Fender Champion 100 Review – This Big Daddy Really Rocks!

Fender Champion 100 Review - Rear view of amplifier

Are you looking for an amplifier that can do on-the-fly modeling of Blackface Deluxe and Twin sounds and a variety of distorted tones, with enough power to take it to the stage? In this Fender Champion 100 review, I’ll reveal what makes this amp rock and other things to consider before taking the financial plunge.

And yes, this amp sounds great at bedroom levels and onstage!

Keep reading to learn more.

You can use the table of contents below to take you to the area that interests you. Click on the little box to open it, and then click on the section of the article you want to read, or you can read from start to finish if you want the full Champion 100 experience!

Click here to go directly to the cheat sheet, or click here if you want the spec sheet.


What Is The Fender Champion 100 2×12 100 watt Combo Amp?

Fender Champion 100 Review – Front view of amplifier

The Champion 100 is a two-channel, solid-state modeling amp designed to take your playing from clean fender rhythm sounds to a variety of classic overdriven and distorted lead sounds.

It is the highest-powered amp in the Champion line and Fender’s answer to a combo amp that can function as an all-around playing solution for any musical genre.

Check out the cheat sheet below for a quick look at what you get!


Fender Champion 100 – Cheat Sheet

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ☆ 9.7 Out Of 10

Street Price $330

The Champion 100 is a 100 Watt two-channel solid-state guitar amplifier with 16 amp models and 15 digital effects.

Channel one gives you Fender Deluxe and Twin amp sounds.

Chanel two gives you clean, overdrive, and distortion sounds.

If you want to go directly to the Champion 100 specs then click here.

PROS

✅ Two-Channel Design

✅ 16 Organic Amp Models On Channel 2

✅ 15 High-Quality Digital Effects On Both Channels

CONS

❌ No Voice Control On Channel One

❌ No Gain Or Mid Tone Control On Channel One

❌ Amplifier Cover Not Included

Design

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☆

9.5 Out Of 10

Overall Quality

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☆

9.5 Out Of 10

Functionality

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☆

9.7 Out Of 10

Price

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☆

9.9 Out Of 10

Player Plus Nashville Telecaster Review - The Fender Logo

Fender Company Profile

Unless you just started playing the guitar today, you are undoubtedly familiar with the Fender brand. These guitars have literally helped define rock n’ roll and blues history. Their original factory was in Fullerton California.

Fender guitars are now made in many parts of the world, with the American-made and Custom Shop guitar lines still made with pride in the USA.

The Fender Broadcaster was first introduced in the autumn of 1950. It became known as a “Nocaster” after the Broadcaster label was removed from the headstock to avoid a trademark lawsuit from Gretsch over their “Broadkaster” drum set. The guitar was re-branded the Telecaster and the rest is history!

Fender has also led the way with amplifiers. Their “K&F” (Doc Kauffman and Leo Fender) series were the very first Fender amps, made by the K&F Manufacturing Corporation. These amps formed the basis of the Woodie, Tweed, Blonde, Brownface, Blackface, and Silverface series.

Fender makes an extensive line of pickups for all their guitars and bass guitars. Their Custom Shop pickups are hand-wired with hand-beveled magnetic pole pieces and period-correct wire and bobbins.


Who Is The Fender Champion 100 Amp For?

The Champion 100 is ideal for the semi-pro or professional guitar player, though at a street price of about $330, it is not out of the price range for beginning guitar players.

This amp is a real “all-arounder.” It can get you from pseudo-bedroom volume levels to the recording studio and live gigs without skipping a beat.

It packs a lot of punch in the volume department and enough modeling firepower to give you practically any sound at the twist of a few knobs, without digital menus or displays to deal with!

The amp is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, a hallmark of the Champion series.


How The Champion 100 Works

Fender Champion 100 Review - The front panel controls of the amplifier

The Champion 100 is an open-cabinet two-channel modeling combo amp with front panel controls that resemble a typical Fender “Blackface” layout. Although the amp is digital, the controls give it the feel of an analog design by eliminating the need for menus and displays.

Channel one is on the left side of the control panel. It is the clean channel, based on a mid-60s Blackface Deluxe Reverb or Twin sound.

The right side of the panel contains the controls for channel two. It has the “Voice” control, which gives you 16 selectable amplifier models arranged in Clean, Crunch, British, and Metal categories.

