which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby jmfranc » Fri May 14, 2010 1:08 pm

I am looking for a very low powered amp to put a JBL in and play a home and try to get a bit of clipping/Jer tone. I am down to two: Blues Jr or a Fender Super Champ.

Both tubes and both have the room for a JBL. Super Champ XD - 10" and Blues Jr 12".

Have you played around with either/both?
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby strumminsix » Fri May 14, 2010 1:54 pm

What do you mean, "a bit of clipping/Jer tone"?

Speaker clipping or preamp + poweramp clipping?

Even in a home the BJ will be LOUD for your application.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby jmfranc » Fri May 14, 2010 3:02 pm

I mean the sound of the amp being pushed to the clipping level where the Jerry tone sounds come from.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby JonnyBoy » Fri May 14, 2010 3:07 pm

In my opinion the sound your searching for, Jerry's stage sound/tone at at show on stage, is hard to do at low volumes with professional, concert grade gear like an E120. I have had MUCH better luck for Low Volumes at home, ditching my E120's, twin's pre and 120 watt amp, and use a Fender Gdec modeling amp with a 8" speaker. It models 4 signature tones from the Fender Twins you could only get at blistering volumes with a twin, but can turn it down or listen with a headset or play in your bedroom at night. I know its close, because when I jam along by plugging my Ipod in and play along Jerry and I have the same clean tone he has through the amp or headphones, especially on early-mid 70's stuff. It has a Gain knob to clip at the right volume and sound. Its also has different loops with bass, piano and drum beats in variable keys to jam over to practice. $100-149 are the prices I've seen. Blues Jr and Champs are great amps , but you have the tubes and such to maintain for a tiny amp that modeling does fine for at that volume. Modeling is superior for practice, learning and low volumes, Pro's tend to sway from it because at loud stage volumes it doesn't sound the same as the real deal. I think that's true with exception to the Ax and 11 racks (and a few other's not pertaining to Jerry.) I wish we all knew what Jerry used in his hotel rooms or at home he felt gave him the tone like his stage rig, but I'm sure its not a practice amp with a JBL E120 in it.
I loved the Gdecs twin sound so much I preamped it and tried to amplify it through my big rig. Again at low volumes it was great, at high volumes it was obviously modeled. All amps sound different all have different speakers, you have to try them to know what you like. What I like may not be what you like, but I NEVER THOUGHT this little Fender Gdec would give me the closest Jerry tone I have in my arsenal and for so little money.
I think you will have a really cool amp with a E120 in a Blues Jr or Super Champ. But, it will be a Blues Jr or Super Champ with a E-120, and to clip the speakers or power section will be LOUD any way you turn it. Will it sound like Jerry's rig? I dunno, but i wouldn't think so at low volumes. One thing's for sure, it WILL sound good to play a guitar through!!! I would go with the Blues Jr. if you are set on a classic style amp. If you want an amp that sounds like Jerry playing on stage, bring your ipod and a cord and go to guitar center and play a bunch of small modeling practice amps, and make sure they model a twin reverb. Jerry would sound like Jerry through a Marshal stack, so technique is 90% of the battle. Good luck man, sorry I wrote a novel I am bored waiting on the weekend to start!!
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby DenverEd » Fri May 14, 2010 3:40 pm

I have a stock Blues Jr. It can get surprisingly loud if you want.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby jmfranc » Fri May 14, 2010 5:29 pm

JonnyBoy - thank you SO much for that reply. I am taking your advice and going that route. It makes perfect sense. Thanks again! Cheers
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby lunasparks » Fri May 14, 2010 6:14 pm

I have a SCXD and am generally very pleased. But that's after tube swaps, re-biasing (cold from factory), and a speaker swap (to Eminence Copperhead, huge improvement over stock speaker). I think the blackface clean can be pretty tasty and crunchy and channel 2 overdriven blackface tones also sound good to my ears. I've asked questions on here about other amps and recently borrowed a DRRI to get a sense for how my SCXD compares to true tube. I have to say that for now I'm keeping the little guy. I can dial in very convincing tones at bedroom levels, generate some breakup (although I should be doing it with ear plugs! Even at 15 watts or so it can get loud in my little home office). And I can play along with clean early- to mid-70s "stratified" Jerry with satisfying results.

The only real problem I see with the SCXD is that I probably paid for more options than it turns out I need. The more I play the more I just use the clean, blackface model channel. If all you want is a solid Fender clean tone at bedroom levels, there may be more in the SCXD that what you need.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby JonnyBoy » Fri May 14, 2010 8:11 pm

lunasparks wrote:I have a SCXD and am generally very pleased. But that's after tube swaps, re-biasing (cold from factory), and a speaker swap (to Eminence Copperhead, huge improvement over stock speaker). I think the blackface clean can be pretty tasty and crunchy and channel 2 overdriven blackface tones also sound good to my ears. I've asked questions on here about other amps and recently borrowed a DRRI to get a sense for how my SCXD compares to true tube. I have to say that for now I'm keeping the little guy. I can dial in very convincing tones at bedroom levels, generate some breakup (although I should be doing it with ear plugs! Even at 15 watts or so it can get loud in my little home office). And I can play along with clean early- to mid-70s "stratified" Jerry with satisfying results.

