I’ve been very fortunate enough to have owned some great guitar amps in my life time. To name a few, Fender – ’57 Champ, Pro Junior, ’66 Bassman, TV Duo Ten, ’57 Deluxe, Princeton Reverb, Marshall – Bluesbreaker, JCM800, 1974x, JTM45, Vox AC15 & AC30, ’65 Supro Thunderbolt, Peavey Delta Blues 115, Peavey C30, etc… Anyway, my point isn’t to brag about all the great tube amps I’ve owned.
What I’m getting at is actually quite the opposite of bragging. It’s my Fender Blues Junior. Now some people will argue that the Blues Junior is just another cheap tube amp & there’s nothing really special about it. I beg to differ. And let me remind you, this is coming from someone who has owned several sought after guitar amps of history. Some might also say that they like the Peavey Classic 30 better. Well that’s fine, I’ve already mentioned I’ve owned a C30 & it’s a great amp as well – but I’m trying to tell you about the Blues Junior right now.
Besides, in my opinion I’ve never thought that either the Blues Junior or Peavey C30 was better then the other, just different. Actually I take that back. My love leans a little more towards the BJ then the C30 & I’ll get to that in a second. Anyway, for those who haven’t ever played through a Blues Junior – you owe it to yourself to try playing thru one. If you like the sound of “classic rock” and/or “the blues” then you should dig the Blues Junior. It’s not a point to point Class-A design. It’s not over the top powerful or has allot of GAIN at tap. It’s actually quite a simple amp – and that’s one of the reasons I’ve always been so fond of it.
No, it doesn’t have as much head room or tone as my Fender 5E3 circuit ’57 Deluxe either – but the Blues Junior is also less than 1/5 of the cost of a 5E3 tube circuit amp. I would recomend the Blues Junior to anyone but metal music lovers. In my opinion the Blues Junior is one of the greatest values out there. I’ve used my Blues Junior in several recordings & it always excels in that department. It doesn’t take much to make this simple little amp sing.
Maybe a great boost pedal or overdrive pedal to use in conjunction to help open it up and your set. I use a Fulltone OCD usually as a straight boost with the volume almost all the way up and the drive almost all the way down. The Blues Junior takes pedals very well & a high quality boost or overdrive pedal lends a huge addition to the Blues Juniors capabilities. But the amp will sound great on its own to. I love how you can make it sound transparent and loose when you dial the EQ below mid point – or get the opposite effect when dialing above.
And dare I say, I like its reverb when used very moderatly – for it puts a little sparkle on top. When set up right and pushed – the amp sounds rude and glassy. P90 pickups can sound amazing thru the Blues Junior. I really love this little amp – if you can’t already tell. The only thing I might think about changing is the speaker. Not that the speaker is bad. I just imagine it could sound better The Blues Junior will always be found within my arsenol. I plan on keeping it forever. Fender designed another winner when they set out to build the Blues Junior.