Which Guitar Amp?

January 26, 2016 7:24 AM

My local music shop has a used 35 watt Sundown SD-CJ-35 Clone Jr guitar amp for $99; they also have a new 20 watt Fender Champion at the same price. I'm not finding a lot of information about the Sundown on the internet, so I'm a little hesitant to choose it.

Asides from different power outputs, the Fender has a aux-in port, which the Sundown lacks. Most of the other features seem identical.

Could I get some advice on whether the Sundown is the better selection here?
posted by steinwald (3 comments total)

Oh, yes, I have played my guitar through both. Not entirely sure I can detect a difference.
posted by steinwald at 7:26 AM on January 26, 2016

Yeah, the Sundown is probably a slightly better deal- more power, little bit bigger speaker, though the Fender has the aux-in and models more amps. Neither is powerful enough to play out with, but would do fine at home for practice. Six of one, half dozen of the other, really.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:22 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

20 or 35 watts can be plenty loud enough to play out with, depending somewhat on the gig and the kind of sound you're looking for, so if you're actually going to be playing gigs or even jamming with other musicians the Sundown's probably the one I'd go with, because of the higher output and bigger speaker. (I love 10" speakers for guitar, 8-inchers tend to sound a little anemic.)

If it's just for home practice, I think IZ is probably right, they're gonna be about the same. In which case I might give the nod to the Fender, as you'll get a warranty from a big instrument manufacturer, plus the aux in.

I found Sundown amps from a little Googling, and from poking around the site it's clear that the parent company SHS is most likely just custom-branding Asian-manufactured gear for sale in the US. (As in, you could find the exact same things sold under a different brand name in France or Brazil or Taiwan or Japan.) There's not necessarily anything wrong with that - for all we know the Sundowns and that Fender Champion are made in the same factory, and I've seen lots of positive things about the ModTone pedals SHS distributes on various boards - but they're very much a less-established and smaller company than Fender, and more a distributor than a manufacturer.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

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