Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Valve Jr Hot Rod?


neptune2000

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Has anyone bought one of the new Valve Jr. Hot Rods, or know anything substantive about it? I've seen (and am enjoying) the posts regarding the Sr., but am curious about the Hot Rod.

 

I have a Valve Jr. head (v3) and 12" cab, which I haven't modded yet. One of my main issues is the thing has to get too loud before it starts to break up. I'm just wondering aloud whether I should offload the head and pick up the Hot Rod. I'm not afraid to mod it (although I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the possible most). But if the Hot Rod out of the box has some key features then maybe it's worth it.

 

Anyway I also just want to know more about it :) Anyone?

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dunno anything other than what I've seen/read online..... BUT - if I was pondering the purchase of the VJrHR, I'd either mod a regular old VJ up myself, OR, for only $80 more@Musicians Friend (and others), pick up a Valve senior ($299.99 vs $219.99 for the Jr.... and have 4x the wattage.....especially considering the VJHR costs $90 more than a plain VJ[rolleyes] . The VJrHR seems too little too late, beings as folks have been hotrodding these lil things for a few years now ..... seems as though the folks at sewatt.com have already done all the r&d for Epiphone on the VJr, and Epi is only playing catch-up with what folks are already DIYing......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the consensus has been that the features added in the way they are, to an amp that still needs tweaking does just as RSDx says..

lead to the valve senior.

Better yet, to the Baby Will since you'll wind up modding the Vsr anyway.

 

tWANG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. And now may I reveal (probably not for the first time here) my cluelessness?

 

The Valve Jr has 2 tubes, a preamp and a power tube. The "breakup" of this amp is coming from the signal increase to the power amp tube when the volumn is turned up, correct? So are the gain mods out there (e.g. Bitmo) increasing/changing the signal to the preamp, causing it to break up, and thus allowing distortion at a lower volumn? Or are they effectively just distorting the signal like a standard overdrive pedal?

 

Thanks for any replies, I have looked a bit and still don't understand this. I haven't had the "aha" moment yet on modding this amp.

 

(And if I'm right about the mods affecting the preamp, then the Hot Rod for the most part just adds a gain to overdrive the preamp tube and another for the reverb?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reverb before distortion always sound awful. And that'll be the same problem whether you've got a HR VJr, or a regular VJr with the D-Verb mod, cuz 5 watt amps just don't have any real headroom, and the distortion comes only from the power tube. These 2-gain-stage preamps simply can't get very distorted unless you slam the snot out of the input with a pedal.

 

The HotRod VJr's got two preamp tubes, and therefor 4 gain stages available. But, one may be the tank driver, and another may be for recovery. No extra gain added there. If they used a foldback reverb, that would free up a gain stage to make with the crunchy stuff, but it'll still have that same headroom issue with the power tube. If you overdrive that, the reverb sound like crap.

 

The VSpcl and VStandards are just too unstable to even consider unless you plan to gut and rebuild. And the digital reverb sucks anyway. If ya gotta have some verb-age, get the VSr and upgrade it with a proper 3-spring short tank. However, if you're brave and adventurous, go for a VSpcl or VStd combo and rebuild it. They're cheeper if you're gonna gut 'em, and wide enough for the longer reverb tanks that won't fit in the Valve Seniors.

 

Gil...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the volume control on the valve jr as stock is really just a gain control..hence why its a struggle to keep the volume done but the gain up..if you're looking for another volume control so you can get cranked sounds at lower volume, check out the badcat minicat 1 schematic as it is compatible with valve jr.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. I think I get the "volume as gain control", but I'm still not quite getting what say a simple Bitmo mod does exactly to a Jr (from a layman's pov). I thought I had somewhat of a clue on tubes, but I must not. I think I'm going to have to start from the bottom up learning how tube amps work and then look at some schematics.

 

I'm not a dummy, really[blush] It's just one of those things I have a mental block about. I'm a software engineer; I guess physics is just to "real" for me #-o

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, you don't want front-end/preamp tube distortion and no power tube distortion. If that's all you're aiming for, you might as well just use a dirt pedal. The magic in a tube amp happens when you push the power tubes. When you turn up that volume knob, you're sending more signal to the entire amp. At some point, the output section begins to distortion, and THAT is where the rich harmonics and swirl happen, not at the preamp level.

 

If you want power tube distortion at lower volume than a 5 watt amp can deliver it, you'll want to look at something less than 1 watt, such as that Blackheart Killer Ant, or whatever it's called, Zvex nano, or a handful of other 1/2 watt or so amps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I done the bitmo mods to my VJ when i had it.

 

The gain mod was a gain boost pull on the tone knob and to me it just thickened the sound and added more gain. The volume still worked the same way too. I had the gain switch on all the time and with it in or out it sounded the same at the same volume all the time except for beong thicker sounding. It didnt have any more distortion at a lower volume.

With this amp volume is the gain. You could always use an attenuater or do a VVR mod. (Think thats the one) or a pentode triode mod too?

 

Ask more about these as not 100% sure what they do and how they work but from what i know is you can push the amp the same and have a lower volume coming from the speaker so to speak

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all' date='

Has anyone bought one of the new Valve Jr. Hot Rods, or know anything substantive about it? I've seen (and am enjoying) the posts regarding the Sr., but am curious about the Hot Rod.

 

I have a Valve Jr. head (v3) and 12" cab, which I haven't modded yet. One of my main issues is the thing has to get too loud before it starts to break up. I'm just wondering aloud whether I should offload the head and pick up the Hot Rod. I'm not afraid to mod it (although I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the possible most). But if the Hot Rod out of the box has some key features then maybe it's worth it.

 

Anyway I also just want to know more about it :) Anyone?

 

Thanks![/quote']

 

Other than the fact that they added a gain knob, and reverb, it's still 5 watts, plus it has a reverb out so you can use it as a reverb unit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the help. I'm going to have to "hit the books" and learn more. I think I've decided that one way to do that is to keep the VJR and mod it, that should be a good learning experience. I think I'll eventually need an attenuator (short of getting a built-in like with that new Vox 4ADTVH or whatever it is or a BlackHeart) to play at low levels. For me $$ are the limiting factor.

 

Before buying an attenuator kit I might pick up the Bitmo Trio kit. The former is probably what I need but the latter might give me some more distortion at lower volume levels and it seems like it just "does more" for the $$. I'll create a separate post if needed down the line if I "get permission" to buy it. While I'm in the amp, I'll try some of the other uber-simple mods like clipping jumpers etc.

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...