JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

Postby Character 0 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:37 am

1st time poster so forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death already...

I'm looking to hone in on early 70's Jerry tone and was thinking of replacing my 2016 BJr stock Eminence speaker with a JBL to get closer in tone with my strat without shelling our for a twin reverb (I only paid $300 for my 2016 BJr). I've dialed in my BJr setting from a reco I saw on here and the tone can get really surprisingly close with a BJr and strat. Going to add the Alembic Blaster to the strat and was thinking the K120 (or whatever works best for the BJr) to the amp to dial in the sound more.

Anyone have experience adding a JBL to the BJr? Worth it?
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Re: JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

Postby TeeJay » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:21 am

I couldn't get an E to fit in my BJ III (billm twintone stack mod). The K fit prefect but at real volumes that big speaker in the little box was giving me all kinds of tube rattle, reverb shaking, who knows what else. I hate buzzes and rattles. The stock cab and baffle is subpar for a "real" speaker, but I get it, Fender wanted it to be a small size. There are aftermarket cabs that are better constructed and bigger to accommodate a wider range of speakers which would help. I ended up cutting a new baltic ply baffle for a 10" and put a K110 in it which seems to be a better fit in that tiny stock cab. To get back to the point yes the JBL is the speaker you want. Put a K in the stock cab and see if it wants to self destruct like mine did (it may not especially at bedroom levels) or better yet take the speaker output to an K120 extension cab.
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Re: JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

Postby bzbz » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:03 pm

I sometimes play my Blues Jr (also BillM mod) connected to an external cab with a JBL K-120. I like it a lot - but my K-120 sounds much better connected to my Twin head. I think, listening to gigs on video comparatively, that the Blues Jr is more "shrill" when played clean, if I use it again, I'll need to use my Earth Drive to turn down the tone and add a little thickness...
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Re: JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

Postby CharacterZero » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:32 am

Nice username! I put a K120 in my BJ3 and I wasn’t too happy with it. I ended up pulling it out and putting it into a bigger cab. I had an old Fender Blues Deville that died, so I pulled the amp out of it and used some left-over wood to convert it to speaker cabinet. While I was doing that project, I wound up getting a Mac and Sarno preamp, so I never did set it back up to run the BJ3 to the new cab (may try that just to see the difference), but I was happy with the speaker in the bigger cab.

This is the K120 in the converted Blues Deville cab:
Image
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Re: JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:30 am

The JBL K in a Blues JR isn't a bad idea in theory, BUT that tiny cabinet will not provide the body and warmth that Jerry's larger cabinet gave him. I find that with small cabinets, this Jerry-tone is just too thin and small and uncomfortably trebly. But throw all that sweet treble at a larger 1-12" or 2-12" or 3-12" cab, and the cab itself provides a certain fullness and body that EQ can not. I think a cool solution would be to use the Blues JR as a head and get a bigger 1-12" cabinet. I do like the cabinet volume of a Deluxe Reverb for a single 12".

And I guess another issue with the Blues Jr. is that it isn't powerful enough to "light up" the JBL speaker. I'm a firm believer that much of Jerry's magic tone had to do with that unique quality the JBL's exhibit when pushed to their limits and begin to stress and distort and compress a bit. A quiet, clean JBL sounds nice, but a hard-pushed JBL sings magically.


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Re: JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

Postby Character 0 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:42 pm

Tons of great feedback and food for thought here - thank you!

CharacterZero - ditto on the username ha! Sweet work with the K120 in the deville cab, would love to hear that sounds.

For those of you with the BillM mods did you get the basic mod? I was considering this as a way to "open up" the head room on the BJr to it's full potential but am worried it will add too much bass and not give me the high end jerry that I can get close to right now with the stock parts

B - I think it was a post you made somewhere on here that lead me to get a pretty close jerry tone out of the BJr (currently I have it set like this: bass off, treble high, mid 3, volume 5, reverb 4, fat switch on) and it gets close.

Here is a short clip of the tone I;m getting now: https://youtu.be/rprYxPRpvmY

Sounds like building a cab with a JBL is the way to go
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Re: JBL in a Blues Jr - worth it?

Postby bstormwind » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:35 am

Just an FYI if you go the extension cab route. I picked up a fender musicmaster bass amp for $150. Pulled the chassis and put a JBL speaker in. Cheap, effective speaker cab ready to go. And a vintage amp that might appreciate over time. Sure there are other cheap amp alternatives that house a 12 inch speaker that you could use as a cabinet that's built and ready to go, and very sturdy.
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