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Love the Pro Jr but it's too loud for practice. Would a Champ do the trick?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Boy_Narf, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a Dual Showman Reverb that is not only too loud for practice, it is too loud for most gigs. I would love to trade it in on something more useful...and tweedy.
     
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  2. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    It's incredible to me that you can't get a grand for the big fenders, but a Princeton will fetch 2k!
    Those amps are just so great at what they do (and the Twin, the Super, the Bandmaster Reverb) but they've fallen a bit out of favor. Built like tanks too - it's a head scratcher to me, especially since so many guys have thousands of dollars in pedals anyway.
     
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  3. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    Already donated two cents worth, but I encountered a review for Harley Benton's 15 watt lunch box head in which the reviewer raved about the tone. Also mentioned was the 5 watt version for £119. Scales back to 1 watt and 1/4 watt.
    Thought it worth mentioning.
     
  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is this the one that was paired with a 2X15" speaker cab?
    Do you have the cab too?
     
  5. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe y’all should learn to love a clean tone. You can use any size amp you want and get all that juicy big iron low end without waking the neighbors. A little reverb and I can play all day.
     
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  6. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    Your 1/4 watt cranked amp sounds like an angry chicken.
     
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  7. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    No cab, sorry. I use my old Traynor bass cab with 2 Peavey 1980's era Black Widows. It can alter heartbeats at 100 paces...
     
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  8. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I once did a few pickup band blues gigs in the '90's with rotating guitar players
    ( note: the bass player owned his own music shop, All-Star Music, and he would 'make bands' out of us regulars, get a few bar gigs- hence 'The All-Star Blues Band!')

    I had a Peavey Predator Strat ( my Avatar photo- I still play sometimes) and a '67 Pro Reverb and a Tube Screamer- so I could get loud enough!

    But on a few gigs, the other guitar player played a red 335 into a Peavey Special 130 ( I think a hybrid) with Black Widows ( can't remember if it was 1 or 2) and just SMOKE the whole band- insane LOUD!
     
  9. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Even a Champ can be too loud. And an 8" speaker may record really well, but I think a 10" gives a beautiful sound -- I prefer 10s to 12s for guitar, period -- so it's less limiting. I use a PJ almost exclusively. Mine is a first-issue, MIA PJ. I got it as a fun amp for small venues, but even in its initial form I found it to be always "shouting," to have a harsh response at low volume, and to be way too spiky and far too quick to break up unpleasantly, stock. But I decided to work on the amp and see if I could bring it 'round to become as usuable as I thought it might be. Here's what I did:
    • various circuit mods, all of them easy. There are a couple of caps worth removing, and various cap and resistor swaps that are easily made. Info is all over the web. Fromel sells some mod kits incorporating various improvements.
    • reroute some of the wiring. The stock wiring is careless and very noisy.
    • try other preamp tubes. You can go as low as 12AU7s in the preamp slots and calm things down a lot! And the amp won't break up in the instant, ugly way the stock setup does. Better range on volume control. I now use a 5751 and a 12AY7, as I recall. The amp is really tube sensitive!
    • try other EL84s. I found that most of the "reissue" (= fake) EL84s ("Mullard" "Genalex") suck badly. I ended up using new JJs becauyse literally nothing else I tried, including old tubes, was any good, and the JJs were quietest and most musical.
    • speaker. I was lucky that the stock Fender/Eminence that came in mine blew very quickly (even though I never ran the amp at anything near to volume). I have a Weber in there now, and like other speakers I tried, it sounds better than the original -- though it took a long time to break in.
    • most importantly, for me: changed OT. I bit the bullet and got a Merc. Mag. OT, and this transformed the amp massively. The overall response went from tight and hard to open and fluid and strong. The ability to deliver tones -- deep, tight bass and detailed, shimmery treble -- was transformed.
    Everyoner who hears the amp love the sound. It's an incredible unit now, thanks to the sum total of the mods and fixes made combined with an OT and speaker capable of capitalizing on the improved signal path. I do not like amp distortion much, and the changes listed have eliminated the over-the-top, early and hard breakup built into the amp in favor of a more musical clean that moves into OD in an organic, pleasing way.

