If you are looking for a new speaker either because the current stock speaker has been worn or you feel it is too crappy, here are some good recommendations.
The best Fender Champion 40 replacement speaker is the Eminence Legend BP102. It complements the natural Fender sound well with a smooth bottom and improving the distortion level of channel 2. Best of all, it is easy to install and is pretty affordable.
An alternate recommendation is the Eminence cannabis rex. It has a very warm and clean tone as well as very smooth bottom.
Here is what to look out for getting a replacement speaker for the Fender Champion 40
- Right wattage: If you want to avoid the complicated task of re-bias your speaker, it is better to get one that can be switch out without re-biasing. The ohms to aim for is 8 ohms and wattage to be around 50W.
- Minimal impedance: For solid state amps, it is important for to go under the minimal impedance, to avoid any short circuit that might blow the amp. For Fender Champion 40, 8 ohms is the minimal.
- Tonal quality: For Fender Champion, the preferred tone is usually clean, with some distortion/overdrive at channel 2.
Eminence Legend BP102 review
This Eminence Legend BP102 was my choice for the best replacement speaker for the Fender Champion 40 for the following reasons:
- Better than stock speakers
- Complements Fender’s sound: What the speaker excels at is improving channel 2, especially the tweed voices. The end result is a classic Fender overdrive/distortion that any fans will appreciate.
- Takes pedals well
- Solid bass: Puts up lots of solid bottoms that sound clean and deep.
- Easy to install. No complicated screwing or set up. See below on detailed instructions.
- Cost: It is below $100 but above $50. Affordable but not cheap.
Eminence cannabis rex review
Another slightly more expensive alternative is Eminence’s cannabis rex 12. It takes away a lot of the harshness of the stock speaker and improves the tone in a lot of ways:
- Warmer tone: For those who enjoy the famous Fender warm and clean tone, the speaker enhances this tone to be fatter and warmer.
- Handles lows and highs better: After breaking in, the cannabis rex produces smoother lows as well as less brittle highs.
- Takes pedals well: For pedal users, the middle articulation is very good with the use of pedals and boosters.
- Easy to install and set up
- Cost: Similar to the Eminence Legend BP102, its priced in the affordable and yet not cheap range. Compared to the BP102, the cannabis rex cost about $10 more.
Besides the Fender Champions 40, this speaker works well as a replacement speaker with other Fender models including:
- Fender SuperChamp XD
- Fender Blues Junior
- Fender Blues Deluxe
- Fender Frontman 25
Protips:#1: If the audio doesn’t sound as good as expected, you probably have not broken in the speaker yet. Simply cranked up the volume and played it at length. After a few times, the speaker should sound warmer and better than before (10 hours should do it).
#2: You need to adjust the amp and guitar tone setting to get the kind of tonal quality for your highs and lows.
Cannabis rex vs red white blues
A common question raised is cannabis rex vs red white blues. How are they different?
The main difference is the the cannabis rex sounds more like a Fender with clean and warm tones. In contrast, the red white blues is meant for rock music with its sizzling and bright chords. The cannabis rex also has a more balanced bottom than the red white blues.
Another big difference between the cannabis rex and red white blues is the material used for the cone. Cannabis rex uses hemp fibers to strength the cone and gives the speakers a softer but not mushy sound. The red white blues, on the other hand, uses paper cone like many other speakers.
Detailed audio differences
- Tone: Cannabis rex is warm and clean while red blue whites is bright and crisp.
- Top end: Cannabis rex is smooth and very forgiving. Hard to hit a rough note. Red white blues has a more top end sparkle, with lots of sizzling notes.
- Bottom: Cannabis rex is well rounded and warm. Red white blues bottom is tight but not to the level that will set everyone’s pants on fire.
- Overdrive/Distortion: Red white blues is the winner here although it is not difficult to achieve overdrive with the cannabis rex if you push it.
How to replace speaker in Fender Champion 40
Here are a quick step by step guide on how to replace the speaker once you have purchased your replacement. You will need to have a screwdriver
- Unscrew the back panel off your Fender amp
- Make sure you don’t lose any of the screws after the unscrewing
- Remove the back panel. Below is what it will look like
- Notice the dangling wire connecting the amp to the speaker. You need to remove that before changing the speaker. Below is how it looks. It is pretty easy to unhook it.
- Once that is done, unscrew the speaker and slide it out. Again, remember not to lose the screws. Usually, there will be 4 screws holding the speaker in position.
- Slide the replacement speaker in, screw it back up and connect the wire from the amp to the speaker
- Screw back the back board and you are done.
Some might feel that getting a replacement speaker for the Fender Champion 40 is not worth the investment. It is better to save the money, sell the Fender amp and upgrade the speaker to one with better stock speakers.
However, there are benefits to having the Fender Champion as it is a good portable amp for small gig or home practice. Doing a simple speaker replacement can increase the audio quality tremendously and is a worthwhile investment.
While there are better speakers than what I recommended, they also cost more. Hence I feel the Eminence speakers are a good mix of quality and price.