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Question about faulty Blues Jr

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by dvkerner96, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Hello, I recently bought a used Blues Jr (early 2000's, USA made) and I have a few questions about what could be wrong with it. I bought it through Reverb.com, where the condition was listed as being excellent, but when I received it, it was (still is) very, very muddy, even at low volumes, and increases to being terribly muddy and distorted as the volume increases, it rattles excessively, a couple of the tubes are loose, and there is this high pitched squealing, shaking noise that comes out of the amp when playing high notes. What could be causing all of that? And is it worth it to try to repair it and possibly upgrade it, or should I just return it for a refund and buy a new Blues Jr iii or a Blues Jr NOS? Your insight into this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Danny
     
  2. BigWillyInd

    BigWillyInd Tele-Afflicted

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    Could be tube issues. I suppose. Did you put different tubes in it after receiving it?
    I'd probably send it back. There's a ton of working Jr's out there.
     
  3. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, thank you. I didn't make any modifications to the amp at all, I just received it a few days ago. I will probably send it back, that's what people have been telling me to do, and it seems like the best option. Thank you for your suggestion!
     
  4. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Although, this Blues Jr is USA made, as opposed to the newer ones which are made in Mexico. Would there be any difference in quality between the two that would justify just repairing the USA made one instead of exchanging it for a newer one that was made in Mexico?
     
  5. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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    At the end of the day, it is an 18W TMB amp. There are equal and better options in that market.
     
  6. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    There is nothing inherently better or worse about Juniors made in USA or Mexico. The problems are with the design itself... cheaply made, mass-constructed PCB amps with cheap switches and jacks, tube sockets soldered into circuit boards, wisply little wires inside the reverb tank, and a cheap stock speaker with no body or tone.
     
  7. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    Not at all uncommon for a tube or tubes to become loose during shipping even with brand new amps. I'd reseat them before deciding what to do.. I'd be surprised if that doesn't get you up and running.
     
  8. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I agree with that, but I already have a Hot Rod Deluxe and I'm just looking for something small that can get a comparable tone, so I don't always have to carry around the bigger amp.
     
  9. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, then I won't mind going with one from Mexico, thank you! And I have heard that the newer versions of the Blues Jr are constructed better than the older versions, with better tubes and speakers, too.
     
  10. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, how would I go about reseating them? Also, the amp is very, very muddy, aside from the other shaking, buzzing problems. Could that be related to tubes being loose too? Or would that be related to the speaker? Or even the wiring?
     
  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There was also an upgraded version of this amp sold by Pro Guitar Shop that was called the Blue Junior III with upgraded tubes and a Cannabis Rex Speaker. They called it the Humboldt Hot Rod. But the mods done on this amp could essentially be done on a stock amp as well.

     
  12. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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    If you just want a grab and go amp with Fender tones, save your money and look for an older FM25R or 65R. Upgrade the speaker and tighten all the screws and it is a fine little amp. I have the Blues Jr Texas Red edition and I can't get any usable tones out of it. It isn't never really clean and the breakup is very raspy. Boxy as hell and the V30 and a TT 40/40 with tube swaps didn't help. As flyswatter posted, there will be no discernable differences between models except for the installed speaker brand. The only redeeming feature on mine is the reverb is very drippy and would be great for surf stuff.
     
  13. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just push then in and make sure they are secure. Ive had 2 amps arrive that needed tubes reset. 1st was a BJ and it was the power tubes that were loose, the next time it was a Vibro Champ that had just been updated by a very reputable tech. That amp squealed and cracked awefully.. Got the tubes secure and everything was beautiful.
     
  14. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, thank you for the information! I am looking more for an amp that is ready to go without any mods though, as I'm not really in a position to get an amp modified right now. But nevertheless, thank you!
     
  15. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I will look into it, although I am not really in a position to modify an amp right now, I am looking more for an amp that is good as it is so I can begin using it immediately. And thank you for all the information, it will be helpful to me! I appreciate it!
     
  16. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I did try pushing them in a bit, it tightened them some, but didn't fix the issues. Maybe there's something more wrong with the amp. I will most likely return it soon and get a new one. Unless it wouldn't be too hard to fix it. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  17. Johnny Cache

    Johnny Cache Former Member

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    For starters I would never buy a used amp without plugging it in and playing with one of my guitars.

    Sounds like somebody was trying to use their BJR like it was a Marshall stack. Common for the younger set, blow the hell out of the amp, then sell it to some sucker. Been down that road...

    Greenboard vs Creamboard, US vs MIM. The Creamboard seems a tad brighter sounding. I've had both, emphasis on had. Won't own another, built too cheap and there are better amps in the same price range, for example: a used PRRI or a Classic 30 wouldn't be much more and both are better amps.

    I would start by changing preamp tubes, that's where most the problems with sound come from.
     
  18. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I guess I made a mistake by buying a used amp online. I playes a few other used Blues Jr's before so I thought that it would most likely be fine. What is the highest volume level you can safely put a Blues Jr up to? And I've heard that the creamboard is brighter, are there any advantages to either the green or creamboard? What is a PRRI? And I've heard about the Classic 30, but I've played through similar amps (like the Peavey Delta Blues amp) and I didn't really like it much. And ok, I could try changing the preamp tubes. Thank you!
     
  19. Johnny Cache

    Johnny Cache Former Member

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    PRRI= Princeton Reverb Reissue.

    Really maybe I overstated it a bit, but the BJR wasn't a bad amp it just wasn't right for me. Of the 2 amps I liked the greenboard better, warmer and cleaner sounding. Maybe because it was my first BJR or the fact that it was MIA. I have a friend who gigs with his creamboard and really likes it, he can make any amp sound good. He also has a Bad Cat (sweet amp) which he uses for some gigs, but to be honest I like my '81 Princeton better than both his amps. As far as volume I usually played the BJR under 4 but a few times around 6 where it starts to break up. I usually don't push my amps too hard since I usually play Jazz and soft rock.
     
  20. mcabe

    mcabe Tele-Meister

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    A lot of Blues Jr. hate on this thread. I am not a fan of a heavily over-driven Blues Jr. But I can dial in a good clean/edge of breakup tone, and use pedals for my dirt. Assuming that you like the sound of a working Blues Jr. (plenty of clips on youtube), I would return it and find another. Blues Jr.s are super common, and you should easily be able to find a working used one for cheap.

    Most of the old green board Blues Jr.s were manufactured in the late 90s, so the amp you have is probably over 15 years old (and not in a good vintage way). According to Billm there is no appreciable difference in quality between the made in US and made in Mexico models, so I wouldn't place a premium on it. The BJ II and BJ III have better layouts if you are thinking of modding at some point, and are brighter amps. The reverb on the newer amps is much better as well.

    Return that amp and look for one locally that you can try out.
     
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