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Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1879
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 - 8:19 am:   Edit Post

I'm looking at getting a small guitar combo for home practice use and also for jam sessions, rehearsals etc. I already have a Fender Twin 100w valve amp that I use for larger gigs so this new one isn't intended to replace that "Evil Twin".

I want it to replace my Laney VC30 valve combo which used to be ok for this purpose but has become increasingly noisy even though it's been well serviced, I really can't use my series one guitar with its power supply PSU through it as it just makes so much more hum.

So i have been thinking about a replacement and the Fender Blues Junior, on paper, seems to be a suitable replacement as it's fairly compact in size and at 15 watts is probably loud enough.

I have no doubt it will sound great with my strats as most things do so I plan to take my orion down to a couple of shops soon to try one out.

I just wondered if anyone here has one of those Blues amps and has a view on them?
I am on a limited budget and so staying away from Mesa Boogies and other premier guitar combos. I am primarily looking for a good clean crisp sound and not a heavy rock sound. Blues crunch and natural tube break up is fine.

At the risk of contradicting myself, a mate of mine has offered to sell me his Roland jc120 for about the same price as the Blues Jr. He uses it as a keyboard amp.
Any advice on this and other combo's that are worth checking out?

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4330
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 - 9:11 am:   Edit Post

My Alembic guitars tend to like Fenders more than Boogies. I played a Strat, 335, and a PRS through a Mark III for almost 20 years and loved the amp. Then I got a Mark IIC+ and loved it too. But the Alembics don't love them as much. They just sound better through the Fenders (60's blackface Pro Reverb w/ JBLs and a '66 Bandmaster.) Lately I've been using a Pritchard, which I love, but I suspect this is too expensive for what you are looking for. For smaller situations, I have an 80's Rivera-era Fender Princeton Reverb II. A wonderful small amp with great sound and a real lead channel. You might want to check them out.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 611
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post

Jazzy - a friend of mine has a Gibson GA-15 RV 1X12 combo. It's a great little amp built in UK - basically a re-branded Trace Elliot Velocette 12R after Gibson bought the company. It's Class A, switchable between 15 and 5 Watts (pentode/triode), simple controls and absolutely lush reverb. My Skylark sounds amazing through that amp - I've been trying to get him to sell to me for years. As I understand it there are two versions: UK built - tan tolex, and US made - black tolex. My friend's is tan with the Union Jack on the lower back panel.

Gibson has discontinued these amps and they're getting difficult to find. If you see one give it a try. I'd love to get my hands on one of these myself, so if you happen upon one shippable to the US, please let me know.

Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 761
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, March 08, 2010 - 7:54 am:   Edit Post

I love my Fender Pro-Reverb, and have heard them described as the "Little Twin." Forty watts of crystalline fender tone, and they're pretty cheap on the vintage market. All sources agree to avoid the master volume 70 watt incarnations.
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 510
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, March 08, 2010 - 8:55 pm:   Edit Post

I love the Pro Reverbs as well. Great little amps and I wish I had bought one back when they were going for $250-300. Oh well.
Username: jx2638

Post Number: 74
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Monday, March 08, 2010 - 9:41 pm:   Edit Post

I also own the "Evil Twin" and bought a Deluxe Blues Reissue a few years ago. I wasn't thrilled with its breaking point so I just put an E120 in it and it's made a huge difference in sound quality. Ironically, I plugged my Further into a friends Blues Jr just last night and was pretty suprised in the differences. This was a tweed Jr with the factory "upgraded" Jensen 12"...tone was pretty good and power surprisingly strong. I do still think a better speaker would improve it even more. The Deluxe Blues Reissue is more versatile though...40w, more tone controls, standby mode, etc. Again, I think the speaker swap, for me, made a huge difference.

Also...have you done any mods to the "Evil Twin" or are you running it stock?
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1881
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post

Well, I bought a Blues Jr yesterday afternoon after taking my Orion to the shop to play through it. It sounded very good, very fendery, a bit low on headroom I felt but I managed to get it on approval for a week.

Just for reference, I also tried a Mesa Boogie 2:25 with a 10" speaker to hear what the upper end of the market is like. I thought it sounded good, clean and powerful and, unlike the cheaper fender, quite neutral toned but not great.

Anyway, when I got it home I tried it side by side for about 5 mins with my Laney and apart from it's noisy status , the Laney did sound much fuller and had a clearer sound. But then it is 30w with a Celestian speaker and not 15w.

I think this little investigation has pushed me to reconsider getting rid of the laney and instead take it to a different repair centre to see if I can get the noisy input channel issue resolved.

As for the Evil Twin, it is stock. I haven't found it lacking in any area to warrant any mods. My sound is predominantly clean and stock gives me that in buckets.
What mods are there? Pray tell.

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