Cheaper Fender amps??? worth it????


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Hey CB, or any of you guys that might know, is it worth dropping the 700/800bucks down for say one of the new Fender 40watt, Blues Deluxe reissue amps or say a 400/500bucks for  one of the new Fender 15 watt Blues juniors??? Im looking for a small amp for jamming at home but with good tone as well, will this get me there cheaply or am I better off saving double and buying like maybe the Fender 20watt Princton recording amp or the Fender 45 watt Bassman59 LTD reissue.......or what about the reverb reissues.............i guess Im a bit confused as for 1000 bucks or a little more or less and Fender has quite a large selection, any help would be much appreciated, I guess ultimately if I could have lower volume for jamming at home but enough for jamming with a bass player and drummer would be the best all the way around, so for Stevie Ray/ Hendrix type tone, what gives guys?????.............Yes I know Hendrix used Marshall, and Stevie used quite a few amps including Dumble..........but for a guy spending 1200 bucks max could someone point me in the right direction  ..... :icon_scratch: theres an awefull lot to choose....Blues Tone for long extended lead work is what Im looking for....







I've got the itty bitty Pro Junior and it does a pretty good job for the vintage tube sound.  There are quite a few mods for the Blues Junior over on the Fender forum. (  You have to do a bit of digging though.  If you're looking for something small but good sounding, check out the Blues Junior and some of the mods.

Appreciate that Eric, that was my next thought, see about modifying or upgrading one of the cheaper models............ :icon_thumright:
I had, liked, but sold anyway, a Blues Jr.  The stock speaker can be improved, but really, thats the only mod I'd do, because to me... any more into the amp is just sugar coating the kruller.  Its still a kruller.

The Pro Jr is good... but take a look at the Champ 600 (new product).  For $200 (or less) you can get a lot of cranked up tone.

In my way of thinking, there is no finer amp than the Deluxe Reverb.  Clean till 4-1/2 then more and more grit as you crank 'er up.  I have played, side by side, with a guy using a LP Studio and a JCM900 2x12 combo (100 watt).  I had a Tele Thinline (warmoth of course), and my 68 Deluxe Reverb.  He was on about 4-1/2 and very loud.  I was on 8-1/2, just as loud ... but, Lord of Blues, the tone man, the tone....  Constipation defined, is a large amp played low.  If you need "more amp" than 20 watts of Deluxe Reverb, then mic it through the PA. 

But... for bedroom level... hey... that 1/2 watt 1 tube micro amp thing in another thread is nice!
Hey CB, yeah, I just got off the Fender forum Eric limked up above and I realize Im just gonna have to spring for 2 amps, plain and simple, I want killer tone and enough power to jam with others and I believe you just helped me make up my mind,something about the Black face sound that has always struck me as "The tone" so your tip about the Deluxe Reverb is well recieved.

I agree on the constipation thing there, I made the mistake last year of buying an 85 watt Traynor thinking what a great deal at 900bucks and with Bias switching, I was thinking tube tinkering fun, what I didn't realize untill into 3 weeks of owning it was that the only way I would ever hear the "Tone Zone" was to play Shea Stadium or the equivalent, hahahahahaha.............never make that mistake again.....

I was initialy going to go with Marshall, as I own quite an expensive Carl Martin and a few other boutique pedal collection, and they apparently have built their pedals primarily based on Hiwatt amps and the EL34 tube sound, but Im primarily into bluesy/classic rock type stuff so Im thinking Im not going to be getting too much into that kind of gain territory anyway so Im figuring go with the sound I have always liked and thats Fender, so I appreciate the insight.....

Im thinking pick up the Blues Jr. so I can have some Fun Tweaking and have the lower volumes for at home jammin, and then get the Deluxe Reverb for jammin out......looking forward to the day I come up against that same scenario, 22watts of tone cranked, against a 100 watt beast, no doubt in my mind where the ears will be turned, wish I could been there to hear you guys that day...hahahahahaha......later, Chris
Actually both Stevie Ray and Hendrix used vintage Super Reverbs in studio mostly; when Stevie used to play clubs in Dallas/Austin he'd tote either a blackface Super Reverb and later I saw him with both black and silver-faced Bassman heads run through Bassman 2x12 and Marshall 4x12 cabs; but that was back in the 70s-early 80s, but he already had the sound goin' on...

The Blues Jr. is OK for practice, your house (maybe depending on where you live...) but it really doesn't have enough wattage to gig with. Tone is similar to Blues Deluxe but has less "balls" at volume. You can find a reissue Blues Deluxe on eBay or in pawn shops around Seattle for around $400-450; CB's right, with either the Jr. or the Deluxe the only mod you need to make is to replace the stock speaker.  I've got a mint reissue Blues Deluxe with cover/footswitch/etc. I'm fixing to trade in as I'm upgrading to s SuperSonic, PM me if interested.

If you are really just looking for a practice amp, check out the Champ 600 CB recommended, I haven't got around to playing one yet, but have heard raves from a couple of friends that have.

Hey Jack, Im definantly going to look at the Deluxe Reverb and I'll check out the Super Reverb at that time as well, its only a few hundred bucks more so......I do like the idea of using the 22watt amp miked thru a PA if that much volume is needed, I see on Stevie Rays, Austin city limits vid, that he has like 8 smaller amps in a pile all miked and running into the PA so that does appear to be the way to get the tone...

