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Sezan 12-31-2012 01:23 AM

Pre-owned practice-amp dilemma.
Blues Junior vs Blackstar HT1R vs Blackstar HT1R

I'm in the market for a new practice amp and have the option of buying a used Blues Junior (15 watts) or a Blackstar HT1R (1watt). I am not a gigging musician but I would like a decent amp for home use. Both amps are preowned and both seem to be in really good condition but I can't decide which to get. My Fender Mustang II is becoming a bit of a let down-I like the clean sounds but the overdriven modelling options sound really synthetic to my ears.

I don't want to annoy the neighbours but, at the same time, I want to be able to rock out now and again on a Saturday afternoon. I am concerned the the Blackstar HT1R might be just too quiet for me while the Blues Jr (which is much more appealing to me) might be too loud. I have played the Blackstar and liked it as far as the dirtier tones went but didn't think much of the cleans-but then again I'd have the Mustang for that. The Blackstar did however sound a bit small. I have only heard the Blues Jr on Youtube.

My question boils down to this:

Will the 1 watt be too quiet and tinny?

Will the Blues Junior be too loud if I try and get dirtier tones and therefore a waste of money as it won't be used to its full potential or is it tameable for home use.

Which amp, in a bedroom setting, will give me the best tones and which is more versatile?

I am unlikely to be gigging anytime soon so I don't really need the extra wattage of the Blues Junior-it's more of a question of tone, versatility and cost but at the same time, on Youtube at least, it seems to have a certain something, maybe "soul", that the Blackstar doesn't.

Maybe the "Goldilocks" solution would be to compromise on the wattage and get a new Blackstar HT5R but I don't have the option of getting one of those second hand and it would push up my budget. Incidentally, I would not want to modify any purchase at all.

I like blues, the Stones, the Black Keys and own a Telecaster. I would describe myself as falling between beginner and intermediate as a guitarist.

Thanks people.

ihartfood 12-31-2012 01:33 AM

I would go Blues Jr any day. maybe even pick up an overdrive too.

Remnest 12-31-2012 01:36 AM

The Blue Jr is a much better amp for what you want to play. Itl sound just fine at bedroom levels.

trashedlostfdup 12-31-2012 01:38 AM

Originally Posted by ihartfood
I would go Blues Jr any day. maybe even pick up an overdrive too.

+1 the OD would give you more dirt with a lower volume than you amp at power tube distortion.

if you are on a budget you can find a digitech bad monkey. a lot of people like them, not myself, but they are easily attainable $40 new and like $25 used.

Sezan 12-31-2012 02:25 AM

Great stuff-It's just the volume that has me worried as there is no headphone socket and I don't want to have to fork out for an attenuator. An OD pedal is OK though. My Mustang II solid state is 40w and I never ever play that really loud but I'm really after overdriven bluesy rock tones from the Junior. This is definitely possible at low volumes?

iam19feettall 12-31-2012 03:53 AM

The Blues Jr is not gonna be super quiet, but it'll be ok as long as you keep the master low. If you're that concerned doing some super basic sound proofing will cover any concerns you have. Go and test one out though (of course) just to be sure. While you can definitely get overdriven bluesy tones from the Blues Jr (it's built for that), getting some of the nasty for the Black Keys will require a fuzz (but I'm sure you knew that). That said, I clearly favor the Blues Jr, great amp for the price.

supersac 12-31-2012 04:09 AM

i vte for the blues jr

its not going to be quiet but its easily manegable
not good for pacticing at night if you live with peple who mind

ihartfood 12-31-2012 12:12 PM

The Egnater Tweaker series and the Peavey Classic series are amps I have serious experience with and both sound very good at low volumes (I'm talkin playing while little brother is asleep quiet) and they're both within your budget and cover what you need perfectly.
you can get a Classic 50 (what I have) for $400 or less.

Sezan 12-31-2012 03:45 PM

Thanks everyone-It looks like the Blues Junior is the way to go and yet I'm starting to wonder whether I should save my pennies and stick with the Mustang for a bit longer while I consider other options e.g. the Ibanez TSA15H tube screamer amp. The only trouble is that where I live I am unlikely to get a deal like the one I've got on the Blues Jr again and I don't want to end up kicking myself over the "one that got away."

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