Anyone use a Fender Blues Jr

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by BuddyGuit, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. BuddyGuit

    BuddyGuit Supporting Member

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    What are some opinions of this amp? For jazz, rock, r&b, country .... you know all around use. 15 watts w/ a twelve sounds appealing to me.

    Thanks for your input,

    Buddy
     
  2. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    Truly a great amp. Portable, and capable of some good sounds. I don't have one, but I want to pick one up at somepoint to mod a bit.

    I do think they need a new speaker, but that's just me.
     
  3. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

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    i've had a bunch of them. They sound great to me. Definitely a great bang for the buck amp. I've actually got one coming in next week to use until my Hayseed is ready. The only complaint is that it breaks up a bit early for live use without mic'ing it, which really isn't that big of a deal.

    What mods do you guys recommend for the Blues Jr?
     
  4. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    Check the Fender forum. Lots and lots of talk about the pros\cons of this amp there. I had one for several years and liked it but never loved it. Very flexible and portable. Could do lots of different things well but nothing REALLY well. Sold it a few months ago and haven't missed it yet.
     
  5. BorisC

    BorisC Member

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    It's a bargain at $399, and will get the sounds you are looking for. Classic Fender cleans and reverb and it takes all my pedals great. But to be fair, I only use it as my living room amp. I get pretty loud sometimes and have pushed it, but have never tried it in a band seting. On the downside it doesn't have a standby and the push button faux over-drive is fairly worthless and yes the speaker could be better. People on the Fender Forum talk mods and Greenback upgrades, but I would be wary of putting too much money into what is basically a budget amp. I love the little thing for my needs.
     
  6. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    My friend Chet (CAFeathers here on TGP) put his in a custom walnut cabinet with 2 Scumbacks, and put some NOS tubes in it, and man, it hung with my Z no problem. Damn good sounding amp. I think the best mod you can make is a better cab and a speaker.
     
  7. aaronlowen

    aaronlowen Member

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    I have had two and I use one all the time. Small portable and a fairly good starting place for which to build a "sound". However for lack of a better word it always sounds "small" or "Boxy". We have tried different speakers/tubes/mods and while it improved it was never enough. I still have mine, still recomend them, still gig with mine on occasion and at that price why not buy one? But for me it is a good tool, just not the "king of tone" that some on other forums may claim.
     
  8. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    exactly. A good sounding budget amp when you get down to it. Speaker, maybe a couple cap changes (Bill M mods?) for fun and the hell of it, s'all good.

    When I say hung with my Z, I meant in volume. Still sounded good, but it's no boutique. Damn cool though, regardless.
     
  9. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I had one and really liked it, but then I started having all sorts of problems with it. The output transformer had to be replaced and it had a "fuzziness" on top of bass notes that wouldn't go away, despite trying different tubes and speaker cabs. I ended up selling it.

    A friend has one and we've been using it in the studio for the past few weeks. It records really well and is easy to get a good sound out of. My preference is to turn the master volume up all the way and use the volume control to set the output volume. The EQ is pretty flexible and the reverb is decent. It takes pedals well, though it is fairly bright with the stock speaker.

    Bryan
     
  10. CAFeathers

    CAFeathers Member

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    Here are a few pics of my Blues Jr. Walnut Cabinet, NOS Tubes, H and M model Scumback speakers.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. teleking36

    teleking36 Member

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    that's absolutely gorgeous! nice job with the new cab!
     
  12. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    And it sounds as good as it looks. A bigger cabinet and some good speakers (the BEST! IMO) really opened that amp up. Got me wanting to snag one myself Chet.
     
  13. Priestunes

    Priestunes Member

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    Well, I went all out one fine day and got the bubinga Woody Jr. But not before comparing it to the stock and ash versions. So, I can vouch for the new cab attribute. This is a beautiful amplifier on all fronts. But I couple mine with a Fender Bassman. Still, I've used it alone at gigs and in band practice. It's weak in a gig setting, doesn't really "love" pedals like my Bassman, but it has a tone that I can't do without. I've since heard that Clapton used this same amp release in his second set of a 2004 (?) tour.
     
  14. Tonebender

    Tonebender Supporting Member

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    The Blues Junior is a fun amp!.....I've got an older USA model with a modded tone stack and an Eminence Tonespotter. The mods and a speaker change put a lot of life into the amp. Good tubes help too. Any remaining "boxiness" is due to the small 1x12 cabinet.

    I run everything but the reverb on 10. Thats how I get my cleans, rhythm crunch, light leads and heavy distortion/feedback sounds........
     
  15. bstranathan

    bstranathan Member

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    LOUD. very loud for a size amp that it is
     
  16. Jonster

    Jonster Member

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    I have had one for years. I installed a G12H30, re-tubed it, and it continues to amaze me as to how decent it sounds in a mix, and how loud it is for it's size/weight.
    Yes, it is boxy, no getting around it really. However, in a band context, the boxiness goes away a bit, and its strong mid-range response shines. I have several high $$ amps, and have gotten just as many compliments on my tone when jamming the Jr., as when using my other rigs which on average cost 3-4x as much! Kinda makes me wonder.....

    should I just run two in stereo and be done with it?? These are great bargains and simply good amps. Unlike some, I do think the stock speaker bites, but that's my opinion. YMMV I always have spare speakers, and after trying a GB, V30, Eminence GB12.....the G12H sounded the sweetest to my ears. Fat, bold, and sweet highs. I play Teles.
     
  17. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    I've had mine for a long time now (Tweed). It was my first tube amp after having slummed it with a Peavey Bandit 60 for years. It was a huge step up for me.

    Boxy is often used to describe the sound, and I agree. I think this amp would really benefit from a slightly larger cabinet and maybe a speaker upgrade. I love the portability of it though, so would want to stick with a single 12, but maybe just a bigger cab to hold it in (that walnut 2x12 does look absolutely killer though).

    The overall tone is solid, but again, boxy. I've never been able to dial in a tone that makes me want to keep playing (unlike my other amps). It is plenty loud and I had been able to gig with it (mic'd for larger venues). I've never been crazy about what the fat switch does to the tone, and the reverb is so-so. Also, a tiny spring which supports my reverb plate snapped and I've not found a replacement yet (though I should look harder).

    Overall, it's a good value and the portability is good to have. I think it would probably sound much better with some upgrades, but the cost adds up, probably to the neighborhood of a BFDR reissue.

    I'm also seriously considering the Bill Machrone's mods (http://home.comcast.net./~machrone/bjr/bjmodkits.htm) to improve the tone, but may go with trying a better cab and speaker before doing it.
     
  18. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a great amp!

    I've got two tweeds...one stock and one gutted to make a boutique micro-plexi.
    Here's a pic:

    [​IMG]

    Jason
     
  19. CBeeper

    CBeeper Supporting Member

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    I picked up a Blond Jr. recently from Musicians Friend. Great bang for the buck. I did a few of the BillM mods to it. Tone stack, Presence control and Bias pot. It really helped to open the sound up and increase the headroom. I'm going to put a Celestion Vintage Century in it to lighten it up a bit more and hopefully get a bit more growl out of it.
     
  20. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I've bumped across these a few times and they are generally not as good or as bad as some would have you believe.

    I am frequently using one for band rehearsal currently, and it seems better than average with a v30, otherwise stock, AFAIK. I run it on max master, as a clean amp, and use pedals for OD, etc. The FAT sw is excellent as a light boost to pop out selected lead lines. Any amp with decent clean tone (Fender-ish) works OK for me, though. YMMV
     

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