With its diminutive size and low wattage, can the Fender Champion 20 handle effects pedals well? Even though the 20-watt wonder has been receiving a lot of positive reviews from guitar players recently, it is easy to understand why some novices are concerned whether they can use pedals on a guitar amplifier with such loudness limitations.
The Fender Champion 20 is recently gaining popularity for its affordable price and beautiful classic look that is directly lifted from Fender’s legendary Blackface line. The tone quality is more than decent and just as versatile as some of the more expensive amplifiers, making it the perfect beginner amp for those who are just about to rock.
Some experts have even noted that the Fender Champion 20 is quite loud for a 20-watt solid state model and this can probably be attributed to its open-back design. With its durable construction and capacity to satisfy even the most discerning ears, the Fender Champion is a reliable companion that can definitely accommodate whatever effects you wish to connect your ax to.
Does Fender Champion work well with pedals?
The Fender Champion 20 can definitely handle various effects pedals out there with ease as it has enough wattage and speaker size that you need. There is a common belief that smaller amps will explode if you plug in a distortion pedal and strum hard, but that is just a myth. Besides, the Fender Champion is not as small as some critics would like to think and it has just the right amount of muscle to carry your sound even with the added enhancements.
However, just like with all amps in the lower end of the volume spectrum, we should be aware of the Fender Champion 20’s limitations. This is key to preserving its sound quality and preventing it from incurring any damages, allowing the amplifier to serve you for a very long time.
Tips for using pedals with your Fender Champion 20
Control the volume of your amp
Whether you are using a 15 watt or a 400 watt amplifier, there is no reason for you to turn it all the way up. Even if your knobs can go to that extent, that doesn’t mean you can use the amp at maximum volume for prolonged periods without damaging your speakers.
Guitar amplifiers have different levels of headroom, which basically refers to the amount of power that an amp can generate before the sound starts to clip or distort. This is why most professionals don’t go beyond the 12 o’ clock position unless necessary. They want to maintain the quality of their sound and avoid straining the amp in the process.
By leaving some allowance on your amp’s volume, you can minimize creating any unwanted distortion on your sound. This will also provide some leeway in case one of your pedals suddenly creates an unexpected surge in loudness.
Learn how to use your pedals properly with the Fender Champion 20
Almost all guitar amplifiers including the Fender Champion 20, are designed to handle effects pedals but it is very important that you utilize them properly.
There are instances when abusing the settings on your pedals will create happy accidents that can blow the minds of listeners, but if you are using a 20-watt amp, that kind of experiment can come with a high cost to pay.
Get to know your pedals well before deciding to fiddle the knobs like crazy. Not all effects pedals are equal as some brands are more powerful and might strain much smaller amplifiers.
Here are some effects pedals that can harm your guitar amplifier if you don’t use them correctly:
- Boost Pedals
Boost pedals can provide some significant amount of extra kick to your volume levels and they are exactly what you need if your guitar has weak preamps or pickups. However, if your amp is already turned up, boosting will create a lot of stress on your amplifier, so take extra precautions when activating these things and make sure that your volume knob is turned down first.
Even though distortion pedals sound harsh, they are quite friendly to most guitar amplifiers as long as you practice restraint in applying them. Be careful when indulging in prolonged, overly-loud jams especially if you are using high output distortion pedals designed for the most extreme forms of death metal.
- Synth Pedals
These funky-sounding boxes can yield pleasant, as well as unpleasant surprises if not used properly. Synth pedals emulate the sounds of instruments that your Fender Champion 20 might not be familiar with, so be cautious in playing around with these boxes as they could create high piercing frequencies, as well as rumbling lows that your amp is not accustomed to handling.
Using guitar amplifiers for your bass is not advisable at all since they are not designed for the low end instrument. An octaver can make your guitar sound like a bass and even go an octave lower than a bass guitar. This level of sub bass can definitely tear your speakers apart at much higher volumes.
Delay pedals are harmless to your guitar amp until you put the feedback settings to max and create cascading layers of sound that loop endlessly. These will accumulate and get louder and louder until your speakers can’t handle it anymore. What’s scary is that this sound phenomenon can create panic in some inexperienced guitar players and pulling the plug is the only option.
You can use your delay pedal with Fender Champion 20, just use the features in moderation to make sure that your amp will not suffer from any damage.