Both channels have an assortment of 15 high-quality digital effects, which are controlled by the “FX Select” switch and blended into the dry guitar signal using the “FX Level” control.

Fender Champion 100 Review - The FX Select Control

FX Select Control And FX Level

The digital effects on the FX Select Control are identical for both channels. It contains seven groups of effects, including some effect combinations. Each group has 1 to 4 available settings.

You can use the FX Level control to blend each effect into the amplifier model to vary its intensity in the output signal.

The following table shows the breakdown of the 15 effects and how they are grouped together on the FX Select switch.

Setting
Number
Group
(Control Label)
Digital
Effect
1.WahTouch-Wah
2.FLNGFlange
3.VIBRAVibratone Slow
4.VIBRAVibratone Fast
5.CH+DLY+REVChorus
6.CH+DLY+REVChorus + Delay
7.CH+DLY+REVChorus + Reverb
8.DELAYDelay Slapback
9.DELAYDelay Long
10.TREMTremolo Slow
11.TREMTremolo Fast
12.REVERB + DLYReverb + Delay
13.REVERB + DLYReverb 1
14.REVERB + DLYReverb 2
15.REVERB + DLYReverb 3
Fender Champion 100 Review - The Voice control for channel 2

Voice Control

The voice control is only available on channel two.

It allows you to choose from four sets of four types of amplifier simulations, Clean, Crunch, British, and Metal.

Each of the 16 amp models can be combined with any digital effect from the FX Selector control, whose effect intensity can be dialed up or down using the FX Level control.

Here is the breakdown of the 16 amp models and how they are grouped together on the Voicing switch in channel two.

Setting
Number
VoicingAmplifier Simulation
(Channel Two Only)
1.CLEAN + COMPFender Clean 1 (studio preamp)
2.CLEAN + COMPFender Clean 2 (’65 Twin-Amp™)
3.CLEAN + COMPFender Clean 3 (’65 Deluxe™)
4.CLEAN + COMPFender Clean+Comp (’65 Twin w/compressor)
5.CRUNCH + ODFender Crunch 1 (’59 Bassman®)
6.CRUNCH + ODFender Crunch 2 (‘57 Deluxe®)
7.CRUNCH + ODFender Crunch 3 (‘65 Princeton®)
8.CRUNCH + ODFender Crunch+OD (‘65 Deluxe w/overdrive pedal)
9.BRITISH + DISTBrit Clean (’60s British)
10.BRITISH + DISTBrit Crunch 1 (’70s British)
11.BRITISH + DISTBrit Crunch 2 (’80s British)
12.BRITISH + DISTBrit+Dist (’70s British w/distortion)
13.METAL + OCTHigh Gain 1 (Fender Super-Sonic™)
14.METAL + OCTHigh Gain 2 (’90s Metal)
15.METAL + OCTHigh Gain 3 (2000 Metal)
16.METAL + OCTHigh Gain+Oct (’90s Metal w/octavia)

General Specifications

Here are the overall specs for the Fender Champion 100 amplifier.

ItemSpecification
Power100 Watts RMS
Channel 1Clean
Channel 2Clean, Crunch, Distortion, and Metal
Channel 1 ControlsVolume 1, Treble, Bass, FX Level, FX Select, Tap
Channel 2 ControlsGain, Volume 2, Voice, Treble, Mid, Bass, FX Level, FX Select, Tap
PreampSolid-State
Power AmpSolid-State
RectifierSolid-State
Inputs (front of amp)1 x 1/4″ Instrument Jack
1 x 1/8″ Aux-In Jack (for MP3 player, etc.)
Output (front of amp)1 x 1/8″ Headphone Jack
DSP Modeling (Channel 2)Sixteen Amplifier Models
Effects (Channel 1 and 2)Fifteen Built-In Digital Effects
Effects LoopYes – PRE Out and PWR IN Jacks (front of amp)
Line Outs (on back of amp)No
FootswitchPlugs into FTSW jack on front of amp (included)
SpeakerTwo 12-inch Fender Special Design
CoveringBlack, Tolex
HandleBlack Molded Plastic Strap with Chrome Caps
DimensionsH: 19″, W: 26″, D: 10.25″
Weight40 lbs
Price (Street)$330

Champion 100 Vs. Champion 100XL

The Champion 100XL was a limited edition of the Champion 100 model. Fender is no longer manufacturing the 100XL, at least for now.

