Your favorite Blues Jr Mods? (CS Two Tone score)

Nathan

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Hey all,

Let me start by saying that I am fully aware of all the Blues Jr mods out there (I owned one in the past and did many of the BillM mods).

I just scored a 2001 Two Tone (ie. Blues Jr in the 1x12+1x10 pine cabinet) in the next town so I didn't get to try it yet but the price was too good to pass up and I've had my eye out for one since they came out. My bro in law picked it up for me and will hand it off next time we see each other.

What were your experiences (with this amp in particular) or with modding your Blues Jr? I know this larger cabinet allegedly helps the inherent boxiness of the 1x12 a lot.


To start I'm thinking: speaker swap, long reverb tank, Hammond 1760H xformer to get the 4/8/16 ohm taps.

FWIW I am 100% willing and able to gut it and build something cooler in the same chassis...
Although I'm not an expert, you might call me an advanced beginner? I have a slew of parts from other projects and have built 6 tube amps.

P.S. No need for ''polish a turd'' comments - I have a stable of different amps and I'm specifically looking for a fun project. I just want a circuit that sounds a awesome as this thing looks!


TwoToneFront.jpg
 

saltyseadog

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Do you know what the present output transformer output is. Reason I ask is that the BJr' is an 8ohm amp and with a 10" and 12" installed either they are running seperate jacks or they are running together at either 4ohm or 16ohm and if they are coupled it might be that the amp is damaged. The Hammond OT with the 4/8/16 connections for the BJr' is the 1760F well that is what I bought when I converted mine to a 3 speaker 4ohm set up.
 

Tim S

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Congrats on the find!

If this amp has any collector value, then maybe you shouldn’t be modding it. I’m sure there are people out there who would appreciate an unmolested version. Maybe you should plug into it and try it before you start your mod list for it?
 

King Fan

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Mod? You yourself know the BJ sound *and* the billm mods, right? So if you can't figure out which mods to try, who can? This is unlikely to be *that* different from other BJ versions. And even if you found someone who'd modded this specific version and has choices he liked, it's unlikely he has your ears.

Then you're looking for a fun project. (I'm trying to show I'm listening here). Is it fun to mod the BJ on those circuit boards?

But... you're willing to gut the chassis if needed, and you're looking for a fun project, and this has a pretty pine cab, *if* you don't care about the asking price for untouched 'collector' versions out there (??~$1000 at a glance), I like your idea of building a different amp in there. But if you were going that way, the title/direction of this thread may not get you those kind of ideas...
 

Nathan

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Alright you guys make a valid point, I admit that I had not considered the collectability of this unit. I only saw the flimsy circuit board as an inherent weakness with cheapie parts along with sucky SS reverb.

The OT swap would be for more headroom and more bass (ie. bigger sound) which many report from using a Deluxe style OT. Getting impedance matching seems like a no-brainer given that the 2 8-ohm speakers necessarily intoduce a msimatch with the stock 8-ohm output secondary.

I'll definitely try the amp for a good long while before I attempt any tweaks but was really hoping more people might have tried this iteration and have some opinion? Could be that it really is kind of rare. I paid the equivalent of $650 US for it with tax which seems pretty low/fair.
 

King Fan

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I like it. An OT, speaker swaps, etc. seem like logical and safe 'mods', and ones that make sense for a BJ in a nice cab. I’ll bet if these amps ever become collectible, it’s not like people will be paying tons more for number-matched cheap generic original components. And my friends who were really into modding BJs seem to admit, when pressed, that the circuit is not all that bad as wired.

Now a *fun* project would be to hand wire a new amp in there, which you mentioned. IIRC, Hoffman (I think) has a handwired BJ conversion? Lots of folks may have wired more popular circuits into this chassis too? Something from the two-tone era, maybe, like a 5F10 or 5F11 or…
 

Nathan

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Hey all, an update since I got the amp in and opened her up. Turns out it's a green board Rev. C. I popped new Tung Sol EL84s and some older 12AX7s.

First off, I was surprised to find a Mercury OT in there! This was a nice surprise as it sweetens the already good deal. I won't keep it because it only has a 8 ohm out but still...

Next up is there was a reverb mod done to it. I added a 2-spring long tank from Mojotone. Sounds really fine, might not be the greatest reverb I ever heard but I have no desire to change it. At least it's analog.

Stock speakers did not impress so I put a WGS Black & Blue first (big improvement) then a Green Beret 10. Together these balance very nicely and give a full sound. The impedance mismatch bothers me a bit. It's kind of a dumb decision by Fender?

There is plenty of range in sound with different eq settings but it is NOT a Fender sound to my ears. What surprised me is how much gain there is. Probably due to the speakers, I hear a distinct early Clapton tone when cranked with humbuckers. Fun!

I am still thinking a full hand wired overhaul with cathode follower could be fun.
 

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