Posts
203
Age
43
Location
Vancouver
I had a bf champ for a long time, it sure was portable. It had to be turned up waaaay loud for any breakup. I never loved the speaker, and mostly ran it through a 12 in another cab.

I would have done that trade too.
Yeah…I agree totally. I like the idea of the grab and go ultra lightweight Champ…and recorded it sounds great. I always want to plug it into a bigger cab though! I have an Eminence 820H speaker in the one I traded which was great..but I still found the Champ a bit flat.
 
Last edited:

Jakedog

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2003
Posts
23,170
Location
The North Coast
Hi!

We should have bought a lot more Champs when they were available around $2-400 ;)

cheers - 68.
$200-$400? I remember the 80’s. Pawn shops were stacked with them and none of them were more than $30-$40. They could be had as cheap as $10 without too much haggling. Nobody wanted them. I mean NOBODY.

I still don’t get the champ thing.
 

schmee

Telefied
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
21,278
Location
northwest
It amazing me that I see BF Champs selling for the same or more as BF Showmans. Straight up trades or even a profit. If you have usable cabs around already for the Showman like I do seems like a no brainer? I am a pedal guy for my overdrive so I can just turn the Showman down to non ear bleeding levels :)
yeah, that's crazy, there's nothing a BF Champ is that a $400 SF Champ is, but BF are worth more and Showman's are not that popular due to volume and no reverb. Where Champs are popular as not everyone plays out of the house. I'd trade a Champ for a Showman any day of the week.

I've had 4 Champs in the last 15 years. Not one I liked. Upgraded speakers etc too. The last one I got in 2019 for $350, upgraded the speaker to an Emi 820H, gave it a cap job, made it perfect. Sold it with both speakers and a new cover... for.... wait for it... $375!
Recently built a VibroChamp clone with about 8-10 watts (bigger OT, Rajun Cagun etc) Like it much better, but would trade it for a Showman tomorrow!
 

Powdog

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Posts
361
Age
60
Location
Cool, CA
With a speaker upgrade, old Champs (and VCs) are great sounding amps. And I’m one of those guys that think Blues Jrs sound awful. Smallest member of the old-school, hand-wired made in SoCal Fender amps. New amps are cheap crap made overseas. I get just as exited opening up an old Champ as I do a BF Band Master.
 

kuch

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Posts
1,286
Location
Great Northwest
I have a SFVC. don't think I'll ever get rid of it.
Back in the day when I was playing out, I would have made the trade in a second.... but as JD said, the champs were basically $0.10/dozen.....
 

Gunny

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Posts
778
Location
Newcastle, Ontario Canada, near Toronto
a short off-topic note for starters - I had just sold a SF Champ for something over $100. I stopped in at a small music store on the way to visit family a few hours away. The owner had just paid a guy $25 for a SF Champ. I should have made him an offer but didn't.
Main story - I bought a non-functioning BF Champ, chassis only, from a guy in Hawaii. It was pretty much in good shape. He didn't realize that he plugged the rectifier and 6V6 into the wrong pair of sockets. I made the repairs, put the chassis into a good condition SF Champ cabinet and with full disclosure of that detail, sold it to a fella (doctor) for big bucks. That was 20+ years ago.
I'm imagining what these things would sell for today. I don't play guitar any more (bass) so I'm not hung up on it.
And, at my age, I understand why guys are selling off the heavy stuff.
 

ReverendRevolver

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Posts
3,270
Location
Ohio (Nerk)
$200-$400? I remember the 80’s. Pawn shops were stacked with them and none of them were more than $30-$40. They could be had as cheap as $10 without too much haggling. Nobody wanted them. I mean NOBODY.

I still don’t get the champ thing.
Late 90s/early 2000s sf everything was 1/3 what bf was. Because everyone "knew" they sucked who owned a pawn shop. Internet ruined that.....

Is the "champ thing" you mean owning a small amp that should be $120 and for practice but paying $600 and gigging it?
I'll let you know when I figure it out.
 

PhoenixBill

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Posts
660
Age
62
Location
Phoenix
$200-$400? I remember the 80’s. Pawn shops were stacked with them and none of them were more than $30-$40. They could be had as cheap as $10 without too much haggling. Nobody wanted them. I mean NOBODY.

I still don’t get the champ thing.
Yep when I started playing in bands in the early 80’s folks considered a Champ to be an entry level starter amp, some folks would even call it a piece of you-know-what.
 

Jakedog

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2003
Posts
23,170
Location
The North Coast
Late 90s/early 2000s sf everything was 1/3 what bf was. Because everyone "knew" they sucked who owned a pawn shop. Internet ruined that.....

Is the "champ thing" you mean owning a small amp that should be $120 and for practice but paying $600 and gigging it?
I'll let you know when I figure it out.
No, I mean I don’t get champs in general. Like why anyone would buy or own one. I wouldn’t use one as a paperweight.

I know, I’m in the extreme minority these days. But I wouldn’t own one if someone gave it to me. I’d just sell it on for a ridiculously inflated price to someone who’s got more dollars than sense.
 

ReverendRevolver

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Posts
3,270
Location
Ohio (Nerk)
No, I mean I don’t get champs in general. Like why anyone would buy or own one. I wouldn’t use one as a paperweight.

I know, I’m in the extreme minority these days. But I wouldn’t own one if someone gave it to me. I’d just sell it on for a ridiculously inflated price to someone who’s got more dollars than sense.
You're very familiar with them, and still remember when they were landfill fodder.
I came into guitar much later, at a time when fender=good if it had a black faceplate, and can honestly say SF champs were fantastic $100 amps and light-years ahead of my total pos SS champ that came with my first guitar in 1999. That entry tier tube amp slot is currently occupied by Monoprice and used Bugeras. Both of those have a specific sound they do good, and I can accept that they cost double what an entry level tube amp did 20+ years ago.
I disagree that champs are completely junk, as they can sound good on 7 with the right guitar and are good entry level home amps with no frills and relatively little amount of added flavor compared to other Fender amps that run similar tubes.
I will never pay what they go for now.
I think the hike is:
It says fender
+
People are into small amps now
+
Many advocates for them see them on a pedastool because they aren't used to them as ~$100 trade balance fodder anymore
+
The internet hyped them.

They go for what a PRRI does in some cases. Most PRRIs are a speaker away from really usable amps.

And other entry level amps are ostensibly better amps in 2022 in every way but the Fender logo. Super champs are cool, thier own thing. Champ 12s were cool pedal platforms, and came in snakeskin to offset a cardboard cereal box for a Reverb tank. But I don't understand champ inflation. There are more unique fenders made in the sane timeframe that have interesting sounds at higher wattage that go for less. So I'm still scratching my head.
 

KeepItSimpleTele

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Posts
203
Age
43
Location
Vancouver
In Canada where I live…We see local Canadian made Traynor amps from the 1960s selling for $600-800 CAD. Amazing amps too but plentiful. The BF Fenders from the USA (also great quality) are not plentiful here and have been fetching $1200-$1600 CAD for Champs. Local markets really differ I guess. The demographics of aging guitar players like me are similar though…and it seems many are preferring small combos. I find the Champ fun but a novelty. I’d rather have bigger OTs for pedal headroom.
 




Top