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Fender tube amps (e.g. Blues Junior, Hot Rod Deluxe)

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Slt8576, Oct 12, 2017 at 9:34 AM.

  1. beninma

    beninma Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    291
    Mar 17, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Interesting.. they don't exactly scream that out at you.

    I never tried the 45 version.. it wouldn't have occurred to me to go look at the louder amp for a better quiet solution.. but this stuff does seem to only happen at higher prices.
     
    Cliffyg62 likes this.

  2. brobar

    brobar Tele-Meister

    Age:
    42
    492
    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    Agreed! I owned a Blues Deluxe a few decades back. I was looking at smaller wattage Fender Tube amps and tried the Blues Jr III tweed. It was a decent little amp, but I settled on the Super Champ X2 Head with the matching 1x12 cab. No need to swap out the 12” in the cab. It is some of the best tube Fender clean I’ve owned or played. I much prefer it to the Blues Jr. IF you want to use some of the built in effects they are available, otherwise I use it mostly on the clean channel and use it as my pedals amp. I use the Mustang III v2 if I don’t feel like running pedals. But that Super Champ X2 (combo or head & cab) is the best of both worlds between tube and modeling.
     
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  3. archetype

    archetype More tone than talent Ad Free + Supporter

    570
    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    Everyone can debate the "tube amp" phrase if they wish, but I'd suggest a used Super Champ XD or a new X2. After the solid state preamp, the driver, phase inverter, and power stages are 98% Princeton and a new X2 comes in at $379 USD. Sounds and behaves in a very tubey fashion IMO. It can do living room volume and sound good with no modifications other that tweaking the voices with Fuse software. Takes most pedals OK. Gigable with a speaker change.
     
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  4. Tele56

    Tele56 Tele-Holic

    707
    Nov 18, 2005
    Phoenix AZ
    Slt8576 - Just for the record, the SCXD does have tubes (actually three). As far as solid state rectifiers, blah, blah, blah let your ears be the best judge of what sounds good to you. There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread......good luck and most of all have fun during the selection process!
     
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  5. DaphneBlue

    DaphneBlue TDPRI Member

    Age:
    30
    60
    Jul 22, 2017
    Switzerland
    Hey!

    I used to play a fender hot rod deluxe and a blues junior. Both from the US. I recorded albums with them and played a lot of gigs with them.
    The hot rod deluxe is a wonderful amp but it is so ****ing heavy and loud. The blues junior is a good little amp but so ****ing unreliable. I spent 300-400$ on each to upgrade them.

    One day I was so pissed off by all that money spent on amps that I decided to try a roland blues cube hot. I bought it new and it sounds perfect.

    - takes pedals really well
    - you can crank it and it sounds good
    - it's light
    - it sounds and feels so good

    I conclude here by underlining that I play folk rock with a bit of dirt and took the blues cube hot on tour with me. It is just perfect for that. (not only to my ears)
     
    Cliffyg62 likes this.

  6. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2009
    georgia
    This^^^. You can’t go wrong with an old Champ and anything above a Blues Junior in the Hot Rod series would be unplayable at home. From my experiences with about 5, both Champs and Blues Juniors, go witha Champ. A healthy one is miles more reliable than a B.J.
     

  7. wblynch

    wblynch TDPRI Member

    Age:
    65
    95
    Apr 24, 2017
    California USA
    I think of the Vibrochamp Champ XD and the Super Champ XD/X2 like tube amps with digital pedals in front of them but the pedals come free.
     

  8. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    I'd suggest a Vox AC10. Very bright and jangly. SS reverb but OK, a pad on the power switch to reduce volume. Small light, in the price range.

    Not a Fender but IMO a better choice than BJ or HRD.
     

