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Thread: Blues Jr.

  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Blues Jr.

    I bought a Blues Jr. in tweed with the Jensen speaker and JJ tubes. I like it. I had one a few years back and sold it. I put JJ's in that amp replacing Sovtecs which helped. No idea who made the original speaker. The new amp to my ears is much better. Other experiences???

  2. #2

    Re: Blues Jr.

    They're so cheap used these days, everyone oughta have one. Got my eye on one for when I wanna ride my bicycle to gigs.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    These little amps sound incredibly good played at/near wide open using the guitar's controls only to control volume, gain, and tone.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    I converted mine to Hand wired Tweed 6V6 specs and made a few other mods to it (actually Rat Valve Amps in UK did it) and it sounds absolutely amazing!!! Specifically, these mods include:

    1. - The Stock Fender Main PCB has been removed from the Amp and replaced with a RAT Custom Built 'Eyelet' Board which is then fully 'Point-to-Point' Handwired into place using all New Pots and Switches. All of the 'Tone' Capacitors on the RAT Board are 'Orange Drops', along with 'Metal Film' Power Resistors.
    2. - Twin Rectifier -and- Half-Power Switch.
    3. - Smoothing Capacity has been increased for 'Tighter Bass' -and- A 'Safety' Resistor fitted so that the Amp cannot hold a lethal Charge when switched off.
    4. - The Stock FBJ uses a 'Solid State' Reverb Drive and Recovery System. This has been replaced with 'Valve Reverb'. The Reverb Tank has also been replaced with an 'Accutronics' unit. About 30% of the Components on the Fender PCB are used in the 'Solid State' Reverb Circuit - All of this is now Gone.
    5. - All Stock Blues Junior Amps run a 'Hot' Bias setting with NO Bias adjustment control. This Amp has been fitted with a 'Bias' setting control. If the Power Valves need to be replaced, use a matched pair of JJ 6V6S.
    6. - Full Lead Dress - All Transformer and Heater wires in a Valve Amp must be tightly twisted or they will induce 'Noise' in the Amp Circuit. Twisting all of the wires and placing them in the correct location keeps the Amp 'Quiet'.
    7. - Variable Boost Footswitch - Connects to the Inner Rear Chassis Panel - (Button 1) Switches the Internal Boost Circuit On-or-Off. The Footswitch is fitted with a Variable Boost 'level' control (from Zero-to-Max) and gives a HUGE Boost to the MID Frequencies and Harmonics. (Button 2) is Reverb On/Off. There are RED 'LED' Indicators on the Footswitch powered by an internal Battery.
    8. - The Input Jack Socket on all Stock Blues Juniors is a Problem. This has been replaced with a Jack Socket that can be easily changed in about 5 minutes (if I ever need to change it).
    9. - Modified Tone Stack - The Factory Tone-Stack does not allow total tone control, The Controls sweep in a 'Preset-Range'. The RAT Modified Treble, Middle and Bass Controls will sweep from 'Zero-to-Max' on each Frequency.
    10. - Star Earth - The Stock Earth/Ground Paths are a Mess and run all over the PCB in different directions. With the removal of the PCB this problem has been eliminated and the Correct 'Star' Earth (method) used. This allows all required Earth Paths to be in a logical order and kept as short as possible to eliminate any Noise 'Loops'.
    11. - 2x Speaker Output Sockets - The Correct Speaker Output Load Impedance is 8 Ohms, However, the Amp will produce more Power if a 16 Ohm Speaker is used.
    12. - This Amp is also fitted with a Matched Pair of JJ '6V6S' Power Valves - Deluxe Reverb Output Transformer and a Princeton Reverb Mains Power Transformer.
    13. - Eminence Patriot Series Cannabis Rex Loudspeaker
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member EpiLP1985's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    I converted mine to Hand wired Tweed 6V6 specs and made a few other mods to it (actually Rat Valve Amps in UK did it) and it sounds absolutely amazing!!! Specifically, these mods include:

