Fender Blues Junior iii Review
I recently purchased a Fender Blues Junior iii from World Guitars in Stonehouse. I had been searching for a tube amp for some time and after a disaster with a Laney VC-15 I opted for the Fender. The model that I purchased is in two tone wine red and tan with a wheat coloured grill.
Although the amp is only 15 watts; I have to say it is incredibly loud! I think I could certainly do small gigs with it and it would even compete with a drummer. The amp only has one channel with controls for volume, bass, mid, treble, master and reverb. The simplicity of the controls is the genius of this amp. The clean sound is excellent – as you would expect from a Fender amp. If you’re looking for high gain then this amp isn’t for you. Instead, you get warm valve distortion. The clean headroom is pretty good, and like any good valve amp the crunch will depend on how you articulate notes. Only negative is that the reverb is a little over the top even set at three (all knobs go to 12). In addition to the controls mentioned, there is a ‘fat’ switch that adds crunch when you’ve cranked the amp. The volume required to get an overdrive sound does present a problem for bedroom use. Although, with such a good clean sound I think this amp would take pedals very well. I’m currently mulling over a few distortion pedals.
If you like retro then this amp is hard not to like! The two tone ‘50s styling appealed to me instantly and was probably one of the reasons I ended up buying it.
I think this amp could be used for a number of styles. My main use will be for jazz, blues and rock. It simply wouldn’t work for metal or high gain stuff or big gigs (unless you mic it). From other reviews, I’ve heard it takes pedals very well, so I can’t wait to test it out. Having only ever owned solid state Marshalls and Fender amps, I am really appreciating being able to create that warm valve tone. So I’ve found it easy to emulate sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Les Paul and Jimmy page to name a few.
Sound 9/10 It doesn’t have high gain that I sometimes need – but a pedal will fix that.
Looks 10/10 Its vintage look is right up my street.
Build 7/10 The amp feels like it is solidly constructed. Given it a 7 purely as I haven’t gigged it or moved it yet.