Holiday Gear Guide: Fender Blues Junior Amp III

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Fender Blues Junior III
List Price: $699.99

While plenty of gigging guitarists go straight to the time-tested Twin Reverb amp, Fender’s 15-watt Blues Junior is a close second for great tone and dependability. Guitar players seem to flip these things like pancakes on Craigslist; which is usually the sign of a pro guitarist-approved workhorse amp.

About a year ago, Fender upgraded their popular Hot Rod series of amps, which include the DeVille and Blues Junior lines. In a world of add-ons and guitar wanker hard ons, simplicity is a beautiful thing, and that’s what the Blues Junior III is all about.

The amp comes with EL-84 power tubes and 12AX7 preamp tubes — both legends in tubeville — and one 12 inch speaker, made by Eminence, based on a “Fender Special Design.” The Junior has one input, a volume control (for preamp gain), treble/bass/mid knobs, and a master knob to control the amp’s overall volume. Oh, and there’s real spring reverb and a “fat” boost that you can plug a footswitch into. Do you really need anything else? You can plug in an extension cab if you need more volume; but, for most small club gigs or studio recording, this puppy already cranks up pretty loud.

The Blues Junior is exactly what you expect from an iconic Fender amp. The reverb is rich and full, and the amp plays pretty clean and crisp throughout, adding a bit of crunch with the “fat” boost at the highest volumes. Now, that’s keeping it simple.

 

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