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Question about faulty Blues Jr

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

  1. PeterVV

    PeterVV Tele-Afflicted

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    The stock speaker is half of this amps problem. A lot of people change the cab to a bigger better quality one also. I put an eminence wizard in mine and I have done small gigs with it .
     
  2. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I agree that the Blues Jr is not a bad amp, but I understand that everyone has different taste. I also think the greenboard is better sounding, it has a more natural warm feeling, it has a more personal sound (at least to me). The fact that it was your first Blues Jr and that it was made in America could have added to that though, that is true. Although I think that you are not wrong in saying that the greenboard has something about it that the creamboard doesn't. The creamboard is by no means bad, though, and it can produce good tone. I've heard of Bad Cat amps, though they are very expensive, and I don't know much else about them other than that they are boutique amps. And I'm sure your Princeton is a great amp, I wouldn't mind one myself, but it's a bit out of my price range at this time. And I would probably play the Blues Jr at around 6 for gigs, so it would be ideal if breakup didn't start until at least 6.5, since I like being on the edge of breakup so that I can get clean tone and driven tone without changing the setting on the amp. I would be using it to play Jazz/Blues/Fusion/Rock, so it would be best to be able to have a good balance of clean tone and some minor driven tone, just enough to give leads some more power.
     
  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Maybe you misunderstood my post. The Humboldt Hot Rod IS an upgraded Blues Jr. already. The way your hearing it in the demo and the way Andy describes it is the way it comes stock from Pro Guitar Shop. The Cannabis Rex speaker alone makes a huge difference in this amp.

    What I was saying is that someone could make the same upgrades in a stock Blues Jr that are in this amp if they bought used and wanted to upgrade to this level. So the version I suggested and is in the demo is ready to go now.
     
  4. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I like Blues Jr's, as long as they are working well and not too muddy, which is why I'm trying to find out how to fix mine now. It is tricky, though, because I want to have a balance of clean tone and slightly driven tone that allows me clean headroom, but also enough drive (at a higher volume) to aid in expression when necessary, and I don't use any pedals, so I'm just trying to get my amp as close as I can to that. I do like the sound of a working Blues Jr, but the thing about finding another is that most of the others around have a creamboard, while mine has a greenboard, and from my experience with both the green and creamboards, I like the green one more. And yeah, the age could potentially be an issue, but would it be an issue with wiring, or just with tubes and the speaker? Because I could always just replace the tubes (which I am thinking of doing anyway) and replace the speaker, too. But, if I ran into wiring problems, I would be in a tough spot. I also read Billm's opinion on the value of American made vs Mexican made, and I'm sure he is correct that there is no real difference in quality. My only concern is the difference between the greenboard and the creamboard, like I mentioned. The better layouts of the newer versions are enticing though. The brightness of the newer ones makes them sound a little too nasally for me personally, I like amps that are bright but still warm, whereas the newer ones are a little colder sounding. The better reverb is also enticing though, even more so than the better layouts. I originally wanted to just return the amp and look for a better one, but since Reverb.com (where I bought the amp from) has a bit of a tricky returns process, I may not be able to return the amp to the seller for a full refund (he seems a bit annoyed by the whole situation, though he did label the amp as being in "excellent condition", which it is not), so I am in a tricky position. I also do like the greenboard more, so I would be a bit sad to see that go. If I could just retube the amp and have it be less muddy with a better tone, I would be fine with it. But the question is whether or not retubing alone would do the trick.
     
  5. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    How does the Eminence Wizard affect the amp's tone compared with the stock speaker? I have heard good things about the Wizard.
     
  6. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I guess I did misunderstand your post, I'm sorry about that! Though since I may not be able to return the amp for a full refund (I found this out after I replied to your last post), I may have to just upgrade the one I have. If I do get put into that position, then I will definitely consider putting a new speaker into my current amp, and I am already considering retubing it, thought I don't know if that alone would be enough.
     
  7. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    The biggest problem with the JR is tube socket ... a soldering iron and 3/4hr. will take care of that issue. The two best mods you can do IMO is replace the stock speaker with your best preference ( mine is the C. Rex ) and upgrade the O.T. If you are so inclined replace the reverb tank.
    All in all it is a decent amp, just a bit pricey for what you get.
    If I have one gripe about the design it would be that I wish there were more output impedance options so that an external cabinet could be used along with the internal speaker. The thing I like most is convenience ... small light weight and sounds decent ... at my age it is a plus.
     
  8. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    What you describe could be a bad power tube. If it is running on one out of two, it will be muddy, low volume, and distorted if turned up more than it should be. Quick check is to see if they both light up.
     
