Trading stock HRDIII for modded BJ III.... Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by yeatzee, Dec 7, 2016.

Am I crazy for considering trading a stock HRDIII for a modded BJ III ?

  1. YES

  2. No

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  1. yeatzee

    yeatzee Member

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    My first tube amp I bought was the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III. I got it because thats what everyone I knew used and its what I borrowed for a long time to play on Sunday's. I bought it new for a great deal and used it every week for a couple years until I started wanting more from my amp. I was over lifting and carrying the ~50 pound amp several times a week to/from rehearsal and church and wanted a less sterile clean tone. I ended up picking up a new AC10 and couldn't be happier. Its got the exact clean tone I love, edge of breakup with some dynamics and it weighs under 30 pounds and is loud enough for rehearsals and is always Mic'd for actual performances. This has left the HRDIII collecting dust for over a year I'd say. Recently I've started recording and getting into running both amps together which creates a really cool massive sound. Furthermore I've gotten into setting the two amps as a wet/dry rig and those sounds have really floored me. The problem is that the HRDIII is extremely loud and way to big/heavy to load with the AC10 in my truck for live stuff so its relegated to collecting dust or being used sparingly on some recordings.

    My thought is that I would greatly benefit from having a second small amp to pair with the AC10 and could potentially bring both to play live if I wanted leading me to here. I have thought about selling the amp but the market for HRDIII's is pathetic, they go for dirt cheap used... ~$400 mark on craigslist. For $400 I can't really buy much to replace it so I thought about just doing a trade and posted an ad on craigslist. One day goes by and I've got an offer to trade straight across for a Blues Jr III with this massive list of mods (+ a mod reverb tank apparently). He told me he wanted to work on a deluxe to modify / learn how to make it better for customers.

    I know nothing about what any of the above means but apparently most of it falls under Billm mod territory and the rest is just to give it more reliable components. Stock speaker. Anyways I'm not sure how to value any of this, but the guy knows what he's talking about and builds/mods amps/pedals and talked on the phone with me for an hour about all of the above. I don't necessarily care about straight across equal value I just want to know if this makes the amp more or less valuable and if you with experience with the modded BJ or both the HRDIII/BJ can give me some insight on the differences/ how the amp behaves and whether you think it'd be a good fit. Basically I'm looking for a clean reverb/delay/pedal platform to pair with a vox AC10 running fairly hot. Back when I was searching for a new amp I compared the BJ and AC10 and much preferred the AC10 but as a complimentary amp Im thinking I might love it, and with the mods surely it should sound better...right?

    Am I crazy?
     
  2. AD1982

    AD1982 Member

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    They definitely aren't the same amp. The BJ doesn't do pedals as well as the HRD. The reverb isn't as good. I wouldn't do it. Keep the HRD for when you need to be louder than the AC10.
     
    muzishun likes this.
  3. Judge Smails

    Judge Smails Member

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  4. Rockerduck

    Rockerduck Member

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    I swapped a HRD 3 for the Blues jr. 3 Tweed. But, I also have a TRRI and DRRI. The TRRI is way better than the HRD; I was hoping for a lighter twin sound. The Blues jr. 3 stock is a lightweight gig amp that, when played at gig volume, sounds great. Reverb is not a quality I look for in a amp. The Blues jr. 3 takes speaker swaps wonderfully, to change the character and a tubescreamer is all that's needed to sound good. I also am well aware that I sound the same on any good amp.
     
  5. HTSMetal

    HTSMetal Member

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    If it's easier for you to transport and you like how it sounds, heck yeah, do it.

    I'm currently playing with a Motown tribute act, and they have an early 70's all-original Silverface Pro Reverb as part of their backline. Beautiful amp. I've been using it at rehearsal and it sounds fine, but the other day I brought my totally stock Blues Junior (albeit with a stock Cannabis Rex speaker) and used it instead -- I swear every single person commented on how much better and more "present" the guitar tone sounded that day.

