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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by telejnky, Oct 19, 2013.
There's nothing wrong with being a Blues Junior that being a Blues Deluxe won't fix. =;-]
No one bitched about the old Valve Junior. The VJ versions 1 and 2 sucked. They're a flawed design. First time I looked inside one I said, "That's dumb!" But... they drove the point home that musicians don't care what's inside. They see a couple tubes in a decent cabinet amd they're o.k. with it. Most of 'em don't know what's inside and many of 'em don't wanna know.
You mean Bill M.
Bill M calls the Blues Junior design "sandbagged". Fender chose a few weird parts and omitted features. It's the same thing manufacturers have been doing forever. Leave out features to make your customers desire your larger and more expensive offerings. It doesn't cost a whole lot more to build a bigger amp. You still need transformers and a cabinet. You might need two speakers instead of one, more parts etc.. But... there's more mark- up on the big ones.
It's the same thing the auto industry has done forever. Want luxury? You're probably going to find it in a big expensive package. Choices traditonally were luxury or performance. If you wanted quality and economy at the same time you'd probably have to look elsewhere.
Lotta guys are up against an approximately $500 price ceiling. That means they're going to buy the "same" thing over and over. There aren't dramatic differences between manufacturers in that price range.
I gigged with one for about 6 years...it was awfully convenient and sounded nice. Heard other pros sound great with them. I haven't played the newest version.
But at about $500 new they don't seem like a lot of value to me. There are so many interesting options out there for a little less or a little more in both the new and used market -- Peavey Classics, Rivera era Fenders, Traynor YCV, etc. After my first gig with a used Peavey Classic 30 ($280) I sold my two Blues Jrs and didn't look back. A couple of years later I wanted something lighter and switched the Peavey for a Princeton Reverb II, but I enjoyed both amps more, and found them easier to gig with than the Blues Jr.
Well, ya, you definitely hit the nail on the head! I wasn't going to mention any names. It's truly astounding the number of posts, threads and comments that amp, and the supposed mods designed to fix it have generated. I contemplated buying one at one time, but the number of mods and the number of continually unhappy customers after they did the mods turned me off. Like I said in my previous post. There's nothing really wrong with it, you just have to recognize it for what it is, and what it is not, as some other respondents have alluded to. In fact, I'd say if anyone is thinking of buying one, stay away from those mods pages!
Here's the backing track he used, free to download as MP3:
BTW, I've been defending the BJ for what it is, but I don't have one. Was thinking of getting one a year or so ago and a saleman at Sam Ash (Berklee grad) gave me about a 1/2 hour demo of all it's sounds from soft cleans to rich bluesy cleans to raunchy OD, playing jazz, classical, metal, blues, rock and ALL sounded great. This guy was a PLAYER and could make any amp or guitar sound great.
But in the end I passed and bought a used PJ in great shape (MIA in '00) for 2 bills on ebay. Really love it after dong a minor lead dress that solved the hiss, and putting an old 70s RCA 12ax7 in V1 that solved a rattle. Really a great amp now. BUT IMO if you can get a BJ used for 3 bills or so, I can't see how you can go wrong. Agreed the MSRP is way high.
I had one of the original Blues Jr.'s. As a bedroom amp, at low volume, it was nice. The reverb on it sucked and I never really cranked it much, so I can't speak to breakup & headroom. I didn't buy it looking for an amp to gig with; just something I could play quietly though with a variety of guitars (52 Tele RI, 1987 CIJ Stratocaster, Rickenbacker 360). Served it's purpose but when I had the chance to trade it in, I took it. Never looked back.
Hody? Branch Street? I live in Middleton but confess to not getting out for blues jams.
My Blues Junior didn't suck but something was and is more attractive with my Deluxe and Princeton. Sure the others cost more but I did the math and now I'm ahead to not be buying and selling stuff so much even though I own more expensive items.
The Blues Jr. was the first amp I got that had the nice characteristics you get with tube amps. It's one many can afford. I just can't put it down like some might with those in mind.
I always thought my Crate Palomino V16 sounds better and is more versatile than a Blues Jr.
Nice. On the very short list of "an amp I wish I had back." That was a loud little sucker.
This has been an interesting thread after a couple decades break; I don't/won't gig any more and that price-point spoken of, and for bedroom enjoyment or an open garage/driveway jam leads me to a BJr, VHT Lead 20 (at nearly twice the weight), or just plop a DRRI in the upstairs folding chair. I just gotta play 'em and listen, since my ears are the first ones I have to please.