    1. - The Stock Fender Main PCB has been removed from the Amp and replaced with a RAT Custom Built 'Eyelet' Board which is then fully 'Point-to-Point' Handwired into place using all New Pots and Switches. All of the 'Tone' Capacitors on the RAT Board are 'Orange Drops', along with 'Metal Film' Power Resistors.
    2. - Twin Rectifier -and- Half-Power Switch.
    3. - Smoothing Capacity has been increased for 'Tighter Bass' -and- A 'Safety' Resistor fitted so that the Amp cannot hold a lethal Charge when switched off.
    4. - The Stock FBJ uses a 'Solid State' Reverb Drive and Recovery System. This has been replaced with 'Valve Reverb'. The Reverb Tank has also been replaced with an 'Accutronics' unit. About 30% of the Components on the Fender PCB are used in the 'Solid State' Reverb Circuit - All of this is now Gone.
    5. - All Stock Blues Junior Amps run a 'Hot' Bias setting with NO Bias adjustment control. This Amp has been fitted with a 'Bias' setting control. If the Power Valves need to be replaced, use a matched pair of JJ 6V6S.
    6. - Full Lead Dress - All Transformer and Heater wires in a Valve Amp must be tightly twisted or they will induce 'Noise' in the Amp Circuit. Twisting all of the wires and placing them in the correct location keeps the Amp 'Quiet'.
    7. - Variable Boost Footswitch - Connects to the Inner Rear Chassis Panel - (Button 1) Switches the Internal Boost Circuit On-or-Off. The Footswitch is fitted with a Variable Boost 'level' control (from Zero-to-Max) and gives a HUGE Boost to the MID Frequencies and Harmonics. (Button 2) is Reverb On/Off. There are RED 'LED' Indicators on the Footswitch powered by an internal Battery.
    8. - The Input Jack Socket on all Stock Blues Juniors is a Problem. This has been replaced with a Jack Socket that can be easily changed in about 5 minutes (if I ever need to change it).
    9. - Modified Tone Stack - The Factory Tone-Stack does not allow total tone control, The Controls sweep in a 'Preset-Range'. The RAT Modified Treble, Middle and Bass Controls will sweep from 'Zero-to-Max' on each Frequency.
    10. - Star Earth - The Stock Earth/Ground Paths are a Mess and run all over the PCB in different directions. With the removal of the PCB this problem has been eliminated and the Correct 'Star' Earth (method) used. This allows all required Earth Paths to be in a logical order and kept as short as possible to eliminate any Noise 'Loops'.
    11. - 2x Speaker Output Sockets - The Correct Speaker Output Load Impedance is 8 Ohms, However, the Amp will produce more Power if a 16 Ohm Speaker is used.
    12. - This Amp is also fitted with a Matched Pair of JJ '6V6S' Power Valves - Deluxe Reverb Output Transformer and a Princeton Reverb Mains Power Transformer.
    13. - Eminence Patriot Series Cannabis Rex Loudspeaker
    Sounds like a sweet amp but given that the DIY tube amp community is so well established, and that the raw materials for amp building are so affordable, using an expensive donor amp is a losing proposition.

    You could have built it yourself and saved a couple hundred dollars (at least). Judging by your signature though, I think you can swing it!
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by EpiLP1985 View Post
    Sounds like a sweet amp but given that the DIY tube amp community is so well established, and that the raw materials for amp building are so affordable, using an expensive donor amp is a losing proposition.

    You could have built it yourself and saved a couple hundred dollars (at least). Judging by your signature though, I think you can swing it!
    I can raise pigs and slaughter them for bacon too... but I'd rather buy it at the supermarket...
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  7. #7

    Re: Blues Jr.

    I've got a tweed Blues Jr too. I bought my father a standard III model and liked it so much I got myself one, and got the tweed purely for the look. It's a nice contrast to the Mesa Boogie and Laney amps it lives next to, and is surprisingly good through a 4x12 too!


