Valve Junior - audio files, your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by AndyPanda, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Holic

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    I have had a v3 Valve Junior that I modified a bit. I know this is many years past the time of enthusiasm for the Valve Junior. But I had tried a lot of the popular mods and thought they made the amp sound worse than it did stock (the v3 already has the most important changes).

    So I re-voiced it a bit to my own liking and added some negative feedback. It's not much like the popular mods people were doing to them. I may be completely out to lunch on what a guitar amp should sound like. I'm a sax/flute/keyboard player just now starting to learn guitar so I may not have the right idea at all. Hoping to get some opinions. This is recorded with an SM57 up close and slightly off axis.



    And here it is again but this time with a speaker attenuation (a 100 watt L-pad turning the volume of the speaker down while maintaining a consistent load) and the amplifier volume turned up louder than the previous track to drive the tubes harder. Probably too much overdrive for this track as it gets a bit fizzy.



    Opinions welcome on what sounds good or awful and if I'm way off track, please point me in the direction I should be thinking about with tube amp voicing. Thanks!

    EDIT: I'm still learning guitar so the DI track I fed thru my amp was kindly provided by @jsnwhite619 (Thanks! :D)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  2. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Meister

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    They both sound fine, and the amp probably also sounded fine before you opened it up.

    No matter how much crap you solder into your amp it's not going to put notes under your fingers. The only way to get better at playing guitar is to play the thing. Even though most people seem to think soldering will make them better.
     
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  3. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    With the L-pad it sounds more chimey and nicely gritty.
    the amp is probably at it's sweet spot without going overboard with the volume. good.
    Don't under estimate how a good sounding amp can inspire some better playing. it's tough when you have to fight it.
    like a bicycle ride with a breeze in your back. ;)
     
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  4. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, but the valve jr is already a good amp. I'll go out on a limb and say almost ANYTHING you buy today will be a good sounding amp.

    Bad amps, meaning questionable solid state circuit, 3" speaker and cardboard enclosures, don't really exist anymore.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    To my ear it lacks lows and low mids, and maybe also lacks some cutting treble.
    I'm not into big loud bass from guitar but that seems to have too little low end warmth.

    I used to play saxes too and could still play flute if I picked it up and dusted it off.
    If your tenor sax or even alto sounded like that guitar track, would you like it?

    I don't think those instruments are that far away from one another and still have tenor sax in my head when playing guitar.
    That thick but cutting tone you can get on tenor can be approached on electric guitar.

    I have two V Jrs from when they were hip and I think they had fuller low mids than those tracks.
    Maybe the di guitar track is tonally lacking in lows and low mids?
    A lot of recorded guitar is indeed that sort of sound, and rhythm guitar in particular often has almost no bass content.
    Depends on what you want to hear, since there hardly a sound you can't get with an electric guitar.
     
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  6. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Holic

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    Thanks, that is useful feedback. Just for comparison, here is a completely different guitar run thru the same amp. No L-Pad on this, just the Valve Junior. Curious to get your thoughts:
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That third track seems to have more of a throaty low mids tone.
    Something I can't identify happening, I'm not good like an engineer at identifying eq in a recording but it sounds like a guitar sound.
    I'd still like to hear more warmth I guess.
    My taste might be odd though!
     
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  8. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well, to my ears, it sounds like the Epi Valve Junior that I know, but have not played one for years. I think they are right for the right creative musician. I think the search has always been for clarity in the mid range, but keep the lower bass in it too. It has always been elusive (although for many, it has been an interesting fun challenge). Too many other choices today IMO, but not to say it does not have it's place in the amp voicing palette available to us guitar players.
     
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  9. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I never was a fan of the Valve Junior and similar amps. I owned one at one point, so I'm familiar with their sound in person. I don't like how they sound clean or overdriven. They have a very boxy sound in general and when overdriven sound hard-clipped and rough to me.

    Listening to your sound files, the L-pad version definitely sounds less boxy and more chimey than the first example, but the general overdrive character is still ugly to my ears. In the third down-tuned example, it definitely sounds warmer because of the down-tuning, but generally sounds much the same to me. In that last file, the hard-clipping character is most obvious at pick attack transients, sounding like a fast click at the beginning of harder picked notes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  10. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    For comparison, here is an example that I found of a 1 watt Marshall JTM1. It is a higher gain amp with reverb added in post, but listen to the general character of the amp. The clean is chimey and when overdriven it doesn't sound hard-clipped and rough.

     
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