Saturday January 14, 2012

Fender Blues Jr Practice Amp

Part of the Hot Rod series, the Fender Blues Jr combo amp has been a long time favorite with blues and rock guitarists all over. Conceived in 1995, it is now up to its third iteration. At the time, Fender realized that a small affordable practice amp intended at capturing the unmistakable Fender tone would focus the market.

The current 2010 model is known as the . The single channel 15 watt combo is driven by two matched EL-84 Groove Tubes output the power, while three 12AX7 Groove Tubes warm up the preamp tubes to overdrive. Fender’s unrivalled spring reverb driven by a solid-state opamp enriches the tone. The characteristic EL-84 gives the Blues Jr its fat mid SRV tones. To help boost the volume and bass you can flick the Fat Switch. The new “sparkle” circuit mod borrowed from the Hot Rod Deluxe III gives the Blues Jr the classic Fender “Blackface” clean bright surf sound.

Fender Blues Jr

Fender Blues Jr

The new model introduces some enhancements including an easier-to-read black control panel with front-reading text, new badge, vintage Fender “dog bone” handle, vintage-size jewel light, rattle-reducing shock absorbers for the EL84 tubes and heavy-duty set-screw “chicken head” knobs.


The latest cabinet houses a highly sensitive Fender Special Design Eminence 12” “lightning bolt” speaker. Certain previous editions came with different speakers, for instance the NOS Lacquered Tweed Edition came with a desirable Jensen C12N.

Limited Editions

The amp is dressed in the customary Fender black Tolex with a silver grille cloth. Though at various points several Tolex colors have been made available including a Lacquered Tweed edition, Sunburst Ash edition, "Brown Tolex" and most notably the "Blonde" edition. Circuitry in all Editions is the same, though the speaker may vary. Currently available as a ProGuitarShop exclusive is a Fender Blues Jr. Limited edition to only 150 in “Red” with a Wheat Grill Cloth and a 12” Celestion Vintage 30 speaker at $529.00. I should get paid to say that ;).

Blues Jr Modding

Various user mods have surfaced within the Fender Hot Rod community. Most prominent is the Billm Audio mods which seems to fix some of the inherit problems found in mass production units even with the Blues Junior III version. Quite a common mod is the Clean Boost mod.

While the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is the world’s best selling tube amp, the has garnered an exceedingly high reputation of excellent tone in a small package. Don’t be deceived, the Blue Jr is more than just a simple practice amp. Hell, even Oasis’s Noel Gallagher uses one on tour!

Fender Blues Junior Specifications

Fender Blues Jr

Fender Blues Jr

  • Model Name: Blues Junior III  $699.99
  • Hot Rod
  • One Channel
  • Solid State Rectifier
  • Reverb, Master, Middle, Bass, Treble, "Fat" Switch, Volume
  • Grill Cover Cloth: Black Textured Vinyl Covering with Blackface Style Black/Silver Grille Cloth
  • Input Impedance: 1 M Input Impedance
  • Output Impedance: 8 Ohm
  • Amplifier Length: 9.18" (23.31 cm)
  • Amplifier Width: 18" (45.72 cm)
  • Amplifier Height: 16" (40.6 cm)
  • Amplifier Weight: 31 lbs. (14.06 kg)
  • Effects: Spring Reverb
  • Speaker: 12 inch, 8 Ohm 50 Watt Fender® “Lightning Bolt” speaker by Eminence
  • Impedance: 8 Ohm
  • Pre Amp Tubes: 3 x 12AX7
  • Power Tubes: 2 x EL84

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