  9. PeterVV

    PeterVV Tele-Afflicted

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    The wizard is a far more sensative speaker which makes the amp louder and gets rid of some farty bottom end from the stock speaker. Even though it is primarily designed for closed back cab use it it a great upgrade from budget standard speaker.
     
  10. mcabe

    mcabe Tele-Meister

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    Changing the value of capacitor C9 (C35 for greenboards) can make the new Blues Jrs. sound more like greenboards: http://home.comcast.net/~machrone/bjr/bjbright.htm. I installed a rotary switch in my greenboard amp that changes the value of C35 and is allows me to switch between BJI, II and III levels of brightness.

    If returning the amp is not an option, then I would try replacing tubes as a first step. It is the least invasive option and you can always use those tubes on a different amp later. If that doesn't solve your problem things to check:

    1. Re-tension the tube sockets if they are loose.

    2. Re-solder the joints for the power tube sockets. The BJ runs hot and these joints are prone to failure.

    3. Lead dress of the ribbon cables. Oscillation can be a problem in some BJs. (although this is more common with the creamboard): http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=115. Connections to the ribbon cable often get broken in amps that people have worked on too.

    4. Replace old or leaking electrolytic caps.
     
  11. mcabe

    mcabe Tele-Meister

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    The C Rex is a great match for a Blues Jr. It helps take the edge off of bright amps, so a creamboard with a C Rex might be a good option for the OP if he can't fix or return the current amp.
     
  12. mcabe

    mcabe Tele-Meister

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    Things most likely to fail with age are the tubes, electrolytic capacitors, and solder joints because of how hot the amp runs. The amp uses a PCB, so wiring should be fine. I don't think speakers are especially prone to failure either, unless the amp has been seriously abused.
     
  13. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No apology necessary. I just wanted to make certain you had all of your options in front of you. If you do decide to upgrade yours the Emi CRex is a perfect speaker for this amp and a few other Fenders as well. I have one in my Blues Cube and it made a big difference in that amp as well.

    I think you've found others recommending it as well and for both Pro Guitar and Fender it became the speaker of choice in later versions of the Blue Jr like the Humboldt Hot Rod. Good luck with your amp.
     
  14. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    That sucks.. Sorry I couldn't help..
     
  15. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I will have the tube socket checked if I end up replacing the tubes, hopefully that will help! And I may change the speaker to either a Cannabis Rex, a Swamp Thang, or even a Wizard, and I've also considered a Greenback. The reverb tank seems okay though, I don't have any problems with it. What is the O.T.? I imagine that it stands for old tubes, but I could be wrong. And I got the amp because for it's size, it's tone isn't bad, and I was looking for a second amp (I already have a Hot Rod Deluxe) that isn't too heavy, but still has good tone. Thank you for your suggestions!
     
  16. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    They all light up, so they must just be old tubes that don't function as well anymore, and a couple of them are loose, so that could be part of it, too. Thank you for the suggestion!
     
  17. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, that sounds like it may be what I'm looking for! How are the highs/mids/ and lows? And how clean is the speaker? How easily does it break up? Does the sound have a lot of depth? Also, you mentioned that it is a sensitive speaker, does it allow for moreasy articulation and more dynamic control? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to get the details on the speaker from someone who's owned one, rather than looking at a marketing website for the details, because you never know how honest those descriptions are.
     
  18. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    That sounds like a good mod! Though I may end up sticking with the greenboard and just trying to upgrade the amp since, as I mentioned, returning it may not be an option. I will probably end up replacing the tubes if I keep the amp, I am already looking into good options for tube upgrades. And I will definitely keep the old tubes too! And ok, I will keep all of those options in mind in case replacing the tubes isn't enough, and I will ask the tech who puts in the new tubes to check for things like that, and fix them as needed. Thank you, your advice will be helpful to me! I appreciate it!
     
  19. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    I will consider the Cannabis Rex as a replacement speaker for the amp, especially if I end up having a creamboard! Thank you!
     
  20. dvkerner96

    dvkerner96 TDPRI Member

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    Ok, I will replace the tubes and have all that checked out. And it's good to hear that it probably isn't a wiring issue, and it's also good to hear that speakers aren't prone to failure, though I may still upgrade it. As far as I know, the amp hasn't been seriously abused, but that is just as far as I know. Hopefully it wasn't! It doesn't look like it was, though I'm not sure how to tell (other than seeing things that look broken). It does seem like it was not played for quite some time, though. When I received it there were spider webs and dead bugs inside the back. But I don't know if not playing an amp for long periods of time could cause it any harm, I would imagine that it wouldn't, but I wouldn't be surprised if it could.
     
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