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Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 C-04270

2011 January 19
Tweed Fender Champ C-04270 Front

I have an interesting little Champ today that kicked off an interesting line of thought for me.  It is tweed Fender Champ C-04270.  Dating this amp by its serial number tells us it was made in about mid-1957.  For a more specific date of manufacture we need to look at the stamped two letter tube chart code. The photo I have is quite blurry but the owner tells me that the two letter code is GE which translates into May 1957.

Since we don’t have a real clear photo of the tube chart, I’m going to assume that what the owner has told me is correct and that this is a 5F1 Tweed Champ.  The one item that catches my attention about this is the missing serial number that should be under the fuse cap on the top of the chrome chassis.  On the 5E1 Champs, the serial number was stamped into the underside of the chassis between the tubes – like this.  I had thought that when the Champ was revised and became the 5F1 (roughly the beginning of 1956), the serial number moved to the top of the chassis, right under the fuse cap – like this.  A little homework tells me that this isn’t entirely true.

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Fender Champion 600 Serial Number 2686

2011 January 11
by Jason Isadore
Fender Champion 600 Serial Number 2686 Front

Happy New Year to everyone!  It has been a long time since my last post.  The holidays have come and gone, I was lucky enough to acquire this (it’s awesome) and now it’s time to get back to work bringing you these marvelous little blasts from the past!

Today I have photos of Fender Champion 600 serial number 2686.  Dating this amp by its serial number tells us it was made in 1951-52.  We don’t have a tube chart code to help us out with a more accurate estimate of when this amp was manufactured.  That was a later addition.  But making a guess, it is reasonable to assume that this amp was made in 1951 due to the relatively low serial number for the period.

Other than the missing back panel, the amp looks like it is in pretty good shape.  There is some wear to the vinyl and the leather handle looks broken in.  There has definitely been some work done on the electronics with a couple of capacitors being replaced.

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Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 C-22782

2010 December 5
Transition Fender Champ 5F1 C-22782 Front

I’ve got photos of Transition Fender Champ 5F1 serial number C-22782 for your pleasure today.  Dating this amp by its serial number tells us it was made towards the end of 1964.  The rough cutoff date for these Transition Champs is C-23000.  There weren’t too many more of these made before the circuit was redesigned and the Champ moved squarely into the blackface era of Fender’s amp design.

We can look at the two letter tube chart date code for a more accurate date.  The two letter code for this amp is NH.  The first letter stands for the year of manufacture (N = 1964) and the second letter corresponds with the month of manufacture (H = August).

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Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 C-02433

2010 November 18
Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 Front

Today I’ve got photos of Tweed Fender Champ 5F1 model serial number C-02433.  The photos are a little dark and my photoshop skills aren’t all that great, so I’ll roll with what I’ve got.  Dating this amp by serial number tells us it was made in mid 1956.  Taking a look at the two letter tube chart code usually helps clarify the month of manufacture but this one is a little hard to read.  I can make out an F, which corresponds with 1956, but the second letter is a bit of a mystery.

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Transition Fender Champ 5F1 C-20845

2010 November 15
Transition Fender Champ 5F1 C-20845 Front

I have a light post for you today.  This one features Transition 5F1 model Fender Champ C-20845.  This is another example of the shift away from tweed covering on Fender’s amps moving toward the black tolex of the blackface era in amp design.  Dating this amp by its serial number puts this amp as being made during the tail end of 1963.  I don’t have a photo of the tube chart code for a more accurate determination of manufacture date so this will have to do.

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