Fender Champion vs Mustang Guitar Amps: Which is Best?


The Fender Champion and Fender Mustang amps are both very popular, but which is the best for you? Here I’ll be comparing them in terms of their tone, features, specifications, ease of use and value for money so you can figure out if you should go for a Mustang or Champion.

The Quick Answer

The Fender Mustang has more features and effects than the Fender Champion. The Mustang can connect to the Fender app to access more controls and updates and it also includes presets and a tuner, unlike the Fender Champion. The Champion models are around $40-$50 cheaper than the Mustang amps.

Features and Specifications

First let’s take a look at the key features and specs of each model.

Fender Mustang Overview

There are two types of model in the Fender Mustang amplifier range:

  • LT: available in 25W and 50W sizes.
  • GTX: available in 50W and 100W sizes.

The LT versions of the Fender Mustang are more stripped-back, affordable and simple to use than the GTX versions. The GTX Mustang is more advanced and expensive in comparison, and it can connect to your phone to access updates and presets.

Here are images of each model (all link to Amazon so you can check the current prices).

Fender Mustang LT25

Fender Mustang LT50

Fender Mustang 50GTX

Fender Mustang GTX100

Fender Champion Overview

There are two types of model in the Fender Champion amplifier range:

  • Standard: available in 20W, 40W and 100W versions
  • XL: available in a 50W version

The Fender Champion 50XL model has a different look, speaker and features compared to the standard Champion 40 and Champion 100 models.

Here are images of each model (all link to Amazon so you can check the current prices).

Fender Champion 20

Fender Champion 40

Fender Champion 100

Fender Champion 50XL

Comparing Features

Here is a table to show you all the different features available on each Fender Mustang and Champion option.

AmplifierVoices/ PresetsEffectsTunerLooperFootswitch AvailableEffects LoopUSB ConnectionWireless Connection
Champion 2019NoNoNoNoNoNo
Mustang LT252025YesNoYesNoYesNo
Champion 4059NoNoYesNoNoNo
Champion 50XL812NoNoYesNoNoNo
Mustang LT502025YesNoYesNoYesNo
Mustang GTX 504073YesYesYesYesYesYes
Champion 10059NoNoYesYesNoNo
Mustang GTX 1004073YesYesYesYesYesYes
Fender Mustang vs Champion amplifier features.

Key Points:

  • The Fender Mustang GTX models have the most amp voices and effects and the Fender Champion Standard models have the least.
  • The Fender Mustang models have a built-in tuner unlike the Fender Champion amps.
  • The Fender Mustang GTX models have the most connectivity options for updates and accessing additional features.

Comparing Specifications and Prices

AmplifierWattageSpeakerDimensionsWeightGuitar Center Price
Champion 2020W1 x 8”13 x 14 x 8”12 lbs$140
Mustang LT2525W1 x 8”15 x 17 x 12”15 lbs$180
Champion 4040W1 x 12”17 x 17 x 9”19 lbs$230
Champion 50XL50W1 x 12”17 x 17 x 9”19 lbs$240
Mustang LT5050W1 x 12”17 x 17 x 9”20 lbs$280
Mustang GTX 5050W1 x 12”17 x 19 x 9”20 lbs$400
Champion 100100W2 x 12”19 x 26 x 10”40 lbs$400
Mustang GTX 100100W1 x 12”18 x 21 x 10”22 lbs$500
Fender Mustang vs Champion amplifier specifications and prices.

Ease of Use

Now let’s take a look at how you use each amplifier.

Fender Mustang LT

The Fender Mustang LT25 and LT50 amps are very easy to control. They have a simple interface with all the basic controls as well as an electronic interface which allows you to select different presets, edit and save them. The presets are very useful for beginners who want to get started without getting too bogged down with the rest of the controls.

What sets this amp apart from the Champion is its ability to connect to the Fender Tone app (desktop) via USB. This allows you to further tweak all the settings in more detail and update the amp when new features become available.

Fender Mustang GTX

This is probably the most complicated to use, but by far the most flexible. You get all the standard controls on the interface, as well as selectable presets which can be edited and saved. This amp connects to the Fender Tone app (mobile) using WiFi or BlueTooth instead of a USB connection which is used by the Mustang LT series.

