Fender Blues Jr. am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Ozo_TheCanadian, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Ozo_TheCanadian

    Ozo_TheCanadian Member

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    I have a Fender Blues Jr that I am using in my band. The band is getting quite serious so I thought it might be time to upgrade to a more "professional" amp. So I brought in a boutique amp that is made by a local guy and I was finding the tone to be not as good as my blues jr, the mids were flat and it was dirtier than I like, my tone for the band is a clean tone about 80% of the time. Soon I found that I was just trying to make this boutique amp sound like my blues jr. I've heard things about the fail rate of blues jrs and such. So my question is this; Should I stick with the blues jr or would it not be reliable to take on the road and be a workhorse for years? If it's not reliable, what kind of amp should I be looking at to replace it? Thanks y'all.
     
  2. mcuguitar

    mcuguitar Gold Supporting Member

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    I've owned 2 different Blues Juniors. The first one was U.S.A. made, and sounded great. But it started having mechanical issues. Sold it to get a Mexican made Blues Jr., that was shrill sounding in comparison to the first. Sold that one and I haven't looked back since. Great amps when they're working correctly.
     
  3. stratpaulguy86

    stratpaulguy86 Member

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    If you play mostly clean, how about a vintage Deluxe Reverb or Vibrolux?
     
  4. Ozo_TheCanadian

    Ozo_TheCanadian Member

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    I've considered it, how do the reissues of the Deluxe Reverb sound?
     
  5. Ben Sp

    Ben Sp Member

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    I'd stick with the Blues Jr. It's the sound that's working for you and the band. Get it checked over by a tech.
    I've heard mixed reviews in the Deluxe Reissues, but who knows.
    The Blues Jr is a popular amp for a reason. It works


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. stratpaulguy86

    stratpaulguy86 Member

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    The '68 Silverface RI DEL
     
  7. stratpaulguy86

    stratpaulguy86 Member

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    The '68 Silverface RI Deluxe Reverbs are nice , but a good vintage example is likely better in my experience.
     
  8. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Agree with this. If it ain't broke....
     
  9. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I learned that once you like a given amp tone, when you go to another amp, you are comparing that amp's sound to what you used to play.
    My advice, from almost 60 years of playing is to try different amps out.
    Don't only look at Fenders, but see if another amp company that is a known quantity, not a local boutique type, has a sound that you like.

    Remember that it may take some playing time to "get used too" the sound from a different amp. However once you have done this often enough, you begin to adapt to the changes faster and more easily.

    One thing you want to do is find a reliable amp that can take road abuse.
    I work out 2-4 times per week, but I take care of my gear and have not had an amp go down on me unless it was the wiring in the club which caused it to happen.
    If you like Fenders and can deal with tube failure, I wouyld suggest trying to find a point to point version of the Deluxe, or Vibrolux, if you like that sound. These amps tend to outlast everything else.

    Your biggest problem will be blown tubes and re-biasing. There can be other solutions to your question, but each one will have some sort of trade-off, which only you can decide on.
    An inexpensive solution would be a Fender Mustang, but you will need to tweak it a bit possibly.

    If you can afford it and can do computer tweaking, look at a Kemper. There, you will be able to keep an incredible amount of amp sounds, all tweakable, and all similar in type if you so desire, but just different enough for your personal taste, as you set up each type for your personal preference. In there you can keep a Blues Jr, or as many different sounding Blues Jr.s as you desire too.
     
  10. OllieDox

    OllieDox Member

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    Just a thought - you are familiar with and like the sound of the Blues Jr, you are just concerned about its reliability. Maybe consider picking up another one for redundancy? I'd guess that it would be less expensive to buy a new one and keep both then to sell your existing amp and buy a boutique amp.

    They are relatively cheap, can be found everywhere and are really compact. Having a redundant backup amp will be a better solution than having one 'reliable' amp. And really, I wouldn't consider a Blues Jr particularly unreliable amp.
     
  11. IndyMead

    IndyMead Member

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    I love my blues jr. I'd ride it out. How clean do you need to be? IMO the blues really shines when doing that broken up classic rock tone. Then if you hit it with a tube screamer it sounds amazing. But that's only if its already broken up.
     
  12. lustycourtier

    lustycourtier Member

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    Well you clearly like the sound of EL84s, so why change that? Try a Vox, Maybe a Laney Lionheart or even a Bad Cat.
     
  13. IM4Tone

    IM4Tone Member

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    ^^ Good advice already posted. Fender sells so many amps, and BJr.'s in particular, that you're bound to hear/read accounts of some problems. I think they're quite minimal and not likely more than brand "X". I've had no problems with mine over a 6 or 7 year period, but then I have a number of amps in my 'rotation' (based on my fickle preferences month to month).

    Used BJr.'s can be had for $300 to $350 and are very readily available. If it gives you 'your sound', stick with it!
     
  14. Johnny2013

    Johnny2013 Member

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    blues jr has el 84's but IMO it doesn't sound anything like a Vox or other british sounding amps. it still sounds american to me.

     
  15. sadhudude

    sadhudude Member

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    I don't think you are crazy Ozo. I have owned a range of amps from Marshall, Fender, Peavey, Orange , Laney and others over the years (40) and my current Blues Junior is giving me what I have been looking for for quite a while*. Admittedly I have done the basic Billm tone stack and power supply stiffening mods and also put in an Eminence GB128 but I only made these changes because it was in the right ball park to begin with. Great little amp in a convenient compact package.

    As someone suggested above, I have also considered getting a second as a backup and also so that I can run a pair at larger gigs.

    *of course getting to know what I was looking for really helped
     
  16. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    Paraphrasing from Trey of Phish, but it's better to know your gear inside and out than to have the most expensive gear.

    If your blue junior is working for you, just get a 2nd one as a backup. If you can be satisfied with one amp, I am jealous. I like variety and that is expensive whether you go the tube amp route or digital route.
     
  17. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    I think its a great little amp.

    Get a second one for backup/dual amp rig. Consider some of the Bill M mods and maybe a speaker swap and thats about it.
     
  18. axdxm

    axdxm Silver Supporting Member

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    I liked the blues jr. but cleans is not its forte, esp at band levels. The blues deluxe has the same character, but with more headroom.
     
  19. twostring

    twostring Member

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    I'd say maybe try a Morgan PR12 or DAG15 if you can find one around. I've tried both, and both were very close to nabbing the things I liked in my modded Blues Jr. (dialed in for just a little breakup usually, but not horrible on pure clean tones...I get my cleans by knocking my guitar volume back just a bit).

    That said, nothing wrong with the Blues Jr. I sold the Morgan, but still have the BJr. Maybe just get another off of Craigslist for a backup. I'd also recommend the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe...excellent gigging amp, pretty resilient, and a really great clean tone once you put a decent set of tubes in.
     
  20. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    I have two Fender Blues Jr amps and love them both, both have been reliable. If you want to upgarde, then a Fender DRRI, a Fender Princeton RI, or Fender Vibrolux Custom RI are all good choices and there are many others as well.
     

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