Price paid: $ 440.046
Purchased from: Belle Air Music
Sound — 10
I play a broad range of music on this puppy (classical, folk, blues, blues rock, classic rock, and all that space rock and stuff). I use a left hand Fender MIM Telecaster standard through the amp and feel that the Fender on Fender combo is ideal for this amp. My friend played his Epi Les Paul Standard on it and it sounded great as well. If by noisy, you mean loud then yes, this amp can be very noisy. However, there are no negative sounds unrelated to my guitar playing that can be heard on the amp. When I put my Double Muff into it's max Drive 2 option, the amp sends out a buzzing sound. This sound is only because of how overdriven the signal is and is really what you want to be happening. The variety is wide for the sound you can achieve, and my review of the features more than explains my beliefs. The believe the clean level can sound a little distorted at high levels, however I'm unsure and not willing to wake my street up to find out. Sorry. The distortion is not "brutal", it's perfect. However, if you are a hardcore metal head, you may want to invest in one of those metal distortion pedals. If not, this amp isn't for you.
Overall Impression — 10
I play classical, rock, and of couse "the blues", and play a Fender guitar, so this is a match made in heaven. I've been playing over 4 years now and if it were stolen I would definately get it again, unless of course I had 2 grand, then I'd probably get a Twin Reverb or a Hiwatt or Vox combo. My favorite feature would have to be it's wonderful sound, followed closely by its modest yet fashionable design and convenient wieght. I compared this amp to a 40 watt Peavey and some other tube amps. I felt that this was the best deal for a versatile tube amp both capable of playing at home and with a band and at gigs. I also own a Pacifica, although I don't use her that much anymore, and I always use my EH Double Muff overdrive/fuzz, and when I remember to bring it home, my Crybaby Wah. The only thing I wish this amp had was the tweed design I originally planned on getting. Since this version was in stock though, I have nobody to blame for that but myself. I know my other review didn't contain much negative comments and neither does this one, but this is my most honest and humble opinion on the deserved rating of this product. I love the Fender Blues Jr. because it contributed to me playing the blues, and not having them. I would highly recommend this to anybody looking for a good tube amp at a fair price. The Fender Blues Jr. gets a 10 from me. Thank you for your time and energy in reading my review.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The amp is Brand New and has never broken down. If it had, this thing would be getting zeros across the board heheh. I would feel comfortable gigging this amp without a back up, seeing as it's the best amp I've ever owned to date. I imagine I'll have to replace a tube or two in the future, but that is just part of the tube amp lifestyle. I'd imagine this amp is delicate though, being a tube amp and all, so don't be rough with it.
Features — 10
I'm not exactly sure what year my actual product was made, although on the warranty info that was tied around one of the control knobs it claims that the 5 year limited warranty was made effective in 2001. I believe it was made afterwards though, since the amp is Brand New and probably wouldn't be up for sale if it were made back then. I'm guessing it's about a year old, two tops. First of all, the model is called "Blues Jr.", meaning that it is primarily meant for blues. The name is quite deceiving though, with the "Blues" label being about as misleading as the "Jr" would lead you to believe this amp is quiet. It is neither. So far I've been able to get a good clean sound of it, to a silky overdriven blues tone, to a throaty blues rock overdrive, as well as classic and hard rock, simply through adjusting the various knobs. The gain on this amp is so natural and kind on your ears, you'll probably feel guilty for getting the amp at the price you did. Also, the reverb is really good, unlike the solid state version Fender puts into their FM series. There's 2 channels to work with, and those are the normal channel and the "fat channel". The fat channel supplies the bigger sound and seems to be satisfactory for the harder driven rock & roll style you youngsters think is all the rage. Seriously though, this amp offers you a really good overdrive/distortion and if you are a minimalist you can sleep tight, seeing as all you need is your guitar, a cable, and the amp to achieve a marvelous sound. As for myself, I use a Crybaby and a Double Muff pedal because I like using my feet. The reverb actually sounds like you'd expect the effect to sound; it gives off a sound that reminds you of playing in a performance hall of sorts, and the different amounts of which you choose to provide your sound with doesn't really matter, since it will sound great no matter what. One thing I noticed that the amp lacks is a drive/gain knob. However, seeing as this is my first tube amp, and that the Drive is not a simulated sound like that of a solid state, I figure that it's absence in reasonable. The Blues Jr. does not have a headphone jack, although I can't really understand why you'd pay more money for a tube amp to use headphones. That's the only thing that I can think of that could be considered missing, and it's not something I actually miss, so other than that there is nothing I wish the amp had more of. I use all the features that this amp offers. Lastly (looking back I should have noted this at the beginning). The Fender Blues Jr. is a 15 watt class A tube amp. I use it at my house and plan on using it to jam and gig, however I've only owned it 3 days and have been busy with work (a unusual occurence), so no jamming with people on it as of yet. Most of you may know this, but to those looking at this review because they want to know how much power a tube amp delivers, don't be fooled. While 15 watts may seem low, it suonds louder than a 50 watt solid state at least (I don't know the exact mathematics of it). I'm completely satisfied with the amplifier. Fender has once again come through for me.