Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fender Blues Junior III Guitar Amplifier


Today we are looking at a really neat amplifier: the Fender Hot Rod Series Blues Junior III. I picked this one up a few months back when I was looking for something with a little more oompf. I had the previous version of the Blues Junior a few years back and sold it for some reason, but I really do not remember why.

There were a few updates when Fender introduced the renamed Blues Junior III last year. Some of these changes were visual, such as new knobs, an easier to see black control panel and a bigger red power light (whoo!). Other changes improved performance, including a new speaker, rattle-reducing shock absorbers for the power tubes and a new circuit modification.

The Blues Junior III is a small-sized combo amp, measuring about 10 by 18 by 16 inches and weighing around 30 pounds. It is plenty loud, though with 15 watts of output into a 12-inch 8 ohm Eminence speaker. This is via two EL84 output tubes after coming through three 12AX7 pre-amp tubes, all of which are made by Groove Tubes.

The controls are simple, with one input, volume, treble, bass, middle, and reverb. And it has a very sweet spring reverb. There is also a Fat switch to increase pre-amp gain, and it is footswitch controllable (footswitch not included).

This latest version of the Blues Junior works well too. It has a great vintage Fender tone and a warm overdriven tube sound so it will do whatever is needed for classic blues or rock music. But if you are looking for a metal amp or something to go with your massive pedal board, you might want to think Marshall instead.

It is well built, and if anything goes wrong Fender backs this amplifier with a 5-year warranty, which is transferrable (I think).

The Fender Blues Junior III amplifier is a great value, with a street price of around $475 (list price of $699). Of course you will have to decide if the classic Fender tone is what you like, as you can get a Marshall 18-watt clone in this price range too. Maybe you need both…


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