  9. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Holic

    701
    Apr 10, 2015
    Italy and Switzerland
    An X2 is not an all-tube amp. It’s a “hybrid” modeler. On both channels, the signal goes through a digital preamp (Digital sound processor). The power section is tube. For home use, it’s the best sounding amp I’ve tried (not that I have tried THAT many). I am also trying to use it for practice with my jazz band, but I’m not that satisfied… it struggles. Plugged into a larger cab, it would probably be also a good practice amp.

    If you are set on an all-tube amp, it’s not your choice. If you can live with the fact that it’s a hybrid, it’s a wonderful home amp. And it takes boost and OD well (you don’t need anything else… onboard effects are good).

    The only thing it misses as a practice amp – but I guess it’s the price of having a tube output section – are an “aux” input and a headphone out. To play in your headphones over a backing track, you need to go through a computer using the USB cable… a good approximation all in all.
     

  10. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz TDPRI Member

    47
    May 13, 2015
    Cicero, IL
    As an owner of the 4x10 blues deluxe, it does sound pretty good even with the stock speakers which most people change out. It's running 6v6 tubes so there's that sparkly fender cleans there. Plus on the channel switching, you can have no reverb and have a warm amp that's great for all styles. It's loud and heavy but luckily mine came fitted with casters.
     

  11. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    Don't worry about what's tube and what's not, Just use your ears.

    Don't buy into the hype
     

  12. stratman54

    stratman54 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    104
    Aug 30, 2016
    US
    I have both the BJ tweed NOS and a HRDIII. After I got the Hot Rod Deluxe I stopped playing the Blues Junior. A couple of weeks ago I brought the HRD To the church on a permanent basis and now have just the Blues Junior at home.

    I have fallen back in love with it. The Jensen speaker has broken in for a year, and has smoothed out some of the ice pick highs. I had buit an ovesized cabinet for it so a little bit more bottom end from the larger baffle, plus the extra breathing room for the speaker.

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  13. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    169
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    Think I'll follow this one as i want similar sounds. I get them on my GT40 bandmaster right now.
     

  14. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    How about I answer the question as I own all 3 !

    The Deville is way too much, great amp but not an at home amp but rather a larger stage or larger room amp, pushes a ton of air. Classic Fender tones . 2x6L6 , offers more headroom than the HR or Blues Deluxe.

    The HR Deluxe / Blues Deluxe, basically the same 40 watt amp. 2 x 6L6. Great 40 watt medium duty amp, covers a lot of ground, can get a tad lite on headroom of you need to push it. Classic Fender Tones The HR amps are the 6L6 platform . Can both be hard to tame if only playing at home. There are probably more of these on small stages than any other amp ever made . They just offer so much even if you don't use the drive and feed the front end with pedals. These amps are seriously Fenders grand slam home run of amplifiers. But, at home only , it may not be the right fit.

    Blues Jr, it is not a 6L6 tube platform but rather the EL84 platform. Different sound. Does not contain a DRIVE circuit as the HR Series. Uses the Master/Volume knobs to create clean vs drive. No foot switch for this. Smaller, will offer great tones even at low volume. I have personally come to use this amp for most guitar gigs these days. I am mostly a clean Tele picker with some slight drive now and then , this amp is excellent for it's intended use and purpose. Yes, takes a front end pedal very well. Excellent at home amp and can also be dragged out to jam or small stage. If you push it, it will break up so it has it's limits if "clean stage use" is what you are seeking.

    Mine is an early issue, chrome panel etc, USA made, I don't know if all that makes a difference. Probably slight if anything.
     
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  15. graybeard65

    graybeard65 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    52
    5
    Jun 30, 2016
    Rochester, MN
    I’ve got a Fender Bassbreaker 15 that perfectly fits your description - under $700, moderate volume, loves the single coils, plays well with pedals, can do the sparkly-clean-lush-reverb thing all day - it’s my go-to home amp.

    A local shop has one used for $495.

    Added plus? Sounds fantastic mid-gain with a Les Paul!

    It’s lightweight, small footprint, big enough for club gigs, but might need a mic with an aggressive drummer.
     

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