Made an impulse buy on a 5F1 57 Fender champ - bad or good?

What do you mean by spec it? Look up all numbers?

I did see that leak too... Mandatory to fix asap, or can I play it a bit?


Disrespected Elder
That would be according to how lucky you are feeling....kidding.
Any known component problem I would address right away.

I think you got a good amp at a good price, congrats!


I also think yo did just fine.
I would get it to your tech though to have it capped and a grounded plug put in.
It's a safety issue.


Yah, looks to me like a great amp, at a very good price. Make sure it's in shape, and that's gonna be a little beast. It's up there with my favorites all time.
TD- I think that mark on the speaker is some kind of ink. If it's a rip, I have 7 days to send it back.

Thanks for all the input. Any other things to be worried about or check when I get it? I font know much about these.

Guitar Dave T

You did good. Any 53 year old amp is going to have leaky filter caps and a worn speaker. Not even sure the speaker is "right" - apparently yours was originally designed to carry a field coil transformer and I can't remember from my '59 if the drilled holes were correct or not. No matter - a good deal for one of the best recording amps ever built. Wish I'd never sold mine.

Get the filter caps replaced with Sprague Atoms - put the originals someplace for safe keeping for when and if you ever sell it (don't!).

Buy a Weber 4 ohm replacement speaker and keep the original in safe keeping too.

Killer amp. Once you get it to checked out by a decent tech, you'll be amazed at the incredible cranked-plexi tones and touch sensitivity it produces at ultra low volumes.
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That looks like a nice one for the price. I was looking for one a few years ago and the decent ones all seemed to be in the 2k range. I ended up getting the Fender Custom Shop '57 Champ Reissue.
Thanks Dave - really appreciate the input on cap type. I'm going to take it to a guy here in Denver: "fat willy" or something like that. I guess he is one of Derek Trucks' amp techs? Sounds like the way to go. I'll pass on the preference for those caps and see what he says.

Does anyone know what size speaker the original champ had in it in '57? Is it 6 inch, and will it take 8 inch?

Thanks again everyone...


It looks like a 6" Speaker in a small box champ. In 1957 they made both types of Champs, 6 & 8 Inch., It went from the small box to the big box champ also.

You can easily pull the staples on the top and 2 sides on the grille cloth
pull it back and cut a larger hole in the baffle for a 8" speaker, paint the fresh cut edge black, re-locate the speaker screws/studs, staple it back and have a Weber 8A100 3.2 ohm or a Weber 8T100 3.2 ohm speaker in the amp. If you move the OT on the Chassis you can fit the larger 8" Speaker in the Champ instead of the tiny sig type. The holes are already drilled in the chassis to move the OT Around to make room for the speaker frame. The Weber is the ticket. When you re-locate the speaker screws/studs, drill the new screw-holes one size smaller, then you thread the new screws into the plywood tight, just before you drive it home add a few drops of glue to the countersink head and screw it by hand softly tight. The screw will never move again.

I have a Deluxe Small Box sized cab with a Champ cutout and I use a 12T100 3.2 ohm speaker in the cab. The Champ really growls with this 12" speaker. The same goes for the tweed Princeton, I have 12" speaker baffle in the original cab.

If the Mod'ing of the 6 to 8" speaker is too much for you consider a new cab w/12" speaker. It really makes a great practice amp. I also use the 12T125 3.2 ohm speaker for the Princeton. The Princeton has the same PT as the Champ, but the Princeton has a slightly larger 3.2 Ohm OT than the Champ.

Just a few notes to give you some ideas.

I have one of these also, it's a Princeton amp in a Big Box Champ Cab, and the only one to have a Choke.
The only way to tell them apart at the front is the logo is different and from the top it has a tone control.
Very cool amp, but the later ones are the best for practice 57/58-1960 Big Box Princeton.
So many people think the Tweed Princeton is a 8 Ohm Speaker,
but they are all 3.2 ohm just like the Champ.

Order a 3.2 ohm speaker, not a 4 ohm from Weber, it will give you the most tone/power
as the OT is a true 3.2 ohm not 4. But it's close enough. If you have the choice just get the 3.2
if you are ordering a new one.

Jensen makes a P10R 4 ohm speaker through AES, so there is another option.
I like the Webers, higher quality materials, metals, workmanship.
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Appreciate all the info guys. I blew up the pic of the speaker cone before I bought it and I am almost positive that it's just ink on it.

If I start modifying the amp, does that make it worth less or less collectible? Should I do it with a brand new baffle so that it can always be returned to new?

What if the speaker that is in it is still good... should I play it with that, or is it better to set it aside and play with a more commonly available weber?

I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get much volume at all out of a 6 inch speaker, but I'm sure that's not entirely the case. It's just me in a basement, so I bet it will surprise me.
Some cool information that I got from the seller:

Who owned it and for how long? It was my grandmothers 3rd husbands, they were married around 1993 and met in a senior citizens center, he was playing in a little band. We believe he was the original owner. His name was Charles Reeves. My grandmother lived in Republic, Missouri and her husband was from Louisianna.
Where did you get it/find it? My brother found the amp in her garage, I think my uncle moved it out next to the trash can as he thought it was junk and going to throw it away, so my brother asked if he could have it. He said yes but it probably didn't work. My brother plays guitar so he wanted to at least test it. He took it home with him and couldn't believe how it sounded and that it actually did work.
Where was it stored? It was probably kept in her front room while they were married as that's where all his guitars were and her organ.
How much was it played and when was it put away in storage? He passed in 2003 so it probably sat unused until we found it.
How many owners or all in one family since it was new? We think Charles was original owner and my brother believes everything is original.

My brother really wanted to keep it as he loves old vintage stuff and loves the sound of this amp, but unfortunately he needed the money right now. As it wasn't my grandmothers, the sentimental value wasn't an issue. I know if it had been her's we would have kept it.


It looks like you got totally ripped off. Since I am a stand up person I will give you 100 and remove that horror from your sight so as not to remind you of your past wrong doings. :banana

Nice find man. Enjoy that little guy. Every time I see a tweed Champ, I have a hard time resisting it. Glad you didn't!

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