After 1.5 years, I suddenly hate my Blues Jr.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mangy71, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Mangy71

    Mangy71 Member

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    I started playing in church about a year and a half ago, so I picked up a Blues Jr and started building a pedalboard. I run the amp totally clean and get all my dirt from pedals. I have been through tons of OD pedals and a bunch of other pedals trying to get the best setup to work with my amp.

    I have replaced the speaker with a Cannabis Rex & re-tubed it, but haven't done any mods.

    I have always had to run the tone controls on my od pedals below noon to keep the highs under control, and I have managed to get some pretty good lower volume tones with my setup when mic'ed up for church. I still think this sounds pretty good:



    Lately I have started thinking - "I have guitars that I like and a really nice pedalboard, but maybe the Blues Jr is holding me back from really getting the sound I want?" There is always a certain harshness, even with the treble dialed back, and it just doesn't sound as full as I would like.

    I don't have a ton of money for an upgrade, and I don't want something too big or heavy. I have been thinking about trying an Egnater Tweaker or Egnater Rebel 30 combo. Not sure if those would be much of an upgrade, or if I would still be wishing for something better in a few months.....

    Thoughts?
     
  2. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    I hated mine after just 15 minutes. Yours actually didn't sound to bad. So many better amps out there than a Blues Jr. I didn't like the Egnaters much either. How about a Vox AC 15, Bogner Shivas are smooth with tons of gain on tap.
     
  3. Mangy71

    Mangy71 Member

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    Not really fair to compare a Bogner Shiva ($2000 plus amp) with a Blues Jr. is it? :huh

    I don't need a gain channel - just a nice clean amp to run pedals that sounds better, isn't more than $600-800, and doesn't weigh a ton.
     
  4. modernp

    modernp Member

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    My Vht Ultra sounds better than the blues junior. Decent fix for not a lot of money.
     
  5. dshobe

    dshobe Rocky Mountain Way Silver Supporting Member

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    There are a lot of great amps in that price range. I'm assuming you'll go used. For an el 84 based amp you could get a used Peavey Classic 30 for about what you could sell the BJr for. Or if you want some great Fender tones a PRRI or DRRI are both in your range. I just picked up a PRRI for $550 and retubed with some great old glass for another $100. Sounds phenomenal. I got it to play in a worship setting. Beays the heck out of a BJr IMHO.
     
  6. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    Sell blood, go through the couches for change, work midnights for a while, do whatever it takes.

    Find a used Victoria Victoriette 2 x10, EL-84.

    Also, the Fender Supersonics are not bad amps at all.

    BTW, I'm originally from the Champagin, Illinois area.
     
  7. ldizzle

    ldizzle Supporting Member

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    Really depends on waht you want... My maz hits the major sounds with some tweaking
     
  8. Nickstrtcstr

    Nickstrtcstr Lactose Intolerant Guitar Slinger

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    Sounds pretty good to me but I was not in the room. Besides, you have to be the one happy with yor tone. Start experimenting with different pre-amp tubes in various positions in the amp. They can make a huge difference believe me. If that doesn't work upgrade to an Hot Rod or Blues Deluxe. Plenty out there used and inexpensive. Good luck.
     
  9. dascher

    dascher Member

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    I hate the Blues Jr personally, way too trebly not really that smooth. Go with an AC15 and change the speaker to a Celestion Blue or Green or whatever you like
     
  10. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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    No it's not a fair comparison. I wasn't comparing. You said you have some nice guitars, I thought you were saying you were ready for a nice amp. You never gave a budget or anything. You were kind of vague. I just know a lot of Christian bands are playing Bogners. Mainstay, Switchfoot, Seventh Day Slumber. I love the tone of the Shivas, smooth, deep, full.

    Sorry, I was just trying to help.
     
  11. 5E3

    5E3 Supporting Member

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    I read a lot of praise for the Blues Jr. and just have to shrug :dunno and say "to each his own."

    I had one for about a week and though I tried very hard to bond with it, never did. I haven't owned a lot of amps, maybe twenty or so, but the Blues Jr. was a real dud for me.

    I think you can do better, especially if you are looking for a clean pedal platform.
     
  12. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    Do the BillM mods, they really turn the BJr. into a gread sounding, much more BF-Fender-ish amp.
     
  13. flatpole

    flatpole Member

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    Just my opinion, but if the trebles/upper mids are bugging you, you may want to try something other than an el84 based amp.

    I think the Princeton Reverb RI is a great suggestion. The tweaker might work too.
     
  14. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    From what you desribe I would suggest a 6L6 or 6V6 amp.
    Personally, I don't hear the harshness in your clip. Yet, I wasn't in the room and or next to the amp.
    I did have a Blues JR III for a couple of days.

    I like a good bit of bite and clarity.
    Many amps are too dark for my taste.
    The mids of the BJ were what I didn't like. Regardless of settings. This is most likely why you tend to turn down the highs.
    The mids are, IMO, brash.
    Plus, it is quite boxy sounding.

    It boils down to what one wants and likes to hear.
     
  15. Mangy71

    Mangy71 Member

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    It's fine man. If I had that much to spend, I'm sure the Shiva would be an awesome amp. Sorry I didn't specify how much I wanted to spend in my original post.

    Thanks for the other suggestions too. Maybe non-el84 is the way to go. The Tweaker might be my next stop. It seems to get a lot of praise & people say it takes pedals well.

    I need to take my guitar & pedalboard to my local shop & try all the other Fender amps. Maybe a PRRI or DRRI would give me what I want - but for every guy on this board that says those are awesome, there are 5 guys saying that they are junk, so it is kinda hard to know what to believe. :bonk
     
  16. Franklin

    Franklin Member

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    I don't have a Blues Jr (I used to have a Pro Jr), and I believe these amps only excel tone wise is by cranking them up. Almost all tube amps ive played/owned sounded better the louder you play them. But I like a dirty clean tone anyway...

    Finding the amp with the clean tone you want may not be easy. I say this because you've already been down that tone search journey with pedals. I've been there too, but I recently gave in after seeing a monster player playing a 10k Langedoc guitar into some Boss pedals into a POG into a power amp to the pa. Of course the awesome guitar helped to have "good enough" tone.

    My point is that only you care about the tone so discerningly, and you know what you want to hear. Everyone else d/n care about your tone, just the notes.

    So now I try to settle with my tone to fit in the bands mix and the room the best I can and not worry about the amps so much.
     
  17. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    I was going to suggest a Tweaker and a 112 cab to try.
    Very cool amp for not alot of dough.
    I actually dug the amp. Plus, it's quite tweakable. lol
     
  18. Mangy71

    Mangy71 Member

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    I think the mids are the problem, but it kinda comes out as harsh to me. It is especially noticeable if I put it on an amp stand. A lot of guys on the pedal forum were complaining that the FullDrive 2 is too dark and I was thinking "too dark? I had to run the tone control on 10 o'clock or it was way too bright with my amp." LOL

    It sounds better in that clip because I put the mic quite a bit off-axis, so you are hearing what is coming out of the back of the cabinet and what is coming through the PA. When you are standing right in front of the amp it sounds completely different though. I guess I have found a way to make it work, but I feel like I could do better.

    I actually like the lead sounds I get quite a bit, but when I play higher gain chords - ugh!
     
  19. dshobe

    dshobe Rocky Mountain Way Silver Supporting Member

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    The guys saying the Fender reissues are junk are complaining 'cos the amps are built using pcb's. Meh, almost all of my pedals are built using pcb's. My PRRI sounds much better to my ears than th PTP amps I used to own. To each his own.
     

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