I might go back in search of a PR II though now that you mention it.
Thanks for that trip down memory lane.
I like mine , I bought it knowing it would sound great in my basement and yes , it does.
I know several people that gig with a Blues Jr , theirs sound great too , in smaller venues.
The only Blues Jr haters I've been exposed to is on various forums. Not a big deal .
Did I mention , that I like mine .
It is staying , I'm not trading it in , there are several other amps here that get regular use too , all of those are staying here and not being traded .
Yes I'd love a DRRI , I may buy one of those one day to add to the family , there are a few other amps I'd like too and if I dug around on this and other forums I'd probably find criticism and hate for those amps and many of the amps I've got now.
No hate here , just love
Bristle Boar every Tuesday. But now that I think about it the guitarist (Mel Ford) for the Hody's Thursday night house band uses a blues junior too! He sounds incredible too.
I bought a Blues Jr, green board once and it was nasally sounding. I read up and saw all the modding stuff and said no way and took it back. This year I bought a Blues,jr 3 and it was much improved, but still didn't like it. However, I concede that it has turned into a rock amp. Everyone I see that used a Blues Jr. has a mod in it.
No mods on mine , it's a tone machine ! , NOS tweed , came with a Jensen C12-N speaker . I'm happy with it as it is .
So much stuff gets modded unnecessarily.
It floors me , how many twits there are out there , that want to mod stuff that they haven't even bought yet , be it a guitar , an amp or whatever .
Then start a thread on a forum , that begins with .....
" I'm thinkin bout buying a _______ guitar , wadaya think ________ pickups might sound like ? or asking about a speaker swap in an amp they have not heard yet.
Yet another example of the "...but it sounded so good in the store...." syndrome.
You never know how a particular piece of gear will work until you actually play it on a gig. Look at all the used Line 6 amps for sale on CL that sounded great at the store, but got washed out when confronted by a loud drummer. Back in the 1970's, Yamaha designed a bracing system for their acoustic flattops that would radiate the sound to the player, at the expense of projection. Sold a lot of guitars to players who A/B'ed them with a Martin and preferred the sound of the Yamaha. Of course, if they had somebody else play the guitars while they stepped back to hear the projection, the Martin would win each time. Many tears ago, in an interview, Paul Gilbert talked about matching speaker cabinets to room size, and how the 4X12" that sounds so good on an arena stage just can cut in in your bedroom. The "beam" factor on single speaker amps must also be considered.
Interesting idea. I think the new BJ3 is much more capable of doing rock than it's predecessors, but I wouldn't call it a "rock" amp. But it's fine if that's what you want to call it!
My BJ3 has a pronounced midrange hump. Some people like that sound, others not so much. I think my Super Champ X2 is a much more versatile amp, but the BJ3 does the "clean up on the guitar's volume knob" exceptionally well. It's well suited to players who ride the volume knob for dynamics.
If you want clean headroom or just about anything else, the BJ3 is probably not the best choice. But for expressive bluesy (or bluesy-rock) playing, the BJ3 really sets a high standard.
Buy a Blues Junior for what it actually does, not for what you want it to do... :idea:
And a real spring reverb tank
Very good speaker
Knob for the pregain
It has a master volume
What else do you need?
Fits in the backseat
Of a standard mid size car
Solid guitar amp.
What else do you need?
I need a amp that will fill a room of atleast a 1,000 unmic'd and still be clean.
A Blues JR right?
pro jr> blues jr
that said, BJs arent all that bad.
I almost got one but ended up with a tweed deluxe instead for the same price...that amp KILLS
the blues jr looks like the pro jr sounds (more like a 5E3)
where are these warlock gigs with no PAs?
no matter, if you want clean headroom a blues jr aint where you want to look
Had one for several years, but, sadly, it was a lemon. Lots of strange random noises as well as an obnoxious level of hum. Me endlessly crawling inside the thing, trying this and that instead of actually playing. Dragging it to my amp tech. Yep, it's fixed now, bad soldering. Plug it back in. Fine for 10 mins. Back comes the noise. Grrrrrrrr.
In a fit of frustration with it one day I traded it in for a PRRI. My only regret is I was so angry that I left the Eminence Wizard in it. Don't miss the BJ, but I do miss that speaker. Not dissing the amp in general, one of my buddies has a tweed one and loves it, but I could never bring myself to own another BJ. Too many bad memories.
Love my PRRI !