The Mustang and the Champion are two of Fender’s most renowned guitar amplifiers. It’s a clash of the amps, Fender Mustang vs Fender Champion!
Today we are comparing these two iconic amps, putting them head to head to find out which is the winner.
We cross-examine these guitar amp models in terms of design, controls, effects, sound, reliability, and other features. Whilst both made by legendary amp maker Fender, these amps are both very different from each other.
We all know how impressive Fender amps are, so let’s explore these two distinct amp series.
Keep reading for our full comparison of these electric guitar amplifiers!
Alternatively, check out our post about the best electric guitars for beginners.
Or for another comparison, see the differences between ¾ and full-sized guitars.
Table of Contents:
- Fender Champion vs Mustang: A Quick Key Specifications Comparison
- Fender Champion vs Mustang Overall Comparison
- Fender Mustang
- The Fender Champion
- Fender Champion vs Mustang: Which is better?
Fender Champion vs Mustang: A Quick Key Specifications Comparison
This table shows some differences between the amp styles. Both of these are looking at the 20 versions of the amps. You can find both styles in different sizes of speaker configurations.
Both of these are combo amps, so it includes both the amp head and cabinet. Using an all-in-one design, you can plug these bad boys in anywhere and get rocking.
|Amp||Fender Champion||Fender Mustang|
|Built-in Effects||12||12 (more available with FUSE software)|
|Amp simulation models||12||24|
|Connections||1/8” AUX input, headphone output||USB, footswitch, headphone output, mp3 / line-in|
|Dimensions||16.00” x 12.00” x 16.00”||7.60” x 15.50” x 14.50”|
|Weight||6.61 lbs||17 lbs|
|Price||View the latest price here.||View the latest price here.|
Fender Champion vs Mustang Overall Comparison
These amps from Fender are two popular picks. Used in studios and venues around the world, these designs have lived and survived countless hours of rock and roll. Both amps have their own unique personalities, which are quite different from one another.
In short, the Champion is a retro classic, styled closer to more traditional tube amps. (Although it is solid-state). It achieves a classic, iconic sound.
The Mustang is a more modern-style amplifier. It has a lot more effects and processing technology built-in, and can also be controlled over USB.
The Fender Mustang is a guitar amplifier that was designed for guitarists who are looking for a versatile amp. It has three channels, which are clean, overdrive, and distortion. The clean channel provides a warm sound with lots of headroom while the overdrive channel provides a crunchy sound that is great for blues. The distortion channel is perfect for metal sounds.
The Fender Champion 20 Amp has two channels: clean and overdrive/distortion. It also comes with an auxiliary input jack to plug in other instruments like keyboards or drum machines to create an interesting mix. This amp can be used in both live performances and recording sessions because it has the power to fill up any venue or studio space while still being compact enough to be easily transported from place to place.
A gorgeous contemporary feel, sophisticated pro-digital attitude, and excellent sound quality are the hallmarks of all Mustang amps.
These effects and amp simulations are perfect for those who want to go their own way off the usual road, and this gear fits the bill well. In the digital era, there are fewer traditions and less old style. There are more possibilities and digital technology.
Fender Mustang Series amplifiers, like Champion amps, are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. They’re all terrific, but some are better suited to smaller, more intimate settings, while others are more than capable on a larger stage.
Key Features of Mustang
- Cutting edge 21st-century amp with clear modern sound
- More contemporary design
- Uses Fender FUSE software for advanced effects
- 8” and combo varieties available
- 20 watts and 40 watts
- Aux input and headphone
- USB connection
In terms of dimensions, the Fender Mustang is a touch smaller than the Fender Champion, but it also weighs a bit more. This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, however, since it’s still incredibly small and lightweight to carry about.
The mustang has a very sleek appearance that looks neat with any electric guitar. This goes for a much more modern style than the tube amp appearance of the champion. This comes in multiple sizes, so you can use the smaller models as a practice amp, or larger ones for the stage.
The Mustang series, like Champion, has a few unique items for performers looking to amp up their stage appearance.
Effects and Controls
One of the biggest differences between Mustang I-IV and Fender Champion 20 is that the Mustang can use the FUSE software and the champion can’t. Even more, possibilities are at your disposal with this digital controller, making your experiments more creative and fun. You can save five unique amp voicings as fast-call presets.
