Fender Blues Jr

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Bluetelecaster, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    689
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    When you talk about Blues Jr amps, you really have to mention which generation you're talking about. I have a '99 I bought new that tended to be dark (until a speaker & tube swap). I understand later generations tend to be bright. They too can be fixed, but a different problem needs a different solution.
     
  2. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,223
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    The Blues Jr is a good entry level tube amp. It was my first and I was always chasing tone with it. I now own 5 tube amps, if that tells you anything. You will be happy with a Blues Jr for a while, but eventually its limitations will be unmistakable. I'd lean toward the AC15, if I were you. Its got more bonifides.
     
  3. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    9,679
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    Plundertown (Gasville) OR
    Mine looked just exactly like @Chiogtr4x's. I liked it very much, but I gave it to my son, along with one of the teles I built. It's nice having something to play when I visit him.
     
  4. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,242
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    New Mexico
    This sums up my experience as well. Except I sold my Blues Jr and kept my Vox. The AC15 just comes so much closer to the sound in my head.

    They are freaking heavy, though. I put casters on mine because I was concerned the plastic handle would break eventually.

    The Blues Jr is a fine amp, though. I would suggest the OP play them both and see which one he likes the best.
     
  5. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    537
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Location:
    Largo, Florida, USA
    I owned one for several months. Bought it new last year, and was really never satisfied with it. I’d owned a 4x10 Rivera-era Fender Concert as a teen, and the BJ just wasn’t Fendery enough for me. I try to steer people who play rootsy rock/blues/Americana in the direction of Princeton Reverbs instead of BJs if there’s any way they can afford them.

    Great players can sound great through a BJ. Me, I’ll take all the help I can get.
     
    Robert H. likes this.
  6. PhatBoy

    PhatBoy Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,232
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    OKC, OK
    Is yours a green board?
     
  7. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    689
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I never opened it up to check. I know it’s a US-made model I bought new, so I have assumed so for all these years. :)

    I used to think all Blues Jrs must sound like mine until I started reading about subsequent generations.
     
    saltyseadog likes this.
  8. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    118
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Hartlepool, England
    If I remember correctly, all the Made in USA BJr's are green board amps as the cream boarded ones came out once the assembly was moved to Mexico. There are some green board MIM amps but this as I understood it was just Fender using surplus US parts up.
     
    No457 Snowy likes this.
  9. Rev Hoodoo

    Rev Hoodoo TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    52
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    I've tried out every generation of the Blues Jr. that has come out and have heard lots of them used live by friends. I've yet to find a tone I like out of them in any situation. The hot bias on the power tubes (which is the practice of many manufacturers) is what I think does it. They always sound brittle. I've got friends that have ones that have had the Bill M. mods and had them properly biased. However, I didn't find those dramatically better. I did own a Pro Jr. for a while that I modified the input a bit on and dropped in a Jensen P10R. That was a pretty decent amp. Generally a lot of modern EL84 amps just sound brittle and lacking in tube warmth to me. I used to own a Matchless DC/30, first year model, and that sounded magical. That is until I retuned it after about 5 years. Never sounded as good after that. But back to the topic, I like the idea of the Blues Jr. and the form factor. But there's a "fingernails on the chalkboard" quality to the tone that I just can't get past.
     
  10. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    689
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I managed to get a nice sound out of my green board Blues Jr by swapping in a Hellatone 30 speaker (broken-in Celestion G12H30) and re-tubing with all TAD tubes (using a 5751 in v1). For me, that worked miracles. YMMV. ;)
     
  11. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    2,850
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    Well, we've got to mention which version/iteration also, right? I had in sequential order, looking for a dead simple, lightweight, 12" combo that could gig and rehearse with a quieter-than-most band (our drummer, who isn't loud to begin with, plays a full cajon drum set). Got a Princeton Custom, but that didn't goose me, especially for the price; moved up to a Custom Deluxe, which didn't fit the lightweight (it wasn't heavy but could I find something lighter and a tad smaller?); then came the Fender BJ IV! Wow! Lightweight, could keep up with my band, sounded good in a mix, much improved reverb, just so good overall. AND half the price of the CPR and CDR. Unfortunately, all those amps were competing against my Lil Dawg Wonder Dawg Deluxe Reverb (sans tremolo) in a Princeton box. Not kidding, I ALMOST sold the WD and kept the BJ IV. It was just that good! And the price, man!!! My lawd! So I sold the CPR and CDR, kept the BJ IV and WD. It was a battle to the death! I AB'ed those amps, and while the BJ IV still was half the price, ultimately, the WD sounded/sounds soooooooo good that that's the one I kept. BUT if you have $500 for an amp, and want/need a tube amp, you will not find anything better than the BJ IV. Not at that price!

    And the ol' argument ELxx vs 6x6 is rubbish: too subjective, too meaningless. I've read too many articles that have said that there is so little PERCEPTIBLE sonic differences between these tubes as to render the point moot!
     
  12. djh22

    djh22 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    1,022
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Location:
    VA
    I bought a tweed BJ used off of CL for under $200. It appeared to be in good shape, but had an amp tech go over it and he replaced a few components and changed the switch to off-standby-on. I swapped the C12N with Mojotone's version of a G12H30. It is my primary amp and I'm quite pleased with it. A band mate has an AC15 and the combination (tele-BJ / ES335-AC15) gives us a pretty good sound.
     
  13. LuthRavin

    LuthRavin Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    235
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Mine is the perfect grab and go amp..FOR ME..as a backup if needed(never) I also have my Pro Jr..either of them well work in my application as I always have a reverb pedal along for the ride..The Blues Jr Tweed III is my currant gigging amp..I have no complaints and I can easily dial in MY tone..that MY is an important thing as many try to play other player styles and it just wont work in some cases..bigger shows I go to my SuperReverb..now that one can cover "nearly" anybody's style..
     
  14. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    4,615
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hendersonville, TN
    I bought a ver III one earlier this year and was not too thrilled at first but I had a Cannabis-Rex
    speaker stored for several years so got that out and replaced the stock one. It really made
    a big difference. I can now get the same zone of sound that I use on my other amps.
     
  15. NEED4TWEED

    NEED4TWEED TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    25
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Pro Jr > Blues Jr
     
    Daytona.57 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.