Fender Blues Junior III vs. Blues Junior NOS

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Butch Snyder, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi guys,

    I'm in the market for a new amp. I have decided on a Blues Junior. I owned one back in the late 90's. Awesome amp and for its wattage and form factor, it's hard to beat. The one I owned was a Blues Junior I. Since then, there has been a Blues Junior II and now a Blues Junior III.

    The two I'm interested in here are a Blues Junior III and a Blues Junior NOS. The NOS amp is in tweed and looks very nice; however, nice-looking only gets you until you plug in and play; then, nice-looking doesn't matter. Would you Blues Junior experts help me in deciphering the pros, cons, and general differences in the two. I would really appreciate it.
     
  2. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Blues Junior NOS (a MF, GC and other related chains special) has a Jensen C12N speaker, which is said to be a bit more vintage Fender voiced. The Blues Jr-III has the Fender (Eminence) Lightning Bolt, which has been said to leave a bit of tone to be desired.

    Fender has a series of Limited Edition amplifiers that are currently available or soon to be available. The changes are usually the cosmetics and speaker(s).

    Pro Guitar Shop has the Limited Edition Blues Junior™ III "Creamy Wine Two-Tone" a single 12" Eminence® Cannabis Rex™ hemp-coned speaker and the Limited Edition Blues Junior™ III "Red Nova Two-Tone" with 12" Eminence® Wizard™ speaker (the ad says it has a Lightning Bolt).
     
  3. TheKingBee

    TheKingBee Tele-Meister

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    I absolutely love my Blues Jr. It is from '99 I think...a green board if I'm not mistaken. I think it is a lot darker-sounding than the new ones. You really can't go wrong with a blues jr. The price is right and they sound great. and they're light.
     
  4. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  5. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The NOS and BJr III use identical circuits. The differences (and what you're paying for) are a Jensen speaker, tweed covering w/leather handle, a different grill cloth, and MAYBE, a different tube complement.

    The speaker is expendable, as are the tubes, and the rest have no bearing on how the amp will sound. Frankly, IMHO, the differences are not worth the extra $$$.

    That said, the BJr is a great choice (I have one myself).
     
  6. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    I LOVE the BJ III. Will be picking one up soon-ish.
     
  7. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    So do I.

    Having owned an older, cream board BJr, and now owning a BJr III, I'm in the camp that believes that the newer Lightning Bolt speaker is an improvement over the older, Special Design model.
     
  8. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    If possible, it would be best to go somewhere you can plug into each side by side and compare. Some people like the NOS with Jensen speaker better, some like the stock Eminence better. Some like to replace the speaker with something else. It's really about personal taste and what you are looking (listening) for.
     
  9. Chautauqua

    Chautauqua Tele-Holic

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    A) Skip the BJR... get a Pro Jr. Yes it's more costly, but you'll have to spend that much on the BJ to get a good sound out of it. The Pro Jr. is a WAY better amp.

    B) Skip the Blues Jr all together and just buy a Peavy Classic 30... it's ten times the amp for less money. Well built and vastly better sounding...

    BUT, If you're dead set on a BJRIII then look for one of the "special" Red versions (not sure the model name) but they actually SOUND decent. All other BLues Jr's...not so much. Yes you can mod the hell out of them and get a decent amp, but at what point is it not better to just buy a Pro Jr. to get a good amp out of the box???

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  10. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Isn't the Pro Jr. the smaller of the two with a 10" and minimal controls while the Blues Jr is the 12" with full controls?

    I agree. Love the Classics.
     
  11. Comanche

    Comanche TDPRI Member

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    I have the tweed nos. I like very much. It sound very good with a Tele or a Lester.
     
  12. Rusty Rivers

    Rusty Rivers Tele-Meister

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    The NOS is warmer, I've owned both.
     
  13. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I tried both side by side and went with the NOS. I'm sure part of it was the need for tweed... But I tried to like the III better... but just couldn't. They were close... Mighty close! I'm sure if I had grabbed the III, and picked upa Jensen speaker for it, I'da been right there ont he sound.

    Again though i was sucked in by the beautiful tweed.... Damn marketing.
     
  14. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey guys, thanks very much for all your replies. I am weighing them carefully as I have found a local seller with one that's fairly new for $375. I also found a used Peavey Classic 30 that looks to be in great condition.

    So, we have:

    1. Used Tweed NOS for $475
    2. Used Blues Junior (don't know series) for $375
    3. Used Peavey Classic 30 for $390
     
  15. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

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    I can vouch for the Pro Jr. Tried the Pro and the Blues Jr side by side. Pro Jr won out hands down. The one I have is American made and don't know if that makes a difference but the tone was noticeably better in the Pro. thanks
     
  16. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    Some random thoughts:

    If you want a simple amp, the Pro Jr. is hard to beat. I have an old USA made Pro Jr. in tweed.

    I had a Blues Jr with a Celestion Vintage 30 and a few Billm Mods. I really liked this amp. Portable size, reverb, and a 12-inch speaker. I traded my Blues Jr. for a USA made Peavey Classic 30. The Classic 30 is also a nice portable amp.

    I've taken a soldering iron to both of my Jrs. The PCB is delicate, but not too much trouble to remove and work with. All of the above amps run EL84s off of PCB mounted tube sockets. My Pro Jr. had burned up the PCB around one of the power tubes. They run the EL84s hard. The Blues Jr. also runs the EL84s hard. A lot of people bias their Jrs a tad colder. Here's a shot of the blown tube socket on my Pro Jr.
    [​IMG]

    And a shot of the repairs...it's not that hard to chassis mount sockets in the Pro Jr, or the Blues Jr.
    [​IMG]

    I have not taken a soldering iron to my Classic 30, and hopefully that day will never come, because it's a folded circuit board, and does not look like much fun. The Peavey Classic 30 does not push the EL84s as hard and most people don't mess with the bias on the Classic 30 nor do they worry about rebiasing for tube changes. They were designed to be low maintenance workhorses.
    [​IMG]

    Tonewise, I like them all. They are all more similar than they are different, IMHO. I put a 20w Classictone output transformer in my Pro Jr. for a little more headroom. In my band, I typically use the Pro Jr. while another guitarist uses the Classic 30 (he uses it for keys, too, believe it or not). I like the tone of either amp equally.

    I don't know if this helps or muddles the issue but since I've tried all 3 amps, and still own of them, I figured I'd share.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
    Route67 likes this.
  17. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    -pss...that classic30 pic, you can clip that one wire on the fold, and you get
    that overhead/neg feedback thingy done...(I think, has been a while since I saw one)
    it is on diff C30 mod sites.
     
  18. TheKingBee

    TheKingBee Tele-Meister

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    I would agree with that. I had a Classic 30 and a Delta blues...both very solid dependable great-sounding amps. I still love my BJ though...but doesn't everyone love a BJ?
     
  19. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Just took my modded bj out last week. Kicked butt. I was worried about size, but
    it kept up great...
     
  20. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    I think you may have meant Hot Rod Deluxe, though I agree that the Pro Jr. is a great sounding amp.
     
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