Five more amp types, five more stompboxes, and pitch shifting are included in the updated version of the Mustang series. In spite of the absence of old-school sleekness, the controls are situated on top of the cab so that they may be easily used when standing up.
Fender has declared that it would no longer be developing FUSE software. Although they are still offering customer support. You will still be able to access all the supporting DSP effects and amp model presets.
The amount of effects included is huge. The reverb effects are great and add an attractive swell to the tone. There are twelve modulation effects for those warped phase sounds. The onboard controls make it easy to tweak the DSP effects, although it can also be modded over USB. This is really a great amp for anybody who likes to experiment.
Their guitar amp has a huge variety of controls which opens up many amp tones. With over eight amp models, this has multiple amp sounds packed into a single small package. It goes without saying that all the amp lines sound amazing, and even come close to the authentic sound of tube amplifiers. With seven classic gain effects to hand and a dozen delay settings, you can create any sound you want.
As a beginner or intermediate guitarist, you can’t go wrong with the Fender Mustang. No knobs or controls interfere with the instrument’s natural sound, which is powerful, bright, and clear.
There is a lot of character in this amplifier, but you may choose, choose, and mold it to your heart’s content. You can achieve many unique amp voicings with this. Both the controls and sound of this are more modern than the traditional amp experience.
Fender’s FUSE software is an absolute need if you want to take advantage of this amp’s full potential. You can make it sound like any number of Fender classics. It will sound amazing in many situations, and the onboard effects can always be used to fine-tune your sound.
It has a dynamic volume range and has a great sound whether played loud or quiet. Both the mustang and champion series have a clear sound, and these are relatively loud compared to comparable models.
The contemporary connection of the Fender Mustang series is unquestionably its strongest suit. Plug this amp into your computer and download Fender’s FUSE software and you’re able to craft a town without any restrictions. You can use it with some iconic pedal effects, or classic gain effects. The effects models included stretch fair and wide, and still sound organic. You can recreate almost every iconic tone, from a mesa boogie to a clean blackface tone.
You can also use this amp with outboard effects pedals, however, I was disappointed with the results when compared to the specific onboard capabilities of the Mustang.
Musical instruments like the Fender Mustang are known for their dependability and durability. There’s a good chance you won’t fall in love with the amp’s sleek and utilitarian design or its incredible sound and adaptability, but you won’t have any issues with the amp’s construction.
These amps always stand the test of time. The physical controls are durable and you won’t have anything breaking, no matter how much knob tweaking is involved.
Pros & Cons
- Multiple amp sounds
- Additional Fender Amp models available through software
- Includes Fuse Software
- Classic Fender Sound
- Virtual amp and effects models – includes onboard effects
The Fender Champion
It’s one of Fender’s most well-known amp series, the Champion. There have been traces and echoes of this legendary amplifier in every musical style and genre since it was introduced in 1948. This is seen as having more of a British amplifier sound (although it is still American).
The Champion 800, a 4-watt amp with a single 8-inch speaker, was the forerunner of all modern ‘Champs,’ as they’re lovingly known. The original idea expanded into several performance classes, sizes, and even some special editions. These are known to have a vintage superior tone. With a more analog, retro feel than the mustang. If you are into more natural gain-centric amps, this is the way to go.
Eric Clapton is one of Champion’s most well-known users, which gives claim to this amp’s reputation Despite the amp’s classic style and sound, it’s great for hard rock and funky musicians alike, despite its old sound and vintage aesthetic. For recording or live performance, these unique amplifier models are perfect for cranking out stellar amp tones.
Key Features of Fender Champion
- Classic clear, sweet tone
- Easy to use controls, simple knobs
- Includes 12 built-in effects
- Amp modeling with 12 presets
- Many speaker sizes to choose from
- 20 watt or 40-watt versions
- Faithful vintage aesthetic and design
- Includes 1/8” aux input for backing tracks
- Headphone output, great for practice.
- Single-channel with a footswitch
Despite its simplicity, the Fender Champion’s design is both aesthetically appealing and functionally sound. Despite its little size, the cab packs quite a powerful punch considering its size (and the fact that it must always be connected to a power source).
The silver grille and steel strengthening plates surround the corners of the black cab. The handle on the top of this magnificent amp is as solid and trustworthy as the rest of it. Fender is known for its build quality, and Champion is no exception.