    This may seem like a lot of $$$ and effort, but it wasn't. The transformer is not cheap, but cutting costs on the OT is going to rerstrict the performance of virtually any amp. I found it to be $ well spent.
     
  10. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    So now it breaks up at low volume?
     
  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Ernie Ball MVP active volume pedal. Two ways to use it. Run the amp with the volume knob all the way up. Use the MVP to control it. Or, use the pedal with its flat EQ boost as a sort of gain knob, while using the amp‘s volume control as a sort of master volume.
     
  12. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

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    Whats the part number on the xformer?
    Did it fit the existing holes?
     
  13. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I cleaned up the lead dress in my 2000 MIA PJr as well. That really helped cut down hum and hiss. Also put in a toggle switch on the negative feedback loop.

    As far as tubes, after trying numerous combinations, I've ended up with JJ EL84s in the power section, a JJ ECC81 in V1, and a JJ 12AY7 in V2. In mine, that combination just works beautifully. No idle noise at all, and beautiful clean sounds, with a smoother breakup. But I normally play at lower volumes clean, and actually run the tone at one when playing my Jimmie Vaughan Strat, which is pretty bright. Even with the amp tone on one, I often roll back the tone on the Strat.

    I also put silicone standoffs on the tube PCB, which has completely eliminated tube rattle, and all the annoying noises that always created.

    I'm using the stock brown label speaker. I put a Ragin Cajun in it for a while, but prefer the original.
     
  14. straightlbues

    straightlbues TDPRI Member

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    I think you need a solid state amp. Tube amps do their thing at specific volumes. You choose the right tube amp for the volume you are playing. They aren't that flexible. Solid state amps can do dirty tones at any volume.
     
  15. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    my vht special 6 head is bloody loud when fully cranked. however, it is blessed with high and low inputs, high and low outputs PLUS a pentode/cathode footswitchable option too. it is easily the most versatile amp i own due to its sundry power scaling options. and that's without going into all the moddable loveliness and tube swappability that it's famous for.
     
  16. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    Yes the tweed champ is a great sounding amp. I usually set my volume at 8 or 9 (these go to 12) when gigging in good sized bars with 2 gutarists, bass and drums. They star breaking up when the volume knob is turned to 8 or 9 depending on your pickups and sound great cranked all the way to 12. Takes pedals well.

    20210112_005145.jpg 20210112_005128.jpg
     
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  17. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Use the volume control, turn it to the left and plug a good OD between the amp and guitar to drive those tubes. Personally I wouldn’t dream of buying a 1 watt amp because it’s limited to home use and they don’t “sound” big.

    Funny thing is, the best sounding overdriven amps Fender ever built were tweeds, and back then players wanted bigger amps because that was the only way to get any clean headroom, so Fender changed the circuitry to allow for more clean volume and then what did we want? Dirt! So God invented OD and distortion to keep from driving our neighbors and wives crazy; after all, he had already invented dirt. Use them and save your money for another guitar because you need one, duh. You’re welcome.
     
  18. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    My 5th amp was a 74 Twin, 135 watt if I remember, and orange JBLs from the factory. Volume wise it would destroy that guys Marshall with the 4x12 cab, but I couldn’t get any distortion out of that thing to save my life! They didn’t make that version of the Twin for long. 135 watts; that’s a lotta watts! It was probably the best sounding amp I’ve ever owned.
     
  19. wannabeatle

    wannabeatle TDPRI Member

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    I use mine with a Weber attenuator and it sounds awesome.
    Love that Pro Junior IV. So simple and sounds so great!
     
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  20. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Afflicted

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    I know the tone is in that tweed cloth for sure! Must be! :lol:
     
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