What amp is the Blues Jr. supposed to sound like?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Blue Tile Fever, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Blue Tile Fever

    Blue Tile Fever Member

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    Is it supposed to have a Blackface tone? Tweed tone? Some other kind of tone? What amp do you think it sounds like? I only ask because supposedly it was used extensively for the Son Volt OATMOR album and i LOVE the tones on there! But then i wonder was it modded in some way or plugged into some kind of extension cab. I just find it hard to believe that such a cheapo amp could sound so good :dunno
     
  2. Eric Dahlberg

    Eric Dahlberg Member

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    A stock Blues Jr. has some weird circuitry in-line but can still be dialed in to sound similar to a black face Fender. If it uses the same reverb circuit as the Hot Rod Deluxe, clipping out a single resistor will help immensely. It's a cool amp, in any case.

    Regarding an external cabinet, a lot can be helped by mic technique and selection in the recording process so you shouldn't use the album as a gauge of whether to use the internal speaker or not.
     
  3. hacker

    hacker Member

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    Blues Juniors and Pro Juniors have been used by a lot of pros, including Eric Clapton and Warren Haynes.
     
  4. Billm

    Billm Member

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    The Blues Junior is actually closer to the Bassman and its bigger siblings in the Hot Rod line, the Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe, because all of them have two stages of gain before the tone stack, then a blackface tone stack. Like the HRDx and BDx, it has a mids control and master volume.

    The Blues Junior takes mods beautifully, and can expand its range of available tones from crisp blackface to compressed tweed. I've modded many hundreds of them and I've never had a reason to clip a resistor in the reverb circuit.
     
  5. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Personally, I'm not a huge BJ fan but as far as knowledge of the amp, I don't know that you will ever find anyone more knowledgeable than Billm.

    http://billmaudio.com/wp/
     
  6. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    Yep I will agree with you there Bill knows that amp very well.... they should rename the amp the Bill Jr!!
     
  7. defiance

    defiance Member

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    not a bj fan?
     
    fridgit likes this.
  8. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I'm taking the BJr plunge tomorrow... I'm trading my VERY loud US made Blues Deville 4x10 in for a new MIM Blues Jr. I'm going to wait on the mods at first and take some time to tweak the amp in its stock form. After reading so much on TGP about this amp, I'm actually excited about a MIM product from Fender.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  9. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the pro jr was originally thought of as a descendant of the old white amps which were a fender student model I think.

    maybe the blues jr is an extension of that ?
     
  10. Billm

    Billm Member

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    It's really just a de-featured, lower-power Blues Deluxe.
     
  11. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I've owned both. Features aside, I did not view their tone as comparable at all (YMMV which is always cool). :)
     
  12. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I knew someone who respond with this! In context, it should be clear what my comment addresses. :D
     
  13. OnlyVees

    OnlyVees Member

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    Funny you should mention that album... I just bought a used Route 66 pedal that I run in front of my little Super Champ XD on the BF channel. It gets really close to a lot of sounds on that record. (with my Fender Jag of all things)

    Much respect for the Blues Junior. I should have bought the used LTD tweed unit that I spotted recently. Who knew a Fender with EL84's could sound so good.
     
  14. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

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    The thing I like about the PJ is that when you get the volume about half way up, increasing it doesn't really get much louder, it just gets more saturated. It's a great little amp for home playing, kind of tweedish, unlike the Blues Jr, which I would say is more Blackface in response. One of each is a good mix.

    Al
     
  15. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    Circuitwise, this is certainly true, though tonewise, there seems to be a bigger difference between my two Blues Jr's and original '93 Blues Deluxe.

    One tone characteristic they both have in common is the many non-Fender characteristics they both have when driven hard.

    The Blues Jr is extremely touch sensitive and articulate, much like an old tweed Deluxe, though with a strong EL84 vibe, making it a kind of a tweed Fender/Vox-ish hybrid amp when driven hard (back to the OP - there really isn't ONE amp that the BJ sounds like, IMO). This quality also makes it different than most blackface and silverface Fenders, which have their own cool thing happening. (I've owned a boat load of old blackface and silverface Fenders in the past 34 years).

    OTOH, using the Blues Jr as a clean amp reveals that strong Fender clean thing we're all familiar with, and so does the Blues Deluxe, for that matter.

    The Blues Deluxe's difference becomes apparent to me when I overdrive the clean channel or use pedals with its clean channel; It starts to go in a JTM45 direction, tone wise. Also very cool, and unlike a lot of Fenders we all know and love.

    And I love the mid controls on both BJ's and BDx's, and find them to be very useful.

    Wish the BJ had a presence control too, but its absence doesn't really seem to detract.
     
  16. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    You do know there's a BillM mod for adding a presence control, right?
     
  17. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    Yep, but like I said, its absence doesn't detract. No disrespect to Bill's mods, some of which I've heard, played and liked, but I actually like the stock amp with just a speaker and tube upgrade (and a proper biasing).

    I mention this because I believe this is really a good amp on its own.
     

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