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Belcat Tube-20R?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Tony474, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Tony474

    Tony474 Member

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    Location:
    North Bushey, near London, England
    A UK retailer is advertising the Belcat Tube-20R amp at a very attractive price:

    http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and...Guitar-Amp/AUM

    Seems to be something of a Blues Junior clone with 3 12AX7s and 2 6BQ5s (EL84s), but with a standby switch and claimed 20W output @ 5% THD into its 12" 8-ohm Celestion speaker. No reviews yet in the usual places. Anyone encountered this item?
     
  2. telbert twang

    telbert twang Member

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    Nov 29, 2008
    hi,

    any update on this amp by now ? Is it basically a BJr ? If not exactly, then what are the differences ? Looks a neat amp within this price range ...
     
  3. Tony474

    Tony474 Member

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    Still haven't been able to glean much first-hand information. I posted the same question on the TDPRI forum, and having found and described one on-line review in German, which fortunately I understand, was pleased when the reviewer himself chimed in on the thread, and in excellent English!

    Here's a link to that thread:

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-central-station/191187-belcat-tube-20r.html

    Meanwhile the UK price has risen slightly - partially because of a new, higher tax rate - but the amp still looks (on paper) like excellent value.

    Edit: I see you're already subscribed to that thread... Sorry I can't provide any more info at present.
     
  4. telbert twang

    telbert twang Member

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    Yes I am :)

    So far, it seems (from the couple shorter reviews) to have smoother overdrive tone (interesting, is it due to circuit difference, or rather the speaker/cabinet), and less clean headroom than the BJr. Lesser price tag as well, for sure :)
     
  5. telbert twang

    telbert twang Member

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  6. Tony474

    Tony474 Member

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    Newish review on YouTube (also posted on the TDPRI thread):

     
  7. Konrad72

    Konrad72 Member

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    Location:
    Taiwan
    I bought a Belcat 20r two days ago. I was using a 50r in the music shop were we use to practice, and it didn't give me any problem in the last months. So I decided to buy a 20r to play at home and at small gigs. I am pretty happy with this amp, so far. For me, the most important thing is that it sounds good with my Fulltone OCD. Here I recorded some random playing with the Belcat 20r, the OCD v4 in LP mode, a T-Rex Replica, and a touch of reverb from the amp itself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I4_MxacCCw
     
  8. telbert twang

    telbert twang Member

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    Konrad,

    How´s the amp , comparing to Blues Junior? Tonally, clean headroom, reverb quality, useable loudness wise? Has it perhaps got one notch less clean headroom , and tonally towards something ´marshally´ ?

    thanks!

    Telbert


     
  9. drtwaits13

    drtwaits13 Member

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    Jan 11, 2013
    I just got one of these today, not expecting much for the UK Price of £249 (only available from Gear 4 music at it happens).
    Well it is a surprise as it is really great.
    As I have never owned a Blues Junior I dont have a reference from that point of view but overall the amp is well made, has plenty of bottom end, the reverb is great (on about 2) and the controls all work well.
    It has a button for boost (not footswitchable) and the controls are L to R--GAIN, TREBLE, MIDDLE, BASS, MASTER, REVERB, Standby and main on/off.
    Very clean if the gain is kept low and master up.
    Crank the gain to full, engage boost, guitar on full and the master low you get some great bluesy break up (a little Marshally crunch if you like)
    Overall (not yet gigged) I am impressed for the money especially with a FBJ at nearly twice the price in the UK]
    Dave
     
  10. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Member

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    The innards are suspiciously similar to those of a BJr. If I had to take a guess they're either reverse engineered or come out the back door of the plant that makes them, or maybe Fender and whomever agreed to license them. I haven't seen or heard of anyone in the states carrying them.
     
  11. Konrad72

    Konrad72 Member

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    Location:
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    Sorry I missed your message! I've never owned a Fender BJ, but I had a chance to play it few times. They sound pretty similar. I can say I prefer the Belcat for some reason. I use my amps completely clean to stack different overdrives for my crunch and lead sound. The Belcat comes with a 80 watts speaker, and you can keep your sound very clean even if, like me, you play in a rock band. I like its responsiveness, especially for my picking. It takes pedal very well, too. Here in Taiwan they are pretty cheap. My buddy, a guy from Texas, bought the 50 watts version, and he is also very happy about it. He knows how to make pedals, guitars, and so on. He told me it is a simple but well built amp, with a lot of space inside, and easy to modify.
     
  12. stevierayb

    stevierayb Member

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    Jun 26, 2014
    sorry to resurrect an old thread , but i recently purchased a subzero 20r ( belcat 20r ) earlier this year after my blues junior died ! all i can say is that the 20r is better all round than the bj , better output valve retainers - better sound stock - louder . ive been gigging mine regularity all i did was swap out the stock vales/tubes for jj;s in my opinion the 20r is what the bj should be ! i keep ine clean with a Marshall bluesbreaker 2 pedal with a cv 50's strat
     
  13. Tony474

    Tony474 Member

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    Welcome to the forum. That's good to know and I'm glad you're happy with the amp, especially since you can do a direct (and favourable) comparison with the BJr. But you may be interested in this: http://www.ratvalveamps.com/subzero-tube-20r, in which the guy describes some upgrades he does to the stock SubZero amp. He sells the upgraded version at a very reasonable price, still less than a new Blues Junior for what looks like a superior product. If you're in the UK he may be able to apply similar upgrades to your own amp at an affordable cost.

    Meanwhile I still haven't bought one myself - I'm strongly attracted but I have probably too many amps already.
     

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