date_range 1970

Duane Allman’s Fender Champ

Most likely the amp used during the Layla studio sessions with Eric Clapton in late 1970. Tom Dowd, who produced the album, gave different reports on what exact model of the amp was used for the recording. There’s mention of Fender Blackface Vibro-Champs, Princetons, and Deluxes, and even same unknown Gibson combo. Howard Albert however who worked as an engineer on the album gave a pretty clear statement regarding the amps:

If you looked through the control-room glass, the piano was to the left, and on top of the piano, which had the lid closed, were our [Fender Tweed] Champ amps that Eric and Duane both used. – Howard Albert (Derek & The Dominos ‘Layla’)

What’s most likely is that Eric himself primarily used a Tweed Champ which was used extensively on the album, and Duane played through a Champ that could have been his, or as Howard stated – locally hired or belonged to Criteria studio. Clapton had recorded with a Champ before (first solo album). He saw Delaney Bramlett using one (probably in September 1969 when they recorded Comin’ Home). Bramlett gave Clapton a tweed Champ as a present that was beefed-up with bigger tube and a Lansing speaker (JBLansing or an Altec Lansing) [Guitar Player magazine, March 1996][Tom Wheeler, The Soul of Tone, p. 175]. It is also possible that Clapton used this Champ during the Layla sessions.

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