I had this amp for about 4 months now, and I like it, especially at this price! It is certainly not the amp of my dreams, but you can't always get what you want. Yet, you do get what you need!
Let me tell you though that I am a little biased in favor of Fender amps traditionally, I will not go for anything other than a Fender Amp ever (save for maybe a top of the line Mesa Boogie if I could afford any rig I wanted one day) Also, I play mostly rhythm guitar lately in my band and we do rock, blues based rock, and some blues.
The clean channel, as mentioned in reviews by others, is Fender clean. It does not have the crunch of tube amps of course, but it is very nice and jazzy, and can bring up "some" crunch through a good guitar turned up loud with quality pick-ups (and I have been using just that lately, a Gibson SG)
If you are on the clean channel and the effects are turned on, effect type set to reverb with effect level around 5, it is already a super nice sound! Although this means that the other built in effects become unavailable on the channel, which is a bit of a bummer.. if the reverb function was independent, one of the other effects could also be available simultaneously such as chorus, or tremolo, or delay or whatever..
But then again, those who want more effects could go for the very similar Fender Mustang for the same price. I personally am a strictly plug and play guy with very minimal effects, such as a Wahwah, and a chorus pedal at times, and I sure am not into modeling amps which sounds iffy (I have my computer and software to fool around with that if need be, without needing an amp with built-in digital gizmo) Plus I do not see myself punching in modeling codes into the Mustang while I am gigging!
Then there is the second channel, with adjustable gain, and few amp voicings of different amps, simulation of Fender and other amp styles, some of which sounds interestingly good. I like the tweed setting which gives it an almost tube-like crunch on leads. So in fact there is a slight modeling concept preset built into this amp in that sense, however it is kept to a minimum. I was originally looking to get a 60 W Frontman, which is similar to this amp, but with spring reverb, and no effects built-in, though it is now discontinued and replaced by the champion series.
There is also good overdrive possibilities on the second channel. I am not a metal shredder at all, but when I was fooling around with the settings in my rehearsal studio where I keep the amp for the moment, I was able to get good distortion, with the gain turned up and amp voicing set to metal.
Overall, this is a really good purchase for the price. And it has a huge, loud sound with the two awesome 12 inch speakers carrying through 100 big watts. It is even too loud to be honest! And it is taking me a little while to get used to the knobs, and the settings as their visibility is NOT so great. I must also mention that the WEIGHT is a positive factor here, for such a huge loud sound at 18,5 kg. it is indeed pretty efficient. As some of you might already know, weight can be a bigger burden than one thinks with each kilo beyond 20 or so start weighing a lot more than what it is.
I would recommend it to anyone who is on a tight budget, and who loves that Fender sound, and who needs a strong power rig for gigging any size venue, even with a strong drummer pounding away. I was thinking that when I get a better Fender tube rig eventually, such as a Hotrod Deluxe, or a Blues Junior, I could sell the Champion 100 second hand to save some money, but not anymore! I am keeping this one!
I must admit I have not been able to use this amp at a gig yet, because for the last few gigs we did with my band, very nice equipment was already set up for us on location, so we did not need to drag our own rig over. But I am confident that the Champion 100 will hold up pretty good at our upcoming gigs where we WILL have to haul our own equipment, judging from its powerhouse performance in the studio during the last four months!
With a nice guitar hooked up, and the included foot switch, you are set to rock on with this amp! Just fiddle with it, and get the hang of the knobs, buttons, and settings, and find your OWN voice on it before taking it on the road, as I have been trying to do. Because this amp can sound way beyond its relatively small price with the right individual settings for your music, whether it is jazz, blues, rock, or reggae...