Tip O' the Decade- World's Easiest Mod for the Blues Junior
Well, all you harp people out there know that I don't mess with newer amps too much, but I have always said that the Fender Blues Junior offers amazing sound for the money. Recently a customer brought a Blues Junior, along with a vintage amp, and asked me if I had any easy suggestions for Blues Junior harp mods. At first I said lower-gain preamp tubes would be the only thing I would suggest.....those printed circuitboard amps are no fun to modify!
I got to thinking about it a little and took a look at the schematic. Dang me if this amp doesn't have a "bright switch" (as used on most vintage Fenders) that is turned permanently "on." Let's turn that thing permanently "off" instead!
Open the amp up and look at the circuitboard. Right next to the input jacks you will see a small disc capacitor clearly labeled "C-3." Take a small pair of scissors (or mini wire cutters) and snip the lead at either end of the cap. Check out the tone.....wow! MUCH better for harp (and even many guitar players........hint, hint).
The downside is that it will be a royal pain to re-connect the cap if you don't like it, but trust me, you won't want to re-connect it.
I'm sure that others have figured this out before me, but I just want to make sure that all the harp players out there are aware of this mod...... if you play harp through a Blues Junior, give it a try.
And hey!! Unplug the amp the amp first and don't mess with anything other than "C-3." That way there is zero chance of you electrocuting yourself, dig? If you are not a handyman kinda guy, find someone who is!
Sounds interesting... I never bonded with my BJ for harp, but it is a worthy guitar amp for the money. How would cutting the c3 affect guitar tone? I mostly play rockabilly, country twang, swing and blues (not so greasy). I like clean and sparkly mids and highs (think Chet Atkins or Scotty Moore), twangy and farty lows (think Duane Eddy or Luther Perkins) and wonder how this mod would fit these styles of music. I guess I like clean not necessarily bright. For guitar I never use the bright channel on my 59 BMRI. Love the thought of having a 15w harp amp. Something between my Champion 600 and 59 BMRI. Any thoughts or comparison to the BJ with this mod and a stock Pro Jr? Thanks Skip!
I was recently blessed with a brand new Blues Junior III and Green Bullet 520DX and am curious as to how it would sound/change if I were to disconnect the "bright switch" and/or change the tubes for 12au7's. This is my first ever tube amp and my first time playing harmonica amplified. To get the cleanest sound, I max the master volume, set the other volume to approximately 1.5, and leave everything else at 1; this is about all I have figured out so far. I'm not quite yet sure how to get the tone Joe Filisko has in his song Gridlock Blues, for example. I feel as though I should just practice my technique and leave everything else alone, but can't help wonder what these mod's would do to the sound. I play Marine Band harmonicas, but I also play guitar through the amp, a Gretsch 5122, and my first and foremost concern for both instruments is to be able to get the cleanest sound possible, only amplified. Any information you could provide would be of great help and greatly appreciated; because, as I mentioned before, this is my first experience playing through a tube amp and bullet mic. Thank you for your time.
Also, Johnny, if you ever tried this mod, what was your impression afterwards? Based on the type of music you mentioned playing, I imagine you play a hollow body as well.
You can disregard my previous post. I've done some navigating throughout this sight and found a wealth of information.