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Gigging with a Blues Junior

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

  1. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    Which is exactly why at my age I still have a room full of guitar amplifiers and a closet full of guitars. The right tool for the job. In all fairness it took years to accumulate this stuff. When The Lord said: "Let their be light", I was the one that wired and threw the switch.

    The Jr is a good amp but not for every situation.
     
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  2. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I couldn't gig with the Blues Junior because it has a different circuit than a Blackface Deluxe Reverb and not enough clean headroom for my uses, despite only being 7 watts difference. Maybe those mods might make it more giggable, and make more efficient use of those 15 watts.
     
  3. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    With drummer or without, in almost any room, I gig with Blackface Deluxe Reverb. It's rarely if ever, too physically big. The amp has good, clean headroom, and great tone. It sounds good at lower volumes, doesn't fuzz out at higher ones, and I never have the anxiety of whether I brought the right amp to the gig. "When in doubt, Deluxe Reverb" has become my motto. Size/weight between JC120 and BJR, closer to BJR...
     
  4. clearfish

    clearfish TDPRI Member

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    I've had the JC120 since 1978--time for a change lol. Over the years many guitarists have been surprised to learn it was a SS amp. I've never been impressed by any of the Cubes I heard or played thru. To my ear, they sound artificial compared to my old JC I really liked the response of the BJr.
     
  5. clearfish

    clearfish TDPRI Member

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    In the biggest loudest venues, I never had the JC past 4--it has K120s. I'm maybe spoiled on headroom.
     
  6. clearfish

    clearfish TDPRI Member

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    I have a spare JBL K120 I would love to use in it.
     
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  7. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I had a good friend who was in a well known 70s band that had a couple hit songs. He went nearly his whole career with only one Strat and one Blackface Twin Reverb. We used to do all kinds of gigs together, and small or big, loud or quiet, he only ever had that Strat and that Twin. Only pedal he ever used was a phaser (and only in the 70s)

    I though about doing the same thing so many times, but it just never worked out for me. I needed to switch hats to keep the mojo specific to the job.

    RIP Tony.
     
  8. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    If I only could have one amp it probably would be a Twin. With the right accessories it will fit most situations. That said, if I wanted to carry and transport heavy equipment I might still be using a Traynor Stack or a pair of piggy back Fender bassman amps. So much has changed over the years. Sometimes I think the nostalgia for the equipment used in the good old days is misplaced. I was there in the middle of it in the good old days and in general the gear that we have now is better. Sometimes I wish I owned a Duesenberg ... but a Buick just makes more sense. The same can be said for amplifiers ... unless you are a collector. They are just a tool to me.

    The last time I was in Nashville I was looking at and tried some old Tele's. They wanted 40G's for a few of them. They didn't play any better or sound any better than my '52 re-issue but believe me there are a lot of nut cases out there who will pony up for them. The same thing with vintage amplifiers. I don't get it.
     
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  9. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    A photo is more accurate than a Vermeer, but generally, the Dutch artist's painting will be worth a lot more because ... it's part of Art history, it was groundbreaking in some way, and Golden Age Dutch paintings are far more rare than photos of similar subjects. Amps (like automobiles) contain elements of Pop Art and period design that has historic relevance beyond the mundane use as an electrical amplifier (or powered transport).
    Guitars are tool and Art object simultaneously, and the important examples of early design are valuable representations of the actual evolution of the genre; in this case (old Teles), the genre of 20th Century solidbody 50s design, a milestone in the history of musical instruments.
     
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  10. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    This.
     
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  11. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    The art of the assembly line. Anything that was produced in 1955 can be reproduced down to the finish checks today. What art? It is a plank. A plank that I happen to like to play but still a plank. What Fender did wasn't art it was engineering. If you have an attachment to a 60yr old plank that costs 40G's be my guest mortgage your home and buy the thing. Me I'll send my money on a new American Standard or Elite. I don't think your average rock and roll fan or blues fan or jazz fan is going to be able to tell the difference and if I scuff it up enough it will look 60yrs old.. To each their own. To some people these things represent history ... to me they are just things that were around when I was a kid that look as old as I am. I still have my first transistor radio around somewhere .... it works. It is worth around 50 cents ... the transistors are vintage though. Visionary engineering...stamped out on an assembly line in Japan. BTW those Japanese Fenders were outstanding as are the Japanese made Ibanez guitars.
     
  12. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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  13. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Disagree. Architecture of the Art Deco era (and auto-body design from the same period) are, in fact, Art, as is Marcel Duchamp's positioning of bicycle handlebars over a bicycle seat (or bicycle wheel attached to a wooden stool), all engineered parts built on an assembly line. A 1939 Delahaye or a 1935 LaSalle, both manufactured on assembly lines, are at the same time, works of Art, because they are the result of artistic design, not simply mechanical pragmatism.

