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1959 Fender Champ – Tweed

2009 September 18
by Jason Isadore


The tweed Fender Champ amplifier cabinets of the late 1940s and 1950s were made using structurally strong but aesthetically unpleasant finger joints and Fender knew they needed to be covered. Late 1940s and early 1950s Champs, “TV Fronts,” were covered in a two tone brown vinyl and then transitioned in to a vertical stripe tweed. Later amp models in the early 1950s moved into a diagonal stripe lacquered tweed.

Tweed

1959 Tweed - Close to the original yellow color

The tweed fabric they chose was very durable and was also popular in the 1950s for suitcases. Making an educated guess, it also was probably quite inexpensive. Fender had quite a reputation for using the least expensive materials available. Because the fabric was lacquered, there is a wide variety in colors these days as the lacquer has aged differently depending on environmental conditions. Some are close to the original yellow-ish tint and others are an almost orange-ish brown. Check out the photo below – tweed examples of two different 1959 Fender Champs.

Tweed comparison from two 1959 Fender Champs

Tweed comparison from two 1959 Fender Champ Amplifiers

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