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Old 07-09-2019, 11:09 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Default Fender Amp Shootout: BJr vs PJr vs BB007

Fender Amp Shootout:
3 Small Tube Amps for Home Use: Blues Junior III vs Pro Junior IV vs Bassbreaker 007
Most Often Used: at equivalent to low tv volume
Tonal Characteristics: in a following post/ to be continued
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:24 AM
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If you’re the kind of person who likes to noodle on acoustic guitar in front of the tv or you just have to keep it quiet not to wake up the kids (or the spouse!), are new to electric guitar or are wondering if electric is truly versatile for home use, and like the idea of a small tube amp old fashioned style, this thread is for you.

I’ve picked 3 Fender amps to compare at low volume, and especially must keep the bass to an absolute minimum.

In a further post I’ll discuss some of my findings which will lead to some interesting conclusions that don’t apply to these specific amps themselves, but rather to broader topics of discussion.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:36 AM
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For the purposes of this shootout I employed three vintage style single coil telecasters plugged straight into the amps; each telecaster with a different set of pickups. Each amp is completely stock from the factory; in the case of Fender (in my experience) this means both the tubes and speakers are quality components not requiring upgrade for home use purposes, and passed along in the somewhat higher overall cost compared to some lower priced competitors.

To be continued ...
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:55 PM
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Ok First off First Amp to discuss

Fender Bassbreaker 007: 7 Watts, tone controls, volume and gain, no reverb

This amp is great at higher volume and gain. Loads of fun with beautiful roar sounds organic and no clipping at reasonably high volumes.

Low volume clean the bass is prominent and flat, the midrange is comfortably submerged, and the treble is weak. Altogether soft on the ear and friendly to the neighbors.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:16 PM
colder colder is offline
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I have owned all three of these (except I had the bass breaker 15). The Pro Junior is the best I think easily, although I have moved on to a Princeton which I like better than all of them. YMMV.

Looking forward to the rest of your reviews!
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colder View Post
I have owned all three of these (except I had the bass breaker 15). The Pro Junior is the best I think easily, although I have moved on to a Princeton which I like better than all of them. YMMV.

Looking forward to the rest of your reviews!
Thanks! How would you describe the tone of the Princeton at very low volume? I may acquire a ‘65 reissue after all but I don’t want too much bass*

The Pro Junior I have is very quiet at idle. Notes are warm, almost hot with a bright emphasis around 1khz.

*volume level so low it may be overkill, especially with the gradual volume taper and soft tone of the particular Blues Junior in this test.

Last edited by Jaden; 07-12-2019 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:59 PM
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Next Amp

Fender Pro Junior IV: 15 watts, 10Ē Jensen speaker, 1 volume and 1 tone control, no reverb

In my opinion the least successful of the three for low volume home use. Bass lacks definition (perhaps due to new speaker not softened up), and although notes pop out of the box, generally tonally unbalanced with emphasis on the upper midrange frequencies. May be very good for fluid lead playing.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:32 PM
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Curious to hear your thoughts on the Blues Junior. I was really close to pulling the trigger on one but ended up getting a Monoprice Stage Right for $200. So far I'm really happy with it as it sounds somewhat similar to the BJr and, best of all, has a button that changes the output from 15w to 1w, so you can play with higher gain at an apartment friendly volume.

Last edited by pagedr; 07-13-2019 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:02 AM
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Fender Blues Junior III: 15 watts, 12” speaker, volume and master, b-m-t tone controls, reverb

This example dates from c.2017 the last year of production for the III model and it seems Fender worked out the bugs and responded to criticism of harsh overdrive/ clipping, ice pick trebles as this example has a smooth break up and gorgeous soft on the ear balanced frequency response with colourful midrange but still weak on the bass which makes this easily the best of the three amps for low volume clean with quiet, nicely defined bass and texture to the notes with good pickups.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:48 PM
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A note on the guitars used in this test:

Fender Ď50s Roadworn Telecaster with TexMex pickups
Fender Ď50s Classic Series Lacquer Telecaster with low output vintage type pups
Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster Vintage Blonde w/ alnico 3 pickups

The MIM CSL Tele with low wind pickups is the clear winner for round, liquid or fluid tone, the RW pickups have an annoying upper midrange spike at low volume - reminiscent of a chicken screech, the Classic Vibe has darker, hotter pickups than the Fenders.
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:50 PM
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Thx for the info on these. Interestingly enough I played all three mentioned and agree with your findings. That being said, I chose the Tweed BJ with the 12Ē Jensen. IMHO it rates a step above the standard BJ. Iím sure the Jensen factors in. Regardless, all great amps in their own right.

I primarily play my butterscotch black guard players series Tele through it. It pairs very, very well. As does my E series Strat. Havenít had the opportunity to run my Gretsch guitars through it...although Iím sure theyíll fair well.

Iíve tried to keep my pedals to a minimum with an Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master, and a TS9, with a Spark mini for boost. Great home studio rig that could be equally successful onstage. As always, IMHO, YMMV etc.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTony View Post
Thx for the info on these. Interestingly enough I played all three mentioned and agree with your findings. That being said, I chose the Tweed BJ with the 12Ē Jensen. IMHO it rates a step above the standard BJ. Iím sure the Jensen factors in. Regardless, all great amps in their own right.

I primarily play my butterscotch black guard players series Tele through it. It pairs very, very well. As does my E series Strat. Havenít had the opportunity to run my Gretsch guitars through it...although Iím sure theyíll fair well.

Iíve tried to keep my pedals to a minimum with an Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master, and a TS9, with a Spark mini for boost. Great home studio rig that could be equally successful onstage. As always, IMHO, YMMV etc.
The Tweed Blues Junior with 12Ē Jensen speaker arrived in stock at my local retailer after I purchased these 3 other Fender amplifiers - I missed the boat on it, so to speak - but wow itís the nicest looking amp, and probably trumps all the others, as you say. Oh well, I missed out on a good Strat also - but all this info and discussion is posted here to help others.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
The Tweed Blues Junior with 12Ē Jensen speaker arrived in stock at my local retailer after I purchased these 3 other Fender amplifiers - I missed the boat on it, so to speak - but wow itís the nicest looking amp, and probably trumps all the others, as you say. Oh well, I missed out on a good Strat also - but all this info and discussion is posted here to help others.
And great info it is! Again, thank you for posting your findings. Was just adding a 4th option to those looking. Your efforts will certainly aid those looking for lower volume Fender amps.
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Old 10-01-2019, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
A note on the guitars used in this test:

Fender Ď50s Roadworn Telecaster with TexMex pickups
Fender Ď50s Classic Series Lacquer Telecaster with low output vintage type pups
Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster Vintage Blonde w/ alnico 3 pickups

The MIM CSL Tele with low wind pickups is the clear winner for round, liquid or fluid tone, the RW pickups have an annoying upper midrange spike at low volume - reminiscent of a chicken screech, the Classic Vibe has darker, hotter pickups than the Fenders.
Ok, after a general falling out with electric low volume home practice a while ago Iíve returned to this equipment, and have identified the particular guitar that has thrown me off, and that is the Ď50s Road Worn Telecaster, made in Mexico, and loaded with TexMex pickups: the bass is flat, steely, the upper midrange and treble is annoying. Iím kind of surprised considering this model is popular on the guitar forums and I for one have touted in the past, but now it will be moved on. The frets and pickups are not 1950s inspired at all - itís a hot rodded, more of a vintage modified package that I find is not convincing at low volume clean.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:16 PM
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I was going to purchase a Fender Blues Jr. NOS, but stumbled onto this one https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...SABEgJMKPD_BwE. I like it....
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