    I've said it before to many Blues Junior naysayers -- there's a reason that the Blues Junior is the top-selling tube amp of all time, and it isn't just because it's inexpensive. The darned thing sounds great in many contexts with the correct EQ tweaks (and cranking the Master Volume is absolutely key). There's no hard and fast rule that any given amp is going to be better than another just because of its prestige among tonehounds; it's all about how you use an amp to fill your sonic space.

    If it works for you and benefits your situation, then do it!
     
  6. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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    tricked out BJs are a dime a dozen and id value them slightly less than a stock BJ.

    if its better for your needs great, go for it but IMO the other guy is getting a much better deal.
     
  7. DeVilleDude

    DeVilleDude Member

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    I'd sell the HRD and buy a BJ, but that's just me.
     
  8. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't do it. If I were you I would sell the HRDIII then look for a used DRRI or PRRI to run with your AC10. That would be a killer sound IMHO.

    I own a glorified BJr and it's completely stock. The shortcomings of a standard BJr are in the cabinet, plus folks not turning on the fat switch and leaving it on. My CS Two Tone has a larger pine cabinet and both a 12" & 10" speaker... no mods needed.

     
    RayBarbeeMusic and Rhythm Rocker like this.
  9. Vibroluxman

    Vibroluxman Member

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    If all blues juniors looked like that I would probably have bought one already lol
     
    Ilduce, FenderBigot and Rhythm Rocker like this.
  10. I am the Liquor

    I am the Liquor Member

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    Have you tried the new Bassman's?

    If you think the resale for your HRD is iffy, just wait till you try and sell your Frankenstein BJ.

    Hells to the no would I recommend that trade.
     
  11. BlackStrat_Fan

    BlackStrat_Fan Member

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    Best gear move I ever made was trading my new tweed BJr for a HRDLX. Second best was trading my HRDLX in towards a new DRRI.
     
  12. yeatzee

    yeatzee Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses guys. I've done some more research and decided I'm going to just do it. There's no use in having an amp that big that I don't use and do not like the sound of. I only enjoy it in combination with the AC10 where any benefits it has over the BJ 3 would be inaudible (besides pure volume). Not only that the HRDIII's just sit on Craigslist at $400-450, and don't sell unless they are posted for $350 or so it seems. Plus the reverb on mine isn't working. I refuse to sell amps online because shipping sounds like an expensive nightmare and the liability of broken stuff doesn't sound appealing so I'm only concerned with my local market (where BJ's sell for the same price or more it seems... the HRDIII used is really a GREAT value it seems).

    Inboard reverb doesn't matter because it'd be mostly used live as a fully wet amp, as long as it takes pedals roughly as well as any other fender it'll take them better than the Vox. I never need to be louder than the AC10 since everywhere I play I get Mic'd up in the PA.

    Yeah I'm not necessarily looking for a better amp than the HRD, just something smaller that approximates the clean tone / pedal platform performance. It'll never be played by itself I don't think, I just prefer Vox sounds by themselves, but as a combo with the Vox I just need it to play the fender side of things fairly ordinarily.

    Online marketplaces yes, but on craigslist where I tend to do all of my deals there isn't one in my area. I'm thinking in a local market they'd sell for more. If it were purely about the deal you'd be right, at face value the HRD is "worth more" in a vacuum, but to me its been basically worthless because of its size/weight/volume. I've just come to the conclusion that I'd rather save the hassle of selling the amp for a month or more on craigslist and then trying to buy a used amp with whatever money I'm left with from the sale. :dunno

    The problem is that they just don't sell for what a BJ goes for in my area. If they had a good resale It'd have been sold long ago since I never used it for basically a year. There isn't even a BJ on craigslist right now in my area which tells me, considering their popularity, they sell faster than the Hot Rods. Would you prefer a stock BJ over the modded one? I have no experience with them but it seems that everyone mods their eventually.

