Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

What's wrong with a Blues Jr.?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by MisterZ, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

    Nov 22, 2009
    Fayetteville, NC
    When I'm demoing a guitar I like to find. Blues Jr NOS or Mustang 3.

    Oddly enough I don't own either amp, but I did own an M3, and liked it.

    There really aren't many amps that I've found that I can't get something workable from. They sound different, sure, perhaps not to taste, but you can find workable sounds.


  2. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Holic

    Jan 17, 2014
    Bucks Co. PA
    With the C REX it is a loud 15W. As an experiment I unplugged the internal speaker in my Jr and ran it into two daisy chained 16 Ohm cabinets. It sounded really good. The amp gets a bad rap IMO. I think what they really need to do is redesign the speaker enclosure. Some say it sounds boxy ... I run hot and cold with that description .... I think it depend on the room.
    I gig with it and in small venues it keeps up with the band ... I have used it with a mic on outside gigs too.
    My choice of an amp depends on what I'm expected to play ... I use a C30, A Traynor YCV and a few other amps. I use the JR whenever I can ... it sounds good an saves my back.

  3. Bob Sushko

    Bob Sushko TDPRI Member

    Jun 10, 2017
    Alpine, NJ
    I'm sure others have already mentioned that the BJr opens up considerably with the Bill M mods. I also installed a C Rex speaker. I love this tone.

    Have a listen . . .

  4. Bob Sushko

    Bob Sushko TDPRI Member

    Jun 10, 2017
    Alpine, NJ
    Obviously I can't post a link to my playing . . . gotta love being censored and oppressed!

  5. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Link works fine if you switch to Webview.

  6. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Mar 4, 2009

    the "boxy" sound is probably somewhat attributable to either the size of the small enclosure, or, the design.


    Boxiness, whatever that is, goes away more or less when the band kicks in. In fact, depending upon how your band sounds, what the sonic landscape is, and most importantly, how you fit it into it...

    that boxy thing might sound farkin GREAT.

    BOXY = FOXY.
    Henry Mars likes this.

  7. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    That sounds awesome Bob! :cool:
    william tele likes this.

  8. adamlovesgin

    adamlovesgin Tele-Holic

    Mar 3, 2016
    North Shields
    1. No effects loop. So you'll need to run it clean if you plan on using delay.
    2. Clean headroom or lack of it. At un-miced gig level if you run an OD into it as you base OD tone, it'll handle it maybe, but if you're after a significant volume boost (by stacking a boost pedal etc) you WILL run out of headroom, the speaker will also start to flub out etc if your boosting the wrong frequencies.
    3. And the speaker isn't the best.
    4. The reverb is overdone, it can sound good but you need to dial it right the way back.
    5. Shockingly basic and rushed construction. The tolex is barely adhered to the wood.
    6. For what is is and where its made (mexico). It's expensive.
    7. No line out. You'll need to mic it up if you need a leg up.
    8. The OD tone is pretty terrible. It'll work for low-fi light OD (just), but wont get you into Marshall levels of crunch with pedals.

    I have a BOSS Katana 50 as a pedal platform now. It's definitely louder and even lighter.

    See my full review here (it's not all bad)

  9. adamlovesgin

    adamlovesgin Tele-Holic

    Mar 3, 2016
    North Shields
    ... Lets see how many mention the C REX or Bill M Mods :)

  10. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World

    I should have known.....but didn't. Sorry, or as Rosanna Rosannadana would say: NEVERMIND....

  11. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Sounds really good to me. Of course, I don't mind the unmodded version either...
    Bob Sushko likes this.

  12. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Holic

    Aug 5, 2015
    Santa Cruz CA
    I sold mine for two reasons. I don’t perform so it was a home amp and I found the tone to be lacking at home practice volume levels. I also needed a headphone jack. I went with a Roland Blues Cube Stage.

