Epiphone Valve Jr- YOUR live gig amp ??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by electricfactory, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. electricfactory

    electricfactory Supporting Member

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    I know there was a thread on this subject awhile back but I couldn't find it- is anyone using one of the Epi Valve Jr head/ cab combos for their pick up and go gig amp ?

    I went into GC today and plugged into one for the first time- wow.
    I was surprised by how loud this amp was, and how cheap it is !

    I'd like to hear from anyone using this amp for more than a bedroom amp, particularly from those who have them and mod-ed them.

    Would anyone put this amp on par with the Fender Blues Jr.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  2. JStizz

    JStizz Member

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    well, i just bought one this week and ill be taking it to a gig tomorrow morning for a worship service. i played it last night in band practice and with the right pedals it can do almost anything. we've got a couple REALLY heavy songs and it killed those songs with my RC booster.

    i can also clean up my RC booster a bit and use the amp as a great reverb-y light-breakup style amp for worship gigs. its a really versatile amp that gets great early-breakup at low volumes due to its low wattage. im really kind of excited to take it to its first gig.

    when i compared it with a Fender Blues Jr. i will say that the Fender is much clearer sounding and still gets a great sound. its got a bigger speaker as well so its got a much tighter bottom end. but at less than half the price of one of those, the Epi got my vote. plus, i like how it sags.
     
  3. DIXØN

    DIXØN Member

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    I've modded mine for more gain, however I would recommend if you're doing this as well, to upgrade the output tx, which I still need to do, as the bass response on the stock one is next to bugger all, and palm muting gets REALLY farty even through a 2x12 Laney. Oh yeah, go for the head version. That way you can use any cabinet.
     
  4. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

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    What worked good for us was to junk the tubes.
    1. JAN 5751 preamp
    2. JJ EL84
    3. If it is a head your options are vast. We have found that a 1x12 or 2x10 is perfect.
    4. If it is a combo you can do the same thing really, just bi-pass the on- board speaker and plug into an ex cab. If you like the combo, junk the stock speaker and buy something decent. There is a lot more headroom in these if you just give them a chance.
    Good Luck
     
  5. electricfactory

    electricfactory Supporting Member

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    Wow, I was beginning to think there was no Epi Valve Jr love at all !

    It seems most of you are mod-ing these for higher gain, but a tube switch would achieve the same thing ? To EL 34 for more Marshall-tone ?

    By the way is anyone familiar with this guys VJ mod-ing ? I just found this link, would love to hear any field reports.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...5&_trkparms=algo=SI&its=I&itu=UCI&otn=4&ps=42
     
  6. HEAVENandHELL

    HEAVENandHELL Member

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    I have the Valve Jr. head version that I run through a Mesa 3/4 back 1x12 with Black Shadow speaker. I've changed the OT and swapped a few resistors to give it more input signal.

    I've yet to use this amp at a gig, but I've used it at many practices with full band and drummer. Everyone is always surprised at just how loud that 5W amp is! I know I was as I was expecting to be able to crank it at home and still hear the TV. Nope!

    This amp has a fantastic overdriven sound that I'm using in a Who tribute band currently. Then if you need more drive you have to add pedals. The only downside I see to this amp is its lack of clean headroom (if that is what you need). Once you get up to gig volume, you likely won't have much of a clean tone with such a small amp. At least that has been my experience here.

    I do use a Genz BP30 in 8W mode that still delivers the clean goods at gig volume so I guess it is possible!

    I love my valve jr though!
     
  7. electricfactory

    electricfactory Supporting Member

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    Would anyone here call the VJ a ' mini Marshall ' ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  8. richey88

    richey88 Member

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    Gigged with 'em many times (usually had a SCXD thru a 4 x 12 to fatten it up....). They're on sale at GC for like 225 for the head and cab, I sold mine to finance some other GAS but may have to get another.....
     
  9. JStizz

    JStizz Member

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    no, i would certainly not consider this a mini-marshall. its too American sounding to be Marshall-like. its drive sounds more Fender to my ears and its a VERY fat sounding amp
     
  10. jefesq

    jefesq Gold Supporting Member

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  11. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Our lead player has used one on smaller stages with good monitor mixes. It worked alright, but the dispersion wasn't great on stage. FOH tone was awesome. However, he had NOTHING in the way of clean headroom, I mean NOTHING. It was all saturation. Granted, great tone, but complete saturation.

    So, I guess my point is, it's great for driven tube tone, not so great for dynamics, and you will have to rely heavily on your monitor mix for medium/large stages.
     
  12. Deadduck

    Deadduck Member

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    I play a Gibson GA-5 at church, which is similar to the Valve Jr. combo, but hand wired. I think the Gibby has more clean headroom and is bigger sounding. It really sounds good through a 1x12 cab.
    I have a Valve Jr. combo too, but haven't used it live.
     