     
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  14. Rockbreaker

    Rockbreaker Tele-Holic

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    Blues Jr. will be just fine, Classic 30? even better...
     
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  15. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    Everybody has their point of view. To me it is just a bunch of old stuff that still works. Hell when I was kid we had an RCA TV it had around 20 or 30 tubes in it ... then old man Muntz invented the compactron it worked too. This stuff could be considered to be art deco. I like my flat screen better. I guess that is what happens when you get to be an old fart. I lover listening to led zepplin through my victrola. It doesn't get any better than that. :cool:
     
  16. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    It sounded like a valid question. He was not asking big vs small wattage. He just asked about a Blues Jr.

    Nothing wrong with trying to get info before a purchase.

    All that said, your point is quite valid in a general sense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  17. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    "Is a Blues Jr loud enough for gigs?"

    It's loud enough for some gigs, not for others.

    "Is a Blues Jr loud enough for my gigs?"

    How could anyone but you know? Even if you try to describe your gigs, will we really know if it's loud enough for different rooms, audiences, playing styles that we've not seen, heard or experienced?

    "How loud is a Blues Jr?"

    If you live near a music store or some pawn shops, it shouldn't be hard to get this answer in a timely manner. There it is ... play through it ... it's that loud.

    If you don't live near any music stores, for the cost of return shipping, you can get an online retailer to send you one and try it for a month or more. Then you know for sure.

    For the record, I know that posters ask rhetorical questions to encourage debate and discussion on topics that are enjoyable to the OP. Part of that debate is someone saying, "Just try one."
     
  18. Pcaluaru

    Pcaluaru Tele-Meister

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    JC120 is a great SS jazz amp. One of the best! I played one exclusively for about 3yrs in a jazz band, used a Rockman for my gain. Great chorus on that amp, I don’t remember playing it loud at the venues I did. The gigs were mainly all uptown dinner club venues. I can't compare the JC120 to the Blues Jr. Imo they are two entirely different amps. Both have a lot of pros and few cons.

    I use my tricked out Blues Jr now when I moonlight for an Indy type band that does the trend crowd thing. Plenty loud & Plenty versatile, I use it mainly as a pedal platform and IMO... the clean is fine. The master volume is a plus feature of that amp along with it having reverb and why I prefer it over the Pro jr (which is another great amp, but no reverb)

    What I see a lot of guys doing now is gigging TWO Blues Jr’s or Two Pro Jr’s running them in stereo. Live its an awsome sound. WOW! I know people love Princetons, but for the price of one you can have two Pro or Blues Jrs. If I were to use my Blues Jr as my main gigging amp I get another and do the same..
     
  19. Steve A

    Steve A TDPRI Member

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    Since your post dates back to 2016 I assume you have your answer but for those who might find their way here I'll post my experience. I currently own 3 amps; a Blues Deluxe, a Blues Jr 1 and a Blues Jr 4. I used the Deluxe for quite a while and it is an awesome but heavy amp. The BJ 1 is a heavily BillM modified amp. It probably approaches 20 watts and has a Texas Heat speaker in it. It has been a great amp and is fairly light (31.5 lbs). It is my go-to amp because of its weight and performance. It handles outdoor and indoor gigs well. With the tilt-back legs it has no problem being heard in a crowded bar. My band had two guitars, bass, keyboard and drums. We played a wide variety of different music including blues, country and southern rock. I also play in a 50's band and a church band. The BJ 1 handles it all without going above 3. I recently bought a BJ4 Tweed with an Eminence Red White and Blues speaker in it that I got from Sweetwater. Other than that speaker there are no other modifications to it. This amp is better than my BJ1 even though there are no circuit mods. It has clear highs and the bass response does shake the floor, although not quite as much as the Deluxe.. The midrange is pretty good too. Overall the tonal response is better than the modded BJ1. Again it has no problems with indoor or outdoor gigs. I did have a Blues DeVille but the two BJ's and even the Deluxe were so much lighter that I never used it. If you haven't pulled the trigger on a BJ I'd highly recommend the BJ4 with the RWB speaker upgrade. If you need more headroom you can always replace the first 12AX7 with a 12AT7 which has about a 60% gain compared to the 12AX7. It will make very little difference in volume output but it will allow you to get to about 6 before it breaks up. I am not saying that the BJ is better than the Deluxe or anything bigger because it simply is not...because it is smaller. If you're looking for something lighter to carry and performs well for its size then the BJ is a good amp. Of the three I have I like the 4 the best and is one of the best amps I've ever owned. But that's just me. You can always mike it if you want or plug a 5 watt tube amp directly into the sound system like Billy Gibbons does. No matter what amp you use though the audience will never hear the difference that we as players hear.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  20. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    You are 100% spot on. The BJ4 is a vast improvement over the previous versions. Im thinking about buying one.
     
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