thoughts on Blues Junior (black)

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Outsider, Dec 4, 2019 at 9:26 PM.

  1. Outsider

    Outsider TDPRI Member

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    I recently came across a mint condition Blues Junior for sale. I negotiated the price to $250. Its a Black Blues Junior, not a BJ 2 or 3 or 4, the back just says Blues Junior. The amp has never been gigged or even taken out of the sellers house. He bought it as a practice amp and lost interest.

    I'm new to the guitar world, but I love the sound of the Blues Junior from listening to YT vids. I just picked up a strat and started taking lessons for blues and blues rock.

    So, I hear a lot of great reviews about the Tweed BJ and some so so reviews about the BJ 3 & 4, but I can only find a couple of vids with a regular black BJ. Do you guys have any experience with this model Blues Junior? Again im a complete beginner ( 3 lesons in) and currently have a Mustang 1 v2 and its ok but prefer the tube sound, and $250 seems like a great deal.. My other concern is Ive heard these are LOUD, and I hope it will work well as a home only amp.
     
  2. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Going on 20 years with a 1999 ( blonde) Blues Jr.- I bought it used in 2000 for $270
    We have done hundreds of R&R, Country, and Blues gigs together
    Well- maintained ( parts replaced over the years) by a good Tech.
    A fine, portable, loud, good sounding amp.
    * It doesn't have to be loud, as it has a Gain and Mastet Volume to control things, but it is not a bedroom amp.
     
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  3. Outsider

    Outsider TDPRI Member

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    I know the Tweed has a different speaker than the BJ 3 and 4... but does the Blues Junior (1) have the same speaker in both the blonde/tweed and black amps? Are there any differences other than the color?

    thanks
     
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  4. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

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    You won't Need more for years but you'll probably get another amp in a bit.
    Blews Jr, ok amp, lousy reverb, that's why there are soooo many threads on moding them into what they should be.
     
  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think I got this right(?)

    Typically the original models came with an Eminence made Fender speaker similar to an old ceramic Jensen C-12 N ( the EMI rated at 50 watts I think- similar to EMI Legend with lower power rating)
    )
    The tweed model came with an Italian made Jensen C-12N reissue, a very bright speaker
    Just educated guesses
     
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  6. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    Sounds like you're looking at an original USA-made Blues Junior. It should give you plenty of decent tones as a beginner, but once you start venturing into different styles, you may have to either look further afield for a more versatile amp, or into pedals and such.

    In my mind, the latest version, the standard Blues Jr IV is one of the nicest iterations of the range. It is genuinely a good amp that can dish out the dirt in fat mode, and the cleans are great for pedals.

    I tried the Tweed BJr IV against a Pro Junior IV. I bought the Pro Junior. Tweed Bjr IV is way too bright and thin-sounding. I generally have no time for modern Jensen alnico speakers that Fender use.
     
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  7. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    If it has a chrome control panel with black knobs it's an older version. Be aware that on the "tweed version" (or for that matter, any version with anything other than black Tolex), the differences are the covering and the speaker. Which speaker can vary. I've seen claims of a Jensen P12N (but it was clearly a C12N), and Eminence Red, White and Blues. The actual amplifier circuit is completely factory stock. Speakers can make a big difference in sound. Research and choose carefully.
     
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  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Those are decent amps and you got a great deal. Lots of folks have played lots of gigs with them. They don't work great for me, and I can never explain quite why, but they do work for lots of others. If you like it, don't apologize - play the heck out of it. Now get off the internet and go practice!
     
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  9. Outsider

    Outsider TDPRI Member

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    here are some pics.. Its a made in Mexico, has a chrome top with black dials.
     

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  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    That is a perfectly fine amp and a great price. You will be very happy with it.
     
  11. Outsider

    Outsider TDPRI Member

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    thank yall!
     
  12. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    As I posted earlier, I'm going on 20 years with a fine, dependable, ( then, affordable) amp.
    But I have NEVER liked the ' Blues Jr.' name!
    Just never thought the two words went together. But what do I know? it's been a really successful seller for Fender.
     
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  13. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    They work.
    Portable, decent power, they work.
    When you want something else, you'll know.
     
  14. Kitarkus

    Kitarkus TDPRI Member

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    Great price. Good amp. Not a bedroom amp... Too loud. For $250 I'd buy it again despite not needing it. I moved to a super champ which works better for my bedroom needs. My brother heavily modified his (Bill's mods) and made it much more versatile.
     
  15. Pasta Player

    Pasta Player Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I have a very similar model (made in Mexico) Blues Junior that came with the Fender speaker (made by Eminence). Main Board inside is cream-colored. I replaced the speaker with a Ragin’ Cajun and built a closed extension speaker cab for the original speaker and that now sounds better than the Ragin’ Cajun to me and it gets more use. Really, the reverb is improved and more responsive… something about not shaking that spring reverb tank with the onboard speaker I guess. It’s definitely a keeper.

    But, should I ever tire of mine - I would probably begin the BillM mods that you can search & find pointers to here. But, you shouldn’t really need anything else for awhile. Play away! Expand or tweak later. Enjoy!
     
  16. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    That should be a fine general purpose amp; yours looks to be in excellent shape. No need to even think about speaker swaps or mods for a year or two. For now, play, learn, enjoy.

    Like a book, judging an amp by its cover isn't always helpful, especially for the BJ, which has been around forever and issued in dozens of special editions. AFAIK the stock BJ IV is *still* issued in black. Check out Wikipedia for some info on variants and dating. If yours is from Mexico, it sounds like it's newer than about 2001 and may well have the more desirable later cream circuit board.
     
  17. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a BJ 3 and it was LOUD but the tone wasn't what I was looking for ( I'm guessing the EL-84s) so I sold it to a guy who really liked it. Me, I like my Princeton. Even my non-musical son said, in the store,: " Now that's how an amp should sound."
     
  18. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    I had the same original blues jr model for years. Thought it was a good clean sounding amp that worked well with pedals. To sound good without pedals it had to get pretty loud and it was kind of hard to get just the right volume anyway because it went from not loud enough to way too loud with what sounded like a binary setting of the volume knob - a zillionth of a turn could be too much, so if could be really hard to find just the right volume for a home setting and why it’s not a good bedroom amp. But I had a pretty sound isolated basement when I had mine and it wasn’t a problem to play loud. When we downsized to a smaller condo, I sold the Blues Jr and ended up with a Blues Cube Hot, a very similar amp but solid state and with a great attenuators that lets it sound at least pretty damn good at even very quiet volumes...
     
  19. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Tele-Meister

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    Mine is also from 2001, cream board, but made in US. I’ve gigged with it plenty over the years. I put a Texas Heat in it a long time ago, which gave it a bit more oomph and clarity, and last year replaced the reverb because the original one gave up the ghost. It’s got great natural compression, and my buddy has used it with his acoustic guitar, and it sounds great on that, too!
     
  20. Treehouse

    Treehouse TDPRI Member

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