    A used DRRI or PRRI is going to cost double what I could realistically sell the HRDIII for, and only the Princeton meets my size/weight desires. I don't want to spend any additional money right now. One thing that really interests me down the road is getting a stereo 2x12 that I could plug both amps into which should make both sound better being in a bigger cabinet... but then I'm back to carrying heavy stuff again :brick

    A bassman is bigger, heavier, and louder than the HRDIII... and costs much more. Again the Vox is my core tone, I have no desire running a fender core tone I just want a complimentary tone to the vox in stereo or wet/dry rig situations. Super overkill

    I think the key that I'm getting is that people are considering the HRDIII as my main amp, its not. As soon as I got the AC10 it got put in a dusty corner and sat there for a year. Its to big, to loud, to heavy, and to sterile sounding on its own for me. I went to vox and couldn't be happier, however I've recently gotten into two amp rigs which is why this came up. Fender and vox seem to sound great together in stereo, by replacing the big HRDIII with a small BJIII I am hoping to get the same sounds in a smaller package. The individual minute characteristics of either amp is washed away when both are played at the same time, I'm just hoping the BJ can fit the fender role like the HRD did for recordings and maybe now live since I have room to fit the AC10/BJ while I dont have the room for the AC10/HRD.

    Again thanks for all of the responses guys. I realize the trade does seem a little crazy (hence the thread!) but after thinking about it more it makes more sense to me to do it than it does to hold off. The guy is coming by in a couple hours and we'll play both amps so we'll see if I made the right choice or not :anon
     
  13. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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  14. lostpoet2

    lostpoet2 Supporting Member

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    You should still consider a larger solid pine cabinet and new 12" speaker (ET65, Cannabis Rex, etc.) for the Blues Junior.
     
  15. AD1982

    AD1982 Member

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    Which will push the price up to a used Princeton or Deluxe Reverb.
     
  16. yeatzee

    yeatzee Member

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    and make it heavier / bigger. As a secondary tone is any of that really going to shine through? I guess im hedging on the fact that it doesnt
     
  17. BlackStrat_Fan

    BlackStrat_Fan Member

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    If the HRDLX sounds sterile to you you should look into the biasing, or tubes. What the HRDLX does best is delivers a great clean tone, perfect for pedal platforms. I know this is not your intention, but with some maintenance it can be used the way you want.

    If it's just a smaller Fender amp you want - look into a Princeton Reverb. LOT better amp.
     
  18. yeatzee

    yeatzee Member

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    Sterile to me is most pure clean tones. Just not my style, I much prefer a "clean" tone that has some dynamics, some breakup if I pick hard with full guitar volume.. hence vox. I like my amps to have some character, the HRDIII imo had/has none.

    Anyways the guy came over and we A/B'd them for about an hour through my pedal board and I ended up trading. The main difference in the room was the low end, which the HRDIII has in spades. More of a neussance than a bonus in a live band context really so that doesn't make much difference to me. Apart from that the HRDIII on the clean channel set with a volume at about three is about as loud as the BJ will go "clean" which should be fine since thats the max I ever ran the HRD at. I played it only by cranking the master and raising the volume control until it was loud enough to roughly match (around 3/4). When the BJ started to breakup it was pretty nasty to my ears, which goes in line with the HRDIII breakup sound unless cranked on the clean channel (which actually sounds good but is ridiculously loud) so thats par for the course. Apart from that it took my pedals okay, reverb sounded good as did delay, but drive pedals clearly sounded better in the HRD (I'd say the BJ had some fizziness... could maybe dial that out but I'll have to play with it). That may or may not be an issue but we'll see... so often isolated guitar tracks don't sound good outside of a band mix so having a different sound to the vox, though less pleasant to the ears by itself, might really work with the AC10 on at the same time. More on that later as I play with it. Size wise its obviously a huge upgrade for me.
     
  19. AD1982

    AD1982 Member

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    The perfect thing for you sounds like an always on Timmy or Wampler Euphoria. That'll give you exactly what you want.
     

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