Tele's love the amp most sold throughout the world

Fenderdad1950

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I know I know, this thread should be posted under the glowing amp section. But amp circuits, circuit boards, tube types and getting the best settings are a bit bewildering to many players. And with the mind boggling number of the Blues JR sold, it is an immensely huge number of players throughout the world. So I posted this here, rather than the amp section, because all the Blues JR players always read the Telecaster discussion forum. I think most Fender fans relate to the 5E3 tweed deluxe amp sound, but the problem is that such a sound comes at a hefty price and is basically out of their price range. Enter the humble one-trick Blues Jr pony, that many guitar players can afford. It gets in the ballpark of the 5E3 sound (definitely not spot on) ..., but enough grit to it to make nearly a million buyers happy. This guide is fantastic on explaining the relationship of the master to the gain (stealthfully disguised as a volume name & knob) This is definitely worth a listen. Enjoy
 

dlew919

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I play through a tweed BJ. It’s a great amp. Straight or through pedals.
 

radiocaster

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I never associated the BJr with the 5e3.
Fender could easily make a 5e3 for the same price as the BJr if they used the same pcb construction.
The 5e3 is a simpler circuit, its just typically hand made boutique style in limited numbers which adds to the price.
If they did, they would charge much more. Production costs are not a factor in their pricing.
 

telemnemonics

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I would like to think I would never mistake a 5e3 for a Blues Jr.. They don’t sound that similar to me.
I agree.
But in gear chat we are a widely varied group and get our understandings from the cesspool of facts and fictions that make up the internet.

Many assiciate el84 with Marshall and Vox tone while assuming Fender tone is only BF mid scooped tone while maybe having a vague notion of Tweed tones based on amp coverings.

Assume also that many if not most opinios on the internet come from people who have never owned or even extensively used most of the gear they voice their opinions about.
 

telemnemonics

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I guess I am in the minority because 6V6's is what my ears want my esquire to flow through.

Excelsior!
Playing Esquires exclusively I loved my two 18w Marshall clones (el84) so I decided to buy a third 18w Marshall clone except with 6v6!

Damn thing sounds the same as the el84 versions.
(the circuit crafts the tones, power tubes impart minimal sonic signature unless comparing vastly different power tubes, which the 6v6 and el84 are not)
 

Tim S

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I watched the entire video and came away with two observations:
1) the presenter’s idea of “clean” differs immensely from mine
2) I was reminded why my Blues Junior is the least loved of all of my amps (tubes or SS)
 

arlum

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It's just my opinion but, based on multiple comparisons of EL84 and 6V6 tubes in my little class A 6 watt Cornford Carrera I hear distinct differences between the two tube types in question. The Carrera works with all tube types and I've come to enjoy the chance for head to head trials. In this case I've found that when switching back and forth between the EL84 and 6V6 using the 8 pin / 9 pin selector switch on the amps face plate any EL84 tube is always louder than any 6V6. Also, in all cases, EL84s are more defined and crisp with 6V6s favoring a slight tweedy grit. EL84s favor the upper mids and have a super tight bottom end. 6V6s favor the lower mids and produce more bass but the bass is not as tight or defined. Also, in this comparison, by using multiple guitar models, I've found the type of guitar pickup make a huge difference to the 6V6. Where the EL84 sounds great right across the board using all pickup types the 6V6 loses clarity and sometimes becomes a bit muddy through standard type humbuckers. When using Fender type single coils through the 6V6 their tone at least equals and sometimes surpasses that of the EL84 depending on the brand and age of the 6V6. NOS 6V6s are drastically better than current production. While I prefer and use NOS Amperex Bugleboy EL84s from the early '60s in my Bruno amps I do use new production EL84s in both my Cornford Hellcat, (Sovtek), and Mesa Mark V:35, (Mesa). I've also found some good current production JJ EL84s. Sadly, I've yet to find any decent current production 6V6 tubes and that's a shame because, when it comes to the swampy, gritty tweed type blues guitar tones as heard on multiple recordings using Strats or Teles the NOS 6V6 tubes are the best of the best for this purpose. In all other cases I prefer EL84s over 6V6s. Note* I've stated many types on TDPRI that EL84s are may favorite type of output tube and that remains true. Hands down. But even I, when going for vintage blues through a Fender single coil guitar would choose an NOS 6V6. It's like they were made for this task.
 

jrblue

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I've played a load of different amps, as others have. I've rarely found the tubes to be the element that catch my ear or influence my playing. Control settings, yes; overall build (specifically, speaker housing and chassis) yes, reliability (big yes), speaker(s) sometimes, size of amp v/v size of room yes, but tubes... a mystery. I've had amps with quads of vintage Mullard EL34s, all the "American" power tubes, and a bunch of EL84 amps. If they weren't made crappy, I liked them all and rarely found it hard to get a good sound. All those other aspects loomed larger to me. I think I care more about transformers than tubes, too. It may be that because I no longer rely on power tube saturation to get certain effects, that tube type becomes less important. I realize I'm an outlier and am not claiming that my criteria are right for anyone else!
 

Dacious

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I don't hate the Blues Jr. It is what it is. Like the Hotrod and Blues Deluxe it fills the entry niche in the market.

It's not intended to do anything but give people a taste of tubes at a relative bargain, walk-in, walk-out with warranty price. It's not a classic any more than a Toyota Corolla is a classic. You can hone your skills with one. It's big enough to perform club gigs with. That's it

A 5E3 like a vintage Vox AC15 is a great amp - if you need that one sound of clean/bordering breakup at moderate volume (or you love Neil Young's tone) If you need headroom, volume for a hard-hitting drummer or you gets lots of your tones from pedals you're likely to be underwhelmed if not infuriated trying to get it to work for you.

Many people when they get into an iconic car like a British sportscar or old musclecar are amazed at how unrefined, lacking in creature comforts, crunchy the gears are etc. You have to know how to drive smoothly and throttle blip and even double declutch to shift gears.

Vintage circuits/amps like the 5E3 are like that.T a certain volume, certain tine, certain circumstances they're great. Other times, you wish you had a channel switcher with reverb and more headroom.
 

Dukex

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I see a lot of these BJs selling for $750 - $800 new. Nothing wrong with that at all.

However:
Lil Dawg 5e3 Chassis build = $839 + $60 for a WGS 10" Vet or Weber 10" Sig. Make a speaker cab out of spare plywood (yes, you can find it for free).
 

Fenderdad1950

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I would like to think I would never mistake a 5e3 for a Blues Jr.. 5E3s are so wide range on tones & dynamics, their sound can go from surprisingly clean to grit. In a small slice of that spectrum, the Blues Jr sonic realm resides. That is all it does, but it does it remarkably well
 

kinkstah

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I own a 2003 Blues Jr., which sounded just OK for my taste in its stock form. I took opportunity from a tubes change to ask a tech to mod it along BillM (RIP) specs (tone-stack, coupling cap, stiffer power supply, bias pot...). Those mods were inexpensive, still it changed (i.e. improved) drastically the amp, bringing a fuller and clearer sound, with non-muddy lows, highs that are not shrill anymore. I can dial a resaonable amount of mids (which I like, personnaly, being not a fan of the BF sound -YMMV). It's my poor man's 15 watts Blues Deluxe! Love it
 

Henry Mars

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I play Telecasters a lot. A lot of venues are small and I use my BJ with them. Sounds decent with the right speaker. Out my entire amp collection besides the JR, I find my YCV40WR to sound the best but I use a C30 most of the time these days. I don't want to buy anymore tube amps but the BJ IV tweed sounds really good with a Telecaster. Whatever works for you.
 




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