The main difference between the two amps is that the Champion 100 has two 12-inch Fender “Special Design” speakers, while the 100XL has two 12-inch Celestion G12N Midnight 60 speakers.

The Celestions are beefier-looking (and weigh more) than the Fender Special Design speakers and give the amp a punchier and more British sound.

You can still find the Champion XL100 amps at certain online music stores and places like Reverb.com and eBay.


My Guitar Lair - Features and Benefits Section

Features And Benefits

Check Out These Great Champion 100 Features

Saves Money

The street price ($330) is a deal for the quality of this amp and all that you get in terms of functionality.

It has many great-sounding amp models and effects that can save you money on buying additional amplifiers and stomp boxes. The Champion 100 can cover any genre of music.

Tap Tempo Button

Each channel has its own tap tempo button to set the duration of the delay and tremolo effects.

Two-Button Footswitch Included

The Campion 100 comes with a two-button footswitch for switching channels and turning on or off the channel’s effects. You can read more about the footswitch below.

Compact Combo Design

The compact design houses the amplifier plus two 12-inch Fender Special Design speakers in an open-back cabinet that allows excellent sound dispersion in all directions with exceptional low-end.

Sturdy Cabinet Construction

The cabinet is made of a 7-Ply 3/4″ Medium-Density Fibreboard, which is sturdy enough to support and protect the amplifier. The cabinet material helps to keep the amp’s weight down to 40 pounds.


My Guitar Lair - Pros (Thumbs Up) Section

What I Like About The Amplifier

Here are some of the things I like most about this amp.

Two-Channel Design

The amplifier has two foot-switchable channels.

Channel one gives you classic mid-60s Blackface Deluxe and Twin clean sounds, depending on how you adjust the settings. This channel is great for playing rhythm and conjures the “Fender chime” on single-coil and humbucker pickup guitars.

Channel two gives you 16 selectable amplifier models (voicing) and a Gain control to deliver anything from clean to metal sounds. It will be your go-to channel for crunchy rhythm or lead lines.

FX Selector And FX Level Control

Each channel has its own (identical) FX Select Control And FX Level control. They let you blend 15 high-quality digital effects into your dry guitar signal by simply adjusting two knobs.

Voice Selector

Channel two gives you a voice (amp modeling) selector. By choosing the amp model and adjusting the Volume and Gain settings you can put each of the 16 Clean, Crunch, British, and Metal amp models through their paces. This gives you everything from tame to over-the-top tones.

Even the clean sounds have great sustain and a compression setting to make your solos soar.

Effects Loop

The front of the Champion 100 has a PRE OUT and PWR IN Jack. They work as an effects loop by connecting the PRE OUT to the input and the PWR IN to the output of a stomp box. You can add as many stomp boxes as you like by connecting them together.

Takes Pedals Well

The Champion 100 sounds great with overdrive and distortion pedals between the guitar and amp input jack and by putting time-based pedals in the effects loop.

Natural-Sounding Overdrive

The overdrive models are very organic-sounding and clean up nicely when you lower the guitar’s volume knob a little. You get excellent note articulation, even when playing chords.

Great Distortion Modeling

The British and Metal amp models give you great sound, from Vox and Marshall-type tones to high-gain dual-rectifier mayhem.

Loud Enough To Play Medium To Large Venues

The Champion 100 is loud enough to play decent size venues or outdoors without being mic’d through the soundboard. It cuts through the mix nicely and can easily compete with an aggressive drummer.


My Guitar Lair - Cons (Thumbs Down) Section

What You Might Not Like About The Champion 100

There is very little not to love about the Champion 100 amp, especially at its price point; however, you might consider a few things.

Voicing (Amp Modeling) Is Only Available On Channel Two

It would have been nice to have dedicated amp modeling on channel one, but the available Fender Deluxe and Twin sounds are more than enough to cover the average player’s rhythm requirements.

No Gain Or Mid Tone-Control On The Clean Channel

A Gain control would have allowed you to get more aggressive Fender Deluxe and Twin sounds at bedroom-friendly levels.

