Blues Junior NOS review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (18 votes)
Fender: Blues Junior NOS
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Price paid: $ 480

Sound — 10
As I said, the SRV sound from this amp is pretty good which is important to many people, but the playing technique (heavy attack, muting strings) is the most important thing. The reverb is awesome, from a little echo to full sounds nice and doesn't suck tone at all as do many FX. The tube distortion is a point of this amp that is extremelyscrutinized, it is very Fender-ish as opposed to Marshalls, I would recommend a nice Marshall tube for people seeking more of a rock sound, or using a TS-9 adds some crunch. Single coils are good with this, very saturated and thick sound as opposed to the humbuckers which can sound a bit too bright. The fat switch helps a bit for soloing, adds some sustain and mids, but nothing I couldn't live without. The EQ is responsive and the master/volume knobs work well together. Using the volume pot on your guitar is nice since you crank this amp on both knobs (it goes to 12) and lower the guitar knob to 2-3 for bedroom volume distortion. Very loud for practice, loud enough for practice in smaller bands (2-6) and good enough for gigging in clubs and stuff. The noise is very low, I keep it in like the worst spot ever, near electronics and it barely hums. The guitar is probably the source of any hum problems with it, but I have noiseless pickups, so it's silent.

Overall Impression — 10
It is the right amp for me. I tried all other low watt tube combos, Epi VJ, Palomino, Champ, Pro Junior, but this one stood out. I got a deal on it so it was worth the extra $$$ for this one, but the standard BJ is just as good. I hear a little sound difference, but not worth the 80$ extra. If it were stolen, I'd buy another easily. This was the only amp I liked besides the Vox Valvetronix, but it blows it away in volume and tone. Look at the tweed NOS if you can, it'll probably last longer than the standard, but it's not worth much more IMO.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I like the tweed, but the seams look glued on and could come loose if you screw with them much, also the backplate had a label on it which I peeled off and rubbed away the adhesive residue, and the junior part of the paint and the warning paint scratched away. The knobs are a little cramped, the fat switch is a little breakable, and the back is open for easy access as well as easy damage. The case is sturdy, the strap is thick leather (but very sharp edges on the strap) and the speaker and tubes are more durable than the standard. It could probably be cranked for a while before damaging the speaker. It is also rather heavy, but worth it compared to other amps of similiar power.

Features — 9
I bought the tweed NOS version with upgraded speaker and tubes. I play blues, rock, as well as jazz, funk, and folk. I use this for my SRV style stuff by turning bass and mids up with gain all the way. I have a TS9 with it and this allows for more versatility. The cleans and headroom are good, about loud enough for jamming while cranking it yields enough for small gigs. The reverb is very nice and the fat switch adds some punch. The only thing it lacks is headphone out, maybe a standby option.

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