The Fender ’57 Custom Champ, a stunningly attractive antique amp clad in beige tweed, is an option if you’re ready to pay a little more. This limited-edition model will be the center of attention in any amp collection. It even stands its ground against the fanciest tube amplifiers.
Effects and Controls
The Fender Champion, although not the most feature-packed amp on the market, nevertheless has a decent variety of built-in effects, particularly considering its low price and compact size. It still has all the eq and gains control knobs you need. Although the Champion is the less flexible of the two amp models.
Some classic effects like reverb, delay, chorus, and tremolo are built into the amp, and of course some overdrive and gain. These effects are included, so you don’t have to purchase them individually to explore and play with your sound.
As an analog-loving guitar player, I can tell you that this is a really appealing piece of gear. Even more importantly, this setup’s ease enables you to effortlessly and quickly alter your tone at any time. Although there isn’t the same depth provided in the Fender Mustang, there is enough here for a great tone. The low, high, middle, and reverb controls are easy to use and have a good range.
Champion’s primary power switch is positioned very inconveniently on the underside of the device. Although this won’t stop you from sculpting a perfect tone. Although
With its crystal-clear, excitingly highly-articulated sound that works well with a broad variety of musical styles and genres, the Fender Champion is really a champion. This is a great amp that captures a revered British tone. Whilst limited, you can definitely achieve more than a single preamp voicing.
There are a lot of possibilities for individuals who prefer to experiment with their sound’s tone and voice. Whilst not as varied as the mustang, you can still get a large range of tones.
The specific model you pick will have a significant impact on the amount of power and punch you get. It’s most suited for those who wish to practice without making too much noise, but it may also be used for smaller jam sessions. This is ideal for use as a practice amp.
Whether you’re wondering if there are any drawbacks to this amp, I’d have to answer yes. Aux in and headphones are about the extent of the Fender Champion’s connection options. You won’t be able to manipulate your sound digitally if you use this amp in conjunction with a computer connected through USB.
Even though this may be perfectly acceptable for certain guitarists, you should be aware of this before making a purchase.
Overall, Champion is an excellent piece of gear for a starter with high aspirations. But as your abilities (and hunger) improve, you may find yourself feeling a little constrained by its constraints.
Although the Fender Champion 20 is on the more affordable end of the spectrum, be assured that this does not show in any of its constructional attributes. It’s still Fender, which means it’s very durable, road-ready, and made to endure.
Both the Mustang and Champion guitar amp are extremely reliable. There is a negligible difference between the two. Both of these amps are very survivable and will stand the rock n roll life of a guitar amp.
Are there any alternatives?
Many great amps could serve as an alternative to these electric guitar amplifiers.
To save money while still sticking with Fender, the Fender Frontman 10G would be a great choice of electric guitar amplifier. This single-channel guitar amplifier boasts a 6″ speaker, a compact footprint, and clean, well-articulated sound.
It has a 10kW output, so it has a moderate volume, making it a great choice for new guitar players. The design and simplicity of the app were also a big hit with users.
Whether you’re just starting as a guitar player or a seasoned pro, the Fender Frontman 10G is an excellent choice.
Can pedals be used for Fender Mustangs?
Yes. Presets may be accessed from an external foot pedal on the Fender Mustang if desired. Those who have used a Mustang amplifier for a while would find this a useful switching accessory.
Standard guitar pedals can also be used with either of these amp ranges. The Fender Champion 20 also has a foot pedal that can be used for switching between gain circuits.
Does Fender Champion have tubes for amplifiers?
Fender Champion appeals to people who enjoy the vintage warmth of the tube amplifier. Nevertheless, this solid-state amplifier eliminates all the weaker points known as valve amplifiers. In other words, they cost much less. How does a Fender Mk1 differ from a Fender Mk2?
Fender Champion vs Mustang: Which is better?
Overall I would say the Mustang models are better than Champions. Whilst both amp models are fantastic, the Mustang has more range than the Champion.
Whilst the Mustang is significantly more expensive than the Champion, it has more flexibility in helping you to create a perfect tone. With a wider range of distortion, modulation, and reverb effects, amps like Mustang III, and Mustang IV have a huge range of sounds.