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  #1  
Old 10-16-2018, 10:22 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Default Fender Blues Junior IV amp

These are selling well at my local retailer. Occasionally there are Fender Special Release (FSR) versions with wood or plywood cabinet. Reviews have been positive outlining improvements over version III. Incorporates BillM modifications of cooler bias and much improved bass response.

Last edited by Jaden; 10-17-2018 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:38 PM
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Went amp hunting today at the local L&M and found one slightly used/pre owned BJr IV for same price as new, $799 here in Canada. Did not try it out. Noticed a few different ‘68 Fender reissues but never see any ‘65 RI(s). The best deal there today was a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 watt combo w/12” speaker in compact but deep cabinet. See through panel with tubes under blue light. Checked the acoustic room and plucked a very good 000-18 Martin on my way out.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:46 PM
rwmct rwmct is offline
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Noticed a few different ‘68 Fender reissues but never see any ‘65 RI(s).
When I got my 65 PRRI I had to order it. Which struck me as odd, given that it is supposed to be a model that sells well. I have noticed that several stores don't seem to stock lower power amps (say, 15 watts and below) that are more expensive than the Blues Jr.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rwmct View Post
When I got my 65 PRRI I had to order it. Which struck me as odd, given that it is supposed to be a model that sells well. I have noticed that several stores don't seem to stock lower power amps (say, 15 watts and below) that are more expensive than the Blues Jr.
It seems at my local store the ‘65 reissues sell out quickly, while the less desired ‘68(s) sit on the floor in stock. I wonder if the ‘68 experiment is less successful due to less clean headroom? The more expensive low watt amps (as well as boutique models in general) seem to be very limited availability as well; the Hughes & K was a special order in.

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Old 10-18-2018, 10:28 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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It seems at my local store the ‘65 reissues sell out quickly, while the less desired ‘68(s) sit on the floor in stock. I wonder if the ‘68 experiment is less successful due to less clean headroom? The more expensive low watt amps (as well as boutique models in general) seem to be very limited availability as well; the Hughes & K was a special order in.
Bob Womack's got a good article on his '68 and why he prefers it to the '65 - it's above my pay grade, experience-wise, but his argument made sense.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:57 PM
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Bob Womack's got a good article on his '68 and why he prefers it to the '65 - it's above my pay grade, experience-wise, but his argument made sense.
Yes, Bob’s review was interesting; it may be a question of clean vs overdrive as a matter of personal preference on which I differ with Bob.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:37 PM
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I now own a 65 reissue Princeton and a 68 reissue Deluxe. I played both 65 and 68 versions of both. The 65 does have more clean headroom, but not by a huge amount. In non-gigging situations you can get plenty of clean tones from either amp. To me, it's not as much about headroom as it is about tone. The 68 has a softer sound to it, where the 65 seems to be more "in your face" if that makes sense. I like both.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:37 PM
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I now own a 65 reissue Princeton and a 68 reissue Deluxe. I played both 65 and 68 versions of both. The 65 does have more clean headroom, but not by a huge amount. In non-gigging situations you can get plenty of clean tones from either amp. To me, it's not as much about headroom as it is about tone. The 68 has a softer sound to it, where the 65 seems to be more "in your face" if that makes sense. I like both.
I totally agree with BoneDigger. I have both a '65 PRRI and DRRI. I got mine through Sweetwater because I wanted the features of their special editions. I bought the Princeton second because I got tired of lugging the Deluxe to and from church twice a week and couldn't turn it up to 3 in that setting anyway. If you like Fender cleans there is no substitute. I started with an older Blues Junior, and even with upgrading the speaker to a C-Rex I never got it beyond sounding boxy and beamy. It was OK when loud enough to bounce it off the back wall, but no bottom end in that little box. Before you spend $800 on a BJ, I would seriously consider a Princeton if you want to stay small, or even a Deluxe Reverb if 40lbs doesn't turn you off. IMO, the Deluxe Reverb has an absolutely delicious tone, something about the 6V6s in a box big enough to breathe is a perfect match. You won't be hankering for something better anytime soon.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:45 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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I totally agree with BoneDigger. I have both a '65 PRRI and DRRI. I got mine through Sweetwater because I wanted the features of their special editions. I bought the Princeton second because I got tired of lugging the Deluxe to and from church twice a week and couldn't turn it up to 3 in that setting anyway. If you like Fender cleans there is no substitute. I started with an older Blues Junior, and even with upgrading the speaker to a C-Rex I never got it beyond sounding boxy and beamy. It was OK when loud enough to bounce it off the back wall, but no bottom end in that little box. Before you spend $800 on a BJ, I would seriously consider a Princeton if you want to stay small, or even a Deluxe Reverb if 40lbs doesn't turn you off. IMO, the Deluxe Reverb has an absolutely delicious tone, something about the 6V6s in a box big enough to breathe is a perfect match. You won't be hankering for something better anytime soon.
You’re no doubt right about the Deluxe. Thing is, there is no way in a store with limited time and restraints, will I find out much about these two amps now in two different configurations, and be able to make an educated purchase on my own, and that’s why I’m mining for discussion and others wanting to enter the blackface fold can glean some knowledge too. Thanks both, much appreciated.

Last edited by Jaden; 10-22-2018 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:02 PM
rwmct rwmct is offline
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And lets not forget that reverb. It is a gas to hit that footswitch and here it on "Rumble" or "Jumping at Shadows."
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:05 PM
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Just wanted to say also, when I think of Fender Clean the Cannabis Rex speaker doesn’t come to mind because it’s a mellow performer not designed with a bright top end. Also, I think clear bell-like tone is necessarily hard on the ear at higher volume; it can be toned down. Where I have concerns is with an amp that’s soft on the ear because at higher volume, any clarity may be lost with fizziness or distortion. As for the Blues Junior, I already know it’s a very good amp for home use due to its prominent mid range performance (very important) and touch sensitive; also, no boxiness is present with it at lower volume.

Last edited by Jaden; 10-22-2018 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:29 PM
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As for the 65 versus 68 thing, I really don't see the 65 as "more desriable" than the 68. In looking at reviews online and reading at TDPRI and other places, it seems to me that there are those who prefer the 68 and those that prefer the 65, and many who liked both (that's where I stand). I would be happy with either, but they are definitely different. Both models are high quality Fender amps and both give that classic Fender sound, though each has a slightly different signature sound. I would play both before deciding one is inferior.

As to the BJ, I owned a BJ Tweed BJ3. It was a very nice amp but it just didn't go where I wanted to go. So, I sold it. It would be perfect for some people and not perfect for others. Listen to how some folks use theirs on YouTube then go try them out.
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