The only real problem I see with the SCXD is that I probably paid for more options than it turns out I need. The more I play the more I just use the clean, blackface model channel. If all you want is a solid Fender clean tone at bedroom levels, there may be more in the SCXD that what you need.


:cool: Right on man!! I'm glad you found something you liked. That is so much more important then buying something cuz someone said so!!! Everyone here is totally willing to tell you what we like but that's all it is, what we like. When it comes to Jerry's sound Brad S. will tell you there is more than one way to skin a cat!! Some of use macs some have full digital preamps, some use vintage, some use custom made jerry boxes like a classic, and I have found the Gdec and the other smaller modeling amps can dial it in too!!! And without all the tubes, speaker replacement, pedals, special guitars... A strat and a gdec :lol: . I'll say it again.. I would have seriously doubted it myself!!!!! Be sure to bring your Ipod and try to dial it in... its not an instant process like a $4000 jerry rig.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby lunasparks » Wed May 26, 2010 5:33 pm

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

Allow me to expose myself as someone with no allegiances to prior testimony. I was recently able to spend some time with a PRRI and I have to declare it a tone-monster. And I have to admit to purchasing one used on ebay last week. Why did the '65 Princeton Reverb stir something in me that the DRRI didn't? Hard to say, but I was hit hard by the sound...in a very good way.

I don't know if it's going to get me any closer to Jerry, but if it's love then I guess it's love!

Until the next lightning bolt strikes,

Vince

P.S. Thanks again for the feedback and response on this board. It feels great to have found this little community on the inter-web. Now I've started thinking more and more about adding the Waldo buffer....
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby JonnyBoy » Wed May 26, 2010 5:53 pm

I know, this place really gets you thinking about what you want to buy next... I am officially broke! at least for a little while....
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby strumminsix » Thu May 27, 2010 5:26 am

jmfranc wrote:I mean the sound of the amp being pushed to the clipping level where the Jerry tone sounds come from.

This has come up many times on the board and if you are talking about post say 74 then that sound is from the Mac poweramp.

Many here will argue for most of his years "the Jerry tone" comes from super loud and pristine clean.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby tigerstrat » Thu May 27, 2010 9:16 am

strumminsix wrote:
jmfranc wrote:I mean the sound of the amp being pushed to the clipping level where the Jerry tone sounds come from.

This has come up many times on the board and if you are talking about post say 74 then that sound is from the Mac poweramp.

Many here will argue for most of his years "the Jerry tone" comes from super loud and pristine clean.


That theory is popular but hard to prove and some might argue otherwise.

But what I was going to suggest to the originator of the thread is perhaps you should edit the subject line to specify Super Champ XD, otherwise people that don't read the whole thread (just the choice offered in the subj) might start opining regarding the original '82-'86 Fender Super Champ, which btw is a real honey of a low-wattage amp.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Thu May 27, 2010 10:43 pm

A Blues Junior will make a great, low power Jerry amp. Put a K120 in it and you're basically there. If you wanna tweak, you can upgrade a few cap's and the preamp tube plate resistors. It should voice nicely and give a very close Jerry sound for a low power, affordable amp.

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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby Pete B. » Fri May 28, 2010 9:47 am

My expierience with stock Blues jr amps is that the tone knobs don't do much when you turn them (I would verify this on the specific amp you intend to buy, before you buy it), even blasting them from full on to full off, not much of a tonal swing. But there is one at both of my weekly rehearsal spots and I play thru them on occassion (I try to use the same settings as a TR basically, although it didn't seem to make much of a difference where i set the knobs). Reverbs kinda mushy. Anyone use the Fat button? I still think I sound like Jerry when I play thru them though! :oops:
I thought the Crate V16 was a better amp for Jerry tone at this price point, based solely on playing thru them both at Guitar Center. Better Reverb and clarity.
fwiw, My Danelectro Nifty-Fifty 15W 8"speaker (with Strat>MuIII) sounds exactly like Jerry on Estimated Prophit (on the new '89 DVD) at living room volume.
The Super Champ XD looks cool (more like a TR). I'd have to try them side by side. I thought the Blues Jr was overpriced compared to the Crate V16.
Maybe since you've narrowed it down to these two then try 'em out side by side in your home and return the one you don't like.
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Re: which small amp? Fender Super Champ or Blues Jr?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Fri May 28, 2010 2:25 pm

The Blues Junior uses a 25 linear taper midrange pot, so you won't get much bass and treble response unless you turn that knob pretty far down. (Stock Twin is 10k). For a "Jerry" type midrange, you probably want about 8k of resistance, so that's about 1/3 of the rotation on the midrange dial on a Blues Junior. If you make it dip like that, then the bass and treble will give a much more audible response.

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