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quick review epiphone valve junior hot rod


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Well, live as one can by via typing.

But there she sits. Warming up the tubes.

Epi Dot Studio with buck sized P90s plugged in and waiting.


Testing through Epi VJ cabinet, loaded with a non stock eminence 8ohm 12" speaker.

This is a little bit brighter than your stock 'Lady Luck'.


Note one: turn up volume. no sound. turn up gain a little.. sound.


so let's start this way: gain max. vol. 9:00

This gives the amp a very strong sensitivity to my monitor.



It is brighter than the usual VJ.

It has about the same amount of gain you'd get out of my modded Vjs with

the same setting.

So no doubt about it.. much more gain earlier on the vol. than with a stock vj is possible.


Set vol to 11:00

rock gain from 10:00 to 1:00.. increase in distortion, slight mute of highs.


12:00 gain is a little hotter than a stock VJ would be with vol. at 11:00.


OF NOTE: those who found the vj could not achieve distortion at low volume will be pleased to know that if you set gain at max or just quite high.. and vol. at 1. you get dirt at low volume.


I have to say congrats to epi on this amp so far.

The gain is effective in many ways.. the sensitivity of this amp is surprisingly good.. and I mean touch sensitivity.. barely touch it or strike it hard and you REALLY hear a difference.


Reverb. remember all that dwell you heard in the other guys demo.

Well, it's pure fact. This reverb sort of sucks.

Ok it doesn't sort of suck.

It sucks.


Anything past 10:00 is just this sort of digital sounding ooooowhwaaaaa


Not pretty. Not even useful as an effect of some kind.

You know that plumpness you get with nice reverb, where you have this fat note and almost a sort of slapback tone.. what should I call it. big ambience?

none. not a bit.

It's as if the note never played.. and you just hear the tank working.

Really really disappointing.


I find the reverb to be a noise maker.


There's a very odd oscillation when you dime the vol and gain.

weeweeweeweeweewee all the way home.


Mine don't do that. There's trouble from somewhere.


My quick analaysis is..


I have to go work on another vj..

which by the will knock this one for a loop, but ONLY after a couple of punches.. they did improve this amp somehow for tone...


they should have gone with digital reverb, or better yet, fixed that noise and put in a tone stack on the new tube.. holy crap THAT would be a hot rod.

Esp. if they did digital verb with just a couple of nice sounds on it.


But this? I don't get it. Why would you even release it?

Any fool can hear that there's not fatness to the reverb..

Not a bit of surf!

just the after effect noise.


I don't believe it's just the tank at all. I've heard short tank reverbs that had some good sounds.. big name companys use them.. this was a failure, I'm afraid.


I'll have to look in there and see what the heck they did to make that happen.


You know, it's sad. Because another tube a knob for Treble and Bass, with the gain knob.. and this little amp would be a definate leap forward, worthy of the venerable american title of Hot Rod.


Let us all bow our heads and pray to the great greaser in the sky, that this is merely version one.


I'll get back to this later tonight.. and try it as a stand alone noise maker..

and compare it head to head with a mildly modded VJ, a 6V6 modded VJ and my own super dooper stand back and let her rip VJ.


I can say that the gain control is a wonderful addition.. there seems to be better brightness.. and the tone overall seems improved.


But that cranked up oscillation.. that terrible reverb plan 9 from outer space

would be emabarrassed to use.

Well maybe not, but they'd be laughed at for that, too.


I'll let her run for half an hour and try again.

I need coffee to get through the afternoon so that'll be my next break.



Epiphone 2

Reverb -1.



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Thanks TWANG !!! SOOOOOooooo..... it sounds about as one might expect:-k ? ....i.e., not quite living up to great expectations ? I'm sure it's better than a stock VJ, but is the price difference worth it ? I mean, you can get a VS head for not much more than the VJHR (which is considerably more than the plain Jane VJ)..... seems a no-brainer, there....or simply mod a VJ on the cheap [cool] IMHO, the VJHR is too little too late - heck, it seems the SEWatt guys did all the R&D for Epi on this one !!!

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a big flop for reverb and that ought to have been it's crowing glory.

great gain control, I'll give it that.

I hope I can steal something from that.

If not, I'll be doing two preamp tube builds from now on.


epi gives a lot of credit in the manual to techs and modders.. at the same time saying didn't we have a great idea.

But. in the end. buy a regular vj. mod it. install the mod reverb off a chip. you'll have more amp and more reverb.


as a stand alone preamp reverb. it sucked all the FAT out of my vj and the reverb didn't sound any better.



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