Blues Jr IV vs III

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DSL74, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. DSL74

    DSL74 Member

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    Anyone try the new BJR IV model yet? Saw this comparison and the III and IV sounded very different, but neither sounded that great to me, in this demo anyway. The IV sounded kind of muffled, not much mid range and the III way too bright. Curious, if the reverb on the IV sounds better in person than the older models did.

     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  2. ant_riv

    ant_riv Supporting Member

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    Thanks for sharing the video!

    I haven't tried the IV yet, but I have a III.

    Quick listen to the posted video makes me think the III would sit better in a live band mix, letting the bass hold down the low end. The added fullness of the IV would sound better playing at home or alone/small combo where there isn't a bass to compete in the low frequencies.

    I'm going to seriously consider getting a IV and running them in stereo!
     
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  3. Rockerduck

    Rockerduck Member

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    I use two Blues jr 3's and they cut through a band mix fine. They keep up with a loud drummer. With the particle board built cabinet on the 4 's, I would guess they aren't road friendly and plus I hope they are waterproof, if you've ever seen particle board get wet you'll know. I'm also dubious on it standing up to loud spl's.
     
  4. skiltrip

    skiltrip Member

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    I had a Blues Junior a number of years ago, pretty sure it was what is the considered the "II". I just recently bought a blonde tolex "III". The Blues Junior sound has always been very specific to my ears. Not at all a do-it-all amp by any means, but one with a real cutting mid-heavy, trebly crack that sounded incredibly good when that's what you were looking for. Never dished out bass well through it's own cabinet, but plugged into a nice Avatar 2x12, it turned into a different amp altogether. One thing I've always loved about the III and previous, is the washy surfy reverb. It was and is the most affordable way to get a real Fender Spring reverb tank in an amp, and it sounds killer.

    I feel like the IV, from what I've heard in demos, neuters the Blues Junior to make it more of a do-it-all amp and a master of none. I don't like the tamed reverb on it. I don't like the generically balanced sound it seems to have. I have a cheap Bugera amp that does all that. It's not awesome at anything, but does everything pretty well. I want my Blues Junior to be a little obnoxious and edgy.

    Basically, I was nervous about recently buying a III when I heard the IV announced, but I think I'm all good! Really disliking the IV reverb most of all. If I want more subtle reverb, I'll use a pedal or something.
     
  5. matt denembo

    matt denembo Member

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    I have a total different opinion. I have a Blues jr. iii and just got the Blues jr. iv. The iv sounds way better than my iii in every way. There is more bottom end, no more ice picky treble, the reverb is warm and round and sounds correct, not like the tiny washy reverb on the iii. The overdrive is a lot tighter, and the bass end doesn’t fart out as bad. I think the modified pre amp and new A-type speaker helps with that. And yes it does cut through the mix very well. I highly recommend this amp.
     
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  6. gabipe15

    gabipe15 Member

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    I have the blues jr III. If you set the volume low, and work the master volume up, and your eq to taste, its a great loud amp. Especially for cleans and bluesy or classic rock sounds, with any pedal you like. Only thing i did was replacing the tubes with Groove Tubes.
     
  7. mdrake34

    mdrake34 Member

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    I think I'm about to spring for a IV.
     
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  8. picnic

    picnic Supporting Member

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    A cabinet construction snob here. Particle board is a deal killer for me. The cab doesn't have to be 7 ply Baltic birch, plywood or pine are fine. If Fender made the amp just an inch or two deeper, it would create a much richer sound. I've had BJ's over the years and the amps are useful and served their purpose for me. Cost control gets in the way of quality here. Raise the price $50 and get $200+ in sound value
     
  9. Bloomfield fan

    Bloomfield fan Silver Supporting Member

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    If Fender would make a Blues Junior Plus, lets say sells for $850 and has a pine cabinet, upgraded speaker, slightly upgraded components/wiring (so they are more reliable) I think a lot of people would be very interested.
     
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  10. DSL74

    DSL74 Member

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    Bump, anyone else have a BJr IV? Was thinking about getting an Origin for home use only, but with all the mixed reviews, not sure about it. Maybe a BJr IV w/a MIAB might work better for me, even though it is not quite the same.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  11. Pongo

    Pongo Member

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    Owner of a III and IV here.

    I've never loved the Blues Jr., but it easily wins as my all-time "most liked" smallish amp, if that makes sense, and the IV is unquestionably the best of the bunch.

    The IV has:
    • A better speaker. It's still boxy... but it's a warmer, fuller boxy.
    • Better reverb. More responsive (i.e. less all-or-nothing) and organic sounding (how spring reverb feels "natural" is beyond me, but there it is)...
    • Improved gain. It's a little snarlier as well as more articulate; I'd like to say there's more gain on hand, too, but it might be just the fact that I've actually liked it enough to use it on the IV?
    • Sturdier build. It's also advertised as being lighter, though I did not notice a difference. Not sure a pound or two matters that much with an amp this small.
    • Aesthetic improvements. I'm one of those silly people who actually got excited over the new knobs.
    Now, at this point, you may be thinking "Wow, the IV is better in so many ways! It must blow the III away!" but it's not like any of these improvements are epic. Taken as a whole, the IV is a significant improvement over the III, but it's not going to change your life upgrading to the newer model. They're still essentially the same amp, with the same set of strengths and drawbacks as before.
     
  12. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    I own a pair of the IIIs and replaced the stock speakers and tubes, they sound great played together. Have not heard the IVs and not going to.
     
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  13. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    Isn't there a Blues Jr Tweed III with a Jensen speaker. How does that stack up against the IV?
     
  14. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes there is a Tweed one which sounds good, mine I have the speaker and tubes replacemend as well. My plan is to hook up all three Jrs and play them all, two would be in stereo and the third I sm thinking how I could switch in or switch between,,
     
  15. Rotter89

    Rotter89 Member

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    I believe this incarnation of the junior is amazing, I had a princeton 68 and I know everyone believes these amps to be a legendary tone machine. This junior to my mind does so much more, clean, dirty, crunch or jazz lows it can produce the lot. I have had more fun in 2 months with junior 4 than 12 months of frustration with my princeton.
    It just sings with master high and volume low and vice versa, the reverb is also so perfect. Noise floor is low and pedals sound awesome. I can not speak more highly of this amp, I am a hobiest and it has brought joy to my evenings. Well done fender.
     
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  16. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    As some have mentioned, one of the keys to any Blues Junior is to run that master high (if not full up) and use the volume knob to control your level - it vastly improves the overall tone IMO... even reducing some of the boxiness a bit

    Also prefer the boost switch in with single coils, but off with humbuckers

    Have had several Juniors over the years, in various permutations, including the mkIII when it first came out (too trebly and thin for my tastes), but the reviews of the new mkIV definitely has my interest peaked again
     
  17. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    Highly recommend checking out the BJr IV, I bought one as a pedal platform amp and amazed at how much better it handles pedals compared to the previous versions I had.
     
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  18. mdrake34

    mdrake34 Member

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    I recently picked up a tweed BJ that I already have listed for sale because of my harsh my pedals sound through it.
     
  19. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    I cant say that about the BJr IV, what speaker is in the Tweed and what version?
     
  20. mdrake34

    mdrake34 Member

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    It's the NOS Tweed, not the III Laquered Tweed. Previous owner put a Celestion g12-35x 90th anniversary because he found the stock Jensen too bright, but I find the Celestion incredibly harsh. He put tungsol and jj's in it too.
     

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