  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    I have all but the overlapping BillM mods on mine and a Celestion Heritage UK Speaker. Brilliance, sparkle added (small knobs first pic.). New tone stack and aux out. Sounds very nice. Does a little tweed and a whole bunch of blackface. Approaches Vox sparkle if you want.





  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member EpiLP1985's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    I can raise pigs and slaughter them for bacon too... but I'd rather buy it at the supermarket...
    Thats fair enough! Although what you described is a lot more work than building your own tube amp.

    I used to change my own oil until I realized it was the same price or cheaper to have someone else do it!

    With that said, I’ll keep the mod list you posted in mind, as I’m considering picking up a locally available Tweed BJr. Most of what you listed are pretty common mods but a few on there are pretty interesting and I’ll have to check them out if and when I decide to mod it.
    Last edited by EpiLP1985; 12-03-18 at 07:10 AM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by EpiLP1985 View Post
    Thats fair enough! Although what you described is a lot more work than building your own tube amp.

    I used to change my own oil until I realized it was the same price or cheaper to have someone else do it!

    With that said, Iíll keep the mod list you posted in mind, as Iím considering picking up a locally available Tweed BJr. Most of what you listed are pretty common mods but a few on there are pretty interesting and Iíll have to check them out if and when I decide to mod it.


    When my BJIII caught on fire (no Burning BJ jokes Ren) literally 2 days after the warranty expired I decided to do something extreme... so I pulled the chassis and sent it to Rat... 10 days later it was back to Japan and sounded phenomenal. Having it repaired would've cost just as much and the result was vastly superior to anything a Fender Japan tech could've achieved...
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member EpiLP1985's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post


    When my BJIII caught on fire (no Burning BJ jokes Ren) literally 2 days after the warranty expired I decided to do something extreme... so I pulled the chassis and sent it to Rat... 10 days later it was back to Japan and sounded phenomenal. Having it repaired would've cost just as much and the result was vastly superior to anything a Fender Japan tech could've achieved...
    I'm considering building an AX84 October Club into a similar 12" combo cabinet:

    http://www.ax84.com/static/october/A...lub_090519.pdf

    The October is a sweet little amp that can cover Tweed/Marshall ground quite effectively:

    "It's got 3-4 decades worth of tones in it. I just recently added my 'Bassman Mod' to mine. Basically a pot on the NFB so it ranges from JTM45 style NFB to a more subtle Bassman amount.
    1. 1950s: '59 Bassman : Hook up some alnico/jensen speakers to it, crank down the NFB, flip switch to 'Plexi', and plug in a Tele. Start your chicken pickin'
    2. 1960s: Crank up the NFB, leave the switch, plug in some greenbacks. Maybe add a RangeMaster, plugging into the Normal Channel. Grab your 1960 Les Paul Gold Top with PAFs and start playing 'Hideaway'.
    3. 1970s: Flip the switch to 'Ali'. Crank everything up to 6-8, back off the NFB to about 5, hook up some G12H30's, and start playing 'All Right Now' with your LP.
    4. 1980s: Grab your super strat, EQ and Delay pedals, crank it up to 10 all around. Probably need a bit of a boost in front as well, but becareful it doesn't start an Eruption."
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

  12. #12
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    I had one that I gigged for a couple of yrs. I did the Billm mods to it and installed a Cannabis Rex spkr. This changed it fm a fairly decent amp into a very good amp.
    A smile relieves a heart that grieves.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    I tried, but never could get a Blues Junior to work for me.

  14. #14

    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post


    When my BJIII caught on fire (no Burning BJ jokes Ren) literally 2 days after the warranty expired I decided to do something extreme... so I pulled the chassis and sent it to Rat... 10 days later it was back to Japan and sounded phenomenal. Having it repaired would've cost just as much and the result was vastly superior to anything a Fender Japan tech could've achieved...
    How much for that "total makover"?