  13. rock_mumbles

    rock_mumbles Member

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    I own two modded EVJ's, that the guitar player in our blues / rock trio plays.

    "B" is a v2 head that I bought on ebay that came with some uninstalled Bitmo mod kits. It now has a Hammond 125ESE output transformer, a Tung-Sol gold pin ECC803s and a JJ EL84, two Bitmo mods, the Bitmo Tone Control a switchable tweed like tone control, and the Bitmo Voicing / Gain Switch. I also changed R8 to 1.5K, R9 to 1K and C5 to 1000uF. I don't remember if I switched out C1 and C2 with better caps. We run it with an open back 1 - 12 cabinet with a Celestion G12K-85. For smaller gigs this amp is used solo with the Gain/Voice switch in the middle setting for a great bluesy rock tone.

    "A" is a v3 head with a Phillips JAN 5751 and a JJ EL84. For it I bought the Bitmo combination Tone Control + Tweaky kit and used the Swanky mode. The Tweaky kit in the Swanky (blackface) mode and the 5751 cleans up the amp and give a bit more cleaner headroom. I replaced C1 with an Orange Drop 715 0.022uf and C2 with a Mallory 150 0.022uf
    because that's what I had around replaced C5 with a 1000uf cap, replaced R14 with a 270ohm and replaced R10 with a 470ohm. This amp is ran through an open back cabinet with an Eminence alnico 1028K 10" speaker. This amp has a completely different feel and tone than amp "B".
    With the mods to clean it up, and with the 10" alnico speaker this thing has a lot of "punch" out front.

    Playing larger shows we use both amps and mike up both amps, when we use the dual amp setup amp "b" has the gain/voicing switch in the third, highest gain setting. The two amps really compliment each other, one amp is cleaner and punchier, the other amp has more scream and bite.

    That's probably more than anyone wants to read.... Oh well
     
  14. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    I use mine in the studio and it's great. I have the head and cab setup with a greenback in the cab and a 12at7 in the pre slot. It's great with a Barber DD in front of it. Very nice actually. :)
     
  15. mike80

    mike80 Member

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    I just got one a few weeks ago. I'm looking at modding it. I was blown away by how loud it is. I plugged it into my Mesa 4x12 at practice the day after I got it, and it was loud enough I could use it at practice.
     
  16. flat_broke

    flat_broke Member

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    i use one at my church. run the head through a 2x12, sometimes 1x12 cab. drives the cab great. i use a large pedalboard so it's simplicity is perfect. we mic everything at my church so it works great there. but it gets loud enough that it would work great for small gigs.
     
  17. richey88

    richey88 Member

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    Well here I am again. I got a Bitmo-modded (top boost and Spanky mods) head. I can't stay awayfrom these! Nothing against boutique stuff, I just can't afford it. I've gigged with it twice now, the top boost mod gives it some extra oomph, and I added a JJ ECC83 and a Sovtek EL84. Sounds killer. I can use it by itself with a 12" speaker for smaller gigs (with pedals of course). I've tried an EI (Yugoslav tube) and Mesa EL84. Any recommendations for inexpensive tubes to try?
     
  18. HEAVENandHELL

    HEAVENandHELL Member

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    I had a few moments alone last night so I broke out my Valve Jr. and ran it through my Mesa 4x12 with V30s. At volume around 9 o'clock I was pretty bummed as the sound was very dull like I had turned the treble down on my guitar. (I usually run this amp through a 1x12 Mesa cab with the black shadow 90W speaker) However, when I cranked the amp's volume the sound became a fantastic, full crunch that I WILL be using on a recording soon! Problem is that there is only 1 sound once you crank it because there is no headroom on these little amps! Of course, what do you expect from a 1-channel, $100 amp! In short, I love my valve Jr.
     
  19. scott58

    scott58 Member

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    I've got the V3 head/cab and have gigged with it twice (mic'd both times) and am getting ready to do a 3rd in a couple of weeks I run it in conjunction with a POD XT Live. With the amp models you can make this thing sound like just about anything you want it to. I think it's great, but would like a better cab over the stock eminence lady luck. Maybe a 1x15. For the cash though you really can't beat it.
     
  20. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    I just bought one today at my local GC. Head and cab for $250 out the door! And to think I was ready to get a Fender Blues Jr. for like $600 until the salesman showed me this baby. Wow. I know I have a lot to figure out with it, and I don't know if I'll end up doing any mods, but dang, what a great-sounding and beautiful-looking little amp. The only place I gig at the moment is a small club and this will be more than enough.

    I just wish it had reverb. :BluesBros

    The pic shows the amp, a frankenstein Ibanez Artist 2618, and my effects (Tuner, Boss DD, and Ibanez Chorus, TS-9 and Demon Wah).

    [​IMG]
     

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