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Tweed Fender Champ 5C1 Serial Number 7498

2010 November 9
Tweed Fender Champ 5C1 Serial Number 7498 Front

I’m feeling a little ambitious today and am posting again!  Two posts about vintage Champs in one day may be more exciting than finding two girls with green eyes.

Tweed Fender Champ 5C1 serial number 7498 is a great looking little Champ.  Dating this amp by its serial number puts it as being manufactured in mid-1954.  I don’t have a picture of the tube chart so this would be as close as we would be able to get on a date if we didn’t have this little gem to help us out – Tweed Fender Champ 5C1 7484, manufactured in May 1954.  I’m going to guess that 7498 was made in May, too.

Note the styling of this cabinet.  It is a wide panel style which means the top and bottom of the front are wider than the later narrow panel 5E1 cabinet style.  Also note the difference in the grill cloth – the 5C1 sports a brown linen grill cover and the 5E1 sports an oxblood nylon grill cloth with yellow/gold/red highlights.  The controls are also mounted on the rear of the 5C1 versus being mounted on top of the 5E1.  This was due to how the amps were primarily used.  The earlier Champs were used with a pedal steel guitar and Fender made a pedal steel guitar, also called the Champ.  When playing this type of guitar the player was traditionally seated with the amp in front of them.  A rear facing control panel would make it easier to make adjustments.  With the advent of the solid body electric guitar, the playing position changed to more of a standing position and the controls moved to the top of the amp to make it easier to make adjustments when standing.  This would be refined further with the Blackface amps were the controls make their way to the front of the amp as the amps move to the back of the stage giving more room for performers to rock out.

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