Valve Junior Head review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (46 votes)
Epiphone: Valve Junior Head
3

Price paid: $ 109

Purchased from: Rudys Music

Sound — 9
I played a fat strat in the shop with this thing and funked out some "Dani California" riffs. I was sold on the spot. In the shop the head was connected to a Bogner 1x12 cab and the sound was orgasmic and very RHCP plain and overdriven. For 5 watts this thing is loud enough for small venues. Depending on the cab you're using, the amp starts breaking up between 10 and 12 o clock, and I use my volume knob and pick attack to initiate overdrive and clean. It has the feel of a Fender champ, only with a slightly different tonal characteristic. This is a great early '90s cleaner crunch that you don't get from a higher wattage amp. This thing also loves pedals.

Overall Impression — 10
I play blues rock, and this is my practice amp. It is good enough to gig with, but will probably be restricted to smaller indoor venues. I've been playing for about 4/5 years now and this is my first tube amp. I've had valvestate marshalls and I've played through tube amps before. This thing rocks. For roughly 100 bucks, it is definately worth a buy. If you can find the combo version (which is about $130) you'd have a great all in one practice amp.

Reliability & Durability — 9
These things are incredible. It survived the subway trip and car ride home from NYC, and it's still in pristine condition. I would certainly gig this without a backup, I've already cranked it as loud as it will go and it has no intentions of blowing out. These tubes are designed not to be replaced, because the back grille leaves no access to them. That can only say something about its durability.

Features — 9
This is the new series of tube amps from Epiphone. This little baby is a 5 watt, one channel tube amp. It has only a volume knob. While almost everyone would probably go: "wow this thing sucks", this amp benefits from the lack of controls. Your guitar now becomes a lot more important. You really feel the difference of rolling of the volume and tone to affect your sound. Additionally, this small tube amp includes an EL44 tube to your typical 12XXXX style tube found on most low wattage amps. That really helps out the tone. Another Versitile feature is the speaker out jacks. You can hook the head up to cabs having 4, 8 or 16 ohms of impedience. This really helps because now you can use your favorite speakers in single, two-by or four-by configurations.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RR=bestevrplaya
    k, question, if i wanna play metal can i boost it with a pedal and eq?, just cause i can't see buying an amp if i can't play my favorite type o music
    soul_power
    Next $100 will be going on this amp. Hmm, now how the hell am i going to get $100???
    slashguitar1234
    yeah, this is a good amp (ive tried it and almost bought it, but guitar center didnt have any),but if you want just as good a tone (for about the same price) with WAY more versitality, get a vox pathfinder 15 r
    LocutusOfBorg
    Today I bought the combo version for 149. In combination with my Vox Tonelab and Ibanez S540 it sounds great. Btw without any unwanted noise at whatever volume setting.
    Anchoret
    Be sure to get the newer ones with DC filament circuits. The older ones were very noisy.
    GibsonsBest
    These tubes are designed not to be replaced, because the back grille leaves no access to them. C'mon. Tubes that don't wear out? Can't the back grille be unscrewed? There's a guy selling a tone mod kit for this head on ebay. How would you fix or mod it if the grille denied access to the guts of the amp?
    I have this head and he is totally wrong. There are just a couple screws to remove the grille. After that changing tubes is a cinche. I would actually recommend doing this as a Groove Tubes 12AX7 sounds way better than the stock one. BTW this head is amazingly cool, I've got mine going through 2 !2" Celestion Governors
    gmsje
    These tubes are designed not to be replaced, because the back grille leaves no access to them.
    C'mon. Tubes that don't wear out? Can't the back grille be unscrewed? There's a guy selling a tone mod kit for this head on ebay. How would you fix or mod it if the grille denied access to the guts of the amp?
    Lprince
    You could play it where ever ya want really, just need to turn it up more on the PA the bigger the venue
    dogmeat
    I have the combo version and it's pretty damn good. Only cost me 99 quid as well. Good practice amp. I wish it had a headphone socket though, for those late-night moments when u HAVE to try out something you just thought of.
    fitzyfantastic
    very RHCP plain and overdriven.
    If this guy had any idea how much shit John Frusiante uses for his tone, he would take that statement back right now.
    eddiehimself
    I saw the combo version of this amp for about 95 pounds and after seeing this i might get it as a practice amp. I don't think this amp needs anything more then a volume control. If u wanted a clean and distortion sound u cud just add a preamp.
    V_mike
    Oh man, I bought one of these a month or two ago and I have one word to say... DAMN!!! I mean, this is not the best amp out there by any means, but for the buck, this baby gets some bang. I use it with an '06 Mexican Fat Strat, the matching extension cab, and a Boss DS-1 for extra punch. Due to the single coils and humbucker on the Fat Strat, I can get so many sounds. From smooth overdrive to crunchy almost-metal distortion, this thing takes the cake in cheap but quality amplification.