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1959 Tweed Fender Champ Power Cord

2009 October 4
by Jason Isadore

A power cord isn’t very exciting, but if you know what to look for it can reveal quite a bit.  The tweed Fender Champ amps of this period had a plain industrial gray 2 prong power cord.  The original power cords are getting harder to come by  because people opt for a modern grounded 3 prong plug.  Some amp techs won’t even let one of these vintage amplifiers off their bench without a grounded plug they consider it to be so dangerous.

1959 tweed Fender Champ - Power Cord

1959 tweed Fender Champ - Power Cord

I’ve seen a lot of different types of cords that claim to be original to an amp (they most often look like a brown lamp cord) but these gray ones with the two prongs are the real deal. 

Another thing to keep an eye out for is melted spots along the length of the cord.  The tubes in these old amplifiers get pretty hot, just like their modern counterparts.  However, safety features weren’t quite what they are today so when a cord was curled up and stowed in the bottom of the cabinet, they often came into contact with the still hot tubes and the plastic coating melted right through.

1959 tweed Fender Champ Power Cord - Melted Spot

1959 tweed Fender Champ Power Cord - Melted Spot

13 Responses leave one →
  1. Bill permalink
    July 20, 2010

    Do you have info on how to replace a cord to a groinded three prong. I was using my newly acquired Transition at practice the other day and about fried my lips off on the mic. I quickly took the non-original plug off and switched the polarity the old fashioned way, by flipping the wired connections. Shock problem solved. But I’d like to put on a three prong. Suggestions/proceedures?

  2. Jason Isadore permalink
    July 27, 2010

    Bill – I’d talk to an amp tech experienced with vintage gear. A 3 prong switchout is an easy one and a good amp tech will preserve the vintage character no problem (and preserve you too!)

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