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by lare65 View Post
    How much for that "total makover"?
    The total was £420 (about $500) including shipping...
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  16. #16

    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    The total was £420 (about $500) including shipping...
    Good price there!

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member BGReed2's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmann View Post
    I had one that I gigged for a couple of yrs. I did the Billm mods to it and installed a Cannabis Rex spkr. This changed it fm a fairly decent amp into a very good amp.
    I had an early BJ with the BillM mod and really liked it and used it for used it for a lot of gigs. The only complaint I had was that when cranked the bottom end got loose or flabby. Did you play yours after the BillM mod was done with the stock speaker at all? If so, what difference did you notice when you put the Cannabis Rex in?
    "Know tubes, know tone. No tubes, no tone"

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Tweed Blues Junior.

    Thats a tranny Fender Deluxe.

    With a five o'clock shadow.

    And shitty makeup.

    No homo.

  19. #19

    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Blues View Post
    Tweed Blues Junior.

    Thats a tranny Fender Deluxe.

    With a five o'clock shadow.

    And shitty makeup.

    No homo.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Blues View Post
    Tweed Blues Junior.

    Thats a tranny Fender Deluxe.

    With a five o'clock shadow.

    And shitty makeup.

    No homo.
    Yes.

    But it makes you look twice.

    And that's the point...

    Then you do the mods to fix the makeup.

    And some more to wax that 5 o'clock.

    Then it's sitting in your office.

    And you like have to esplains it to all your friends.

    And then you are doing a lot of solo work...


  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    Yes.

    But it makes you look twice.

    And that's the point...

    Then you do the mods to fix the makeup.

    And some more to wax that 5 o'clock.

    Then it's sitting in your office.

    And you like have to esplains it to all your friends.

    And then you are doing a lot of solo work...

    And then....

    You get booked.

    On The Jerry Springer Show.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Blues View Post
    And then....

    You get booked.

    On The Jerry Springer Show.
    but ANY exposure is good exposure and your career rockets! That's the spirit!


  23. #23

    Re: Blues Jr.

    My main amps are a Twin and a Mesa Express and at 70 I figured it was time to get an amp that I didn't need to use a cart to move. I bought and returned three other small watt amps before I fell in love with the BJ III. The only mods I've done is to swap the speaker out for an Eminence C-Rex and replace the rubber dog bone handle with leather.


  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member AndyRay's Avatar
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    Re: Blues Jr.

    I was going to post a little while back asking for opinions on the Bill Lawrence circuit board pickups, I've had a 1990 Studio for a while, amazing 'unplugged' tone to it, nicest action and neck I've played but was not loving the pickups at all, swapped out for a Seymour Duncan 59/JB set, still not impressed, then back to the circuit boards.

    Fastforward to last week, a guy at work found an old blues junior in a roadside junk pile, plugged it in, did nothing but crackle. I took it off his hands, soldered some jumper wires from the overheated tube socket pin joints to the ribbon joints and away she went, tested it for a solid 3-4 hours with no issues.

    Already gave it the BillM tonestack mod for midrange and spotted the leaky capacitors ( it's a 2003 which were known for it ) so they're next.

    I'll probably give it all the BillM mods I reckon, since it cost me nothing.

    Best part of all is that when I plugged in the '90 studio, those Bill Lawrence circuit boards sprang to life, wow they're good, from muddy to fat and clear just like that, I guess they only sounded shit before because I was playing it through a Boss Katana - great amp for my other guitars but Bill must have designed these often maligned pickups specifically with something like this valve circuitry in mind, the difference is night and day, now my favorite pickups and my favorite amp !

    The other bonus it that it takes my pedals exceptionally well straight to the input, especially the compressor, and makes my other guitars sing much better too- Gretch, Ric, Strat and another LP.

    Selling the Katana and getting another one of these I think, these things are simple, light and mighty !

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