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1956 Fender Champ Tweed Narrow Panel 5E1 Vintage Tube Amp Class A w/ Jensen


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Up for sale, a 1956 Fender Champ featuring the 5E1 circuit and original transformers, freshly serviced to perform optimally. Simple and elegant, this 5E1 Champ was the first Champ to feature a narrow panel enclosure, available only from 1955-56. It doesn't get much more pure than the Champ, and this studio favorite delivers freakishly dynamic and glassy pure tube tone that can go from clean to fully saturated overdrive with a twist of the single knob.

The circuit has been serviced as needed, with new Sprague electrolytics in the power supply, while the preamp retains the stock pair of yellow Astrons. Both original transformers are intact, as is the original Stackpole pot. The chassis boasts a chrome-plated control panel with plenty of shine, and the white silkscreen text is still faintly visible. The tube set consists of all vintage valves with an RCA 5Y3 rectifier, JAN Phillips 6V6 power tube and Realistic-branded 12AX7 preamp tube.

The 5E1 was the last Champ to feature a 6" speaker, and as such, speaker choices that optimize the tone of this circuit at this size are quite limited. Thankfully Jensen makes a great vintage-style driver, the P6V which perfectly fits the original baffle and sounds excellent with its alnico magnet. The tube chart is fully intact, noting the 5E1 circuit and stamped with a "FB" code that translates to February of 1956.

The original lacquered tweed shows modest ambering with some light staining at the baffle rivets and on the enclosure as a whole. The oxblood grillcloth is original as well on the stock baffle, and the original upper back panel is intact, with a replica smaller lower back panel aged to match. The leather handle is a close replica of the original.