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Blues Junior?


phil325

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it's about time i upgrade to tube...i was lookin through ebay and found this one

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&item=320330903404

 

it's been like this for like a day and i was wonderin what blues juniors would go for. i see them between $380-500 all over the place.

 

if i do spring for one, should i replace the tubes or speaker? if so what do you prefer

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Hi Phil,

 

I don't see anything on that link - maybe it was removed?

 

The Fender Blues Junior is a nice little amp for either playing at home or small gigs. I use to have one (NOS version) but sold it because I have a couple other amps and needed to make a little more room in my apartment (live in NYC so space can be tight). I sold it on craigslist for $400, so you're in the right ballpark w/your numbers.

 

As for tubes/speaker, if you get the NOS version w/the Jensen speaker, then I'd leave the speaker as is - it's a very nice match w/this combo. If you get the regular BJ, then I'd suggest upgrading to a new speaker if your budget allows. As for the tubes, personally, I'd switch them out only when you need to. I think the stock tubes sounded swell, so I'd wait until one goes and then just do the whole bunch.

 

If you are a blues/classic rock player, I think you'll enjoy the amp very much.

 

Happy hunting!

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I agree with what crossroadsnyc said. I swapped both the speaker and the tubes in my Blues Junior; the speaker made a nice change (I recommend something darker sounding like a Celestion or one of those hemp speakers as the BJ is pretty bright) but tubes, particularly in the preamp made little to no difference.

 

I don't find the amp to be very useful for home use in my apartment though; there's a fine line between a whisper and being a little too loud. If you live in a house with no neighbors on the other side of the wall, it might be fine for you though.

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There is no problem with the link, the thing is that you have to copy it all the way (as the forum only linked part of the code) and paste it, and then it will work.

 

So, it's an US made amp. Ok, if it wasn't, I would strongly recommend you to try it before buying, as the xing ling control of quality really sucks - so there are good ones and crappy ones. Mostly crappy ones, if you ask me.

 

The speaker is Fender's, so I'm gonna go +1 on the spekaer swap for a darker (and better quality) one. I'm gonna disagree with RichCI only because the tube change that I'd recommend would be for NOS tubes. I believe you'll find a sounding difference. But, honestly, perhaps is not a must for you and speacially in the beggining. Get used to the amp and then you can judge by yourself what kind of improvements are at hand.

 

It seems to be in a very good condition, also =)

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Love the blue jr--great cleans. Not a great amp if you are into the heavy stuff.

 

I bought a Blues Junior NOS (with the upgraded speaker) because it felt a little warmer to me. I got it new for $495. I kept the stock tubes in for a few months. I recently upgraded to JJs. That warmed it up even more--though not a ton. I would wait to upgrade tubes until you have had a chance to play with her.

 

You should check out craigslist first. You should be able to find used on in your area. That way you can check it out first.

 

The blues jr. is a little loud for bedroom/home use. You may have to spring for a Weber attentuator so you can crank the tubes at lower volumes.

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Thanks Slinger - it was a little late so I guess my eyes were a bit sleepy and I missed the second half of that link.

 

Yeah, Rich & Blue are right about the volume being rather iffy for home use since it's difficult to find a middle ground w/the volume control: very quiet to "oops that's a bit loud"... fortunately, I have forgiving neighbors who don't seem to mind (as well as a neighbor who plays her piano/sings quite loud so I think she gives me a free pass).

 

Though I've never been a big tube screamer fan (a little too SRV for me), I did purchase a Keeley Baked Mod version of the TS shortly after I picked up the BJ (seemed like an appropriate fit). It allowed me to keep the BJ turned way down but still push the amp for some very useable low volume dirty sounds if I needed to keep it down in the middle of the night...food for thought.

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I've got a "Hot Rod Blues Jr NOS" which means it has the Jensen speaker and tweed. I replaced the reverb pan with a Ruby Reverb and have been gigging with it regularly with my 335 and LP Deluxe. Great sounding amp, lightweight, and it looks good behind my blonde 335. I haven't played any big venues with it, but if I did I'd used a mic on it. Big amps on stage makes everyone deaf...there's a better way.

 

Don't judge the BJ by how it sounds in the living room -- mine needs a little space around it to start to sing. Great clean tone, excellent distortion sound. For the price it's a killer.

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I'll re qualify what I wrote - I found that changing the preamp tubes made no difference. Changing the power tubes may or not make a difference as I find the amp too loud to crank up in an apartment.

 

As an aside, I replaced the preamp tubes in my Mesa amp and my Champ with the same tubes as I put in the Blues Junior and it did make a difference. My conclusion is that changing preamp tubes in different amp might make a difference or it might not and not all amps respond well to all tubes - NOS or not. My 1966 Fender Champ has either the original tubes or the last time it had tubes replaced was decades ago as the power and rectifier tubes are RCA and the preamp tube is a Telefunken - all old. I swapped out the Telefunken with a new Tung-Sol and the amp sounded better to my ears - brighter and looser where the Telefunken sounds a little dull, tight and constricted.

 

But' date=' honestly, perhaps is not a must for you and speacially in the beggining. Get used to the amp and then you can judge by yourself what kind of improvements are at hand.[/quote']

 

+1

 

I see little point in swapping out parts in amps or guitars (pickups) without seeing if you even like it or not first or what sort of change you would want to make in the first place. Although, the stock speaker in the Blues Junior is pretty crummy sounding, IMO.

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Also I think the BJ goes well with pedals. Not a bassman, but pedal friendly.

 

And it IS a bit too loud for apartments (my champion can get loud here, at times).

 

I see little point in swapping out parts in amps or guitars (pickups) without seeing if you even like it or not first or what sort of change you would want to make in the first place. Although' date=' the stock speaker in the Blues Junior is pretty crummy sounding, IMO.

[/quote']

 

It does. It's annoying and so your ears can tired faster. By getting used to that sound and then improving the speaker he is sure to hear the difference.

 

As an aside, I replaced the preamp tubes in my Mesa amp and my Champ with the same tubes as I put in the Blues Junior and it did make a difference. My conclusion is that changing preamp tubes in different amp might make a difference or it might not and not all amps respond well to all tubes - NOS or not. My 1966 Fender Champ has either the original tubes or the last time it had tubes replaced was decades ago as the power and rectifier tubes are RCA and the preamp tube is a Telefunken - all old. I swapped out the Telefunken with a new Tung-Sol and the amp sounded better to my ears - brighter and looser where the Telefunken sounds a little dull, tight and constricted.

 

Nice input, Rich. I'm glad I got to read that.

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Here's an interesting article on swapping preamp tubes in a Blues Junior by a guy who does a lot of mods to those amps.

 

At the end of the day, it still sounds like a Blues Junior--one tube might be a little richer or warmer, another cooler and crisper. A one-or-two notch adjustment of the tone controls more than makes up for any difference in brightness. The onset of distortion was the only thing that changed. Yes, every tube sounded a little different, but the differences are completely lost in a non-studio or non-practice situation. When you're playing out, no one will ever hear the difference between a new-old stock Telefunken and a new Sovtek.

 

http://home.comcast.net./~machrone/bjr/bjtubes.htm

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Whenever I ask to try out a guitar in the store using 'something small and tweedy' they plug me into a Blues Jr. Great tone but it's either on or its off, no reall way to get lower volume out of it. You might want to compare it to the Champ for a little box of tube tone for playing at home.

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