There is no Mid tone-control knob on channel one, which leaves you to adjust the sound using the Bass and Treble controls. The midrange can sound a little weak or “scooped,” depending on how you set the two tone knobs.

Amp Cover Not Included

An amplifier cover is not included with the amp, which would have been nice since it is made to be gigged. However, for the price of this amp, you really can’t complain.

The cover is available separately for about $30. If you need it, you can grab one at Amazon by clicking here.

Part number is: P/N: 7716353000


What Is The Fender Two-Button Footswitch?

Fender Champion 100 Review - The two-button footswitch

The Fender Two-Button Footswitch plugs into the FTSW input jack on the front of the amp.

It allows you to switch between channels one and two and has a second button to turn the effects on and off each channel.

The footswitch comes included with the Champion 100 amplifier. It can also be bought separately if you break or lose it and sells for approximately $27.

The part number for this footswitch is P/N: 0071359000.


Other Things To Consider

Here are some of the things that might factor into your decision to purchase this amplifier.

What Sets The Champion 100 Apart From Its Competitors?

Although there are many modeling amps, the three things I think make the Champion 100 stand out from the competition are usability, output power, and price.

The Champion 100 is Fender’s attempt to offer high-quality amp models that are instantly selectable and adjustable with the turn of a few knobs, without having to mess with digital menus and displays. This makes the amp very attractive for playing in a live situation.

If you want an amp that can hold its own on stage, at 100 Watts RMS the Champion 100 has the power to make it happen.

At a street price of about $330, it’s hard to find more value for your money!

What Makes This Version Different From The Champion 100XL?

The most important difference is the speaker type. The 100 model comes with two 12-inch Fender “Special Design” speakers, while the 100XL has two 12-inch Celestion G12N Midnight 60 speakers.

For more info, see the section above by clicking here.

Comparable Products To Consider

Consider the Boss Katana-100 MkII 1×12 inch 100-watt Combo Amp, which will cost you a little more (street price of about $400). However, it only has one 12-inch speaker (the 2X12 speaker configuration model will cost you $565).

The Katana only has five onboard amp models and three onboard effects (modulation, delay, and reverb). Sixty additional Boss effects are available, but you must use the Boss Tone Studio.

If you want to check out the user reviews and price for the Boss Katana-100 MkII 1×12 on Amazon.com, click here.

Key Decision Making Factors

If you want to play with a band or gig with your amp, 100 Watts will typically give you more than enough power to get the job done.

If you are a beginning player or intend to use your amplifier for bedroom practice, consider going with something smaller, like the Fender Champion 20. It’ll give you high-gain clean and distortion sounds that are easier to adjust at whisper levels and save you some cash.

Click HERE to check out my full review article on the Fender Champion 20.

User Reviews

Overall, the user reviews are very favorable for the Champion 100. There are some complaints that the channel one tones are not as versatile as channel two, probably due to the lack of a Mid and Gain setting.


My Guitar Lair - A scale trying to balance a guitar player on one side and a stack of coins on the other side.

Is The Champion 100 Legit?

The Fender Champion 100 has the power, amp models, and digital effects you need to use it in virtually any playing environment.

It takes pedals well in the effects loop (PRE Out and PWR IN Jacks) and on the front end between the guitar and amp input jack.

If you’re looking for a “plug-in and play” modeling amp with great tone and effects that won’t make you crazy with digital menus and displays, the Champion 100 is an excellent way to go!

You can’t compare the Champion 100 to a high-end amp modeler, but this amp really rocks for the price!

If you’re interested in grabbing one for yourself, click the buttons below to check availability, user reviews, and current pricing. I highly recommend them, and they seem to sell out quickly!


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions I get asked about Champion 100.

If your question does not appear here, please put it in the comments, and I will get right back to you with an answer.

Does The Fender Champion 100 Have An Effects Loop?

Yes, the PRE Out and PWR IN jacks on the front of the amp function as an effects loop. They put your pedals between the preamp and amplifier stages of the Champion 100.

Is Fender Champion 100 Analog?

No, the Champion 100 is a solid-state amplifier with digital modeling capability. It is designed to look like a Fender Blackface amp with “analog functionality,” which means there are no digital displays or menus. You make adjustments by simply turning knobs, like on an analog amplifier.

What Does The tap Button Do On An Amp?

