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Gigging with a Blues Junior

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by clearfish, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. clearfish

    clearfish TDPRI Member

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    After a rather long hiatus from electric guitar I'm looking for something smaller than my JC-120. I found a Fromel modded BJr I like, but I'm a tad concerned about the amps ability to carry in a room with 50+ people without miking.
    So give up your live experience and help a brother out.
     
  2. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    The Blues Jr. keeps up in a band just fine. It depends on the clean headroom you need. My DRRI is 22 watts and I gigged that for a couple of yrs. and the Blues Jr. after it. Both amps are close in watts.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  3. joeybyron

    joeybyron Tele-Meister

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    I gigged as a bass player in a heavy blues trio (think SRV) for 3 years. We never played a show it didn't cover . Inside/outside rarely miced up. For really small shows he sometimes had trouble getting It to the sweetspot without being asked to turn down.

    The harder he pushed it the better it sounded. He wasn't really going for the clean overhead thing though.

    I wish so badly this amp had a speaker out to add an extension cab or wish the box itself was bigger bit that's for another thread.
     
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  4. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

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    The amp does have a speaker out.Just unplug the speaker cord from the interface under the chassis.Then
    plug your extension cabinet in.You can't use the speaker in the Blues Jr. cab when you do this.
     
    Andy B, PBO Blues and JustABluesGuy like this.
  5. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I play bass in a country band, and our guitar player has used a Blues Junior for the whole time I have been in the band (almost 3 years). We usually aren't mic'd, and he has not even come close to running out of volume.
     
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  6. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't let the physical size of that amp fool you. There's more there than meet the eye, or ear in this case.
     
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  7. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    I use my Junior to gig with among other amps. There are a few minor mods that I made the main thing is the C.Rex speaker. The C. Rex is super efficient which translates to more perceived volume ... a bit more cleaner head room and better tone. That is my take.
    If you are playing in a small venue and your drummer isn't a nut case you will be fine. I have even used it on outdoor gigs miced and it was just fine. I used to have a Valve Jr 5W and I used that on gigs a few times (with a mic of course)
    FWIW when I was playing back in the '60's we didn't have the kind of sound systems that are available and affordable today. So we used big heavy high powered behemoth amplifiers. With the sound systems that you can get today ( cheap) I think the best bet is to use smaller amps and mic them when necessary. In the end you or the sound man will have more control over the band's sound. Sometimes I gotta play really cranked, In the old days I would use one or two 100W amps ... I have the hearing loss to prove it. Today I can get the same sound basically without breaking my back or going deaf. It is 2016 count your blessings.
     
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  8. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I used one once, no prob. If you have an extra loud drummer bump up the speaker
    with a speaker with a higher db.
     
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  9. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    This...it's too boxy sounding for me. I've looked into bigger cabs for mine; Mather will make one for around $300, but that is more than I paid for the amp. I've used an "headless" HRD cab plugged into the spkr out in lieu of the stock cab from time to time, and it really improves the amp, IMO anyway, but is a pretty big footprint increase. I tend to use a Deluxe instead.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  10. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    To each his own---I don't know if you are looking to keep the sound you get from the JC 120, but the BJr will not do it. I find the sound of those amps harsh and even shrill. Not my cup of tea at all. A Roland Cube (40-60-80) would get you much closer to the JC 120 sound and easily fill a small venue.
     
  11. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've gigged a Blues Jr. plenty in the past. Never had an issue. Great little amp.
     
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  12. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    A 15-watt tube amp through a reasonably efficient 12" speaker should provide plenty of oomph unless your drummer is Bonzo...
     
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  13. Mike H.

    Mike H. Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Yes, a Blues Jr will have the volume to keep up in a band setting, but will it have the tone you need? For me personally, the answer is no. I didn't like the sound of the Blues Jr when pushed at higher volumes. If you need a lot of clean headroom, you might want to consider a different amp.
     
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  14. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Folks who successfully use small amps at gigs think small amps are plenty loud for everybody, since everybody should like what they like. Players who need to use big amps for big gigs with high stage volumes at loud venues rely on big amps. There's no useful information from these debates because the only way to tell if a given amp is loud enough for a particular gig is to try it. Experience ... get enough of that and you'll know what will or won't work where. IMO.
     
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  15. Theslack5

    Theslack5 Tele-Meister

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    I have used a blues junior live for the past 5 years and it has always been loud enough for me, often I don't get miked up and it carries fine. I would however try one if you can as different playing styles come with different needs. For me though I don't need anything louder.
     
  16. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I used my BJ for smaller bar gigs 50-ish people) for 3 years. Great workhorse amp.
     
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  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree it depends on the drummer.
    He needs to hear you, too.
    If he's to loud he loses you.
    Might need 30 watts.
    I use a four watt amp live mostly, usually routed to a larger external cabinet.
    I like to hear output tubes earn their keep.
     
  18. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a Blues Junior: too boxy sounding, sound like a toy, not enough power with a loud drummer.

    Buy a Peavey Bandit: less weight than the JC120, better sound than the Blues Junior and louder.
     
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  19. Pcaluaru

    Pcaluaru Tele-Meister

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    +1 strat!

    Having gigged a modded Blues Jr for small venues IMO it's a fine amp. Yet, you get outside of a large Urban setting where the coffe shops become dance halls/bars, even mic'ed a small amps like the Blues jr won't work for me. I'll hear the amp if I'm standing right on top of it and in it's direct path, but I don't really hear it because it's got no presence. Even if its qued back into the monitors... I still like to hear my amp. Larger amps with multiple speakers or ext cabs is what I prefer. One doesn't have to dime the amp, usually I play on 2 or 3 but with a bigger amp I'm able to hear myself on stage much much better.
     
  20. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    That's really the thing. Different players not only play different venues and styles, but with different sidemen in various settings ... what works for some just won't do it for others, and the confidence some posters display that "what works for me oughtta work for near everybody else" is misplaced.

    I have done very quiet gigs with a Champ; and with the same players, at a new venue, needed at least a Deluxe Reverb ... a Princeton wouldn't do ... just because of the audience noise and acoustics. Every gig can be different, and not every player has experienced some of the exceptionally odd circumstances that others routinely encounter. It's really less than useless for a poster to declare that a given 15 watt amp, (or 22 watt amp, etc.) will handle anything because it handles "their" gigs.
     
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