The Fender Champ lap steel guitar was introduced as a student-level instrument in the 1950s during the continuing popularity of both Hawaiian and Country music. Simple in design and utilitarian in functionality, the Champ offered the player an easy, lightweight instrument with familiar controls and great tonality. Fast forward 60 years, and the Champ carries with it some serious vintage cache, with some fantastic tone to boot.
This 1958 model may be the finest and most complete collector-grade example on the market today.
Original ordered by and subsequently shipped to the Paramount School of Music in Denver, Colorado, this 1958 Fender Champ Lap Steel must have spent some time in the band room closet before making its way back out into the world. It is by far the cleanest Fender lap steel we've ever seen. Its original tweed hardshell case could even pass as a vintage reissue! It is 100% factory stock with the exception of a fresh pair of strings.
The single pickup sings like a great early Telecaster pickup, with an authoritative voice that provides a punchy fundamental with a bright and twangy response. It's no surprise that many of these lap steels were robbed of their original pickups and electronics to favor them for telecasters of that era.
While great for Country and Hawaiian tunes, this Fender Champ soars in more of a blues and rock context (think David Lindley, Greg Leisz). Adding a touch of gain takes this lap steel to new levels, with a full and biting tone that cuts through a mix with ease.
We simply cannot ignore the elephant in the room, so let's talk about the box. Who would've ever guessed we'd be showcasing some cardboard?!? This Fender Champ lap steel has survived all this time in its original clean tweed case that has spent the better part of its life in the factory Fender shipping box!!!! An incredibly rare and unique part of Fender history is alive and well in this package, pun fully intended!
To top it off, it includes the original instrument cable, hangtag, and Chase Industries tapered steel bar with carrying pouch. How cool is that?!