The tap button is used to set the timing (tempo) of digital effects. On the Champion 100, it sets the duration of the delay and tremolo effects.

Is Fender Champion 100 A Modelling Amp?

Yes, the Champion 100 is a DSP (digital sound processing) modeling amp that has been designed to have a simplified “analog-appearing” user interface.

What Is The Difference Between Fender Champion 100 And 100XL?

The main difference between the two amps is that the Champion 100 has two 12-inch Fender “Special Design” speakers, while the 100XL has two 12-inch Celestion G12N Midnight 60 speakers.

Click here to learn more.

Is The Fender Champion A Tube Amp?

No, the Champion 100 (and all the other Champion models) is an all-solid-state amplifier with digital (DSP) modeling capability.

What Amp Models Does The Fender Champion 100 Have?

The Champion 100 has 16 amp models that are selected by the “voice” control knob on channel two.

Click here to learn more.

What Effects Does The Fender Champion 100 Have?

The Champion 100 has 15 digital effects that are selected by the “FX Select” control and mixed in using the “FX Level” knob on channels one and two.

Click here to learn more.


Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this Fender Champion 100 review valuable! This amp was created for players that want a high-powered two-channel combo with onboard amp modeling and digital effects.

The sixteen amplifier models give you a variety of Clean, Crunch, British, and Metal settings that are organic sounding and very usable. Fifteen high-quality digital effects can be mixed into the dry guitar signal. The effects loop lets you add additional effects by adding your favorite stomp boxes.

Although the onboard effects can be used with both channels, the amp models are only available on channel two. The footswitch (included with the amp) can switch between the two channels and turn the onboard effects on and off.

The champion 100 can save you money by providing you with one amplifier for home, studio, and onstage use, with all the amp models and digital effects you will need for most playing applications. This is a great value for the cost of the amp and all that you get.

Keywords-Included

Click HERE to check the Champion 100 availability, user reviews, and current pricing on Amazon, or HERE to check on Sam Ash.


A rock band of figures made from nuts and bolts.

Tell Me What You Think

Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this Fender Champion 100 review, have any questions about this product, or want to leave your own review. I will be happy to help you.

  • Do you own a Champion 100 or a different modeling amp? How do you like it?
  • How do you think the Champion 100 compares to similar amplifiers in the same price range?
  • After reading this article, would you buy the Champion 100 amp?
  • What else is on your mind?

About Frank

Click Here To Learn More About Me!


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4 thoughts on “Fender Champion 100 Review – This Big Daddy Really Rocks!”

  1. Hi Frank, 

    I am a beginner/intermediate guitar player, I play acoustic. However, I have a Fender Electric guitar with a basic amplifier. After your review, I learned that I am missing so much with my simple amplifier, especially knowing that the price I paid for it is closer to the Champion 100. There are a few effects the Champion offers that I don’t even know.

    Excellent review. I am definitely going to get one. 

     

    Reply
    • Hi, Nel

      I appreciate your comments!

      I’m curious, what amp do you currently have? It sounds like the Champion 100 would be an excellent choice, or you could consider getting a lower-power version, like the Champion 20 or the Champion 40. if you are interested in learning more, I reviewed both of these amps on my website (see the Champion 20 article).

      The Champion 40 will give you two channels (like the Champion 100), whereas the Champion 20 is a single-channel amp. If you play at home only, you don’t need all that power and can save a little money.

      I love playing with amp models and various effects, but it’s easy to “go down the rabbit hole,” so be sure to set aside some time in your practice schedule dedicated to continually improving your playing skills.

      Keep On Playing!
      Frank 🎸

      Reply
  2. This is great information, I have my own twin amp at home which can get pretty loud but it’s been damaged over the past 12 years from moving house and all sorts of other events. I’ve never owned a Fender amp but after reading this, I’d have to say I’m pretty interested. It sounds like it would be a huge upgrade for my at home set up!

    Reply
    • Hi, Apes

      Thank You for your comments!

      What “twin” amp do you have at home, and how old is it? Is it an old Fender Twin Reverb? If it is, it may be worth some money. You could have it appraised and repaired if it turns out to be valuable.

      The Fender Champion 100 is an excellent amp for someone looking for an inexpensive modeler with digital effects that has the power to be used in any playing situation.

      Keep On Playing!
      Frank 🎸

      Reply

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