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I'm looking at the Amplifier section of Epi's product pages.


They have;


Valve Junior


Valve Junior Extension Cabinet


Valve Junior Head.


It appears to me the Valve Junior is a turn key unit. Just plug it in the wall, plug in the guit tar and start rockin'.


The others... are they an accessory to the Valuve Junior?


The Cab appears to be only a speaker and needs the Junior or Junior Head to work. The Junior Head does not appear to have a speaker and needs the Extension Cabinet to work.


If this is the case, why would one want two components to do the work of one? Both the Junior and Junior Head state 5W.


I'm a newbie when it comes to pluggin' in guit tars. I bought my SIL's courtin' Squire Strat and want to noodle around with it.


The SIL wanted to sell it as he and my daughter had their first one on the way. The new one is here, GS5. Some day GS5 may say he wants to be a drummer and Grandpa may have to direct him to the guit tar.


Some day Grandpa will own a Les Paul or a pluginable acoustic.

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Sounds like you have it pretty much figured out. The original Valve Jr was (and still is) a combo - amp and speaker in the same enclosure....in this case, it's an 8" 4 ohm speaker. The head is the same amplifier, but stand alone, to use with Epis cab - which is a 12 " 16 ohm speaker- or any other cab of your choice (and vice versa - the epi cab can be used with the amp head of your choice, so long as ohms match and wattage isn't exceded. Oh, and the epi combo can also be hooked up to extension cabs as well). Fwiw, I have one of each, and each has their strong and weak points. The head/cab sound better to my ears, but the combo is much more convenient to lug around. The 12" speaker cranks out much more bottom end than the 8" combo speaker. But, of course, NOW Epiphone has to bring out the Valve SENIOR ..... matches their speaker cab perfectly, has more controls than the single knob on the VJr, and is 18 watts or so .... :-k Decisions, decisions (actually, can't find a way to justfiy it to Mrs RSD, as the 5 watt VJr is plenty loud for my needs atm.

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I don't want to dissuade you from anything, but I do have to say that, for a beginning player, I'd be inclined to recommend a simple solid state amp. For $100, you can get a decent SS amp that will give you a significant palatte of different tones, some of which will likely be very useable for home rehearsal, and it will last you for years without having to give it a second thought.


Tube amps, while they tend to be favored by serious players, have significant limitations and issues that make them less than perfect choices for beginners, imo. For starters, they have maintenance issues.


Think about an amp as a car. A SS amp is a Chevy, while a tube amp is a Ferrari. Both will get you from point A to point B, but that Chevy might well last you years without every having to be touched, while the Ferrari needs frequent maintenance and fine tuning, in order to operate at its peak.


The main reason I would recommend SS, and in particular, a modeling amp of some sort, for a beginner, is that you haven't identified "YOUR" tone yet. You'll undoubtedly want to play around with as many different tones as you can, in order to get a feel for what you like and dislike.


While a serious player can coax a wide range of tones from a very simple tube amp and a guitar, until you've developed your technique and learned how to use the guitar volume and tone controls, you're basically going to have one general tone with your tube amp.

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continuing with m theorys suggestion


I just bought my son a peavey bass amp..

small cab small speaker 20 watts


it's absolutely perfect for a kid who's just learning.. loud enough to satisfy, and even decent enough tone with the small speaker to

not bug him one bit.


If you have any pawn shops near you, plug into any of the peavy transtube series Solid State amps and make sure all the

controls work quitely and the speaker isn't fried.


The one I bought sells for 139.00 new. I paid 39.99 plus tax.

I'm sure it will last years.

I use it myself!



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if you are stuck on a new amp, my call for the finest first amp is the Fender Vibro Champ XD. 16 amp models to serve any purpose, and it sounds great. 5w, tube.


Otherwise, I agree with Twang, look at your local pawn shop, there are always a plethora of small beginner amps.



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why would one want two components to do the work of one?


Choices for different cab match ups with a head. Convenience with combos.


Once you get into it a bit further you'll find out that not all cabs, or amps, are created equal. With out going into to much most cabs are closed back and most combos are open back....big difference just there alone.


I hope you are as lucky as some that recommend the pawn shop way. Got about a trizillion of them around here and I can get better deals buying new. Those days are long gone around my neck of the woods....it's just ridiculous what they charge for use gear.


Also like M I recommend a SS amp for the same reasons. To each his own but I never seen the need of a tube amp for home use anyways.


Anyhow just my 2 cents. Good luck hunting and most important have fun.

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I do have an EVJh, which I have built into a radio-case combo. I find the EVJ to be a one-trick pony. It's a good trick but imo it has to be cranked up. A good solid state amp can be had for the same money which will do more.


I have an Epi BC30, Laney L5T-112, Vox AD30, Roland Cube20X and a couple of others, as well as the EVJ. Imo with the exception of the EVJ, the valve amps do sound the best.


When a beginner, a student, first buys a guitar, they are usually advised to buy the best they can afford. The same should apply to the amp, yet they are inevitably given some raucous cheap bedroom blaster.