Fender Champion and Champion XL

The Fender Champion has a clean interface with easy to use controls to select the different amp models and effects. Unlike with the Mustang, you don’t get any presets here so you need to select a “voice” and then go from there with the rest of the controls.

Check out this video to hear more about how to operate each amp.

FeatureMustang LTMustang GTXChampion
Physical ControlsGain, vol, EQ, masterGain, vol, EQ, master, reverbChannels, gain, vol, EQ, effects
Built-In ScreenYesYesNo
Access to EffectsUsing screenUsing screenUsing physical controls
Connects to AppYesYesNo
Connection MethodUSBWireless or WiredN/A
How to use Fender Mustang vs Champion amplifier

In Summary

  • The Fender Champion amps use physical controls whereas the Mustang amps used physical controls and a built-in screen to change the settings.
  • The Fender Mustang amps can be updated and used to access the app whereas the Fender Champion amps do not have this feature.
  • The Fender Mustang LT uses a wired connection for updates/ app access and the Mustang GTX uses a wireless or wired connection method.

Which Sounds the Best?

The Fender Mustang amps are capable of producing more versatile tones compared to the Fender Champion amps which have a narrower range of tones and tend to sound more vintage. The Mustang is slightly cleaner sounding with more clarity than the Champion

Here are some tone examples for each amp type so you can decide what you like the sound of.

Fender Mustang LT

Fender Mustang GTX

Fender Champion

Fender Champion XL

Value for Money

When comparing similar wattage models, the Fender Mustang is around $40-$50 more expensive than the Fender Champion. You get a lot more features for your money with the Mustang though, and the option to connect it to the Fender tone app is a big plus.

However, if you don’t want all the effects and presets, and the app would be redundant to you then it might not be worth the extra cash. Generally I think that the extra investment involved with the Mustang is worth it though for most players.

Pros and Cons

Before we make some final conclusions, I wanted to run through the advantages and disadvantages of each of these amps so you can identify which is probably going to work best for you.

Pros of Fender MustangPros of Fender Champion
More effects and includes presetsCheaper
More features e.g. looper, tuner, FX loopEasier to operate and access all controls
Connect to app for updates, more settingsMore sizes available
Advantages of Fender Mustang vs Fender Champion amplifiers.

Which Should You Choose?

This brings us to the ultimate question. It’s tough to answer without knowing your specific requirements, so I’ve listed a few different scenarios and which amplifier I think will best suit it.

Player #1

  • A beginner who is unsure of what music style they want to play so needs something versatile but without unnecessary features.
  • Best Option: Fender Mustang LT25
  • This model has plenty of presets and effects making it great value for money but the player won’t be overpaying for unnecessary features such as extra wattage, effects loop and looper. The tuner is also very handy for new players.

Player #2

  • This player is looking for something with no frills and uses pedal effects. They also need it to be loud enough to gig with.
  • Best Option: Fender Champion 100.
  • This offers enough features and volume, and is great for pairing with effects. Since they don’t use built-in amp effects as they use pedals instead, getting the Mustang is probably a waste of money. The Champion 100 is better than the Champion 50XL due to the extra volume as well as the effects loop for pairing the amp with pedals.

Player #3

  • This player wants all the top-of-the-line features and effects and doesn’t mind it being a bit complicated to use as long as they can dial in the exact tone they’re looking for/
  • Best Option: Fender Mustang GTX50/ GTX100 (depending on the volume needed)
  • This amp offers loads of effects and features such as wireless app connectivity, an effects loop, tuner and looper so it can do pretty much anything you need it to!

Top Picks

Here are the amps I would recommend as they offer the best value for money. They all include links to Amazon so you can check out the current prices.

Fender Mustang LT25

  • Great for beginners
  • Plenty of effects and presets to get started

Check it out on Amazon

Image links to Amazon

Fender Champion

  • Very loud
  • Great value for money

Check it out on Amazon

Image links to Amazon

Fender Mustang GTX50

  • Packed with effects
  • Extra features such as FX loop

Check it out on Amazon

In the market for a new amplifier? Check out my complete amplifier buyer’s guide to help narrow down your selection and find the perfect amp for you.

Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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