Im interested in the Jr. for several reasons, not necessarily just for volume and tone, as I figure your right the Blues Deluxe would seem thicker given its size and speaker setup, but because there seems to be a lot of Mods going on with the Jr. and its small size for at home playing it seems like it would satisfy both my desire to jamm and Tweak....cheaply.....though I will let you know if I can use that Deluxe you have.... :icon_thumright:

Yeah, clearly I will need 2 amps....
Forget the PBS setup: from '83 note single miked Super Reverb in background... Actually, you can get that same sound out of any dual/quad 6L6 based Fender amp, Super Reverb, Twin, Bassman, etc.

BUT if your're moving up from the $500 price point to the Super Reverb strata, take yer shit to the Guitar Center and play it through a SuperSonic, I bought my first Fender tune amp probably before you were born and have enough disposal income to buy whatever I want and I'm sold on that, check it out. It's the same price as the reissue Super Reverb; comes in a 1x12 combo cab for the house, and you can unplug the internal 12 and use a 2x12/4x10/4x12 cab you can buy later to gig with.
I have the Epiphone Valve Junior head + VHT 1x12 cabinet. The amp is rated 5 Watts and I can't turn the volume past 9 o' clock. Keep in mind with a tube amp it doesn't matter if it is 1 Watt or 100 Watt. It's difficult to push the amp and maintain bedroom levels!

Pro Jr. & Blues Jr. have EL84 tubes, the bigger have 6L6 tubes. All the Blues line is OK but nothing great. I wouldn't buy one of them except used and in a low price. Not classic Fender sound in my opinion, just good sound.

The reissues are not exactly build like the originals but they have the Fender clean sound. I recommend also the Deluxe Reverb, it's cheaper, it has tube driven reverb & vibrato, and 22 Watts. You can play anywhere with this amp, as with any amp, if you put a mic in front of it.

If money was not an issue, I have heard the best Fender clean sound from Tone King amplifiers. If you ever find one check them out. Finally, the one who has amazing uncompressed clean & crunch sound is the Matchless Independence 212. This amp has it all, no pedals, just your guitar into it and it's pure heaven. From clean to OD it does it all. It's pricey though... :(
Nice info Kostas, you guys overseas always seem to have alot of knowledge with tube amps, its like you guys are still back in the sixties and seventies there, (which is a Good thing for "Tone") thats why I went with Carl Martin pedals, they know tone and are built on the premise of showing off your amps tone, so its real important to have that great sound as the base before ya run these through, very much appreciate your insight.
Besides the MAJOR fortune I'd have if I'd kept every guitar I've ever bought since 1970, I'd have another minor one if I'd kept all the old pedals in a big box to repair them now.
Yeah to say the least, them older chip pedals are BIG money for sure.....hell I spent a small fortune for New pedals that sound like old pedals...hahahahaahaha :laughing7:..............
I think Im going to skip the cheap amp Idea all together, after thinking it thru, I've got a Top of the line Warmoth guitar, Top of the line Pedal setup, so it only makes sense to just drop good money on a great amp, as like CB stated in another post, an amp is an instrument, well I might as well finish up this killer setup with the right tool for the job, so Im going to look into 20-30 watt Boutique amps, I was looking into those Tonekings Kostas mentioned and Im gonna check out some others as well.........

I know thats the right Idea, cause now Im getting excited..ahahahaahahha.... :laughing7:
Hey Beast, check out tech21.  They are solid state, but they sound as good or better than a lot of tube amps.

I have a 60 watt TM60 w/ 4-10's    all amps have a sweet spot where they really sound good,

My tech 21 has a wide sweet spot, sounds great on 1 or 10, it's also very quiet when the guitar volume is off.

Having said all that ( and I love my tech21) I would stll like a good tube amp also. but if I could have only 1 amp  Tech21

Oh yeh, another thing, I thought of you when I say this, I found a place that sells knobs numbered 1-11 (made from unhatched turtles, how cool is that?)  I'll get the site for you on the knobs
Let me say, the Super Reverb is one of the LOUDest 45/50 watts you're gonna find.  Four 10s, good 10's - Celestion Vintage 10's or the newer model (not quite as nice if you ask me, but ... thats progress).

I played my Super Reverb with 4 Celestion 10's... in a 150 x 300 foot warehouse.  The place was not "empty" but had contents down one side, some large open area in the middle, shelves on other side... It was easily able to fill that, and easily had to be kept "turned down".  Super Reverbs are loud mo'fo's.
If you're looking for good clean tube sound check out the new Visual Sound amps.
<> I tried out one of their Pony amps and was very impressed how it nailed the vintage Fender clean tube sound.  I will be replacing my Pro Junior with one of these when I have the funds.

One of the nice features is the pedal power supply.  The grill idea is positively whacky but it works.

WOW!!!, the workhourse sounds pretty impressive according to the sight, 6L6 or EL34's  thats a nice option right there, plus a CD input for lone jammin to tunes or that I can use to plug my Boss GT8 into should I want to use that instead of my pedals, and it bipasses the Workhorses preamp, but gives me the power tubes, thats another plus right there,  and you can bias the 6L6 or EL34's Hot if you choose,  Wow Eric, thanks, not a bad price for all them options either......sweet!!!! :)

I won't need the power supply all my pedals are AC only except for like 2 of em, so I just run those AC as well, but they are recomended for EL34 tube amps, but I also like the clean sounds of 6L6 so it sounds like I could have it all right there, plus a CD / processor*t Im impressed with this.....
I used to own a Fender Princeton 40 watt.. I dont know about the 20 watt version but the princeton had a great clean tone and pretty decent reverb. It was loud but you couldn't crank it up too much or it would just got fuzzy.

I dont know how small you're looking to go but the Fender bullet is a pretty cool little amp. its got built in effects and stuff and its just a little 15 watt solid state thing.  I dunno. check it out, dont know if its what you're looking for
Man, you can't beat a Blues Jr. fender 15 watt 12 in. platform!