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Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 C 10856

2010 May 17
by Jason Isadore

Today we have a 5F1 model tweed Fender Champ, serial number C 10856.  This serial number puts this amp as being manufactured in 1959.  We don’t have a photo of the tube chart code which would help us at least get the month of manufacture.  But guessing from C 10805 (November), C 10416 (June), C 10584 (July), November seems likely.  This last one is mine and I haven’t written a post on it yet, but it was the Champ that inspired me to launch this site!

We know that there is a stop at the end of 1959 at serial number C 12500 based on the work of Greg Gagliano. We can make a guestimate that this amp was probably made in November of 1959 but that assumes that C 10805 is correctly dated and that the serial numbers progress sequential through the year, a reasonable but not necessarily true assumption.  There is always the possibility of an outlier.

If our assumption holds up and this amp was manufactured in November 1959, that would leave quite a large number of Champs that would need to be manufactured in a relatively short period of time to get from just under 11,000 in November to 12,500 by the end of December.  Based on roughly 3,700 Champs being manufactured in 1959 (12,500 – 8,800) that would be about 308 Champs being made each month.  I think it may be a bit of a stretch to assume a constant rate of production throughout the year.  It could be that the end of 1959 was a particularly hot time for Champ sales with Christmas being a prime opportunity to sell a student-level amp.  I just don’t have enough information right now to make a solid guess.  I would like more 5F1s from mid to end of 1959 to compare.  Hopefully I’ll collect more examples to share.

The caps look original, but that middle one looks a little odd, like it is faded.  The speaker is most definitely a replacement.  These vintage Champs didn’t come with red speaker cones.  The power cord looks like an original two prong plug.

Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 C 10856 Front

Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 C 10856 Front

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Jerry Banerd permalink
    June 29, 2011

    Hi.I just got a 1959 5f1 champ in very nice shape.serial # C 10801 .Within a few numbers of the auth0rs amp.On my tube chart are the letters IH .The I will =1959 The H will =Aug.
    My amp has the wrong speaker in it.Would anyone know the correct speaker and how
    i would be able to date them.Thanks

  2. July 6, 2011

    Thanks Jerry! Can you send me a photo of your speaker? We might be able to figure out what you have.

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