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Thread: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

  1. #1
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    Default Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Hey,
    a few weeks ago I bought here in Germany in a local music store a Fender Blues Junior Lacquered Tweed and I have a big issue with the amp.

    The problem is when I use pedals (especially distortion- and fuzz-pedals, overdrive is ok) with it (for example the Big Muff or the Red from Walrus Audio, but I also tried different overdrive/distortion pedals), the sound is horrible. Thin, harsh, way too much treble and kind of boxy.

    The more gain I add on the Fender, the "better" the sound.

    For example:
    Master 3-4, Volume 3 > Big Muff/Red -> harsh, thin, boxy, no bass, way too much treble
    Master 2.5, Volume 6 > Big Muff/Red > little bit better, but still not good
    Master 2-2.5, Volume 11/12 > Big Muff/Red > little bit better, but still you don't wanna play with a sound like this.

    Sometimes it sounds like the Fender can't handle the big muff for example, the E- and A-string are "flubby" over the Fender, like it's fluttering.

    So maybe you could help me, why it is like this?
    I've heard many guitarists, who played with there pedals into a totally clean amp and I loved the sounds. But with the Blues Junior, it's really bad. And I thought, the Fender would be a nice pedal platform.

    Thanks guys for your help.

  2. #2
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    I don't like the stock speaker in those blues jrs. Try a C. Rex or Swamp Thang if you want to keep a similar Fender clean sound, but handle distortion better. Both of those speakers will soften the highs a tad, boost the lows, and lose some of the boxy sound.

    The other thing you could try is unhooking the speaker in the cab and plugging into an extension cabinet. I feel like the blues jr. cab adds a lot of the boxy sound . . . it's just a bit smaller than it should be.
    Last edited by GuitarStv; 08-26-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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  3. #3
    Tone Member BenPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    +1 for speaker replacement

    I have a different amp that was doing the same thing. Whenever I used an OD or Distortion pedal, the amp sounded like it was farting. Replaced the speakers, problem solved.


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  4. #4
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    nothing more to add. swap that speaker, crex is a great suggestion, and i think youll be much happier. the stock jensen is harsh on the high end, especially when pushed with a lot of distortion

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Thanks guys. For 100€ I will try this and order a cannabis rex speaker.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    If you want a great pedal platform amplifier, you should look into an Ampeg GVT15. You'll likely want to swap the speaker in it as well. If you can, get the head + 1x12 cabinet. I highly recommend a Guytron Bigtone 55 speaker @ 16 Ohm.

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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Quote Originally Posted by 67Mopar View Post
    If you want a great pedal platform amplifier, you should look into an Ampeg GVT15. You'll likely want to swap the speaker in it as well. If you can, get the head + 1x12 cabinet. I highly recommend a Guytron Bigtone 55 speaker @ 16 Ohm.
    Dude, he JUST bought a new amp. It needs a little help, that's all.

  8. #8
    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Have you turned down the bass? Unless you are clean and low volume Fenders like to have the bass pretty far down in my experience.

    The speaker is a great idea as well, my Princeton sounds a lot bigger with a new speaker.
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Master volume is way too low in all of those situations. Try cranking the master and using the preamp volume as a master volume.
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Did you option it right? It needs Ibanez Tube Screamer, Univibe copy, MXR phase 90 or Tube Screamer guy. I have read reviews, that have been written with help of https://edubirdie.com/paraphrasing-tool, about them at musicradar. Check it now.
    Last edited by ugremont; 09-12-2019 at 07:01 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    I love the idea of the Blues Junior.
    Small, light, portable, with just enough power to keep up at an open mic.
    The execution of it doesn't please me, however.
    My apologies to all the Blues Junior lovers out there, and I know there's a bajillion of them.

    I bought one a number of years ago.
    I did everything I could think of to make it sound better.
    Tried a number of different speakers.
    Tried some of the Bill M mods, which did help but not enough.

    To the OP, I hope you find a way to get your issues sorted out.
    If you do you will have better luck than I.
    I eventually got rid of mine out of frustration.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  12. #12
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Every time you read about this amp in forums, there is a chorus of people who say "you have to do this and this, in order for it to sound the best". You'd think Fender would've read this and resolve whatever issues it might have.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Well, they can't really.
    Not without redesigning the whole thing and they won't do that.
    Some of it has to do with circuit values and of course they could easily address those things if they wished.
    They don't wish to though.
    The amp sells well as it is.
    A bigger part of it is the cabinet size.
    It's just a bit too small for a 12.
    The 5E3 is a slightly lower wattage with the same size speaker but it has a larger cabinet and does not suffer the same constricted sound that some people call boxy.
    There is a company, forget the name, that makes a replacement cabinet that fits the chassis perfectly and a few people have tried it and say it works wonders.
    Fender has been owned by a group of companies for a few years now and only two of them have any relationship to music and they are the smaller shareholders so they have little voice.
    Fender sells products and if those products continue to sell well, they won't monkey with it.
    Every new version of the Blues Junior that comes out is due to cost cutting measures being implemented rather than refinement.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Found it.
    Here is a link to the cabinet I was referring to above.

    Carl's Custom Guitars - oversize cabinet for the Blues Junior

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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    I wish that option was available back when I had mine.
    You never know, I might still have the amp and join in the chorus of people praising it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    a buddy of mine has a new box for his blues jr and it sounds great. same type of thing as linked to above, solid pine oversized 1x12.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Every time you read about this amp in forums, there is a chorus of people who say "you have to do this and this, in order for it to sound the best". You'd think Fender would've read this and resolve whatever issues it might have.
    They did. They called it the Bassbreaker 15.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    They addressed it even before that but it was unpopular.
    They took the 2001 - 2003 Blues Junior fully assembled chassis and put into a larger cabinet that housed a 12 and a 10.
    They called it the Two-Tone but it was not a success story at all.
    It sounded pretty darned decent, proving the Blues Junior can sound good but it lacked all of those things that draws people to the Blues Junior in the first place.
    Small size and light weight.
    The Two-Tone can be found on the used market but they are usually priced out of reach for most people.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    I have always been curious to read or hear reports of how this separate head and cab conversion kit sounds. If you check out the picks you will see that the amp chassis is reoriented so the heat from the tubes no longer rises up into the circuitry like the stocker does. That's always been a source of frustration for amp techs as amps that get a significant amount of use can start to cook the traces on the PCBs. I used to own an amp from a different company that was built that same way and you could see the discolouration of the board and it created lots of intermittent issues for me. It was rather frustrating. I eventually bit the bullet had the board properly repaired at a hefty expense and then I sold it right after, while I still could get something out of it.

    To the OP, I apologize again.
    We've kind of derailed your thread.

  20. #20
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals into Fender Blues Junior > horrible sound

    it was a cool amp but the price was too steep for what they were selling. you could still get a used blues jr in good shape for $200 back then, and the speakers were nothing to write home about.

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