Yet there are a few solid state amps for little more money that offer a full range of decent tones, and there are a few that stand out head and shoulders above the others, certainly good enough to be gigged on a stage, e.g. the Roland Cube series and the Vox VT series. However even these do not offer the touch sensitivity or the fluidity of tone of a good valve amp, unfortunately good valve amps cost a lot of money. It is not until you find pure (non-modelling) solid state amps at the same price point as these valve amps that you get comparable tone quality e.g. Peterson jazz amps, Sessionette, Polytone, JC120. (imo etc etc)

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Hi Tommy,


I have an Epi Valve Junior (sep head and cab), an Epi Valve Special (combo amp/speaker wih effects) and now an Epi Valve Senior head. I also have a Fender Super Champ XD (tube combo amp with built-in DSP effects).


Of all of these amps, I'd first recommend the Fender - it's tube based with a wide variety of DSP effects built in and only two tubes to replace. Generally available used in good shape for $200 or less. The similar Epi Valve Special doesn't measure up - the DSP effects section is very poor. The Valve Junior head is a one trick pony as stated above, and that will be the next to go on Craigslist among the current lineup. I'll keep the cabinet though.


If you're set on a pure tube amp, my next choice would be the new Epi Valve Senior head and sep 1x 12 cab for about $400. This amp has much broader tonal possibilities, decent (but not stellar) reverb, and can play at quiet and fairly loud volumes. It has five tubes to replace, but only two types - 6V6 and 12AX7, some of the most widely available.


Vox, Peavey, and Blackheart all have good products in the sub-$500 category too. Whatever you do, just enjoy, use it as a learning experience, and don't be afraid to sell/trade and move on until you find the "perfect" amp(s).


Cheers, Brian

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my one trick pony does country blues rock and jazz.

what are you feeding yours?


the cleans with a tele are full and plenty of bite..

the blues goes from early breakup to full tilt..

the rock handles just about anything from this geezer past..

and I suck at jazz, but I know warm when I hear it.


maybe you have a one trick ear?


that fender gets good reviews all the time.

I don't use an effects 90% of the time.


I wont recommend either over the other unless there's a pretty good description of what's needed.


sometime though. more is less.


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Sorry Twang, not knockin' the VJr, it's just fallen out of favor with me. I never really warmed up to it with these other amps kickin' around here, but have kept it planning to do some of the popular mods in my "spare" time. Unfortunately, I'm one of those guys who's really good at thinkin' of fun projects - even ordering the parts - and then letting them sit for months undone. Last week I almost finished a complicated stair railing project that had been incomplete for almost a year. All I need to do is order curved shoe molding and nail it in. My Epi Genesis refin/rebuild is still half done, I have a power washer in the middle of a rebuild, and I have another 3 or 4 guitar related projects calling my name. It's getting to the point where I'm hiring contractors to do stuff I would have done when I was younger 'cause I just don't have the energy to work 12 hour days on the weekends anymore. I'm even taking the cars in for oil changes and brakes - stuff I always did myself since college.


Gettin' old's a *****...

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Hi Tommy,


I would highly recommend the Vox Valvetronix line. They have a low-wattage tube circuit amplified with a solid state power section. They feature digital amp models from super clean & warm to rip-your-face-off distortion and some pretty decent effects. I am quite sure that the Valvetronix amps will more than do the trick for your bedroom practicing or jamming with friends. The AD-- series is the most current line, but I am sure that you can find clear-out AD--VT amps in the store or buy used from Craigslist, Ebay, etc. They should be cheap like borscht! Good luck.


(edit) The current Valvetronix line is the VT series (ooops! Thanks jefrs) =P~

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The current crop of Vox Valvetronix are the VT-series http://www.voxamps.com/uk/valvetronix/vt-series/. These replaced the ADnn-series and the ADnnVT -series. I have an AD30. It is good enough to gig and very versatile (I put a G10-30 Greenback in it).


The valve in the Valvetronix it is an ECC83/12AX7, it is used in starved-plate mode to simulate a valve amp, there is not enough HT to run it as a pukka gain stage, but it does what it does very well and it has an effective attenuator.


My other modelling amp is the Cube 20X, not big enough to gig unlike the bigger versions which do see stage work, but is is small and light. My go-to amp at the moment is an Epi Blues Custom 30 (BC30) but this is a big beast, it has been gigged. My best amp however is the Laney L5T-115, this is a 5 watt valve amp in a full-size combo and actually louder than the AD30, it too has been gigged. It is very responsive and will go from Fender to Vox, jazz to blues. But then it cost about five times as much as the EVJ. Of all my amps, I'm afraid the EVJ is the worst of them, it lacks clean headroom although the breakup point is easy to find and is it's its one trick that it does very well, but at that point it is fairly loud. This however restricts is maximum volume to below that of the Cube20X, and it's minimum volume to daytime use. Do not confuse watts with volume nor directly compare solid state watts with valve watts (the watts are the same but the efficiency is different). I bought the EVJh (head) to put into an old wireless radio case and to experiment and so at that it has served its purpose well. Neither the AD30 nor the Cube20X cost much more than an EVJ, and imo would make better student amps.

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