#1
So I'm just entering the market for a new amp (to replace my Line 6 Spider II 30- I haven't been plugging in my electric for a while because it's just so bad), and I've been looking into tubes or tube combos. I've looked at the Blues Jr, which looks pretty good, but I have a couple questions:
How does it handle these genres: punk, ska, folk, blues?
Does it handle petals very well? What about distortion?

If you have any other amp suggestions, give 'em to me. I'm willing to spend $500 on an amp. I play mostly ska, punk, folk, blues, and classic rock (occasionally metal, but that's not a factor in buying the amp). I also am looking for an amp that doesn't have so many built-in effects or types of distortion (several types are nice, though)- I'll get petals so I can have a wide range of the tones I want.
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#2
Great amp, and very inexpensive for the quality tone you are getting. It will take pedals very well, but they have to be the right kind. Light to medium overdrives (ie tubescreamers) do VERY well into 6L6 amps. A Boss Metal Zone will sound ridiculous. I played with a blues deluxe for many years, and could get basically any rock tone shy of metal. However, it always maintained that warm 'classic' edge.

It will definitely handle ska, folk and blues (those are Fender's bread and butter). Punk is doable, but I think most punk rock tones are Marshall-y, which is a hard sound to fake with a cleaner amp like the Fender.

I vote get it. Everybody needs a good clean amp.
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#3
A very versatile amp, takes pedals well, GREAT cleans...really one of the best amps you can get for blues/rock if you don't need more than 20w or so. It won't do metal, but you don't need that.

The microphonics aren't terrific if you're trying to get a really heavy tone out of it and are running a couple distortions in or something, so a tube swap may be in order.
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#4
Ya, Decent Amp. I've been looking into one.
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#5
Thanks for the help, but I have another question: How loud is it? I know that 15W Tube is definitely louder than 15W SS, but can it be pretty loud? How loud is 15W in terms of solid state wattage? (sorry if that was confusing haha)
Fender 1989 MIJ Strat (It's from the 80's, so it's gotta be legit!)
Breedlove AC25 SM
#6
Quote by handlerb
Great amp, and very inexpensive for the quality tone you are getting. It will take pedals very well, but they have to be the right kind. Light to medium overdrives (ie tubescreamers) do VERY well into 6L6 amps. A Boss Metal Zone will sound ridiculous. I played with a blues deluxe for many years, and could get basically any rock tone shy of metal. However, it always maintained that warm 'classic' edge.

It will definitely handle ska, folk and blues (those are Fender's bread and butter). Punk is doable, but I think most punk rock tones are Marshall-y, which is a hard sound to fake with a cleaner amp like the Fender.

I vote get it. Everybody needs a good clean amp.


The blues Jr. doesn't have 6L6s


The blues jr is a great amp, the hot rod version is a waste. Just get the standard version and decide for yourself if you need to replace the speaker. No sense in overpaying for one when you could get a suitable replacement for under 100 dollars.

The BJr gain sounds very good, but with the stock sovtek tubes it can be a little harsh, I highly suggest replacing them. Also, if you're good with a soldering iron I suggest modding it so you can bias it. For whatever reason fender sets the bias suicidally high on these amps which affects the tone and longevity of the tubes. The tubes that came in mine before I modded it got so hot it scorched the label. The ridiculously high bias is really the only bad thing I can say about the amp, and that's fixable for about 10 bucks and an hour of work.

15 watts is loud, way too loud to crank in a bedroom. Crank that 30 watt spider of yours and the blues jr will sound about twice as loud at full tilt.
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#8
Great amp, although a Hot Rod Deluxe would be better IMO.
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#9
Quote by NoSwear
Great amp, although a Hot Rod Deluxe would be better IMO.



Care to explain?

Having owned both here's how I would break the two down.

Both amps sound harsh when heavily overdrive (powertube saturation). They both sound good when they're on the edge with a little bit of break up, I'd call it their sweet spots. The BJr being 15 watts gets there a lot faster, though still at a very high volume.

The oneboard gain of the HRD is awful, basically limiting it to a one channel amp. The blue's jr's onboard gain actually sounds good, it has a nice classic rock crunch.

The HRD has an FX loop so you can put a volume box in there to act as master volume and get preamp saturation without using the crap drive channel. Never tried this, but it can't sound any worse than the drive channel.

Basically, the BJr wins unless you absolutely need the clean head room of the HRD. That being said, the BJr sound have enough headroom for small shows, if you're mic'd then there's no worries. BJr certainly has enough power for jamming.
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#10
Quote by Kevin Saale


The BJr gain sounds very good, but with the stock sovtek tubes it can be a little harsh, I highly suggest replacing them. Also, if you're good with a soldering iron I suggest modding it so you can bias it. For whatever reason fender sets the bias suicidally high on these amps which affects the tone and longevity of the tubes. The tubes that came in mine before I modded it got so hot it scorched the label. The ridiculously high bias is really the only bad thing I can say about the amp, and that's fixable for about 10 bucks and an hour of work.



Kevin,

Care to expand on this? I love my blues jr. but I've been thinking about re-tubing to ditch the sovteks. I'm not familiar with the bias setup on this, I've only re-tubed my Traynor which is not adjustable.

I build pedals so I can handle the mods.

-J!

edit: I'm reading billm's site. I'll get back to ya.
Last edited by Nims at Feb 6, 2009,
#11
Hmm, he seems to be doing some renovations to his site. I can't find the bias mod for the cream board, though I did find it for the green board BJrs.
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#12
Quote by Kevin Saale
Hmm, he seems to be doing some renovations to his site. I can't find the bias mod for the cream board, though I did find it for the green board BJrs.


I'm not in a rush, I'll check his site out in a few months when I'd be up for re-tubing. For now though, I have my Blues Jr. running out to an avatar 2x12 with a G12H30 and V30. Holy crap does that sound worlds better than the stock cab/speaker!

-J!
#13
Quote by Kevin Saale

The HRD has an FX loop so you can put a volume box in there to act as master volume and get preamp saturation without using the crap drive channel. Never tried this, but it can't sound any worse than the drive channel.




+1

i did try the hot rod version of the HRD, which has the vintage 30 speaker- that helped the od channels quite a bit (kind of upgraded them from "horrible" to "mediocre"), but the tradeoff was that the cleans were nowhere near as nice.

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