  13. mijstrat72

    mijstrat72 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2008
    My buddy has a heavily modded BJr. green board. When he went to pick up his Les Paul from a fairly renowned luthier...said luthier stopped dead in his tracks when he heard the Jr. They do sound that good. I have a cream board Jr. and its amazing. Its hardly stock however.
    RetroTeleRod likes this.

  14. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Mar 11, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Only 20 or 30 so far.

  15. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Tele-Afflicted

    May 5, 2015
    I read your review and there is so much to disagree with, starting with the premise. You have an AC 30 and a Cornford Roadhouse 30 and you were looking for a replacement for professional gigs. The Blues Jr was never marketed or presumed to be the last word in gigging combo amps. It's a grab-and-go 15watter. An exceptional practice and home amp that could do more if called on.

    And I don't agree that it's expensive. For most of its life, it's been a sub-$500 amp, which I suspect is an important dividing line for amps and guitars. Its price point is below the three amps you compare it to (Vox, Laney, Egnator).

    I don't have much to say about headroom because I frankly have never understood the whole "will it keep up with a band" discussion. Who does that? If you want to keep up with the drummer, turn the volume up to 3 and let the sound guy do his thing. An amp doesn't need to fill an auditorium with sound, it just needs to hit the mic that's 2 inches in front of it. Even Pete Townshend mic'd his amps. Why can't we? (My problem with the BJ has always been getting a nice tone out of low volume, but that's me).

    These things are great and beloved by a lot of musicians. Church musicians in particular love it for its base clean tone that they can color with pedals.

    The speaker has been well covered. It is perfectly fine speaker with a great track record, but it is the wrong choice for this amp for most people. (I've never seen a Blues Jr where the Tolex wasn't adequate. And why would you demand corner protectors on a little Fender practice amp?)

    I don't think anyone buys a Blues Jr (or any low to mid-priced Fender amp) with the expectation that they are going to give you Marshall-level crunch. Fender does cleans well, but they don't really have a reputation of being the first name in overdrive.

    It's not the last amp you'll ever buy, nor is it a lemon. For me, it was a gateway drug. But its always been as advertised, a reasonably priced small tube amp that does nice Fender cleans at bearable volumes. And its been a fun modding platform for a lot of people.

    Too much of the criticism of this amp seems based on unrealistic or unfair expectations. As I've said earlier, it's a pickup truck. It's not a sports car.

    I should add that I appreciated that your review described clearly what your musical demands were and what you intended to use the amp for. It would have been nice to know the style of music you play to offer even more context. But there was enough context for me to assess the review against my own demands. ;)
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018

  16. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Meister

    Jan 15, 2016
    Chatham County, NC
    This should be the stock answer for every Jr bashing that's inevitably to come.
    Bruxist and RetroTeleRod like this.

  17. Bob Sushko

    Bob Sushko TDPRI Member

    Jun 10, 2017
    Alpine, NJ
    How does one do that?

  18. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    If you are on an iPad, tap the 3 dots at the top right of screen and select "Webview".

    If I'm posting pics on iPad, I normally go to Webview to do the Biz!,

  19. pirate19

    pirate19 TDPRI Member

    Jul 28, 2016
    This is pretty spot-on in my view. Very happy with my BJr III. I got a great deal on a C-Rex speaker so I swapped it, but I didn't NEED to. I don't expect Marshall crunch. I wanted a "Fender" tone, and this was my first Fender tube amp. It was definitely a gateway: I now have a 73 Champ and a 77 Musicmaster Bass amp as well as a mid-90s solid state Princeton 112+. Some days I prefer the Champ or the Musicmaster (the Princeton 112+ is absolutely a sleeper amp as well...), but the Blues Jr is a hell of a workhorse amp.
    MisterZ likes this.

  20. 41144

    41144 Tele-Meister

    Sep 5, 2017
    West Midlands
    It's not a Vox AC15 :p
    RetroTeleRod likes this.

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