Blues Junior review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 8.1 (98 votes)
Fender: Blues Junior
12

Price paid: $ 280

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 8
I run mine with a Fender Lite Ash Strat loaded with Texas Specials. The clean is sweet as expected. Has Fender ever not done a good clean with tubes? I tend to play blues/rock/country and every once in a blue moon mess around with harder stuff. For the blues and stuff this thing can do it on its own no prob. The overdrive is mild, just starting to clip. You can get more but it gets a bit noisy. If you need more, add a good overdrive on top of it and it breaks up really nice (I like a Boss Blues Driver set just enough to add some crunch). You really need to open the volume up to get a sweet sound out of it, but its tube, so that kind of goes with out saying. Since its single channel getting overdrive and clean is a bit trickier than it would be with a channel switch, but its no rubicks cube. Just set your overdrive sound where you want and to clean it up dial your axes volume back a tad. I also have an Epi Les Paul and the volume pots on that are very touchy and the volume doesn't do much until they get to about 2 and then they want to drop off completely. So in that case I run a pedal for overdrive/distortion. If your guitar is like that I recommend the same idea. I said I mess with some heavier stuff too, but I wouldnt use this amp for it if I was very serious about those styles. The low end is lacking (it's a single 12, 20 watt I think its understandable) and the amps distortion on its own is not nearly enough. For all this I'm giving it a 4. I stated it wasnt suited for metal and such but for clean/overdrive stuff it sounds good so thats why so high. I got all the way to overall impression and remembered the reverb. It can get quite thick but sounds best to me around 2-3. Depends on the space and volume your playing. I crank it to 12 for funzies (seriously it goes to 12) but its best down low. I've heard others say the same. It sounds damn fine dry too.

Overall Impression — 8
I like it. It suites what I do and where I do it. I would still like another amp though. A larger one and a different sound. If it was broken or stolen, Id get another. Used probably, the new price on it is a bit much for my tastes. I think new was $379. Mine was new but I had an employee discount so it was around 280 or something. Anyway, overall its a nice lil amp. If you need variety in one package look else where. If you need a good clean/overdive sound at low volume with a touch of muscle, this might be what you need. I hope this helps if you were wondering about it.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've never gigged with it, but I would. Its small enough to crank it up and get tone without killing peoples heads. If you need more volume, mic it. I bet you could pull off small bars with this thing. Plus its small and portable. This controls are on a recessed panel on top but are kind of left exposed a little on the back side, but I dont think they would get beat. If you were careless yeah they would. I try not to move it much unless I have to and when I do I make sure it has cooled for around 10 minutes before I do, and it hasnt given me any troubles yet so that seems to be paying off. 2 years and not even a tube replacment, so its durable. Like I said earlier I run this thing pretty hard and I've left it on for hours at a time on accident a few times too. Tuff enuff for me. I cant imagine its Mesa or Soldano tough though. I give this a 4 taking that in to concideration.

Features — 6
This little amp isn't exactly heavy on features. It's a very meat and potatoes amp. It is a 20 watt, all tube single channel with your basic 3 band EQ, master volume, preamp overdrive and reverb. That's it. Not even a standby switch. Once it's on - it's on. Oh it also has a "fat" switch with boosts the mids a bit. About 6 dbs or so I think. Not alot to navigate but it gets the job done.

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