ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox Junior Club

TeleTex82

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Haven't seen a club for these little beauties yet so I figured I'd be the first brave soul.

So I've been looking for a portable lightweight practice amp to lug around as I'm always on the road. I have an Orange Microcrush PIX 12l which does great dirty Orange tones and can get pretty loud but the cleans ain't so hot and its low volume tone leaves a lot to be desired.

I originally wanted to find a small tube amp but nothing that I tried in the $300 and less range really did it. If I went over that I'm looking at gigging amps and I already have a Hell of a blues Jr for that. I'd been reading a lot of good stuff about ZT amps and thought I'd try them out. I play almost exclusively blues so I'm running clean 90 percent of the time which is something these amps are known to do well. I settled on the Lunchbox Junior because I didn't need all the power of the big LB and the $149 tag was pretty tempting. Haven't been able to give it a good work out yet as I'm still at my parents for the holidays but here are my impressions:

1: The size of the thing is almost comical, in a good way. It's dwarfed by a Greta but to my ears sounds leagues better.

2: I'm a sucker for simple, elegant design and the ZT has that. Volume, Tone and Gain knobs, input, speaker on/off switch in back, aux input, 12v dc in 9v dc out, pluse external detachable power cord. Wrapped in fibetboard coated in car like metallic paint with a faux metal speaker grill. A little retro, a little futuristic.

3: The sound, I'm using my Godin Core HB which uses Godins own nitro humbuckers which, as I understand it, are a little hotter than say Gibson hbs. I had heard that this thing could be a little overresponsive to HB with the gain up and I have to say that is true. It took me a little bit of fiddling to get the crunch to reasonable levels but I got it there. Playing clean was a pleasurable experience, a lot of depth and surprising warmth and nuance. This is not a gain machine, especially with a HB guitar. The following is an excerpt from the January 13 review of this amp from Premier Guitar which talks about tone:

" It’s useful to become familiar with the interplay between the volume and gain parameters. They effect each other significantly and it’s easy to muddy up an otherwise sweet tone if you’re not careful. Singlecoils seemed best able to withstand heavy gain without falling into this trap. Keeping the Junior’s volume around 3 o’clock will produce a nice Fender-y punch—that smoky, dark twang that’s perfect for a bluesman. A Les Paul’s humbuckers will drive the speaker into less pleasing distortion zones when the gain and volume are cranked. Adding treble with the tone knob can help clean up the mud a little bit, but heavy crunch at maximum volumes isn’t the Junior’s best hand. There’s a reason ZT has found fans in players like Cline and Ranaldo—guitarists that work from cleaner, more detailed, fundamental amp tones. And it’s no surprise that that the Junior is an excellent base for pedal enthusiasts. Dialing up a neutral tone and throwing your favorite dirtboxes in the mix feels second nature with the Junior, and the clarity and harmonic depth of the amp works well with pedal overdrive."

Overall I'm pretty pleased with this amp. It's more than capable as a practice amp, I'm going to see if I can find a decent reverb pedal and hook it up. But man, the sound you get out of a thing the size smaller than a 6 pack of beer is pretty astounding and at a reasonable price. My one complaint is there seem to be some sporadic pops here and there, might be the outlet, cord or hot pups, will try to find the source and get back.
 

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Steveareno

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Love my ZT Junior. Really loud and organic tone, plus it's quiet (no buzzing, hissing, or popping). Especially like the line out to power effects. Got a Boss Reverb pedal on close out from Best Buy. It opened it up for my tele a lot. Also got the Battery Pack to go cordless and the canvas carry bag, so I'm set. Mainly play in coffee houses and this thing is the perfect amp. Have back problems, so the light weight and small size are a huge help (used to play out with a 60lb Concert years ago!). For my acoustc with K&K pickup, I don't really need the reverb. The guitar has enough ambience and want to keep things at a minimum.
There's enough gain, to not need a preamp with my Fullers J35 and it doesn't feed back, even at high volume. I think this thing would even cut it in a bar jam. Got a great deal on the amp and bag from Django Books. Got the Battery Pack from Best Buy, mail order. One more thing: the dual voltage feature is great. May be spending some time over seas, so it will be great to bring this. Should travel well as a carry on, or padded in a suitcase.
I'm stoked. :cool:
Swang on,
 

blowtorch

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Don't much care for mine I've got to say. Maybe my expectations were too high
 

tele12

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Don't much care for mine I've got to say. Maybe my expectations were too high

When I first tried it in the store I wasn't really that impressed either. Then I compared it to a Microcube sitting next to it............in comparison the Lunchbox Jr. was very impressive.
 

mindlobster

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Just noticed this club! I have one (I also have the 'big' Lunchbox, but only because that came out first). I use the Jr for all practising and rehearsals, and for live use. I have a Greta and a Champion that I use for recording/experiments, but the Jr is my meat'n'potatoes amp because of the cleanliness and the MP3 input, headphone out, portability, etc.
 

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TeleTex82

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Alright! A small club but a club nonetheless. I have to say that one of the things that is most impressive about this amp is how well it plays with just about any pedal. It sounds great with my holy grail!
 

crgrissom

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Feb 3, 2014
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I just got a ZT Lunchbox Jr. So far I like it a lot, very small, great for carrying around. I intend to take it on some trips with my Lapaxe travel guitar. I really don't like jamming with headphones.

Here it is with some of my other small amps, to get an idea of how small it is:

IMG_0570.JPG


And here it is with its traveling companion:

IMG_0576.JPG
 

TeleTex82

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Very nice! Still loving mine. I will never get over the clarity and response you get from such a tiny amp, not to mention the volume.
 

lareplus

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Hey what's that little travel guitar? Do you like that? is the body too small for comfortable playing? hey, I'm hijacking the thread! oops!!
 

crgrissom

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The travel guitar is a Lapaxe (www.lapaxe.com). I love it, it is very playable and sounds good too. Here is a video of Mike Stern playing one:



Really makes a great combo with the Lunchbox Jr.
 

Quaystone

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Looks like a great travel combo!

[We haven't seen these little ZT amps. Let me know how that works with the Lap axe. QUOTE=crgrissom;5643189]I just got a ZT Lunchbox Jr. So far I like it a lot, very small, great for carrying around. I intend to take it on some trips with my Lapaxe travel guitar. I really don't like jamming with headphones.

Here it is with some of my other small amps, to get an idea of how small it is:

IMG_0570.JPG


And here it is with its traveling companion:

IMG_0576.JPG
[/QUOTE]
 

crgrissom

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Works fabulously well!


[We haven't seen these little ZT amps. Let me know how that works with the Lap axe. QUOTE=crgrissom;5643189]I just got a ZT Lunchbox Jr. So far I like it a lot, very small, great for carrying around. I intend to take it on some trips with my Lapaxe travel guitar. I really don't like jamming with headphones.

Here it is with some of my other small amps, to get an idea of how small it is:

IMG_0570.JPG


And here it is with its traveling companion:

IMG_0576.JPG
[/QUOTE]
 

jassa1

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northern sweden
About the lap axe. Brought mine (short version) for a trip to Bali, -carry on luggage only. It fits in my cabinbag, -gigbag and all, -so I don´t have to worry about lost luggage on arrival. Went jamming in a bar in Ubud to the other guests delight when they saw the tiny toylike instrument go all out with a nice OD in front of the amp. I use a zoom-ms to go along with it and can create any sound I want through amp, PA or into Pc.
 




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